Largo train club needs volunteers to keep hobby chugging along

Situated in beautiful Largo Central Park is a sight many don’t expect to see - a ridable model railway.  

In 1991, a group of train enthusiasts struck a deal with the city of Largo, letting them build their tracks and in return, they would give public rides one weekend a month.

"We’re run by volunteers. We volunteer our time. We operate the trains. We maintain the trains. We have an engineer in the front and a conductor in the back," explained Jim O’Connor, one of the directors of Largo Central Railroad.

The 15-minute, one-mile trip through the park takes riders past beautiful landscaping and even through a tunnel.

READ: Hobby lets Lakeland train collector walk down memory lane

"A lot of people love trains and I think it starts when we are little, and the little boys and girls see a big train going by and I think that’s the attraction when you’re little," stated O’Connor.

These aren’t life-sized trains, but they are the next best thing.

Volunteers run the rideable train in Largo Central Park.

Volunteers run the rideable train in Largo Central Park. 

"These trains are 1/8th scale, they run on very wide track, they are big enough you can sit and ride on," O’Connor explained. "This is the ultimate in model railroading, the ultimate is these big trains, and anything bigger is real trains."

These ridable trains circle Largo Central Park the first full weekend of every month. But the club needs more volunteers.  

"We, unfortunately, lose a member occasionally and we do need more volunteers to come out and pull the public and also play with trains, maintain the equipment and hang out with our guys that have similar interest," stated O’Connor. "We’re living the dream, playing train, but more realistically than anybody else could possibly do."

LINK: If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or taking a ride, visit