Man’s model trains attract thousands of visitors

A passion for model trains is becoming an attraction.


One could say Paul Gribbell works on the railroad. All day long.

And what started out as a way to indulge Gribbell’s passion for model trains has morphed into an attraction that draws thousands of visitors annually to a former grocery store in Commerce Township.

The Chi-Town Union Station, now open for its fifth season, is the largest O-scale model railroad in the state — if not the United States — said Gribbell, the owner. He said 4,000 to 5,000 visitors come each year to see the trains — which are one-forty-eighth the size of a real train — chug around more than 7,000 feet of track during the season, which runs from November to April.

“I admit it, I’m kind of nuts,” said Gribbell, 68, of West Bloomfield.

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