5 Questions with the Vice Chair of the Model Railroad Club

Ken Silvester

Ken Silvester, Vice-Chair of the Model Railroad Club at CFB Esquimalt, poses with a model railroad. A listing of CFB Esquimalt clubs is available at https://bit.ly/3AAV6lO

Ken Silvester is the Vice-Chair of the Model Railroad Club at CFB Esquimalt. The club is open to current and retired Canadian Armed Forces members and Department of National Defence employees.

What’s an average club meeting like?

We meet on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Generally, we spend some time chatting, enjoying coffee and having good conversations, and then we get to work either repairing old models or creating new ones. Since we go to many shows, the models can get a bit dinged up in transport, so there’s always something that needs to be worked on. Most of our models are built in a modular format for ease of transportation, but we also have a permanent layout that allows members to run and test their engines on the track.

Is there anything exciting coming up for the club?

We have a lot of events coming up that we’ve been getting ready for, which means repairing many models to ensure they look their best and run smoothly at all of the shows. We plan to attend Formation Fun Day on September 10 and then the Victoria Train Show and the Luxton Fall Fair at the end of the month.

What’s something about the club you wish more people realized?

The hobby is about more than just trains. It might be for you if you are interested in modelling in general or in electronics. The hobby is also always changing and evolving as new technology becomes available. Recently we’ve been trying to set up some Arduino microcontrollers to trigger lights and animations on the modules.

What drew you to the Model Railroad Club?

I’ve always been interested in modelling and so getting into model railroads was a natural development of that hobby for me. The members here are great, and we all have our interests outside of modelling and our specialties, but we’ve got common ground in railways.

Bonus Question: What’s your favourite model railroad gauge to work with?

At the club, we have HO gauge and N gauge models. HO is nice because it’s bigger, and you can work in more detail, but I prefer N gauge. It’s half the size of HO, so you can get more done in less space.

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