Author Topic: National Model Railroad Month Exhibit  (Read 952 times)


  • Global Moderator
  • Superintendent
  • *****
  • Posts: 947
National Model Railroad Month Exhibit
« on: November 10, 2016, 08:28:28 AM »
National Model Railroad Month Exhibit

November is National Model Railroad Month in the states. This is one reason why so many shows and open houses are traditionally held during November. When you think about it, November is really an ideal time for this kind of activity, situated as it is just before the bad weather sets in, and only a short time before Christmas. This is the time for club and private layouts to hold open houses, train shows, flea markets, mall shows, and all activities that present the World’s Greatest Hobby to the public. When I was growing up in the 1950s, it seemed as if the railroads were a part of daily life. Trains were nearly everywhere, and in those days it was hard not to become interested in modeling them as a hobby. Things are different today.

In large parts of the country the railroads never receive the attention of the public in the way they did for most of the nation’s history. The local hobby shop has done a disappearing act as well over the past 20 years, and it’s very possible that the non-model railroading public could go through their daily existence without ever being exposed to railroads. Well, it is time to show you what a great hobby it is. It’s up to us to give the world the opportunity to see trains in action. The interest in trains is never higher than in November and December.

In many places there are clubs that maintain models of various times. However, you don’t have to go far to find interesting Model Railroads. There are several in and around Anderson, and the Indianapolis area is full of them. They come in all sizes from very modest sized layouts to large expansive ones that have taken years to build. The scenery can be astounding. It’s all possible.

And there are model railroads at the Madison County History Center at 11th and Meridian open all year, with a special manned operational exhibit for Christmas. Some exhibit items include a PRR caboose stove, the Control Board from Gridley Tower on the East side of Anderson, three showcases full of Railroad and Model Railroad materials, a caboose lantern, and other books and materials, as well as photos of Railroad scenes. Also, there are several doll houses for those who are not interested in the railroads.

The exhibit will open November 28th and run through December 30th. We will be open  on Monday, Wednesday and  Friday from 10am to 4pm and on Saturday December 3rd, 10th and 17th from 10am to 2pm. The exhibit will feature O27 (Lionel and Marx), On30, S gauge, and HO and N scales. One of the main features is Bob Trueblood's  HO Scale 1946 Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus Train display. The circus traveled in sections and we have Section 1 and Section 2 for your enjoyment.

There is also a mock-up of a ¼ scale model of the Baker Valve Gear ready to operate on a New York Central Railroad steam locomotive. This is a large wooden setup built by Maurice Lewman, a retired engineer. This is the gear that allows forward and reverse motion of the loco as well as slow to fast motion.

Our On30 is a 4’ x 6’ layout which the kids can operate by pushing and holding in on a button and become the engineer. There is an old time locomotive and passenger cars painted with an American Flag motif. 

We have a 4’x 8’ O scale traction layout. What is traction? It was what your grandmother and grandfather rode from about the turn of the last century to 1941. It was THE way to go. And then there is the O27 Lionel layout. We are using old Lionel and Marx locomotives and cars. There are buildings and scenery. It is amazing what was done in earlier days. The N scale layout is rather long and is made up of pieces and parts from Norm Reimondo’s old N scale layout including the backdrop paintings. It is more of what many people will think of as a model railroad layout.  Curtis McGuire is responsible for much of the work.

And we have an American Flyer S gauge passenger train and an S gauge freight. It is a 4’x 12’ layout with buildings and scenery. It has been put together by Steve Mayfield. The HO layout has grown longer and wider and now with a figure 8 overhead crossing. Roger Hensley has put this one together.

If you want more information about the hobby of Model Railroading, you can contact me, Roger Hensley, at the Madison County Historical Society at 765-683-0052 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Until November 28th that is, then come and see me.

Roger Hensley
Docent, Madison County Historical Society
Roger Hensley

Railroads of Madison County - (NYC and More) -
East Central Indiana HO RR -