Loose Ties (a name chosen by the members) is an informal group of toy train enthusiasts who share a common interest, a love of toy trains. Formed in 1996 by A. Robert Walker, aka “Grandpa Choo Choo”, with a core group of less than a dozen, today active membership has swelled to over thirty five. The ages and backgrounds of the members are as eclectic as the trains they collect and operate. What all members, whether eighteen or ninety, have in common, is their love, appreciation, and enjoyment of toy trains.
On a monthly basis, Loose Ties gather at a member’s home or at a site of special interest. Activities range from running each other’s trains on home layouts, staging shows, viewing very special train collections, or touring manufacturing facilities in the area. The most recent project of the group has been to build a modular railroad for public display. The modular railroad has been expanded and redesigned and will eventually be fully landscaped. During the past five holiday seasons, Loose Ties conducted a free drawing for a complete train set which was given away to a lucky child at the display at Boscovs in the Mall at Hummels Wharf. We believe the future of our hobby is with the children and to that end, “Christmas, kids and trains go together.”
In the fall of l997, Loose Ties was given the opportunity by Julia Sanders, owner of Delta Place Station in Lewisburg, to revitalize a large “G” gauge layout, in a barn adjacent to the station, initially built by her late husband Richard. Subsequently, Mrs. Sanders graciously offered that facility to the group as a headquarters for club activities.
Despite the relatively small size of the group, each month’s meetings are interesting, exciting and generally well attended. Some members have extensive train collections, consisting of toy trains representative of all eras of the train maker’s art while others concentrate less on collecting and more on operating. Some members have few if any trains, but yet have a passion for them and are in the early stages of developing their hobby. What all have in common, is that they are “hooked” on trains.
Loose Ties is a self sustaining organization. Annual dues, which primarily cover mailing and printing costs, are minimal. There is never a charge for admission to shows or displays, although donations are greatly appreciated. All contributions are used for maintenance and expansion of club activities.
If you would like more information about Loose Ties, please click on the Officers button and contact one of the officers.