Boys often want to grow up to become train drivers. But how many dream of one day building an actual train? In their home?
37-year-old Jason Shron, who owns a model train company in Canada, is one such (grown-up) boy. He recently completed the painstaking work involved in building a full-size replica train carriage in his basement. It took Shron more than 2,500 hours to fulfill his dream at a not inconsiderable cost of $10,000.
“I’ve always wanted to have a VIA train in my basement since I was a kid,” Shron said. “In fact, when me and my wife were looking to buy a house I would say ‘no’ if the basement wasn’t big enough for me to build it.”
So what did Shron (and Mrs. Shron) get for the significant outlay? After a troubled start, with Shron having to re-start the project three times, he managed to procure an actual railway carriage which was used in Canada from 1954 to the 1990s. Using his initiative, Shron was able to recover some of the original parts from a VIA train which was going to be scrapped. Shron’s finished work features seat numbers, the all-important chairs, welcome signs, coat hooks, timetable racks, and carpet from the 1970s. He hasn’t neglected anything, even offering a soundtrack of a train clicking along a track.
Shron has said there’s been plenty of interest in his train, which is becoming a local attraction. But while he’s willing to share, he enjoys the calm which comes from having his train to himself. “It’s where I feel most at peace. Especially when it’s hurtling along at 85mph with the snow and rain pelting down outside — it’s the perfect place to be,” he said. And unlike the real thing, he never need fear about delays, being unable to find a seat or a hike in prices.