Visitors marvel at Free-Mo

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4th Annual Alberta Free-Mo attracts varied group of visitors to Big Valley Agriplex. Aug. 21, 2017. ECA Review/L Stillinger




Train stations and grain elevators dot Free-Mo landscape. Aug. 21, 2017 ECA Review/L Stillinger




Canyon Creek Trestle – Alberta Free-Mo Meet – Aug. 20, 2017. ECA Review/L Stillinger




On Aug. 19 – 20 model railway enthusiasts gathered in Big Valley, Ab. for the 14th Annual Alberta Free-Mo Meet held every August in this railway-historic village.
Open to all Free-Mo module owners in North America, modellers began arriving on Thursday afternoon to begin constructing the extensive layout that spread out around Big Valley’s Agriplex.
Free-Mo stands for “free modular” and is a continent-wide modular standard in the hobby of model railroading.
Standards specify electrical and mechanical requirements so that any Free-Mo module can be connected with any other module in order to create layouts that can be long, short, straight, curved and even multi-sectional.
Since what is created between the module ends is left totally up to each individual, creativity comes shining through.
The entire setup was built as a complete railway line, meandering through a diverse selection of lifelike scenes.
Small prairie towns, complete with train stations and grain elevators, dotted the landscape as the trains travelled along the tracks.
Individual modules depicted rural farm land complete with vegetable gardens, farmers unloading grain, and livestock grazing in pastures.
Wilderness areas included mountains, forests and rivers along with fishermen casting their lines and wildlife dotting the landscape.
There were cities to pass through, curves to navigate, trestle bridges to cross and tunnels to go through as these miniature trains continued on their journey.
The attention to detail was remarkable as tiny birds perched in nests, travellers waited at stations and mailmen made their deliveries.
Many hours of painstaking work went into the creation of each module and even those visitors not particularly interested in trains stated they were captivated by this marvelous exhibition.

By Linda Stillinger

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