It’s been close to 10 years since the Sacramento Modular Railroaders began tending to the train in the pediatric specialty clinic at the UC Davis Glassrock Building. In honor of the group’s commitment to UC Davis Children’s Hospital, they were recognized by hospital administration.
“Your passion and generosity make a huge difference to the kids we take care of,” said UC Davis Children’s Hospital’s vice chair of clinical affairs Kevin Coulter, as he addressed the group. “It’s a huge gift to give patients something that interrupts their worry.”
The Sacramento Modular Railroaders took over for another railroad club back in 2011 and have routinely cleaned the track and repaired the equipment ever since.
“We rebuild and refurbish every couple months,” said Bob Warner, part of the Glassrock train “crew” since the club took over. “It usually takes two of us to service it. One on the ladder and the other on the ground to catch him,“ he quipped.
A highlight of going to the doctor’s office, the train has been a welcome sight for patients and caregivers alike.
“These trains are fantastic for nervous children and parents,” said Janette Lee, chief administrative officer at UC Davis Health. “It’s a distraction, even if only for a moment.”
“See that? When we see a child enter the waiting area and say, ‘Ohhhhh,’ like that boy just did … that’s why we do it,” added Warner.
But this passion project provides more than a moment of awe. The train – there are four in rotation, including a holiday train, and the direction of travel changes every couple of months – runs continually and people visit the second floor to see it, even if they don’t have an appointment.
“I’ve been here 17 years and kids just love it. Once they know it’s here, they continue to stop by,” said Jodie Gallegos, supervisor of pediatric ambulatory services. “They come off the elevator just to check it out.”
UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital providing care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical care. It includes the Central Valley's only pediatric emergency department and level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for its critically ill patients, as well as a level I children’s surgery center. The 129-bed children's hospital includes the state-of-the-art 49-bed neonatal and 24-bed pediatric intensive care and pediatric cardiac intensive care units. For more information, visit children.ucdavis.edu.