The Fessenden School Train Club


According to the school newspaper dated October 1935:

"What was at one time called the corrective exercise room, and later was used by the little boys as a downstairs playroom, has been turned over to Nigel Stewart for his electric trains. He has a lot of equipment. The place is almost as popular as the whittling room."

Whether the photograph below shows Nigel's trains is not known. What is known is that this is a very early photograph (probably mid-1930s), and that the room is the same room where the final train layout was located.

The trains in the photograph are Lionel standard gauge. Note particularly the bridge in the lower left corner of the picture. The 1928 Lionel Standard Catalog stated:

"Nothing so elaborate or architecturally perfect as this bridge has ever been made for use with a model electric train. It is faithfully modeled after the famous 'Hell-gate' Bridge which spans the East River in New York. The piers, center span and structural features are correct to the minutest detail."

The selling price for the Helgate Bridge was $15.

At some point in the late 1930s, the trains were moved to a smaller room where the first permanent layout was constructed on a table. I have no photographs of that train room; however, I do remember it. Most of all, I remember that it was in a terrible room! It was the wrong shape and too small for a decent layout. Fortunately, the situation would improve during the 1940s.