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Model Railroad Club Draws Fans to Chiloquin, Ore.


The late Quentin Breen invested in cell towers and spent his earnings to preserve the history of railroading.   In 1987, Breen established the Train Mountain Railroad Club between Klamath Falls and Crater Lake in the town of Chiloquin, Ore.

The club’s members have built a miniature, narrow-gauge railroad system with more than two miles of track, 400 feet of tunnels, six bridges, and hundreds of switches. The system enables early railroad buffs to run their undersize model engines and rolling stock in a realistic, forested setting. The hobby railroad offers rides to the public.

Annually, the club schedules several summer train meets preceded by a volunteer work week to maintain and extend the tracks and to prepare for educational events. The club also hosts a week-long International Train Mountain Triennial. In June 2009 the event attracted 300 antique engines from seven countries. The Sixth Triennial starts on June 22 this year.

The enterprise is owned by the Train Mountain Railroad Institute. To help preserve the heritage of railroading, the Institute operates a museum and a library. 

Some of the would-be “engineers” wear T-shirts with the inscription, “Still Plays with Trains.”


Sources:  Ediger, Dennis, and Sharon Ediger. Personal interview, 2 Jan. 2015; Train Mountain Railroad. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. http://www.trainmountain.org/;  Wikipedia.org/wiki/train_mountain_railroad. Web 3 Jan. 2015; Blishack, Ted and Sylvia. "Train Mountain, Oregon." High on Adventure. Nov. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. .

Dr. James S. Long was an As It Was contributor until his passing in January of 2016. He met editor Kernan Turner when Kernan spoke to the Roseburg writers’ club about contributing to JPR's As Is Was series. His contributions to As It Was ranged from a story about the recovery of whitetail deer at the old Dunning Ranch to the story of Nick Botner’s private orchard near Yoncalla created to preserve over 3,000 heritage apple varieties.