MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – Trains have been part of Tim Garner’s life since he was a child. Now as an adult, the VP Marketing/Strategic Planning for Digital FCU has found a way to continue his love of trains by modeling them. His love affair with trains began when he was a kid. Garner said his father regularly set up trains around the Christmas tree and his grandfather set up an American Flyer set in the basement. But those were train sets. Garner’s love for real trains began when his parents took him to Union Station in Washington, D.C. His father took him down to the station level, “and we watched these beautiful stainless steel trains come through the station. One of the most stirring sounds you can hear is a train whistle,” Garner says. At one time Garner hoped to make a career out of working on trains. He worked one summer for Amtrack as an attendant working the trains from Washington, D.C. to Montreal, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Savanna. Garner recalled “it was a great summer.” For the first three-and-a-half years after college he even worked for a model train manufacturer, and Garner says some of the products he designed while working there are still on the market. These days, Garner models the Pennsylvania Railroad in the late 1940′s to mid-1950′s in the “HO scale” which he says is the most popular scale railroad models are build in. He’s actually been a modeler since junior high school and has won a few awards for his work. Garner is also the Secretary of the New England Chapter, Pennsylvania Railroad Historical Society, and a co-founder and editor of their quarterly publication. The Historical Society has its annual meeting usually in May in Harrisburg, Pa. which is near where the first rail was laid for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He said every major railroad has a historical society. “Railroads played such a big role in U.S. history,” says Garner. “They just get in your blood.” Garner’s love of U.S. history – particularly the Civil War – is evident in another of his activities – he’s a member of the Maryland Guard, 21st Virginia Infantry, Co. B in the North-South Skirmish Association and has participated in skirmishes that involve dressing in authentic reproduction uniforms and shooting love ammunition from period weapons at breakable targets against the clock. The four-day national skirmishes include units from states east of the Mississippi that converge for competition in muskets, carbines, breechloading rifles, revolvers, cannon, mortars, uniforms and period clothing. -

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