Model train show chugs along today at Sequim grange
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
John Kunparak of Sequim watches for a wobble as his model Burlington Northern train heads down the track at the North Olympic Peninsula Railroaders’ train show Saturday in the Sequim Prairie Grange Hall.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM –– Miniature trains carried pumpkins, hobos and coal on tracks around the Sequim Prairie Grange Hall as dozens of model railroad buffs swapped stories and gear at the North Olympic Peninsula Railroaders' annual Train Show and Swap Meet on Saturday.

The free event continues today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the grange hall at 290 Macleay Road.

Model railroad displays are featured, along with a special wooden train and a miniature model railroad for children and door prizes.

Around the edges of the grange hall, collectors sell everything from tracks and engines to cars and tiny switch posts.

On Saturday in the center of the grange hall, John Kunparak and Joe Watkins were busily assembling and perfecting trains to go around the Washington state-themed circuit, which featured wheat fields, mountains, rivers, rocky mines and forests.

“I always wanted to take a train around the whole state,” said Watkins, a founding member of the Peninsula Railroaders.

Kunparak, a Southern Pacific fan first and foremost, trailed his collection of John Deere cars behind a Burlington Northern engine around the show's main train loop.

“I was feeling in a Burlington Northern mood this morning,” he said.

Cars behind the engine were scuffed by Kunparak to give them a more worn, realistic appearance.

He even put little patches of off-color paint on the cars for a realistic touch.

“You know, when you see that little rectangle patch on the corner of a car, that's where somebody bought the car and just tried to cover up the old owner's number,” he said.


Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at

Last modified: October 19. 2013 5:39PM
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