WILMINGTON, MA — The Boston Metro Hi-Railers model train club will host its spring season open house from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 5 Waltham Street in Wilmington.
The Hi-Railers will feature attractions for families, train enthusiasts and hobbyists alike. The three children’s layouts are especially interesting as boys and girls of all sizes can have hands on experience running trains, operating trackside accessories or just watching others.
The price of admission is $5 per individual and $7 per family.
The event will feature a brief history of the club, its layout and the versatility of its membership.
The Boston Metro Hi-Railers began as a group of model train enthusiasts meeting periodically at a local hobby shop some 15-20 years ago. They recognized a common interest in running O gauge trains on a big layout, but realized that their individual setups at home were limited in size, so over time they pooled resources, rented space in Melrose and built an enormous layout in the basement of a former church.
A change in ownership of the building triggered a mutual decision to move from Melrose to the current clubhouse location in Wilmington. The old layout was disassembled piece by piece and reassembled in Wilmington over a six-month period, and powering up without problems one week before the group’s first open house in Wilmington.
Once reassembled and running, the original layout has been greatly enhanced with scenery reflecting mid-20th century railroading in the Northeast during the transition era from steam engines to diesel powered locomotives.
Against a background of handcrafted detailed mountains, the layout depicts mining in Pennsylvania, downtown Scranton with the first electric trolley, an amusement area modeled after Luna Park, and Troy Station, a replica of the elaborate former structure outside of Albany, New York. Beyond the “time saver” switching setup near Lowell, plans call for a Portland, Maine harbor scene along with more detail in places already worked upon.
The layout measures 60-feet by 40-feet and has more than a thousand feet of track, accommodating an east and west mainline, an east and west subway below the mainline, a loop around the future Portland harbor , and a mine loop with a distinctive arch railroad viaduct bridge.
Another elaborate bridge in the style of a wooden trestle is being worked on for placement in the “balloon “over the river gorge on the mainline tracks near Lowell.
The club owns the layout track, structures a small collection of rolling stock, while the members bring their own engines and cars to operate during open houses, on thematic run nights or in private sessions. The members’ individual collections span in age from pre-World War II to current offerings from the major model train manufacturers.
A prized asset for the club is our diverse membership united by a love of model railroading. The club, which has more than 30 members, draws members from all walks of life and levels of model railroading skill.
Our unique blend of work backgrounds, training, experience, fulltime employment and retirement creates a convivial gathering of model train enthusiasts enjoying the club motto of “have fun fast.” New comers to the hobby can learn from experts in modern train electronics, care and keeping of older trains, scenery building and a variety of other model railroading skills. A summer outing schedule provides for social interaction as well. New members are always welcome.
For more information, visit http://www.bmhrc.com.
(NOTE: The above press release is from the Boston Metro Hi-Railers.)
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