Seaside Railroad Club back on track with yard sale, open house

Members of the Dorsch family from Milton — Maria, Mia and William — point to one of the active layouts in the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club’s clubhouse during the train-load yard sale event. Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe

DAGSBORO — Derailed by COVID-19 like other organizations, Delaware Seaside Railroad Club got back on track Saturday with a train-load yard sale and open house at its clubhouse in Clayton Crossing.

Outside, vendors manned tables with merchandise and collectibles and inside club members welcomed visitors and model train enthusiasts to experience the club’s series of various gauge layouts.

Saturday marked the debut of the yard sale-type event which featured model trains, parts and accessories.

“It’s a new idea for us. It’s really a trial and error thing. We want to see how it works out,” said John Hodges, president of the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club. “It’s a new thing for us and we might turn it into a regular thing. It might be something we do annually, depending upon if we get enough interest.”

“We had about 12 people wanting to come in and sell today,” said Mr. Hodges. “We’re not charging the vendors anything. We’re not charging the people walking through to come in. And, of course, our doors are always open free of charge for coming to the clubhouse anyway.”

Two-year-old finn Kortvelesy of Selbyville checks out one of the train layouts during the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club’s train-load yard sale/open house on Saturday. Finn was accompanied by his grandparents, Rich and Lynn Kortvelesy of Dagsboro.

Among those engulfed model trains was 2-year-old Finn Kortvelesy of Selbyville, accompanied by his grandparents, Rich and Lynn Kortvelesy of Dagsboro.

Finn took a particular liking to a wooden toy train layout. “Yes, Finn is already a train enthusiast,” said his grandmother, Ms. Kortvelesy.

On the other edge of the age spectrum, Charlie Larrimore of Laurel checked out the merchandise at vendors and the DSRC layouts. Mr. Larrimore is the president of the DelMarVa Model Railroad Club based in Delmar, Maryland.

“I’m 85, and I still love trains,” Mr. Larrimore said.

The coronavirus pandemic has struck a blow to some DSRC club activities, including cancellation of its big spring event slated for the Roxana Fire Hall. The club’s fall event at Roxana Station 90 is still on, for Saturday, Sept. 26.

Charlie Larrimore of Laurel examines a boxcar at one of the vendors during the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club’s train-load yard sale Saturday at the clubhouse in Clayton Crossing, Dagsboro. Mr. Larrimore is president of the DelMarVa Model Railroad Club based in Delmar.

“We don’t know for sure if we are going to lose our Roxana show in September, but it is looking that way. If we can’t do the Roxana show because of the controls and activities involving people indoors, that’s a big hit for us on revenue,” said Mr. Hodges.

As a nonprofit, DSRC has had look for other revenue sources. “We’ve been fortunate with a couple of programs that we came up with this year to help. We did a matching grant thing, which worked out very well – and this,” Mr. Hodges said. “So, we’re hoping. We’re just looking for a little boost to our revenues so we can make our bottom line. We do pay rent here.”