How does your club work?


Mmmm, turbos
What clubs are you a member of/have you belonged to, and how did they work?

I've been a member or affiliated member of at least two model railroad clubs over the years, but none held my interest that much. As none of them are particularly close to me either, I've been considering whether another club would work on my side of town.

One I used to belong to was a portable/sectional layout that mostly operates at shows and events, so the opportunities for realistic operation are slim, the focus generic. But mostly, since the layout was a show layout, it was infrequently operated. It was housed in a large wood pole barn in the backyard of one of the members between shows.

Another I was affiliated with loosely was a large layout designed in the 1970s of the spaghetti bowl type. Realism wasn't high, but the layout was mostly finished and had a long run, and could be operated realistically if desired. However, it was a wiring headache, on the other side of town from me, and no matter what, it was still a freelance spaghetti bowl. It was housed in the basement of an old Odd Fellows Lodge, which later became an architect's office, and the space was rented from the building owner.

So the biggest obsticle in my opinion to creating a new club would be finding suitable space and being able to afford to maintain it. Another option would be a sectional/modular club, but I have no experience with these, and then the problem would be the same as the show layout -- infrequent operations.
What clubs are you a member of None; and in this area I doubt I'd ever join another :)

have you belonged to There was a local one, started off with over 35 members called the Pictou County Model Railroad Association or close to that. It was tied in to the Industry Museum supposedly to look after the museums layout. The Museum offered a meeting place in return for assisting with the maintenance of the layout. :rolleyes:

how did they work? At first it seemed to be going OK, we worked on the museum layout, had a show in the local mall with the modules and trains loaned by a club in the next town 35 miles away. Sold tickets on train set, raised enough money along with the dues to start on our own modules. The Pres. or someone bought the materials and certain members took them home to do the wood work. LOL, Well about this time I offered and was elected to municipal council ( I believe in the US refered too as Alderman ) anyway council meetings were on the same night as the club meetings so I could no longer attend. "To cut to the chase" on an evening that the council meeting was put over to another evening, I got a call from one of the members who said all the executive of the club had resigned and that there was a meeting being held at a members home so I agreed to go. There were about a dozen members there, and unless I took the helm the club was finished. They sort of declared war on the museum for several reasons all of them valid. The first thing to do was to gather the club's assets to one location, determine the debits and settle accounts. LOL
I gathered up the modules :D if you could call them that ( at least most of the pieces were there) The invoices were for pine boards these were spruce strapping and that was just the start ( someone had some nice material for their home layout). What the club needed and fast were corner modules. So the straight modules except 2 for the yard, were sold to our own members for their material values. We lost 2 more members who didn't agree with this action. Things went well for awhile then. Sunday afternoons were designated for modular layout work, the corners were built and scenery was begun with all the track layed and ballasted. Somewhere we lost another members attendance because he wanted to spend more time with his family ( we later learned he got caught in some hanky panky ). Then another quit because I purchased Atlas # 6 T. Outs to do a crossover instead of his suggestion of buying a prebuilt one which would have depleted all our funds.Then we lost 3 more members due to grim reaper calling so that was it all that work for what? Nothing!
Other than the comradary of the few, I'd have been better off working on my own layout, which would be a lot further along by now. That's the short version, how the banker stole the money ( he didn't get away with it either ) and some jackasses from the museum tried to get us back, would use up all the forums storage space.
Now that I've put a negative side to this thread, how's about a few putting at least a couple of lines of positive prose on the topic! :D
My group(not club) has been together for better than 10 years and since we are all friends we get along fairly well. :) We have had our moments though.

Most of us were (one still is) members of a local HO club.We got into NTRAK to prove to the club that it wasn't really essential to have a building to model railroad.We have since then expanded into TTRAK and we are having a ball with it.

It's hard to believe that we have been together this amount of time.
> My group(not club) has been together for better than 10 years...

Funny, seems like those "round robin" type groups work better and survive longer than clubs do. There's less politics and since each member has his own layout and can do what he/she wants to do with it, you don't get something designed by a comittee. You do get the benefit of a bunch of guys coming over on occasion and working on and/or operating your layout, which is a real benefit.

I was a member of a local one for a while, but I ended up quitting since I got involved in the full size railroad and didn't have time to attend. The same thing happened when I was a member of the Puget Sound Garden Railway Society. Neat club, great bunch of members and a chance to see some world class layouts. I enjoyed it a lot, but ended up letting my membership lapse since I spend most of my weekends running a bit larger live steam and when I'm not doing that I"ve got other stuff to do.
I don't know how our club works. As a matter of fact I don't know how it even exsists. Our layout is in a community center that's an old elementary school. The rent must be cheap, since we have only about a dozen members, half of whom are active. But like anywhere, we have fun running trains, working on the layout and shootin the sh**.

There's no real personality problems, changes to the layout are decided by a majority. There's no "era" or "location" to worry about. So we can run anything from anytime on it. In short, it's fun. What a concept. lol
Well, the club is essential..... That's where I run my trains and spend every thursday having fun. How it works, hmmmm OK I think. We used six years building the old layout at a school bomb room. Then we lost it because they needed a cantina. Spent a year searching and waiting, then found our present location. We focus on filling an attic with a layout of our own design and on operating what we already have every last thursday in a month. is our adress, language is norwegian and you're welcome.
phos from the layout: Referat fra byggingen av nytt loft og anlegg
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I belong to Win-N-Trak in Winnipeg as well as N-Trak.

Info on Win-N-Trak can be found on our club's site located at

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