UPDATE: Please see the first article CTT published about the club in 1997. It's available as a PDF to download.
My hubby, Jim, is a member of the Milwaukee Lionel Railroad Club. He runs trains weekly on Friday nights, when they have operating sessions. Does the club name sound familiar? They've been in CTT twice--most recently in September 2006, when we ran an article about their HUGE Hell Gate Bridge that's part of their club layout.
Toward the end of December, Jim told me the club was having a New Year's Eve party, and that he had signed us both up to go. I admit I was unsure about this event--what do model railroaders do on New Years Eve? I was about to find out. . .
First, a little background. Since the bridge article ran 11 years ago, the club layout has expanded in a big way. The multi-tiered layout fills the majority of the clubhouse, and it contains many separate tracks. The three walls surrounding the layout are full of club-owned locomotives and rolling stock. There's a LOT to look at, and I spent time looking at the layout, displays, and other items around the clubhouse.
When we arrived at the party, food was available and most people were already eating. There was a lot of food and desserts. Soon, people started splitting up. Some ran trains, others talked, and others (like me) played board games. Time passed quickly. We stayed about four hours, much longer than I'd initially planned.
I can't answer the question of what model railroaders do at midnight, since we didn't stay that long. But it was a fun time, and I was welcomed by many and invited to join. Maybe this will become a new tradition for Jim and I!
Enjoy the photos, and click on any to enlarge!
The completed bridge as shown in CTT, September 2006. This is before the club layout was built. Photo by Jim Forbes.
Another view with the background faded back a bit. It spans 28 feet. Photo by Jim Forbes
This image gives you a sense of the size of the bridge. Photo by Gerald Anderson
Compare this image to the ones above. It's taken right near the same pier of the bridge. Note the club-owned rolling stock on the back wall. Photo by Jim Riccioli
Jim running his Hiawatha on the club layout. Photo by Jim Riccioli
I played board games with some of the other women. Photo by Jim Riccioli