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Kennesaw model train show family-friendly fun

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Get out the engineer’s cap, overalls and red bandanna for a major model train show this weekend at the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History in Kennesaw.

The third annual Trains Trains Trains show is a hands-on, family-friendly affair where the serious enthusiast can shop for vintage model locomotives whose cost runs into four figures while the kids build wooden tracks in another room.

trains trains photo
HANDOUT, not for resale

Richard Banz, the museum’s executive director, said he attended train shows in the past where parents spend the day telling excited kids “Don’t touch that,” so he wanted to start one where children could participate in some of the events.

The show will feature nine model train layouts, the largest of which is 24 by 48 feet. Some will be available for would-be engineers to help control.

The event includes areas where visitors can don white gloves like a museum steward and pick up and touch various railroad items such as whistles and lanterns to get a feel for what history weighs and feels like. Crafts and a train-track building area will be available for youngsters, and there will be acoustic music. Food will be available.

Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum, 2829 Cherokee Street in Kennesaw.

Admission cost, which includes museum entry, is $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $5.50 for children ages 4-12 and free for younger kids; coupons and discounts will not be accepted. The museum holds the General, a locomotive involved in the Great Locomotive Chase, which started in Marietta. It was one of the Civil War’s most thrilling episodes as Union spies stole a locomotive and headed north with plans to disrupt Southern traffic. The museum also includes a full-scale replica of Glover Machine Works, a locomotive factory in nearby Marietta that helped rebuild the South after the war.