WEIRTON, W.Va. (WTRF) — It wasn’t too long ago that massive metal machines barreled through Weirton night and day.
And while their wheels haven’t touched the tracks for decades, the memories have been preserved—in tiny handheld form.
Jeffrey Miller has just donated his replica trains to the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center, and has fond memories of 1960s Weirton.
His grandfather was an engineer with the mill and would take him to the yard to show him the cars.
That started a lifelong fascination with railroading and replicas of the engines that powered his childhood memories.
And today, everyone can experience those more innocent times.
Miller says he wasn’t even aware of the historical building until he spoke with his cousin, Mayor Harold Miller, several months ago.
The track, engines, cabooses, and switcher are all exact models of what residents of the ’60s and ’70s saw.
But he says he hopes the recreation of the past can go even further.
Ideally, I would like a club to come in, young people or people who are retired from the mill, come in and start up a club and build the buildings. I’d like them to do a replica of the mill and O-Gauge, if that’s possible.Jeffrey Miller, Donated train collection
Anybody who’s lived in Weirton has seen these cars go by, a hundred times, they’ve probably been stopped and watch them roll by, so everyone knows these cars.Paul Zuros, Treasurer, Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center
Miller says these trains also have ties to the Friendly City, as they were made by Pat’s Trains on 29th Street.
As for what made him want to donate the trains, he says it was the family connection as Weirton Steel employed so many of his relatives.
Now he hopes they can be an inspiration to the young and old—just like the trains inspired him decades ago.