PALMER, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- We're just about done with day five of 10 Towns in 10 Days where we're highlighting western Massachusetts communities, people, businesses, and much more.

We're also donating to a charity in each town and sharing what makes them special.

On Friday, we headed to the town of seven railroads: Palmer.

Rail travel was incredibly important to Palmer in its earlier days.

"Palmer is the town of seven railroads. Years past, this was the intersection of main railroads, especially the Boston and Maine, the Boston and Albany, central Vermont, couple other smaller railroads that never really did all that well and a trolley line in town," said John Sacerdote with the Amherst Railway Society.

Outgrowing their space in Amherst, the Amherst Railway Society fittingly found a home in Palmer. They work to keep the rail travel alive, one model train at a time.

"People are mesmerized. My opening line is 'It brings back memories, doesn't it?' and everyone says yes. Model railroading is very interesting. One day, you could be a planner, next day a carpenter, an architect. There really is a ton of things you can do," Sacerdote noted.

Each January, the railway society puts on a huge show at the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds.

"Largest train show, not only in square footage, but in numbers, in the entire United States," Sacerdote said.

The Steaming Tender restaurant gets its name from Palmer's past.

"Directly behind the locomotive is the tender, that holds coal and provides steam to the locomotive, hence steaming tender," said Scarlet Lamothe with The Steaming Tender.

The Steaming Tender is located in Palmer's old Union Station.

"When this was built, it was the fifth largest station in the U.S. My parents purchased this building in 1987. My dad stumbled upon this building, fell in love, and it's nothing like you see today. It took 17 years to restore. It's definitely a step back in town," Lamothe added.

The Steaming Tender is among a group of businesses working to get a stop on the proposed east-west rail.

"I think Palmer has so much opportunity. We are trying to bring rail service back, so that will be the next step," Lamothe explained.

Palmer Motorsports Park is taking Palmer from train track to race track.

"Drivers will come out here and experience the thrill of Whiskey Hill. I truly believe that this is a gemstone for all of central Mass.," said Albert Sandy with Palmer Motorsports.

In some ways, the motorsports park is putting Palmer back on the map.

"Road and Track Magazine named us as one of the top road courses in North America that must be driven. We do have the steepest vertical grade of any racetrack in North America," Sandy noted.

Head to the top of Whiskey Hill and the view is spectacular.

"For me, this is the perfect blend of nature and adrenaline. From the highest elevation, the view is very dramatic. You can look and see Mount Greylock in the northwest corner of the state on a clear day," Sandy added.

Making Palmer worth a pit stop.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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