Follow the Tracks

Harry Huckemeyer

It’s that time of the year when there is so much to do and so little time to fit it all in. For the next couple of months, the weather is one of our greatest gifts, and then there are opportunities galore, regardless of what suits you all best. Just coming off the excitement of the Super Bowl, we head into the ever-popular Baseball Spring Training opportunities where many of your favorite teams surround the area, along with the many players arriving who, for some, are household names. Locally, in the Sun Lakes area, there is so much going on—shows to see and the many clubs doing their thing, not to mention all the family friends, students, and visitors who fill the area to enjoy the weather and all that this state has to offer.

After a few setbacks because of construction delays, I am happy to say that the Short Line Model Railroad Club is now back in full swing and is right on track with several key events to carry us to the end of the first half of the 2024 season. For those who may have an interest and would enjoy the thought of getting involved, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We typically meet on the second Saturday of the month, but at times, with conflicts with the timing of scheduled events, we do have to occasionally make some adjustments to our regular agenda. Our meetings start at 1 p.m. and are held in one of the rooms in the Arts & Crafts building in Oakwood. We have the area for an extended amount of time and also use it as a workshop area where club members can fine tune their project, and we also can pre-stage our layouts for reliability checkouts prior to any of our major events out of the area.

Coming up in March, we will be visiting Friendship Village once again, and in early April we have been invited to participate in a festive Earth Day Celebration at Apache Junction. This is a popular event held annually that draws large crowds, both young and old, in an open area, with food trucks, entertainment, games, and other services provided by the hosts for all to enjoy. Bring along a blanket, chair, and cover, as the weather can be a little warmer than anticipated. If it gets a little too warm, come visit with us in the main air-conditioned building just feet away where you can spend some time with us, and there are restrooms available.

Unfortunately, due to delays in a parks project in the area, the Open House, typically held in February, had to be put on hold, but there is a possibility that it could still be rescheduled sometime in March or April with added parking for future events at the Tumbleweed Park area. Regardless of all that, the museum is still open in season on weekends, and in one of the boxcars in that area on certain Saturdays of the month, it is open with a variety of model railroads of different sizes operating with volunteers there to support the program.

If you have an interest in trains in general or model railroading and are looking for that special item, there are train-only swap meets held around the Valley rather frequently. We follow them closely, so feel free to get back to us for additional details on times and locations. For that and other information regarding our club’s activities, we can be reached at 480-600-1349 or by email at [email protected].

Stand clear of the tracks, and have an enjoyable 2024.