Model trains and colorful candy draw crowds

| 29 Sep 2011 | 02:52

Franklin — Parking was at a premium at the 7th annual Franklin Model and Toy Train Sale and Show held at the Senator Robert E. Littell Community Center in Franklin on Sunday. The event featured vendors, a large working layout assembled by the Sussex County Railroad Club and free Skittles candy. “This is the only geological source of Skittles in North America,” said James Macintyre of his model railroad. “The model is of a 30-inch narrow gauge railroad.” (gauge is distance between the rails - standard gauge is 4 feet 8.5 inches) The tiny locomotive and two hopper cars twisted and turned along tracks between the candy mine and the unloading dock. Visitors patient enough to wait for the train to make the trip were rewarded with a small cup of Skittles. “I gave away six pounds of Skittles at a show recently,” said Macintyre. On the Sussex County Railroad Club track, two long trains made laps around the layout. Passing children ignored the 30-car strings of modern freight cars and waited for Thomas the Tank engine to start running. Crowd pressure prevailed and Thomas, leading a two-car train, was soon moving around the main line track. Wooden trains, sized for easy use by little hands, were being sold by one of the many vendors. “These models are made of pine and sealed with a non-toxic salad bowl finish,” said Vincent Krauth of Grandpa’s Wooden Toys. “The car carrier is the most popular railroad car with the kids. It has four removable cars that add to the fun factor.” Vincent Krauth of Riverdale, who is the “Grandpa” in the company name, and his wife, Leona, also sell other types of wooden toys. “We only brought the railroad items in keeping with the spectators expected here today,” he said. Foot traffic in the show was heavy as a steady crowd of bargain hunters, and the just curious, browsed the tables. The refreshment concession served snacks and beverages. The show was co-sponsored by the Franklin Historical Society.