Skip to main content

Franklin - Local Town Pages

Downtown Franklin’s Model Railway Returns

Write your article here..Revisit Downtown Franklin circa 1932 Railroad exhibit again this December at the Franklin Historical Museum. 

Model train fans, historians and children of all ages will marvel at the detail presented in the exhibit again this year. Historical Commission Member and model railway enthusiast, Scott Mason, has added to last year’s spectacular diorama. The new addition, expanding on the original model of the train station and coal house, reaches further East along the tracks from the station and concentrates on the Thomson Press Building and the New Haven Locomotive Roundhouse. Recreated in minute detail, both buildings and surrounding scenery are laid out in perfect proportion.

Both buildings, originally built circa 1880, are created in exquisite detail in model railway HO Scale, 1.87, (3.5 mm to 1 foot). The Thomson Press Building, originally built as the Snow, Bassett & Co Straw Hat Mfg and later known as the Goulding Manufacturing building, employed generations of Franklin Mill workers. The Roundhouse was built with funds from the Hayward Family. Mr. Hayward had so many millworkers traveling to Franklin by train that he knew a locomotive roundhouse would be essential to keep the trains running during the harsh winter months. Trains moved forward and backward across their East/West routes. In the winter months, train operations were shut down if the weather became too intense. By building the roundhouse, the trains could be turned around, and travel in a forward direction along their routes. The roundhouse ensured Mr. Hayward’s and many other mill owners’ employees could make the trip to Franklin, and to work, year-round.

If you saw the exhibit last year, you won’t want to miss ‘round 2’. And if by chance you missed last year’s inaugural debut, you’ll want to visit and experience the awe of this tremendous display.

The exhibit opens Saturday, December 2nd and runs through the month of December and early January. The museum is open weekends 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is always Free. When visiting the museum this holiday season, please consider donating a non-perishable item for the Franklin Food Pantry.