WARREN - There certainly were times during its heyday that the Packard company and the railroads had a shared interest.
There also was a shared interest at the National Packard Museum on Saturday as a Chicago-based tour group being led through the area by the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau visited the museum to learn about the car and see the model train display being put on by the Western Reserve Modular Railroad Club.
Alan Kaufman, one of the tour members, said he liked both the museum and the train display - the museum more for its late 1890s and early 1900s feel, which is when the Packard started production.
Tribune Chronicle / Joe Gorman
Alan Kaufman of Chicago watched trains go by in a model train display Saturday at the National Packard Museum in Warren.
He said he is not much into cars, but he loves the time period.
''This is just fascinating to me,'' he said.
Linda Macala of the bureau said the group began its tour of the area Friday and has several local stops on its itinerary, including a play Friday put on by the Victorian Players, visits to Mill Creek Park and Lanterman's Mill as well as the Center of Industry and Labor in downtown Youngstown.
The museum was the only Trumbull County stop on the tour, Macala said.
The bureau markets itself frequently to tour groups and sometimes attends shows to get the word out about the area, Macala said. That is how they landed the Chicago group, she said.
''We do this all the time,'' Macala said.
Audrey Jones, a member of the tour, also was caught up in the train display. Small communities like those in the Mahoning Valley are more closely linked together than bigger areas like Chicago, which is something she said she likes about the area.
''It's really nice,'' she said.
Club member John Ciccarelli of Girard was working the train display, which he said took about three or four hours to put up.
The scenery is supplied by individual members depending on their tastes, Ciccarelli said. He, for instance, supplied a model of downtown Youngstown when he was a child complete with the former McKelvey Department Store and other downtown landmarks - and he included himself and his family in the model.
The club's display will be at the museum through Christmas and will be available to view on weekdays, Ciccarelli said. Club members will be on hand on the weekend to operate the display, Ciccarelli said.