35 of the Best Model Railroad Layouts and Clubs


Any train enthusiast loves model railroads. They provide a great atmosphere to meet like-minded individuals, and share a common passion for railroads.

Below, I have compiled some of the best model railroad clubs from around the United States that are worth checking out if your in the area.

1. Northlandz- Flemington, NJ

Welcome to the largest model railroad in the world! Started in 1994 by Bruce Williams Zaccagnino, the layout currently resides inside a 52ft building, and has over 8 miles of tracks, 400 bridges, various scenes and so much more. Take a walk through and appreciate years of hard work that has gone into the highly sophisticated and detailed trackage. This is a great family friendly activity, that will leave you amazed and want to return soon! The layout is open to the pubic every day except Tuesday.

2. Long Island Model R.R. Engineers-Long Island, NY

Founded in 1971, The Long Island Model R.R. Engineers club is nestled in the quaint community of Medford, NY, and houses two large model railroad layouts. This club has an HO and an N scale layout with are both highly detailed and true works of art. With over 1200 feet of track and multiple layouts, the club is one of the largest model railroad clubs located in Long Island. Memberships are available, as well as open houses a few time per year.

3. Cuyahoga Valley S Gauge Association

If you are a fan of American Flyer or any other tinplate model trains, check out the Cuyahoga Valley S Gauge Association. The oldest S gauge model railroad club in Ohio, the club is a group of dedicated and passionate member. This is a unique model railroad club as their layouts are completely portable and can be taken to various events.

4. Central California Model Railroad Club

The Central California Model Railroad Club displays their layout which is set in the 1950’s, and is based on rail operations along the coast of California and into Oregon. Along with the main Ho scale layout, there is a dual gauge branch line operation, which is able to run both HO and HOn30 trains.

If your interested in checking out this club, it is open to the public from 3:00 to 5:30, on the first and second Saturday of every month.

5. Housatonic Model Railway Club

Founded in 1972, The Housatonic Model Railway Club consists of an HO scale layout based on locations around Danbury and Norwalk, Connecticut.

Previously, the layout was based on the Housatonic Railroad, and what it may have looked like in the fifties, as if the New Haven had not retained control in 1890.

This club is located in Fairfield, Connecticut, and hosts a model railroad show annually. Here, model train displays are available for view and you can purchase items from the various vendors situated throughout the show.

6. First State Model Railroad Club

Since 1985, the First State Model Railroad club has been bringing together fellow rail enthusiasts. The layout is based upon the days of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and their daily operations in the state of Delaware.

With its humble beginnings in the Delaware Agricultural Museum where it was located for a brief period of time, the club eventually moved to the Wyoming, Delaware train station, howevr, they now reside in the Railroad Express Building in Dover, Delaware. Feel free to become a member or visit their open houses to see all this club has to offer.

7. New Hampshire Garden Railway Society

If you are interested in G scale railroading, the New Hampshire Garden Railway Society is worth a look! This club travels to various shows, such as the “Big E” show in Springfield, Massachusetts, and holds clinics to teach the craftsmanship of model railroading to others.

Their layouts include narrow gauge G scale layouts, and standard gauge, and offer a wide variety of motive power and scenery, ensuring there is something for everyone.

8. The Garden State Central Model Railroad Club

This club, located in Wall, NJ, is home to a skillfully crafted HO scale layout that is based upon a fictional line that runs from Jersey City, NJ to Binghamton, NY, and is carefully created to resemble the operations of the anthracite railroads.

The layout is open to the public on select dates throughout the year, especially around the holidays, as they collect gifts for Toys for Tots.

9. Riverside Railroad Club

The Riverside Railroad Club is a G scale layout that has a wide selection of different scenes and rollingstock. Established in 2002, the layout is large and capable of handling several trains at once, ensuring there will always be trains running. Memberships are always welcome and the club meets every Tuesday to discuss the latest layout news. Be sure to check them out!

Riverside Railroad Club

10. Green County Model Railroader’s Association

Nestled in northeast Oklahoma, the Green County Model Railroader’s Association is a fun way to express your love for model railroading. Being the only public model railroad club in northeast Oklahoma, it is full of knowledgeable people and impressive layouts. Be sure to check this club out and build on your passion of model railroading.

11. Keystone N-Trak

Located in the Bucks County town of Dublin, Pennsylvania, the Keystone N-Trak is a group of dedicated model railroaders who take great pride in their layout. The club has both a club layout and a traveling layout which is used to bring to various shows throughout the year. Keystone N-Trak is a member of the Eastern N Lines Partnership, along with 9 other n scale clubs. Check this club out and visit their website to get the latest news.

