(Delmarvanow.com) -- A group from the Eastern Shore Community Services Board visited the Onley Train Station recently to learn about and operate the model railroads there.
The group takes a monthly outing to the station — it's just one of a number of community outings for participants in the organization's day support program, based in Exmore.
On this day, instructor Kris Lewis accompanied Greg Coleman, Robert Dahlin, Billy Daley and Timmy Sturgis on their visit.
ESCSB provides services, supports, prevention and education regarding mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance use issues to the people of the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
Coleman, a longtime railroad aficionado, took his seat at an HO-scale railroad layout on one side of the room, while Sturgis and Dahlin headed to the larger, O-scale layout on the opposite side.
Daley likes to build models — boats, houses and the like — out of popsicle sticks. He plans to build a small boat to be placed in one of the model railroad layouts at the Onley station.
Daley also took a turn operating an HO-scale train on a second track on the same layout where Coleman was at work.
Besides being fun, working with model railroads is a good way to practice lots of skills, according to volunteer Jan Siglin — including motor skills involved in starting and stopping the trains; identifying various items in the intricately detailed layouts; or picking out a railroad car of a particular color.
Dahlin on this day was interested in seeing how many cars one of the engines could pull.
Siglin was one of four members of the Society for the Preservation of the Onley Train Station working with the Community Services Board group, along with Tom Rakowski, Mike Janiszewski and Chuck Waters.
The organization is more commonly called by its acronym, SPOTS.
For Siglin — who before she retired taught art for 38 years for Accomack County Public Schools — creating the layouts is what most appeals to her about model railroading.
"One of my trademarks is, on almost everything I build, it's got a greenhouse in it," said Siglin.
Other SPOTS members prefer the mechanical aspects of model railroading — tinkering with track and cars and the like.