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How much are your club's membership dues?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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How much are your club's membership dues?
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:54 AM

Hi folks,

I'm curious to know how your clubs' membership dues compare to ours.

Membership in the Barrie Allandale Railway Modellers Association currently costs $230.00 Cdn. per year. We are looking at having to increase that amount to about $350.00 per year by 2024 in order to cover our rent costs. Despite the very low fees, I'm anticipating a bit of flack when we announce the future increases, and I'd like to be able to provide some examples of what other clubs are charging so I can cut the skin flints off at the pass when they start whining! (I should probably have put that in gentler terms but why beat around the bush?).

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 4:44 AM

Flak by Bear, on Flickr

To be fair Dave, it's a totally unfair comparision!

Cheers, the Bear.Smile, Wink & Grin

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by trevorsmith3489 on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 5:13 AM

I am treasurer of the Blyth and Tyne Model Railway Society here in the UK.

We charge £150 per year. ($255 canadian dollars at today's exchange rate)

Our main annual costs are

Rent $8496

Water $468

Electricity $4488

Insurance $466

Telephone, lift maintenance, repairs $2,045

Layout Expenses $4,000

We make a small profit from our annual exhibition and with 75 members we cover our costs and we are financially stable. 

We are fortunate that we negotiated a ten year lease with three years still remaining. The terms of our lease give us access to the building from 8.00am - 10.00pm Monday to Saturday and from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sundays. The building has no heating but the concrete floor absorbs heat from the supermarket below and maintains a constant temperature - perfect for layouts.

We have 10,000 sq ft of space in addition to a workshop, office, toilets and a kitchen.

We "sell" the cost of membership on the basis of space available and the access members get. We have installed an electronic door entry system so that any member can access the club at any time specified by the lease. 

http://www.btmrs.co.uk/

Trevor

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 6:05 AM

To be fair Dave, it's a totally unfair comparision!

Hi Bear,

Are you willing to elaborate a bit more on your club's circumstances, i.e. how many members do you have, what are your annual expenses and how do you pay for your annual expenses?

Thanks,

Dave

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 6:12 AM

Hi Trevor,

Thanks for all the detailed information.

One of our problems is that we can only accommodate about 25 members because the club house is rather small. Right now we have 17 active members. We have based our projected annual fees based on having 20 members.

I envy you having 10,000 sq. ft.! We only have about 1,000 sq. ft. total including a small kitchen area. 

Dave

  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 6:21 AM

The local club is $25.00 per month, or $300.00 per year. Plus, they require every member to also be a member of the NMRA, so that is another $80.00 per year.

.

However, they own their own building with permanent layouts in HO, HOn3, and N scale. They have a massive library, and the HO layout was featured in Great Model Railroads.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by Harrison on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 6:57 AM

Our club doesn't have dues, execpt paying for the trailer rent eacb year. If we need something, either someone lends or gives it, or someone buys it. We don't have to pay for a building, in the summer we are set up in an unused barn at our local transportation museum(closest we have to a train museum) and in the winter the layout is in the trailer.

Harrison

Homeschooler living In upstate NY a.k.a Northern NY.

Modeling the D&H in 1978.

Route of the famous "Montreal Limited"

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Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 9:59 AM

Hi there. Our club here has dues of $120 (Canadian) per year, but we don't pay rent/electricity. I've been advocating lower dues at our club because we have a few pensioners with low income among our members.

But our experience has been that a lot can be done through alternate revenue sources. As others have said, many members have been making donations - like buying and building kits when needed. The only problem here is that this practice has created a bit of a sense of entitlement on the part of those who donate kits. They like deciding which kit to buy and where it fits on the layout. Significant debates have occured because of that.  We also have been successful in raising funds by selling off equipment that was donated to the club. Our own members are our primary clients of these sales... 

Simon

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Posted by BNSF UP and others modeler on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:27 AM

My club charges $5 a month, or $60 a year. We have a decent layout size, nothing really big or specail.The HO scale layout takes up most of the room, but there is also very nice double deck N scale layout with a long mainline run...

I believe the club owns the building.

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:37 AM

My grandfather is part of a club that I believe is about $20 a month, so $240 a year (USD, FYI). I think that’s quite reasonable, rent is quite expensive. His club doesn’t have a great facility but it works. They also gain additional fund by selling donation rolling stock, etc to club members.

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by barrok on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:39 AM

I belong to the Lansing Model RR Club - our dues are $72 a year.  In return for low dues, members are exected to help out with our train show which is our main source of funding, and help out at open houses.  

Modeling the Motor City
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Posted by gregc on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:42 AM

Dues rate schedule (near bottom) for The Model Railroad Club of Union, NJ

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by cv_acr on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:54 AM

For a fair comparison, respondees should probably be indicating what type of club or layout they have?

There's a big difference between a club with a modular layout that only gets set up at shows, to one with a very large permanent layout in a rented space (and the cost of space can really vary depending on location too).

Our club is about $35CAD/month, we have a very large multi-level layout in a rented outbuilding in the country.

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Posted by cv_acr on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:59 AM

SeeYou190

The local club is $25.00 per month, or $300.00 per year. Plus, they require every member to also be a member of the NMRA, so that is another $80.00 per year.

I'm curious as to the reason for the NMRA membership requirement to join the club?