12. Providence Northern Model Railroad Club

Located in Warwick, Rhode Island, the Providence Northern Model Railroad Club has been modeling since 1994, and boasts the largest HO scale layout in southern New England. They are a team dedicated to teaching the public about model railroading and the different aspects related to it.

The club is open on certain days on a weekly basis and encourages model railroading by introducing it to many different local community organizations. In addition to the layout in the club quarters, they have a modular portable layout that is taken to various shows and other events.

13. Citrus Model Railroad Club

Located in sunny Florida, the Citrus Model Railroad Club has three layouts consisting of HO, N, and O scale.

The HO scale layout is called the Allegheny and Lake Erie Railroad and is 30×30 and consists of two layers. The layout is based in the fifties and focuses on railroad operations in western Pennsylvania. This is a beautiful layout and is sure to please any guest who visits.

The N scale layout is 10×22, and does not have a set time period that is modeled. It is mainly based on the eastern United States and has many mountain scenes.

The G scale layout is 30×50, and is based on the landscape of Florida, particularly Citrus County. There is a wide selection of motive power on display, ranging from early steam to the modern diesel era.

14. Oak Park Society of Model Engineers

Located in Oak Park, Illinois, the Oak Park Society of Model Engineers has been spreading the joy of model railroading for fifty years. The club houses an HO scale layout and is based on the Chicago & North Western railroad operations. Consider visiting their open houses which are usually in May and November.

15. Elkhart Model Railroad Club

Since 1950, the Elkhart Model RR Club Located in Elkhart, Indiana, houses an HO scale layout with various motive power and modular scenes. The newest addition of the club is the construction of a new N scale layout that is underway. Memberships are available, additionally, running sessions are usually held on Friday nights.

16. Bluegrass Railroad Club Inc.

Located in Lexington , Kentucky, the Bluegrass Railroad Club has been celebrating the love of model railroading for over forty years. Members throughout the club model in almost every scale, and are passionate enthusiasts.

This club is unique as it invites guest speakers from various rail related organizations to speak about operations and rail related news. Consider becoming a member to share in the great experiences this club has to offer.

Ian Abbott photo

17. Baltimore Society of Model Engineers

Located in the bustling city of Baltimore, Maryland, the Baltimore Society of Model Engineers is a team of dedicated club members that have been modeling for over 87 years. The club boasts the largest display in the mid-Atlantic region, as their layout is 2,500 feet long. Being around since 1932, the society is recognized as the oldest model railroad club in the United States, and the 3rd oldest modeling society worldwide. They are currently moving to a new location, be sure to check their website for updates.

18. Detroit Model Railroad Club

Welcome to the largest O scale model railroad club in Michigan! Beginning operations in 1935, the club is located in Holly, Michigan in the theater in town. The club’s layout, the Detroit Union Railroad, is a fictional railroad that models scenes between Dorrance and Detroit, Michigan, which is modeled in O scale two rail. This is a unique layout worth a look!

Detroit Model Railroad Club

19. St. Charles Model Railroad Club

Located in O’Fallon, Missouri, the St. Charles Model Railroad Club is an HO scale club with a permanent display. Since 1982, the club has been promoting their passion for model railroading and have evolved from a modular portable display, to a permanent display. Open houses are available for people to check out the layout, additionally, there are vendors and swap meet tables present. Consider joining this great organization, and enjoy everything that model railroading has to offer.

20. Patcong Valley Model Railroad Club

Located in scenic Richland, NJ, the Patcong Valley Model Railroad Club has been modeling since the fifties, and has moved various times, however, has found a permanent home in Richland. The club’s layout is based on the Pennsylvania Railroads, with many PRR staples, including the classic position light signals. The layout many scenes spanning from city blocks to rural mountainsides. Consider coming to an open house to see all the club has to offer. They have dates in the Winter as well as some in the Spring and Summer.

21. The Tidewater Modular Railroad Club

Since 2009, the Tidewater Modular Railroad Club has been building their HO scale model railroad. Additionally, the club has a modular layout that travels for shows and other exhibitions.

This club is an NMRA 100% club, as membership to this club requires that members of the club are also National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) members.

22. Catskill, Adirondack, and Berkshire Railroad

Albany, NY’s Catskill, Adirondack and Berkshire Railroad is home to a traveling HO scale railroad. They attend various railroad clubs and display their outstanding modeling skills.  Check out their website to see their show schedule.

