GULFPORT, MS (AP/WLOX) - If you like model trains, you'll love a new museum that is set to open Saturday, April 18. The Mississippi Coast Railroad Museum features an incredible display of different model trains.
Model trains run on a series of tracks inside the Mississippi Coast Railroad Museum on Pass Road in Gulfport. The museum is designed to promote the hobby of model railroading.
"When I was a child, this is what I had. I got my first train in 1956 from my dad. It's a nice memory," said model train enthusiast Richard Mueller.
Mueller tells a familiar story from the world of model railroading. A generation of mostly boys grew up playing with model trains.
The love of the hobby is still strong among members of the local model railroad club that runs the museum. They invite people in to see the trains and the elaborate layouts.
"We build the layout and start adding more and more features. We put up tunnels and bridges. We also add people. We try to operate it like they would in the real world," Mueller said.
Visitors can see a rare LEGO city with more than 45,000 blocks and two LEGO trains. Then, there is a collection of antique toy trains.
"We have a special train that dates back to the 1860s. We have toy trains from the depression era," said Tim Billings.
The museum will hold its official grand opening Saturday at 11 a.m. It's located at 504 Pass Road in Gulfport.
Children of all ages can play with the trains and maybe, just maybe, get hooked on model railroading.