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Parker Station

By Michael Butler

Those who visited Brad and Shawn Parker's Clairewood home during the recent Tour of Trees were treated to more than just Christmas decorations. Among the attractions was a train station, more elaborate than most that circle around the Christmas tree.

Brad began putting the collection together when his son Jack was born. Jack is now eight. Brad got his first train set when he was six.

Jack Parker

"It's not as big a hobby these days," Brad said. "The interest is not as big because of video games. Kids don’t build things anymore."

Brad Parker

The younger Parker has shown interest. "He plays with it and enjoys it," Brad said of Jack. "He's helped in putting it together."

The collection is quite extensive with more than 250 pieces that have been ordered online and picked up at hobby stores.

"It took about two and a half years to build," Brad added. "but it’s still a work in progress."

The track encompasses most of a basement room with train cars and relics from real train sheds and tracks. The O Gauge track is 1/43 scale and remote controlled. 

"I’ve tried to collect things mainly from the southeastern part of the United States," Brad said.

Included in the collection is a plaque that dates back to the 1890s from the Lightning Route that ran in Montgomery. "It was one of the first electric trollies in the country," Brad noted.

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