The Gulf Coast Model Railroad at Shell Point Retirement Community is now open for tours. Last year thousands of visitors toured the train room, and this year many new upgrades have been added.
Visitors from all over the Southwest Florida area are welcome to stop by and see this 40' X 40' model train display in the shape of the state of Florida. Some of its features include hundreds of recognizable geographic landmarks such as Tallahassee's old Capitol Building, Pensacola freight yards, the Gainesville Gator Bowl, Epcot and Disney World, Kennedy Space Center with an orbiting Space Shuttle, Miami's famous hotels, the Everglades and even Shell Point Retirement Community. The "Train Room," as it is called by the Shell Point residents, is located on The Island at Shell Point offers a unique look at the state of Florida.
Some of the recent renovations include detailing and upgrades in the scenery, and a city street was added that allows the trains to run down the center of the road, and it is completely hand-painted. The annual maintenance was done, to make sure that the miniature railroad stays in the most efficient operational condition. In addition to the features already mentioned, the display also has several hundred buildings, automobiles, trucks, tractors, and even people. Originally built in 1971, by a group of residents who enjoyed model railroads as a hobby, the Gulf Coast Model Railroad is operated and maintained by Shell Point resident volunteers. Up to nine trains run around the nearly 1000 feet of track, and on about 100 turnouts, or switches. The switches and trains are motivated electronically from four console panels, and the self operated children's layout features Thomas the Tank engine.
Visitors can stop by to see the Gulf Coast Model Railroad for free on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Special group tours, larger than 10 people can be scheduled by calling (239) 454-2152. The Train Room is located on the Island at Shell Point, underneath the Resident Activity Room in the Tunnel.
Shell Point Retirement Community is a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community located in Fort Myers just off McGregor Boulevard and Summerlin Road, two miles before the Sanibel causeway. Shell Point has received national accreditation from CARF-CCAC and is a nationally recognized leader in the retirement industry. The community includes independent living, an 18-hole championship golf course, deep water boating access, assisted living, two medical centers with on-site physicians, and a skilled nursing center all within a resort-style location along the Caloosahatchee River just minutes from the Gulf of Mexico.Return to 2011 News and Stories.
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