I'd like to add my perspective and a bit more to the history.
I was a member while I attended school there from 1974-1978 and president for one year (if you hang around long enough, they make you be president!).
The layout was just coming becoming operational and had a few sections of scenery going in. In fact, in 1978, the RR made the cover of Model Railroader, RMC and the NMRA mag, if I remember correctly.
What made the RR great was the continuity and high standards set by the alumni who didn't go away after they graduated. In the 70s and early 80s, the leader of this group was Tony Steele, whose day job was at the D&H, but spent most of the rest of his time, including a good chunk where he should have been sleeping, at the model RR club. The layout development was heavily D&H influenced. By the early 90s, John Nehrich had pretty much replaced Tony as the NEB&W alumni "guru" and the standards for construction and operation were raised to their current level and the layout became much more Rutland oriented.
While I was there, we had regular monthly operating sessions using a mixture of member and club equipment. There was thoughts of eventually doing both "modern" and "steam/diesel" era operating sessions, and the club was acquiring equipment to support both. The club would also have open houses once a semester, typically on the alumni and freshmen orientation weekends. The club would also occasionally host the local NMRA chapter meetings.
During the Nehrich era, the club abandoned the notion of a modern operating session and tied the layout to a specific date, acquiring enough equipment to support full operating sessions. For a while in the 90s, the club even became affiliated with a historic group and held regular open hours with paid operators.
Now, the club has operating sessions a couple of times a year. There is still quite a following of alumni and a couple a years ago, we all had a reunion and ran the layout.
There are always model railroaders and railfans lurking at engineering schools such as RPI. We typically had about a dozen "hard core" student members at a time and another couple dozen more casual student members. One good thing about the presence of so many alumni and the high standards was the chance to learn a great deal of modelling craft. But, the down side is that it can be very intimidating. The bar was set so high, I suspect many incoming students with a level of interest were scared off.
One other thing to note. A good chunk of the "hard core" student members went on to careers in railroading, myself included.
It is a shame that the club doesn't have any regular open houses. The layout, which is now about 40 years old, still looks great and operates pretty well, even some of that yard track where I learned to hand lay code 70 rail all those years ago!