Trains at the Fair

Jim Kluiter has operated his model train layout at the fair for the past five or six years. He finds trains to add to his collection at train shows—including the one in Hampton. (Bethany Carson photo.)

Jim Kluiter of Allison brings a little fun—and a little nostalgia—to the Butler County Fair with his model train layout.

     His love for trains dates back to when he was a kid and first got a train set. But work took precedence till he retired in 2009 and returned this fascinating hobby.

     Kluiter suggested to the fair board they ought to have a train layout like the Franklin and Clay County Fairgrounds do. It wasn’t long before they told him they had a space for his trains.  Randy Moad and Steve Fobian helped sponsor the endeavor, and cousins and friends helped with the layout.

     Kluiter runs a combination of Marx and Lionel trains, some dating back to 1945. The trains are r-gauge. Some have sound effects. There’s a coal loader, elevator that feeds popcorn into cars (reminiscent of Max Folkerts’ seed corn company) and a log loader.

Read more in July 8 Star and Tribune.