The Greenville Journal talks with Bob Rayle, chairman of the Model Trains Station in Taylors about the Taylors Mill train displays and its growth. Read the interview below.
When and how did your passion for trains start?
I had a Lionel trains ( O scale) on a 8 X 16 foot display when I was eight years old. I still have that same set on a smaller display.
What is your goal for the Model Trains Station in Taylors Mill?
Our goal is to be the best multi scale model trains display in the state. We want to teach train building and model building skills. We have games and a large play area for a complete Family Fun Adventure.
What kind of response do you hear from visitors after their visit?
All good responses from visitors about trains, kids play area and birthday parties.
What does it require to maintain the train displays?
The track needs to be cleaned regularly. The trains run hours per day requiring us to change drive wheels and axles on the engines and repair the car couplings.
What’s unique about your location?
Our location is over 16,000 sq. ft. of train station right next to an active Norfolk Southern line going to BMW and the Inland Port in Greer.
What has been your biggest challenge with the displays?
As in any new business it is exposure and time to build a following.
How long does it take for a display to be constructed?
We have reassembled some displays in a couple weeks and we have been working on our largest display for 16 months.
Tell us about the Model Trains Station history and how it developed to where it is today.
Model Trains Station started from an attempt to put a display in an empty Office Depot location on Wade Hampton at the end of 2016. The landlord did not issue a long term lease after saying he would at the start of the new year and in Feb 2017, we were ask to move out. The right place was not available so everything was put into storage for eight months. We started demo and rebuilding at Taylors Mill in mid June 2017. We opened our first two displays to the public in November 2017.
Today we have six displays running with four different scale sizes. Currently we have 20 train units running with four that can be run by visitors. We have three other displays planned for the near future and one major one planned for next year.