The Train Box

I’m not a very sentimental person. I don’t tend to keep a lot of keepsakes, and when we travel, I usually don’t buy souvenirs. I rely on my photos and my memories. However, this box means a lot to me.

When my father died in 2006, I inherited his model train collection. Most of it didn’t fit my era or interest, so I sold the majority of it off – after taking a photo of each car.

What’s so special about this box?

This was my dad’s “train box”.

He was in the Canadian military so we moved a lot. He kept his N scale equipment and a few HO scale pieces in this box, and it moved everywhere that we did. I used to love opening this box – only after asking for permission – and examining all the rolling stock and locomotives that were in there.

Since we lived in apartments and rented homes for many years, my dad never had the opportunity to build his own layout. When he was a teenager, he was a member of a model railway club in British Columbia, but I don’t think he ever had his own layout.

That changed after we moved to CFB Gagetown for the last time. After my dad retired and my parents moved into Oromocto, my dad started building a layout in their basement.

Unfortunately, he died before the layout got too far along.

This box originally held a typewriter. It must have been a massive typewriter… but this box dates from the early 1960s and I doubt it held an electric typewriter. My dad repurposed it for holding trains and it did that job faithfully for decades.

Today it is still a train box. It holds empty boxes from my own train collection, and I’ll find a use for it forever, because it reminds me of my dad.