Collectors flock to Wallingford model train show

Collectors flock to Wallingford model train show


WALLINGFORD — Hundreds of model trains were set up at Zandri’s Stillwood Inn for a train show Sunday as collectors searched through the offerings to find one to take home.

Ludwig Spinelli, of Classic Shows LLC, said it was the company’s first event of the busy holiday season. The show has stopped in town for the past 33 years. He estimated that more than 300 people walked through the exhibit between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. There were 100 tables and 45 vendors.

“It was good,” said Spinelli, who does appraisals and sells Lionel and other vintage trains. “People enjoyed it.”

Toward the front of the hall was a 3-by-6½-foot display of miniature houses, bridges, factories, animals, trees, cars, and of course, trains. For the past five years Michael Kinsley, of Marlborough, has been working to perfect the miniature town. Sunday was the first time he has showcased it.

“The children love it,” said Kinsley as a train made its way over a bridge and through a tiny village.

Kinsley grew up at Boston Harbor around a freight yard and has been interested in trains for more than 30 years.

As the show came to a close, George Waterman, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., began to pack up his table that was filled with different train pieces. Waterman started collecting three years ago after a friend introduced him to the hobby.

“I go to about nine to 10 shows a year,” Waterman said.

Walking around the event was Phyllis Drescher, who helps coordinate the annual model train show at Sheehan High School in April. She was talking with people at the show and vendors about the April show, which benefits the Sheehan music department. It was also exciting for her to see some of the pieces.

“It’s a community,” Drescher said. “We’re all an incredible community.” (203) 317-2212 Twitter: @FollowingFarrah

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