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August 3, 2014
Sunday August 3, 2014 South Florida Sun Sentinel, Community Snapshots
Above , The Plantation Historical Museum is hosting an exhibit presented by the Florida Citrus Model Train Society. Above right,m Fabian Rodriguez, 3, of Plantation, enjoys looking at some of the trains.
Sunday July 27, 2014
Home News Plantation
Taking the right track
Model train exhibit displayed at Plantation museum
By Scott Fishman, Forum Publishing Group
3:44 p.m. EDT, July 24, 2014
Train sets aren't nearly as popular as they once were, but the Florida Citrus Model Train Society continues to help keep this hobby alive.
Its latest exhibit featuring operating model train displays and layouts is at the Plantation Historical Museum through Oct. 25. The society laid the groundwork for HO, O, G and N scales for visitors to enjoy. The gauges allow train enthusiasts to bring their own to run on them.
"Our whole mission is to get kids and families involved in trains," said Ken Sargeant, president and founder of the group. "Train buffs, we will let them run it. They just have to understand they can't grab it and pull it off the track because some of these engines are worth over $1,000. When you see the skills some of these guys have, it will blow your mind. A lot of these things are [built from scratch]."
Sargeant said group members come from all walks of life, including a retired music teacher, carpenter, electrician, news station employee, three-star general and lieutenant colonel.
John Feeney, museum curator, said the exhibit got a positive response the last time it was there.
"We thought it would be a nice idea for the summer to have the model train exhibit again," he said. "They are a draw."
The society also likes to raise awareness of Operation Lifesaver classes, which teach safety around trains, crossings and railroad property. They're also looking to find a permanent location to run model trains.
For more information, visit Fcmts.org or Plantation.org/Museum or call 954-797-2722.
Scott Fishman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2014 South Florida Sun-Sentinel
model trains chug
through historical museum
wednesday july 23, 2014
July 23, 2014 MODEL TRAINS CHUG THROUGH HISTORICAL MUSEUM
RAILROAD EXHIBIT Fabian Rodriguez 3, of Plantation eyes the model trains on display at the Plantation Historical Museum. The exhibit is presented by the Florida Citrus Model Train Society. STAFF PHOTO/JANERIS/MARTE
the week in pictures
wednesday july 23, 2014
July 23, 2014 On track the Florida Citrus Model Train Society has a display of model trains at the Plantation Historical Museum. For Information visit Plantation.org/museum. STAFF PHOTO/JANERIS/MARTE
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Click on picture to increase size Hit escape to return to regular size
MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY & SCIENCE
Excellence in service award
volunteer of the quarter
MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY & SCIENCE
VOLUNTEER OF THE QUARTER SPRING 2014 AWARD
VOLUNTEER OF THE QUARTER - SPRING 2014
The Museum is pleased to announce its Volunteer of the Quarter - the Florida Citrus Model Train Society. The society of 35 members dontated over 5,000 hours to the museum between August 2013 and February 2014, sharing their passion for trains with Museum visitors. They staffed two train exhibits with at least four people per day giving tours of the train displays and teaching train safety to museum guests. Some of the FCMTS members made special live presentations to guests and repaired microscopes in the museum lab. Ken Sargeant and Bill Tessar were on hand to accept the honor on behalf of FCMTS.
March 12, 2014 The Florida Citrus Model Train Society was presented with The Volunteer of the Quarter Spring 2014 Award. Standing (L-R) Kim L. Cavendish (President/CEO of the Museum of Discovery & Science), Bill Tessar (Florida Citrus Model Train Society Member), Ken Sargeant (President of the Florida Citrus Model Train Society), Dawn Formica (Volunteer Coordinator of the Museum of Discovery & Science)
OLD DAVIE SCHOOL HISTORICAL MUSEUM
FALL OF 2013
MIami herald Sunday april 11, 2010
Model train show returning to Pembroke
Pines on April 17, 2010
March 20, 2010
A long-running model train show is coming back to Pembroke Pines in April.
The show will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 17 at the Pembroke Pines Charter School Central Campus, 12350 Sheridan St. The show, sponsored by the Florida Citrus Model Train Society, will transform the school's cafeteria into a warehouse of model trains, including multiple displays of train sets.
"A lot of train shows cater only to the collectors," said Ken Sargeant, the group's president. "We're trying to get kids into the hobby."
Sargeant's association with trains stretches back to his childhood, when his father worked as a locomotive engineer for Canadian Pacific Railway.That was when public use of trains was more widespread.
"Everyone went by trains," Sargeant said. "Trains were in their heyday."
As a boy, Sargeant was introduced to the world of model trains after receiving a set as a Christmas gift. Decades later, he and other enthusiasts established the Florida Citrus Model Train Society in 1999 and began organizing model shows. Early shows were at South Plantation High School, but the charter school has served as its home for five years.
