It's now official! The Carolina Southern Division, the family of Wade Warren, and the Newton Depot Authority have officially agreed that the new home of Wade's Train Town will be the Model Railroad Center at the Newton Depot. The official notice is at this link. We will continue to post updates on the move in the coming months, so use the Relocation Project Updates link above for the latest news.

What Is Train Town?

Wade's Train Town is an HO Scale display layout originally 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 a residential area, 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 currently occupied by the layout at the Brookford Community Center also has tools, equipment, and supplies normally found in a model railroader's shop inventory. We hope to recreate a portion of this setting in the new location. We did a lot of work before our first public viewing at the Brookford Community Center 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 buildings 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 now resides. Relocation to a well-known local museum may take place during 2021.

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 have been 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 currently located at the Brookford Community Center but is closed to the public as we prepare it for moving to the Model Railroad Center at the Newton Depot. Look for the official grand reopening in early Fall 2021.