23. Rochester Model Railroad Club

Organized in 1939, the Rochester Model Railroad Club has been operating for many years and has inspired many railroaders young and old. Their layout, the Seneca Valley Line is based on the anthracite railroad, the Lehigh Valley. This layout is 40×60 and its era is based on the fifties.

Membership to this club is welcomed, as the club is always looking for new members. The club meets every Monday, and prospective members are welcome to join.

24. Burlington County Model Railroad Club

Located in Cinnaminson, NJ, the Burlington County Model Railroad Club is home to a massive HO scale layout called the Rancocas Valley Lines. The layout has many scenes including various cities, stations, and mountainous terrain. Here, you will see a variety of motive power operating on the layout, from the most modern locomotives, to the classic steam engine.

New members are always welcome to join, as the club has meetings every Monday and Thursday. If you are interested in model railroading, please check this out.

onewhowaits photo. From Flickr

25. Golden Spike Train Club of Utah

Located in North Salt Lake, Utah, the Golden Spike Train Club is nestled deep in the snowy mountains, and is home to a number of railroad enthusiasts that all share a common passion for trains. This club features an HO Scale layout based upon various locations in Utah, primarily Union Pacific, including their Roper Rail Yard and surrounding areas. You will see various motive power from the Union Pacific and Rio Grande railroads.

26. Northwestern Vermont Model Railroad Association Inc.

Located in Essex Junction, Vermont, the core mission of this organization is to promote and encourage model railroading for future generations. The members of the organization range from experienced modelers to novices. The club has a main layout and a modular layout that travels with the team to various shows and other events.

27. Danville Model Railroad Club

Located in Danville, Virginia, the Danville Model Railroad Club is home to the Piedmont Southern Railroad, which is an HO scale layout that consists of over 1400 feet of track. There is various motive power to be seen on the layout, as the Piedmont Southern shares trackage with many other railroads including the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Baltimore & Ohio. Definitely check this club out and consider joining if your in the area.

28. Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers

This club’s mission is to model the Tacoma, Washington area that is 25×95 in length. This club is located in the Washington State History Museum, and can be viewed during museum hours. If you want to be part of great organization of passionate model railroaders, be sure to check out their layout.

29. Three Lakes Model Railroad Club

Located in Three Lakes, Wisconsin, The Three Lakes Model Railroad Club gives members the opportunity to model any scale of their preference, as many members have various model railroads in a number of different scales currently under construction.

This is a traveling club that meets at various locations at member’s layouts. If you are in the Three Lakes area, consider checking out this club.

30. CenterTrak Model Railroad Club

The CenterTrak Model Railroad Club is a unique club focused that encourages club members to each construct their own models to add to the club layout, giving all members in the club the opportunity to show off their modeling talent. Currently, there are many modules being constructed by various members of the group. This is a unique club and is definitely worth the visit.

31. Ramapo Valley Railroad Club

Located in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, the Ramapo Valley Railroad Club was featured in many well known publications such as The New York Times. Boasting more than 500 feet of mainline track, the club has a state of the art layout that focuses on incorporating the latest Digital Command Control (DCC) technology into their layout.

The club is currently looking for a new place to call home, as they left their former location in 2017.

Ramapo Valley Model Railroad Club

32. Model Railroad Club of Buffalo

Located in Buffalo, New York, the Model Railroad Club of Buffalo is home to two layout, an HO scale layout, with many different trains and a variety of different motive power. The O scale layout, which is 20×25, as well as including a narrow gauge railroad, is scenic and is based off the Appalachian Mountains.

33. Naussau Lionel Operating Engineers-Levittown, NY

Founded in June 1983, the Naussau Lionel Operating Engineers focuses exclusively on the collection and operation of Lionel Trains. The club’s layout is currently under construction, when completed, in will be 80 x 35 in length and will have plenty of room for everyone to operate their trains. Stop by their open houses when they are held and check out all this unique club has to offer.

34. California Southern Model Rairoad

Since 1984, the California Southern Model Railroad has been working on layouts based on Oakland California, and are currently constructing many modules of the layout. If you live in the area, consider stopping by and checking out what this club has to offer.

35. Glendale Model Railroad Club

The Glendale Model Railroad Club has been modeling since 1946, and houses a layout called the Verdugo Valley Lines. Be sure to attend their open house, check their website for more details.

 

 

 

 

Josef

Lifelong Rail Enthusiast and Owner of Worldwide Rails

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