If you’ve ever had the opportunity to ride a train, you understand what I mean when I say there’s no other experience quite like it. Train enthusiast Jason Shron gets this, perhaps better than most. After all, he simulated a train ride on a model train in his basement, and the footage is amazing.
Shron is a big name in the train community. He was in the news back in 2013 for rebuilding an entire Canadian VIA Rail passenger coach, in incredible detail, in his basement. He purchased the out-of-service coach for less than $10,000, then had it disassembled and shipped to his home, where he painstakingly rebuilt the interior. He nailed every detail, too, down to the “no spitting” signs and the authentic VIA Rail branded blankets.
By day, Shron runs a company that makes model trains and helps preserve real VIA Rail trains with Canada’s VIA Historical Association. By night—or rather, by being stuck at home the past year during the COVID quarantine, he’s been working to create a simulated railway travel experience. And this video proves he’s got an eye for detail:
The video features a GoPro placed on what would be a passenger’s seat inside his HO Gauge model train set, pointed out the window. But that’s not all—Shron also mapped out and modeled a specific rail line between Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec called the Kingston Subdivision as it rides towards the real-life stop of Brockville Station.
We get to see trees, houses, cars, other trains, and people, and even hear lifelike sound effects of trains, so as you watch the footage it (mostly) feels like you’re really there. Shron has big plans for upgrading his simulation, though: He wants to either use projectors or multiple LCD displays to play live feeds of the route for a more realistic feel.
Shron’s YouTube channel, rapidotrains, has over 18,000 followers and is full of other cool videos about trains (model and otherwise), and is a great place to connect with other train enthusiasts around the world.