AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Members of the Amarillo Railroad Museum open their doors to the public each year for National Model Railroad Month.
In addition to the preserved Pantex train cars from the nuclear war era on display outside, a real-life replica of the Santa Fe Railroad is in the works.
“We’re building a model railroad that is depicting the Santa Fe, the original Santa Fe Railroad from Canadian, Texas to Clovis, New Mexico. So it’s the length of the Panhandle,” said one of the directors of the Amarillo Railroad Museum Jerry Michels.
“There were also two other railroads that were in the Panhandle: The Rock Island and Burlington, originally,” said Michels. “And we’re kind of modeling a little bit of those, but our primary focus is on the Santa Fe.”
The project started more than 10 years ago and is still going.
“The whole railroad is under construction. We have some areas that are scenic. We have the Canadian River area that is totally scenic now, a couple of gentlemen worked on that,” said President of the Amarillo Railroad Museum David Jusiak. “And over the next year, we’re hoping to get a lot more scenery in depicting the time period and the towns along the railroad that traveled through Panhandle of Texas.”
Anyone who has an interest in model railroads and trains are encouraged to become a member.
“I personally like the construction of it and building things more than I like playing,” said member Chris Mitchell. “I’m a disabled vet. And before I started coming out here, I very seldom left my house, other than the doctor’s. Now that I’ve got a lot of friends, I’ve just completely come out of my shell.”
Members of the museum meet to work on the historic railroad every Thursday evening and every second and fourth Saturday of the month.
“We’re all volunteers so it depends on the amount of time we can put in on it, and we don’t meet 40 hours a week,” said Michels. “But we get a lot of good work done. So it maybe seems long, but for us, every little step makes it even better.”
Michels said there will also be another open house to come in the spring.