The show also will feature model trains of various scales for sale. Some are vintage pieces that dedicated collectors spend years tracking down while others are for people new to the hobby. Model trains are a flexible hobby, said Ron DeFrank, a sales consultant with event sponsor Warrick Custom Hobbies in Plantation.
"You can do what you want, when you want to do it," DeFrank said. "There are no big outlays."
Some enthusiasts like running trains while others are more interested in the construction of background scenery or buildings. Train toys like Thomas the Tank Engine are highly popular with children and introduce many to the hobby, DeFrank said. Thomas displays are always popular at the show.
"The kids get a kick out of it," DeFrank said.
As part of each show, Warrick donates a deluxe train set that is given away to a child younger than 12.
But there's more to the show than toy trains — Sargeant uses it as an opportunity to educate children about train track safety. He provides presentations at schools in conjunction with Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce train-related fatalities. Sargeant's presentations cover crossing safety, as well as train track trespassing.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there were 248 railroad crossing deaths in 2009 nationwide and 434 deaths resulting from trespassing. In Florida, 10 deaths occurred at crossings and 19 resulted from trespassing.
Sargeant said many people walking along train tracks don't hear anything because trains travel more quietly now through residential areas.
"Trains go so fast that by the time they get on top of you, it's too late," he said.
The show, which used to run four times a year, has been reduced to twice a year. The next show is planned for November. Admission is $4, but children younger than 12 get in free.
SUn-sentinel december 8, 2010
Toy train shows delights kids and adults alike
Forum Publishing Group|
December 8, 2008
Ken Sargeant, like most enthusiasts in his generation, collects model trains.
But his passion comes at a price: His generation, and with it America's fascination with train hobbies, was dying. The national pastime needed fresh, younger faces.
So, Sargeant founded the Florida Citrus Model Train Society in 1999 and started hosting model train shows in middle and high schools, hoping children and teens would eventually replace the legions of middle-aged and older fans.
"We cater to the children because I feel it's the lifeline of the hobby," said Sargeant, 67, of Plantation. "We're trying to get the kids involved, and that's why the person winning the door prizes had to be 12 years of age or less."
Sargeant is referring to last month's toy train show inside Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School's central campus cafeteria, which has been FCMTS's venue for the past two years. The event
corralled more than 500 locomotive lovers, history buffs, toy collectors and their children to tables crammed with Lionel and Mike's Train House models, spare parts and entire Christmas-themed train
Although the 15-member FCMTS meets Fridays at Lester's Diner in Fort Lauderdale, near the Tri-Rail and CSX freight train tracks, they host model train shows at Pines Charter Middle. That venue stemmed from a show Principal Kenneth Bass caught at South Plantation High when Sargeant was assistant principal. Impressed, Bass convinced Sargeant to move the venue to his school.
Among the displays were Sargeant's Christmas trains — one featuring Snoopy riding atop one boxcar with arms outstretched, another toting Christmas ball ornaments and bow-wrapped presents, plus one carting a flatbed car upon which Santa, his sleigh and reindeer rested as Rudolph's nose blinked red.
On the cafeteria's opposite end, Florida East Coast train buff Robert Feeney, 22, sported an 18th century conductor's outfit and demonstrated how copper sulfate electrically powered early telegraph machines. Telegraphs patched up train station arrival and departure problems by standardizing time, Feeney said. A conductor's pocket watch was worthless because it couldn't account for time zone shifts aboard West to East Coast trains, so Western Union transmitted telegraph messages to conductors with time updates.
"Those dots and dashes replaced a conductor's watch entirely," said Feeney, a Broward Community College student who also partakes in Civil War re-enactments and is president of the Morse Telegraph Club.
As vendors along 12 tables sold passenger trains, decals, rusted metal spikes, magazines, metal track sections, and walked around controllers, there were displays from Operation Lifesaver, a train safety group, and a 35-by-15-foot toy train village from the South Florida High Rail. The whistle-stop mini-town featured tiny trees, scale model cars, and pocket-sized gas stations, courthouses and malt shops. A 125-foot-long track stretched around the perimeter, upon which blazed the Washington Congressional Silver Engine and an Amtrak bullet train, among others.
George Baird toggles a switch on the village's walk-around and the "Rio Grande" grinds to a halt, sound effects and all. He squirts a few droplets of smoke fluid inside the model's heater and sends it packing.
"It'll be hissing smoking the next time it comes around," said High Rail member Baird, 70, of Hallandale, as the "Rio Grande" whistled away. "I've been running the model trains since I got one under the Christmas tree at 12 years old."
The occasion gave Peter Warrick, 61, a 36-year Plantation hobby train store owner, reason to donate two Pennsylania Flyer freight trains, worth $150 apiece, during the show as drawing prizes.
"This is a good, lifelong hobby and a great way to get kids started on metal train sets," said Warrick, of Davie. "These transformer tracks are what you'd call a starter set, perfect for beginners."
When 2-year-old Scot McCoy won a train set, his grandfather, Roger McCoy, 57, whooped and cheered, carrying his grandson onstage. Scot hugged the train box and resumed playing with a wooden train village assembled in a children's play area.
