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Your Local Model Railroad Club Distance & Membership

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  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Kenner, LA
  • 124 posts
Your Local Model Railroad Club Distance & Membership
Posted by KEN MASON on Thursday, December 31, 2015 10:54 PM

My wife and I joined our local club a few months ago and have become very active with them. It is just 5 miles from our home. How far away from your local club are you and are you a member and active?

  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: SE Minnesota
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Posted by jrbernier on Thursday, December 31, 2015 10:59 PM
28 miles, and we have 11 members. 27x27 ft layout (HO).


Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

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Posted by grinnell on Thursday, December 31, 2015 11:16 PM

I 'commute' to a club 45 miles away almost every week. If it were closer I'd be one of the group that works on the railroad twice a week.


  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Miles City, MT
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Posted by P&Slocal on Thursday, December 31, 2015 11:47 PM

Supposedly there is one 126 miles from me. I am not a member nor have I ever been to the club.

Robert H. Shilling II

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  • From: College Station, TX
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Posted by Arjay1969 on Friday, January 1, 2016 1:36 AM

My local club is about a 10 mile drive from my house. I've been an active member and officer for many years now.

Robert Beaty

The Laughing Hippie


The CF-7...a waste of a perfectly good F-unit!


Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the

end of your tunnel, Was just a freight train coming

your way.          -Metallica, No Leaf Clover


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  • From: Culpeper, Va
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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Friday, January 1, 2016 3:17 AM

25 miles away and I am not a member.



If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by TheWizard on Friday, January 1, 2016 3:52 AM

No idea how many "miles" it is (what are those?) but it's about 5-6 minutes away. I am not a member because I still have hair that didn't turn gray yet, and feel too young. This Christmas I drug my family to the display, and I swear the youngest operator was a spry 105 or so.

There's another club on the other side of the river from me that seems to have members who still have hair (plus bonus points for having dark hair), but it's farther away and I haven't gotten around to scoping it out since moving into the area a few years ago.

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  • From: lavale, md
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Posted by gregc on Friday, January 1, 2016 5:46 AM

I'm fortunate that the Pacific Southern Railway is only 12 miles away.   It's been around since the early 60s and is pretty casual.

Lately I've missed quite a few operating sessions because of work.   I found the construction (scenery) cycle leading up to several open houses more interesting.

I wish other responders would identify their clubs and provide links if available.

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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  • From: OH
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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, January 1, 2016 6:19 AM

Less then a mile and I'm active during the warmer months since the building is cold and damp during the winter even with the fuel oil stove lit.



Summerset Ry.

"Stay Alert, Don't get hurt  Safety First!"

  • Member since
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  • From: Westchester NY
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Posted by retsignalmtr on Friday, January 1, 2016 6:31 AM

The club I belong to is 45 miles from where I live. HO, N and O gauges. Easy going, laid back club, meets once a week. Around 30 members of all ages and occupations. Two permanent layouts at the club in HO and N, two modular layouts for shows in HO and N-T-Trak. The club appears at 9-10 shows during the year with the modular layouts.

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  • From: NS(ex PRR) Mon Line.
  • 1,395 posts
Posted by Jimmy_Braum on Friday, January 1, 2016 8:03 AM

5 minutes, and a very active member of the Mid Mon Valley Model Railroad Club in New Eagle PA.

(My Model Railroad, My Rules) 

These are the opinions of an under 35 , from the east end of, and modeling, the same section of the Wheeling and Lake Erie railway.  As well as a freelanced road (Austinville and Dynamite City railroad).  

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Sliver City,Mich.
  • 708 posts
Posted by Catt on Friday, January 1, 2016 8:44 AM

This will be my third full year of membership in my club The "Grand River Valley RR club.We are about 5years old have both N and HO layouts with roughly 20 members.

There are 4 clubs in the Grand Rapids,MI. area with memberships ranging from the very low teens to upwards of 30 plus.

Johnathan(Catt) Edwards 100 % Michigan Made
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Northfield Center TWP, OH
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Posted by dti406 on Friday, January 1, 2016 8:50 AM

My club is about 20 miles from the house, I am active and an officer these past 5 years.  My old job kept me from joining as I traveled a lot and the normal meeting day was a travel day for me.

When I lived in Anchorage belonged to a club there and made all the meetings and was very active as there were few home layouts as there were few basements.

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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  • From: Detroit, Michigan
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Posted by Soo Line fan on Friday, January 1, 2016 9:02 AM

One mile away and another is 10 miles. Too busy with work to join.


  • Member since
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  • From: Bakersfield, CA 93308
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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, January 1, 2016 9:37 AM

Five miles, I went to a few meetings about 20 years ago but it didn’t do much for me.  I guess I’m just a loner and like doing my own thing.
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
My Model Railroad   
Bakersfield, California
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
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  • From: Northeast OH
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Posted by tstage on Friday, January 1, 2016 9:55 AM

When I belonged to a startup club several years ago it was a 25 min. drive from my house.  I have moved since then and the only club I'm aware of near me is more than an hour's drive away.


Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by CGW121 on Friday, January 1, 2016 10:01 AM

Here in the west burbs of Chicago there are quite a few clubs, I go to one about 25 miles away.

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  • From: NW Pa Snow-belt.
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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Friday, January 1, 2016 10:03 AM

Nearest club is about 1:30 (1.5 hrs) away, not a member. 

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

  • Member since
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  • From: Kenner, LA
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Posted by KEN MASON on Friday, January 1, 2016 10:05 AM

Great idea Greg. 

Our club is the Crescent City Model Railroad Club in Metairie, LA just outside of New Orleans.

Here is a link to our club:

We have about 20 members and our layout is HO and is 24 feet x 128 feet with 400 feet of mainline.

Our club was founded in 1956 and we are turning 60 years old this year.

The Crescent Lines is a fictional railroad that connects the Crescent City (New Orleans) to Shreveport via the Alexandria Line and to Vicksburg via Natchez.


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    February 2007
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Posted by Graham Line on Friday, January 1, 2016 3:39 PM

Club is 12 miles from the house. It's full up at 30 members. There are two clubs closer but they mostly do roundy-round running and open houses. Knew lots of the members but didn't join until I got off of working nights, weekends and holidays, and raising kids.

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  • From: US
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Posted by tietwiddle on Friday, January 1, 2016 6:53 PM
I drive an hour to get to the Pacific Southern, although there are a couple a bit closer to me. They're good clubs, but I always liked the PS layout a bit more. And the members are all a great bunch of guys.
  • Member since
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  • 371 posts
Posted by fieryturbo on Friday, January 1, 2016 9:44 PM

There are a lot of people of different ages at my local club, and they are nice guys, but I just like doing my own thing.


Modeling Pre-WP merger UP (1974-81)

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Posted by NittanyLion on Friday, January 1, 2016 11:07 PM

The closest one for me is on the cover of MR right now!  

I have no idea how many miles it is to Vienna from Alexandria.  Never bothered to look.  I don't belong because their layout and my interests don't align.

There's a few modular clubs around, one of which I'm debating on joining.  Their distance is, uh, less definite by their very nature.

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    June 2014
  • From: Ohio
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Posted by josephbw on Saturday, January 2, 2016 10:23 AM

I am a founding member of our local MR club, and have been the President off and on for over 25 years of the clubs 35 year history. I live about 14 miles from the club and am very active in all phases of it. We started it in 1981 in a second floor 60x16' room with a 16x16' back room. We have gone from DC to early DCC to Digitrax currently. Anyone in the Greenville Ohio area is welcome to join or stop by for an operating session on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 1:30pm. The Op sessions are usually over by 4:30, with a meeting following afterwards.

We also have a model train flea market on the 1st Sunday of March at the Darke Co. Fairgrounds in Greenville, Ohio

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  • From: west coast
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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, January 2, 2016 10:38 AM

Around here they are going the way of the hobby shop, closest is like 25 miles away now, many used to be closer. 

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Posted by kevinrr on Sunday, January 3, 2016 2:42 AM

I'm active in a club ~75 mi. away (was there this morning).

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    February 2013
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Posted by HObbyguy on Sunday, January 3, 2016 9:23 AM

There are no local clubs.  The closest is probably in Atlanta which is a two hour drive.  We do have a local Hobbytown with 1/2 an aisle of model RR stuff.  But in the three years that I've been back at it I've never run into anyone at the store that was actually working on a layout.  So I learn about the latest tech and methods, and get all of the advice and feedback on my ideas here.  And except for basic supplies I order everything off the internet.

The good news is that there is nobody around to tell me that I am doing anything wrong Geeked

Huntington Junction - Freelance based on the B&O and C&O in coal country before the merger...  doing it my way.  Now working on phase 3.      - Walt

For photos and more:

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Posted by Paul3 on Sunday, January 3, 2016 12:48 PM

My club is 30 miles away.  I've been a full member since 1993, and my father's been a member since 1990 (I was a youth member back then).  I'm currently the Layout Design Chairman, the Operations Chairman, and the Registration Chairman.  I'm also the Vice Chairman of the Auction Committee.  I currently go over the club twice a week, and it can take anywhere from 35 to 65 minutes, depending on traffic.

Paul A. Cutler III

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    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 3, 2016 1:26 PM

There are actually quite a few model railroading clubs in my not so close neighborhood - the nearest one being 15 miles away from my place and the farthest one about 50 miles. None of them caters to my specific interest in model railroading and memberships dues usually amount to my annual hobby budget, so I am not a member of any one at all.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 9,434 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Sunday, January 3, 2016 2:16 PM

80 miles. They meet on Thursday evenings. The Abbot is not about to let me take Thursday evenings off to drive 160 miles round trip (That is $80+ carfare) to attend such a club. One Thursday I was in Bismarck and went calling on them, but nobody was there. Go Figure.

One Sunday there was an open house for the entire Buckboard Junction (a recreated town) and I went there, and they still were not open. GFo Figure.

LION is done Figuring. Let them come to my house if the want to see trains.!



The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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