YOUNGSTOWN - Area residents huddled in winter wear and covered their ears to protect against the sound of steam whistles blowing in the Valley.
Steam bellowed forth from whistles once used on locomotives, ships and in industrial steel plants Saturday at the B&O Station in Youngstown during the Mahoning Valley Railroad Heritage Association Whistle Blow.
"I've been interested in trains all my life," said MVRHA secretary and co-founder George Seil of Liberty.
This is the fourth time the organization has held the Whistle Blow, which gives residents the opportunity to hook up and blow their own steam whistles for a small donation.
Although some thought the whistles were too loud, Garon Pedicini, 6, of Columbiana, didn't have to hold his ears at all.
"They're good," he said, grinning.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Bonnie L. Hazen
Hank Marsilio sets up for the Whistle Blow on Saturday at B&O Station in Youngstown. Marsilio is vice president of the Mahoning Valley Railroad Heritage Association, which holds the annual fundraiser.
"I just wanted him to be able to hear whistles he normally doesn't hear and to support the MVRHA," said his father, Don Pedicini Jr., 42.
The organization is holding fundraisers to help with its efforts to establish the Steel Valley Railroad Museum on Poland Avenue in Youngstown.
Particular emphasis will be placed on equipment used in the steel industry, which the organization says will set it apart from other railroad museums as well as promote the Mahoning Valley's heritage.
WHAT: Youngstown Model Railroad Association flea market
WHEN: Jan. 13, 2013
WHERE: McMenamy's in Niles
PROCEEDS: to assist MVRHA
MORE INFO: www.mvrha.org
"The museum will provide a positive environment that cultivates knowledge of our industrial heritage and offers a repository of information ... where older generations can capture the nostalgia of days gone by, and younger generations can be encouraged to meet the challenges of the future," according to the MVRHA website.
The next fundraiser will be the Youngstown Model Railroad Association's flea market on Jan. 13, 2013, at McMenamy's in Niles.
The whistle manifold was provided by Eagle Mechanical LLC, with the steam supplied by Youngstown Thermal.
Seil said there was about 150 pounds of steam running through the pipes during the Whistle Blow.
"I don't know if you'd burn yourself, but it'd sure warm you up," he said with a smile.