"Oh, man, this is really nice," said Roger, of Fort Lauderdale, whose personal collection of N-gauge, O-gauge and G-scale trains are worth $50,000. "Scot loves trains. He blows the conductor's whistle and plays with my set at home already. He'll get a real kick out of this."
Phillip Valys is a Gazette staff writer.
sun-SEntinel november 30, 2008
Model train show staged at Pembroke
By Chris Guanche South Florida Sun-Sentinel
November 30, 2008
There were trains everywhere you looked.
The cafeteria at the Pembroke Pines Charter School Central Campus was recently filled with model trains for a show sponsored by the Florida Citrus Model Train Society. Model trains of every scale and type covered the tables, ranging from freight to old-style passenger cars, and from Amtrak to Tri-Rail. Stacks of rail tracks, accessory buildings, landscapes and electrical control systems joined the trains.
In between the tables, adults and children shared one thing in common: a fascination for trains.
"[Kids] are the lifeline of our hobby," said Ken Sargeant, the model train society's president. "We want to get them involved."
Sargeant said the group reaches out to children by staging the train show and giving out train sets as prizes. Sargeant and other society members also conduct educational sessions about train
track safety as part of Operation Lifesaver.
There was no lack of things for children to see, from train videos to Christmas-themed trains. But the show's eye-catcher was a large train display that measured 35 feet long by 15 feet wide. Featuring dozens of buildings and cars, along with at least 100 train cars, the display replicated the feel of an old-time American town.
On one level, a single-car passenger trolley made its rounds past banks, hotels and boxcar diners. On a lower level, multiple tracks ran the course of the entire display, complete with bridges, a long freight train and an Amtrak passenger train.
"It's a relaxing hobby, and it allows you to get away from the real world to a fantasy world," said Greg Baird of Hallandale Beach, one of several modelers who built the display.
With a wireless remote control in hand, Baird managed every aspect of the display, including train speed, smoke, horns, lights and passenger announcements at his custom-built train station. Baird said the display cost between $15,000 and $20,000, with some engines valued at $1,300.
"It's very expensive, but a lot of fun," Baird said.
That was evident for 4-year-old Matthew Hebert, who eagerly watched the trains in the display with his father, Monti Hebert. Hebert said he'd been fascinated with trains since he was a boy, and now his son shares that fascination. In addition to pulling out a train set from The Polar Express movie every year for Christmas, Hebert said he and Matthew take regular train rides down to Miami on the Tri-Rail.
"I'm here for him now," said Hebert, of Pompano Beach. "It's all about imagination; if you keep a kid's imagination, your mind stays fresh."
Model trains were a longtime hobby for vendor Don Croswell of Royal Palm Beach. Over the course of 25 years, Croswell has collected a large amount of trains, but he also custom builds his own freight cars by using items such as cigar holders as cargo.
"If you make it interesting, people will say 'I've never seen that before,'" Croswell said.
A former Pembroke Pines resident, Croswell said he usually attracted 50 to 100 children every Halloween when he would open up his garage for public viewing of his large model train display. Some children preferred watching the trains to collecting candy, he said.
Croswell's interest in trains extends beyond models and to the real ones.
"Once you get involved in trains, you want to see what the big boys do," he said.
The show also featured a display of telegraphs and other train-related items such as lamps and spikes. Dressed in a conductor's uniform from the 1910s, telegraph enthusiast Robert Feeney explained and demonstrated the technology to curious onlookers.
"A lot of people have never seen a telegraph, maybe in a movie, but they don't know anything about it," said Feeney, of Plantation .
Feeney's interest with telegraphs extends to when he found a book about telegraphs at his school library. Feeney then learned Morse code and joined the Florida chapter of the Morse Telegraph Club at age 6. Sixteen years later, he's serving as president of his chapter. Feeney's interest in telegraphs easily intersects with trains because they used telegraphs for communication.
"Someone with batteries, jars of acid and copper wire back in the 1800s could send messages around the world," Feeney said.
Visit www.fcmts.org for more information on the model train society.
SUn-sentinel Sunday november 30, 2008
Sun-Sentinel December 2, 2007
MIami HErald sunday december 4, 2005
wednesday june 9, 2004
MIami herald sunday may 9, 2004
SUn- SEntinel thursday july 18, 2002
tHURSDAY juLY 18, 2002
SUNDAY September 19, 1999
September 17, 1999
September 17, 1999 Sun-Sentinel "Local Section" TRAINS DISPLAYED: Davie resident Ken Sargeant, president of the Florida Citrus Model Train Society, shows some trains from his collection. Staff photos/Robert Mayer
September 17, 1999 Sun-Sentinel "Local Section" CLUB MEMBERS TO HOST SHOW ON SATURDAY TO PROMOTE THEIR HOBBY By Alan Gomez
SHOW AND TELL: The Florida Citrus Model Train Society will host a Display, Trade and Selling Show at South Plantatiuon High School 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.