The Big Valley Agriplex was transformed into scaled-down villages and towns of Canada as members of different free-form modular railroading (free-mo) came together on the weekend, Aug.15-16 to participate in the 12th annual Alberta set-up.
There were 45 participants, mostly from Alberta but some had come from British Columbia and Idaho, United States.
The exhibit had 400 feet of railroad track with a few dozen trains, as well as miniature bridges, tunnels, trees and buildings forming cities and villages with little model people doing various activities.
In 2013, this group had a set-up which was 600 feet of track and that’s the largest free-mo set-up that has been in North America.
“We hold the record for the largest North American free-mo setup,” said Doug Soeder, one of the members of the Calgary free-mo groups. “All the individual members own modules from as small as one foot long to 25 or 30 feet in several sections and they can take their modules and put them all in a set-up together.”
One of the members, Dave Chomyn had recreated the Othello Tunnels in the Coquihalla Canyon, which is located in a scenic area of the Cascade Mountains in British Columbia. This recreation area consists of a deep river canyon set in a coastal forest environment.
Soeder said that members travel distances and converge here just so that they can play with their modules.
“Just for us to play. We are going to run our trains on it. Nobody has a home layout this big, so this exhibit is for us, so we can run our longer trains.”