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Steve's Trains

Video and text by Harrison McClary

In Steve Car's backyard, under a small grove of trees, lies a small village with several railroads running through it. Carr took almost two years building this idyllic rail town. He laid the track, being sure to use brass rails to avoid rust, built many of the cars himself, and scoured e-bay for parts and signage.

He proudly points to a sign on the back fence. The sign is round and yellow with 70 labeled in bold numerals in the center. He says that sign is a speed sign from an Australasian railroad. There are many such signs around his track.

As the trains move through the village they roll by a church, with cars parked out front. Over trestle bridges, and around curves. At one point they even pass a model of the Mach 5, the car Speed Racer drove in his cartoon escapades. The track is dappled with sun and shadow on this sunny afternoon giving a relaxing atmosphere to the scene.

As Steve talks about his love of trains he describes past tracks. This is not his first venture into building them. At a previous home he built one track and then added onto it. He said that you do not want to add onto a track, it is very hard to make it look right when you do this. He says it is best to have a plan for your set then build from there.

He mentions how, in a previous track, he had a pond dug for the village. Over night there was a torrential rain. The hole for the pond went from a two by three foot hole 4 feet deep to four by six feet two feet deep. He said this was too big for a pond on a train track as it is very hard to maintain around the rails.

Since the track is outside and exposed to the elements he used brass rails. These rails need to be polished about once every three months. He uses a pole with steel wool on the end so that he does not have to be on hands and knees crawling around the track.

The walls of his control room are lined with matchbooks bearing labels from railroad companies. He also has numerous other train cars, including one that carries a UFO. He says he has bought most of his cars, signs, matchbooks and other things from e-bay. He loves to share his love of the trains with his guests and finds pleasure in watching people watch his trains.