Outdoor Model Railroad Known to Stop Traffic in Summit Township Neighborhood
It's almost summer, and Denny Mead has his model railroad up and running again.
This isn't any model railroad. It's a outdoor model railroad that runs along the side of his house, behind his house and under his house.
It's quite an attraction in Denny's Summit Township neighborhood. The train that travels under a house has been known to stop traffic.
"You see the people drive all slow enough to watch it come out the other side," said Denny. "Just to make sure it comes out the other side."
Denny started the project in 2003. He designed the setup after towns that were served by the old Erie-Lackawanna railroad. He named his town Godard after the tiny community in Erie County not far from his house. Denny built the structures found alongside the tracks using kits or materials such as soft drink cans. He named the businesses in the town after family members. Denny does all his work inside this shed. Some of his tools were owned by his grandfather.
When asked how much time he spends, Denny told us, "Oh boy, a lot."
Denny says the biggest problem he faces with his model railroad is finding parts for his locomotives and rail cars. Even finding model paint is difficult these days. He believes the hobby is fading out worldwide. Another problem is seeds falling from a pin oak tree on his property.
"I hauled away a garbage can full of seeds off this tree this year," said Denny. "Guess where they land? All over the village, the track."
Denny has been hooked on model railroading since his grandparents gave him a Lionel train when he was three. He's now 77. He loves this railroad, but he has no plans for expansion.
"This is it," said Denny. "Expansion might be on the village, but no more track. I don't know where else I can go."