Tag Archives: Western Auto

Union Station’s Model Rail Experience-Many Towns, One Facility

Who  would have thought that being on vacation this week, not being ready to leave town yet, and looking for inexpensive things to do here in Kansas City, would lead to a new, regular addition to my life? That’s just what happened today.

My wife wanted to check out the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank Of Kansas City, which is just around the corner from Union Station, where I wanted to check out the Model Rail Experience. 

Once we arrived at Union Station, it was clear that from outside and all along the way leading inside, there was much for any railroad fan to take in. But what was about to captivate this rail fan was the 8,000 square foot facility known as the aforementioned Model Rail Experience that was featured in the Summer, 2014 edition of Union Station‘s On Track Magazine.


Many folks will come into their area of Union Station, and marvel at the many virtual towns they have set up and the many train sets that are constantly running through them, maybe watch the staff of volunteers headed up by Ted Tschirhart at work, constantly changing the rail layouts, the mini-buildings, the lighting.





They may snap a few photos. Obviously I did. And more than just a few. I was again looking for trains related to those in my family and my wife’s family who have, or do work on railroads as well as other things of personal interest like these KC Southern cars.



Or this building that is obviously a Jazz establishment that looks like someplace you would go to hear music like that played in my friend John Christopher’s show The Neon Beat that you can check out at http://www.radiogeorge.com/neonbeat/.

Or this model of the Western Auto building in Downtown Kansas City that is very near one of the lots I park in for work.


Or this scene that has another of my favorite things-a classic diner. (Right side)

Classic Dnr


Or many people’s favorite fast food venue, Mcdonald‘s .


I am likely not the only one, but I’m an inquiring mind. And. when I started asking questions, I was directed to the aforementioned Ted Tschirhart who was more than happy to not only answer my questions, but also to have me share about why I love trains, and was soon asking me to volunteer with the Model Rail Experience. An invitation I was all too happy to accept and hope to start doing in the next week.

The Model Rail Experience has more than just virtual towns containing often familiar buildings with model trains constantly running through them. It features info on the walls that educates on the history of model railroading, the different sizes of model railroad sets like these.





As well as educating on special trains that have been a part of railroad’s past in America like this feature on the Portland Rose.

Portland Rose

Or these that feature a California mountain rail trip.



But to keep this facility running, so that the thousands of visitors they receive each year can continue to come to this free experience and continue to learn about model railroading, they need your help! They need volunteers with model railroading experience, or even those who are simply willing to learn about building the many rail towns they feature, doing electrical work, gluing things together, working with computers and printers, helping give tours and much more!

If you would like to help with Union Station‘s Model Rail Experience  you can contact Union Station Volunteer Coordinator Rebekah Caneles at rcaneles@unionstation.org or when you come to visit, seek out Ted Tschirhart or e-mail him at tedtsci@kc.rr.com . I know you’ll be glad ya’ did! This is definitely a place dedicated to leaving Legacies…..On The Rails!