4 Questions with Supertrain Chairman Rob Badmington
Badmington talked to Avenue about Supertrain this weekend and why the hobby will keep chugging down the track for years to come.
Supertrain appeals to train aficionados of all ages.
Rob Badmington retired from a 30-plus-year career with CP Rail and CN Rail several years ago, but his passion for trains hasn’t stopped. Badmington is the deputy chairman of Supertrain, Calgary’s model train convention, the largest of its kind in Canada.
This month, Supertrain celebrates its 21st anniversary.
What happens at Supertrain?
It’s a wide-open venue where you can wander from exhibit to exhibit and see all different ways you can relate to trains. There are, of course, model trains, but there are also people who paint, photography displays, and the railway police come and teach people about safety around the railroads. We also have museums and historical groups that come and show off what they’re doing to preserve old trains.
How did you get involved with model trains?
Like everybody else, I had a train set when I was a kid and had a passion for trains from my very first train ride. It worked its way into a career at CN and CP in engineering and purchasing.
What would people be surprised to know about model trains?
You would be amazed at the level of learning and detail that can go into a model. The other day, I was learning how to paint so I could make a fairly realistic backdrop, so when you look at the trains you see mountains in the distance.
Why is it still an important hobby?
Years ago, almost every little town across the prairies had a train station that was the centre of activity. A lot of people who are my age grew up riding the train or getting their Christmas presents delivered by trains, where nowadays it’s a little different. Kids are still fascinated by trains. They’re becoming interested in model trains from Thomas the Tank Engine or Lego sets. We’re hoping there will be a whole new generation of model railroaders.
Supertrain takes place April 18 and 19 at the Genesis Centre of Community Wellness, 7555 Falconridge Blvd. N.E.. For more information, visit supertrain.ca.