May 29, 2010 9:39 AM by Jeannette Hynes

Gary Coleman's model trains stored in Colorado

Gary Coleman's legacy lives in Colorado Springs.  The late actor was an avid model train designer, and over the course of several years, he put together an 800-square-foot collection.  He housed the collection at his home in Highlands Ranch.  In the early '90s, he moved back to California and couldn't take his model trains with him, so he gave them to the Pikes Peak "N" Gineers Model Railroad Club in Colorado Springs. 

At first, the club was able to put the trains on display, but they lost their space and had to put the trains in storage.

"We had to put everything in boxes from his layout.  Didn't want to, but we had to," says Mike Peck, superintendent of the club.

Club members have documented what Coleman's original display looked like, so they can rebuild it.  They have kept one module in tact.  They call it "Colemanville."  Even with Coleman's original pieces and ideas, club members are constantly finding ways to improve it, using current model train technology.

"It's a work in progress. It'll never be done," says Peck.

Peck says Coleman would come to visit Colorado Springs from time to time, and run his trains.

"Always had a smile on his face and a joke or two. Talked about model railroading, a lot," says Peck.

Coleman said his collection was worth $150,000, but Peck doesn't quite buy that price tag.

"I think he got taken," says Peck.

Still, club members enjoy working and reworking Coleman's models.  The club puts Coleman's work and their own work on display at various model train shows around Colorado and Kansas.

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