What Is Train Town?

Wade's Train Town is an HO Scale display layout built by Wade Warren between 1984 and 1995 in the Brookford Community Center, Brookford, NC. The layout represents Wade's interpretation of a town with over 280 structures, most with operating lights and other features, that has residential areas, downtown, a carnival park, light industry, and heavy industrial areas. Two main lines circle the layout and are operational and there is a respectable stock of locomotives and rolling stock.

The room also has tools, equipment, and supplies normally found in a model railroader's shop inventory. We did a lot of work before our first public viewing in 2006 to clean, repair, conduct initial upgrade of the trackwork and clean up the room and equipment. Restoration was accomplished using photos of the individual scenes on the layout and refreshing and repairing them. Selected scenes of the layout are in the photo gallery found at the menu link above. We did install some additional trackwork as we relocated some to increase the visual realism of the layout.

wade    What Is Wade Warren's Story?

When Wade Warren retired from Coca-Cola in Hickory, NC in 1984, his family gave him a train set as a retirement gift. As he began working on it he expanded it until it got too large for his house. He then talked the Aldermen in the Town of Brookford into letting him use an empty room in the Brookford Community Center for the layout. Eventually the layout got too large for that room, so he talked them into a larger room, where the layout resides today.

Over the ten years between his retirement and his death, Wade's Train Town grew to an 18 foot by 24 foot work of art. It contains not only the 280 buildings, but also thousands of 'little people', most of which he painted by hand, which populate his town. As outstanding as all this may be, the truly amazing thing is that Wade built most of his layout while confined to a wheelchair. He worked on the layout almost every day and hosted hundreds of folks, from pre-schoolers to seniors, on visits to his empire.

The Carolina Southern Division is proud to be involved in restoring and maintaining this layout for the continuing enjoyment of young and old as a heritage layout.

Where Is Train Town Located?

Train Town is located in Room 107 of the Brookford Community Center, 1700 South Center Street, Hickory, NC.
As you drive up to building, the Train Town entrance is in the left wing (west side).

Use this link to get a Google Map and directions to the Community Center.