The Train Museum at East Tennessee State University

When I think about the types of things that one might see in a model train museum, prostitutes, chain gangs and moonshine stills do not come to mind. I originally went the ETSU train museum because my photo professor told us to take photographs of landscapes. I’m not a real big fan of traditional landscape photography, so I thought I would be clever and photograph a model landscape. He did not share my sense of humor. B minus.

The museum is only open on Saturdays and is staffed by several model train enthusiasts. Most of them wear engineer hats and overalls. I spoke with a few of the men working there while they tinkered with trains and set up tracks. One of them seemed overly concerned about the repeated derailment of a tiny train. As I started taking photos of the different setups, I noticed that someone who volunteered at the museum was a bit of a comedian. I spotted some tiny hobos who were camping near the tracks, several people getting pinched by the police for various crimes and a couple engaging in some heavy petting behind a shed. Soon, one of the guys  revealed all of the secrets of the train museum to me. I’m just speculating here, but I think my new friend is responsible for the witty displays. Thank you, sir, for raising my model train museum experience to a whole new level.

The Mastermind, 2011

Convict Labor, 2011

The Jig is Up, 2011

Move Along, Buddy, 2011

Heavy Petting, 2011

Lookin’ for Company, 2011

Moonshiners, 2011

Friends of Coal, 2011

Bustling Metropolis, 2011

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