In this article, you will get all information regarding Tiny trains pass through a Montreal-inspired city that’s been handcrafted with ‘artistic flair’

As a child in Montreal, Alex Montagano loved model trains, but he lost touch with this hobby as he focused on building a family and a career.

Then about a year before the pandemic hit, he rediscovered his old passion and realized that no matter how hectic life can get – how out of control it can seem – he is in total control of his environment when building an urban landscape for model trains. by.

In his basement, working on mannequins for hours, he can provide residents of his west Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) neighborhood with the outdoor basketball court they crave, or enough trash cans.

He can breathe new life into an aging, dilapidated theater – once known as the Empress – and portray the reality of Montreal life, from orange traffic cones and street protests to the iconic Saint Joseph’s Oratory.

Montagano is active in municipal politics and ran for the borough of Côte-des-Neiges–NDG.

He has found that building models is a way for him to explore history, delve into his passion for trains and recreate his political vision for the borough, he said.

“It’s also a great way for me to express myself artistically by building similar models of iconic buildings in Montreal,” said Montagano, who has opened her home to community events like the NDG Art Hop so that everyone world can see his creation.

WATCH | Miniature train cruise tracks in Montreal:

Model Train Enthusiast Pays Impressive Tribute to Montreal

Alex Montagano reveals his motivations and inspirations for creating his elaborate model of the city and some of its landmarks.

Montagano works almost entirely in N scale, which is a format that ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. This means that trains, tracks, buildings, cars, trucks and everything else are so small that he sometimes needs a magnifying glass to build and paint them.

“You have to scale everything down, and sometimes it’s not exactly to scale,” he explained.

“If I treat it like a science, the proportions don’t look right, so you have to use a lot of discretion and artistic flair.”

Working hours

To create his models, he uses a mix of methods that can range from sculpting plastic and shaping metal wires to printing complex building facades, people, signs and statues with his 3D printer. .

Creating the Empress Theatre, his newest addition, took about 60 hours, from surveying the building on Sherbrooke Street in person to designing the mock-up on his computer. Then he printed, assembled, painted and wired it for lighting.

alex montagano
Alex Montagano’s model train is N scale, which means everything is turned upside down so much that he has to use a magnifying glass to add detail. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

In fact, he wired the entire structure of the model train with tiny LED lights. There is a huge cobweb of fine wires hidden beneath the structure, creating an unsolvable maze of gentle electric current so that streetlights, traffic lights, cars, and windows are all illuminated.

“It’s a complex process,” said Montagano, a contractor who restores old homes.

His hobby of model trains can be expensive, but no matter the cost, he said, “I think it’s good for me. For my mental well-being. It’s a bit of an escape.”

Interest revived by Thomas the Tank Engine

Ivan Dow, who organizes the annual Montreal Model Train Exhibition, said the popularity of Thomas the Tank Engine has reinvigorated the hobby among younger generations.

The interest is multifaceted and people are interested in it for various reasons, be it a fascination with architecture or a love for electronics, he explained.

He said there had been a decline in hobby shops over the years, but trains and scale models could be ordered online.

Still, budding hobbyists may be put off by the price because it can be expensive, so Dow recommends people buy used. Second-hand model trains can cost 20 to 50 percent of the original price, he said.

“A lot of the older generation just wants to get off their trains when they hit their 80s or 90s,” Dow said. “You can do really good business with this age group.”

Scroll through the photos of the miniature train:

The model includes the guaranteed pure milk bottle water tower, the Leonard Cohen mural, and much more public transportation than present-day Montreal. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

The model’s extensive lighting illuminates signs, streets, businesses and prominent features like Saint Joseph’s Oratory. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

gibeau orange julep
Gibeau Orange Julep, found on Décarie Boulevard in Montreal, is actually a polystyrene ball painted in the model of Alex Montagano. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

The entire model covers approximately 4.6 meters with a network of bridges and tunnels for the roaring electric trains. Everything works automatically. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

There are popular or well-known sites around NDG incorporated into the model, such as the Monkland Tavern and the Meldrum Sign. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

The model includes locks and drawbridges along the Lachine Canal. Alex Montagano says he’ll eventually add a bike lane to make it more true. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

alex montagano
Alex Montagano’s recent addition to the Empress Theater required hours of work on the computer, designing the model for his 3D printer to create. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

empress theatre
The Egyptian-style Empress Theater on Sherbrooke Street dates back to 1927. It has remained largely unused since 1992, but Alex Montagano has revived the building in his model. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

In real life, Boucherie Tranzo, Deli Snowdon and Nettoyeur Écologique Royal are scattered in different locations in Côte-Des-Neiges—NDG, but in the model world, they are neighbors. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

Some features of Alex Montagano’s model have that traditional train feel with a Canadian twist. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

Montreal’s light rail network will have a station named Griffintown–Bernard-Landry. This name caused some debate, so Alex Montagano renamed it to his model. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

Alex Montagano included a protest in his template, saying the group opposes the underfunding of Côte-Des-Neiges—NDG. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

Alex Montagano recreated a mix of features inspired by Montreal landmarks. The configuration is L-shaped. In total, it is over six meters long and around one meter wide. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

Orange traffic cones are a common theme in Montreal. To be N scale, the 3D printed cones are about the size of a pencil eraser. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

Residents of the Westhaven area requested a basketball court, Alex Montagano said, so he set one up next to the iconic Chalet Bar-BQ. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

Tiny trains pass through a Montreal-inspired city that’s been handcrafted with ‘artistic flair’

For more visit

Latest News by