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Model Railroad & Museum Celebrates 90th Birthday

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Model Railroad and Museum is celebrating its 90th birthday.

The train display moved from Buhl Planetarium to the Carnegie Science Center in 1992.

Each year brings something new.

The train won’t be running for another day or two, which is enough time for volunteers to make final adjustments.  It’s never quite the same.

Patty Rogers has been working on the railroad ever since it moved to the Carnegie Science Center 18 years ago.   Her models are distinctly western Pennsylvania.  This corner conjures memories of Luna Park and Westview, and a glimpse of Kennywood.   The new attraction is a re-constructed model of the world’s oldest roller coaster.

Leap-The-Dips was built at Lakemont in 1902.  With a maximum drop of eight feet, it’s more nostalgia than thrill ride. And the model shows just that.  In the miniature railroad and village, accuracy is vital.

How realistic is their model of old Forbes Field?  They used actual bricks from the real outfield wall to make the model of the wall, pre-Mazeroski era.

“We pulverized the real brick into a dust, reconstituted it into a new clay, and with a cookie cutter template pressed out sections of the new model Forbes Field wall,” Rogers said.

In regards to next year’s new addition, the question for Rogers is not so much what it will be, but where?

“We are running out of real estate,” she said.

That’s not likely to stop her.

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