Man’s Passion for St. Cloud Comes To Life In Model Trains [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD -- Spend an hour with Ed Zins and he'll tell you a story or two. From his time serving in the war, to coaching high school hockey. But his favorite stories to tell are about trains.
Zins has spent his whole life loving trains. He even worked for the Great Northern Railroad.
I had a train set when I was a kid, and they used to just have the oval shape. You'd get tired of watching that. So the set my dad bought for me had a bunch of tracks I could put into any shape.
His passion eventually led him to building his own railroad down in his basement. Over the course of five years he had each piece carefully measured to scale, and replicated a model to look like St. Cloud in the 1940's.
I graduated from high school in 1939 so I knew what businesses were around. The signs on the buildings I got from my yearbook, so I scanned those on the computer and printed them out.
But at almost 97-years-old, Zins was starting to get burnt out and decided to get rid of his beloved train set.
It's been at least a year since I last ran the trains.
It wasn't until word spread he was considering parting with it, that his nephew quickly spoke up.
A few weeks ago I find out he would be interested in taking this train set. He said he always admired this model train. I was willing to give it away if it went to the right place and he's it.
Zins says he loves how the trains have brought so many great memories to him and others, but mostly importantly how the collection will stay in the family.