I'm not even sure if any of the members at my club are NMRA or not.

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Posted by dti406 on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 11:18 AM

cv_acr
 
SeeYou190

The local club is $25.00 per month, or $300.00 per year. Plus, they require every member to also be a member of the NMRA, so that is another $80.00 per year.

 

 

I'm curious as to the reason for the NMRA membership requirement to join the club?

I'm not even sure if any of the members at my club are NMRA or not.

 

I am just guessing, as one of our club's major expenses is the g/l insurance that our landlord makes us get, that they are covered by the NMRA insurance rather than purchasing their own policy.

Our dues are $100 per year and $80 per year for retirees. Our rent is cheap but the insurance is more than the rent we pay. 

Rick Jesionowski

Rule 1: This is my railroad.

Rule 2: I make the rules.

Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 11:29 AM

cv_acr
I'm curious as to the reason for the NMRA membership requirement to join the club? I'm not even sure if any of the members at my club are NMRA or not.

.

I have not been a member of Scale Rails of Southwest Florida since the mid 1990s, so I am not 100% sure. I was told it was required because it was less expensive than the club purchasing a certain kind of insurance policy.

.

Sorry that I do not know all the details.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 11:34 AM

SeeYou190
it was less expensive than the club purchasing a certain kind of insurance policy.

So, that must be the general liability insurance that Rick mentions.  At least I think that's what he means by g/l ?

Mike.

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Posted by Paul3 on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 12:09 PM

My club, the South Shore Model Railway Club (est. 1938), requires each member to pay $33 per month ($396 per year).  We have approx. 65 members.  www.ssmrc.org

For that, you get 24-7 access to our 10,000 sq. ft. building.  Inside, we're halfway into building a 6300 sq. ft. HO/HOn3 layout.  We have a large library filled with most every railroad magazine plus many books and prototype paperwork as well.  The club also has a lunch room, two bathrooms, an office, a meeting room, a woodshop and a model shop.

The SSMRC club building:


We have monthly DCC installation clinics so members can help each other install decoders (one member keeps a supply of non-sound decoders available to purchase at no profit).  We have bi-monthly opeation sessions where we run 30+ trains in 2 hours on a fast clock and timetable operation, along with car card-equipped local freights (8 of them, in fact).

There's a Christmas Party, a summer pool party at a member's house, and occasional club train trips on various tourist lines and Amtrak.  We've also had tours of some railroad shops, a CTC center, and a shipyard.

There is a montly (except for July) Newsletter:
http://www.ssmrc.org/newsletter.htm

We hold two train shows a year inside the club (in the empty space the layout will eventually fill) in March and October, plus two more Open Houses in January and August. 

During a Train Show inside the club (the layout is in the backgound):


In addition to the public shows, we also have several "T-N-T" events where we members just play trains for the day with the only rule is don't run into each other: Trains-N-Turkey (the Wed. before Thanksgiving), Trains-N-Touchdowns (the Sat. before the Super Bowl), Trains-N-Taxes (the Sat. before April 15th), etc.

We are incorporated and a 501(c)3 Not For Profit organization.  We have monthly Business Meetings (run by Robert's Rules of Order) and a monthly Board of Directors meeting.  We have 9 Directors: Pres., V.Pres., Secretary, Treasurer, Chief Engineer, and 4 Directors that serve alternating 2 year terms.  There are a couple dozen committees, ranging from Budget and By-Laws to Operations and Electrical, each with their own chairman (I am chairman of three committees).

Just to give you the idea of how big the layout is:

Waaay in the back you can see the upstairs Dispatcher's tower (next to the green signal).  This layout room is 132' long x 48' wide.

So, yes, our dues are apparently kind of high compared to other model railroad clubs around the world, but you get a lot for your $33 per month.

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Posted by Bigjim7 on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 12:17 PM
Wow you guys have a great club and the price is very reasonable for all you guys provide, If I lived close I would join for sure. Thanks for sharing the pics and info.
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  • From: Westerville, OH
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Posted by Shopcat on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:28 PM

Delaware County Model Railroad Group, Sunbury OH. $100 per year. We are fortunate that the county park system gives/lends/leases our building to us and we have very limited expenses in that regard. 

 

Our neighbor club just to the north of us is a 100% NMRA club, the national dues are in their club membership fees, and they tell us its all about the insurance. The NMRA insurance apparently is better and less expensive than locally secured product. 

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 11:43 PM

I'm in OCMR (Orange County Modular Railroaders)

Our members include about 56, and dues are $60 a year. We pay every spring around March.

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 12:25 AM

Thanks everyone for all the information!

It would appear that no two clubs' circumstances are alike so comparing annual dues alone isn't very useful. However, there does seem to be a pattern in that clubs that have to pay rent have higher annual dues.

The reason that I asked the question was that our club will have to raise dues each year in order to stay solvent. We currently pay about $12,000/year in rent and that will rise to about $14,500/year by 2024 (all figures in Cdn. dollars). There aren't any cheaper alternatives in Barrie. Believe me, we have searched! We are lucky to be where we are.

The issue was on our agenda for last night's monthly business meeting. In order to cover our costs the annual dues will have to go up by about $25.00 per year from the current $230.00 to a projected $350.00 by 2024, based on having 20 members. The members were far more accepting than I thought they would be, which was a great relief.

Thanks again,

Dave

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