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Appalachian Railroad Inside Ulrich Hobby Shed

Updated: Mar 19

Gerald Gilks will tell you there’s a big difference between toy trains and model railroading. Toy trains are for kids, while model railroads are miniature reproductions of actual locomotives and specific geographic locations. Eighty-nine year old Gerald is pretty serious about his model train hobby. 

Serious enough, in fact, to buy an Ulrich building specifically for his recreation of the Tweetsie Railroad. The Tweetsie is the oldest railroad to wind its way through the Appalachian mountains.

When Gerald went shopping for his hobby shed, he liked what he found at Ulrich — the hardware, the structural framing, and the price. After the 12×14 ft Heritage shed was delivered he installed sheetrock, as well as a heating and cooling unit. 

His model railroad is quite complex, featuring replica bridges, tight curves, and changing grades to reflect the original 30+ mile section of track. Gerald uses a special electrical system that allows him to control up to four different trains, both speed and direction. It’s already pretty interesting, but it’s going to be impressive when he finishes the landscaping in his hobby shed.

Gerald enjoys showing his work-in-progress to kids and curious adults. He jokes that he hopes he lives long enough to be able to complete the project. 

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