Train mania for Schloder, friends

ST. MARYS – A train rumbles through a mountain tunnel, steam pumping and its whistle alerting the nearby town to its presence. While it's a familiar sight to many area residents, this isn't a real scene but a creation known simply as "Tom's Trains," a train-focused exhibit on a large platform at the home of Tom Schloder on East Eschbach Road in St. Marys. Last January, Schloder and area residents and friends Oscar Wendel, Chuck Fox, Mike Hanes, Steve Wendel, Rick Shade, Kenny "Hector" Wendel, Mike Schloder and Monte Parrish started building the train exhibit. Schloder, who had moved to St. Marys from the East Branch Dam area in 2005, had been wondering what to do about his trains and related equipment, all in storage at the time.