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Model Railroading Near Washington, DC

Model Railroading Interesting and Useful Information

Links to Railroading Groups on Facebook and Internet

Made in the Potomac Division — Local Model Railroading Companies

Fallen Flags in and around Washington, DC

Operating in and around Washington, DC

The Potomac Module Crew (PMC) consists of members of the Potomac Division who have an interest in HO modular model railroading. A module is a section of a model railroad built to a minimal standard set of dimensions, track locations, and electrical connections. The type of scenery display is left to the imagination and creativity of the builder. The scene on a module can be rural or industrial, agricultural or urban, mountainous or prairie-like, or any combination. The time period model is also left to the modeler. The use of modules allows a modeler the opportunity to create a section of railroad without a major investment of time, space or money. A module is also easy to transport and store when not in use.
Northern Virginia NTRAK promotes the hobby of N-Scale Model Railroading. Member’s interests include railroad operations, history and safety, writing and photography, as well as model building. Throughout the year, the organization sets up at railroad shows and shopping malls throughout the Metropolitan area. The layouts are flexible and their modular nature allows the layout to be tailored to fit the available space. These setups allow members to run realistic- length trains over long stretches of varied scenery, something that is not usually possible on home layouts. The Northern Virginia Model Railroaders (NVMR) is a HO scale model railroad layout, that is on permanent display at the Vienna station. The club models a small railroad, the Western North Carolina, set in the 1950's. The club hosts open houses, 10 times a year, where the public is welcome to come and see trains running.
Open a new window at the NVMR site.     Open a new window at the NVMR schedule.
The Four County Society of Model Engineers is a not-for-profit HO scale modular railroad club dedicated to advancing our skills and enjoyment of the hobby. We are located in Central Maryland, mainly Carroll, Howard, Frederick and Montgomery Counties, but also with members in surrounding areas.
The Rockville Model Railroad Society (RMRS), a 501c3 non-profit organization, was founded in 2004 in Rockville, MD by the merging of the Gaithersburg Model Railroad Society and the Maryland Central Model Railroad club. We are currently occupying space for a permanent layout in the Northern Washington, DC metro area. We have a diverse group, modeling in all popular scales from G to Z. Currently we are accepting new memberships while we seek a public meeting space for the club. We offer a $2,500 STEAM Scholarship program for all Maryland graduating Seniors. We do occasionally attend the Great Scale Model Train Show (in Timonium, MD) as a club. Contact the club via email at rmrrs.org@gmail.com , or their website: https://rmrrs.wordpress.com . You can also follow the club on their Twitter account: https://twitter.com/RMRRSorg .
Open a new window at the RMRS site.
The Severna Park Model Railroad Club is a group of H0 scale model railroaders that meet every Thursday evening at the club layout located in Severna Park, Maryland, only a few miles from Annapolis. The club is open during our Thursday evening sessions, from 8 p.m. until whenever the last member leaves. Feel free to stop by and see the layout. We also host an Open House twice a year, during the first weekends of May and December. The club building was once the Severna Park railroad station (until the early 1960's). The old railbed has been converted into the very popular B&A (Baltimore and Annapolis) bike path. If you're on the trail on the south end, you'll walk, skate, or bike right by our club building, since it's next to the path.

Open a new window at the Severna Park site.
The Washington, Virginia, & Maryland Garden Railway Society (WVMGRS) is the largest and oldest Garden Railway Society on the Eastern Coast. Members enjoy a variety of scales associated with the Guage 0 and Guage 1, and share a passion for small scale live steam locomotives. The WVMGRS participates in many aspects of garden railroading in our community, including display, meeting, show, and layout open house.
The Train Room in Hagerstown, MD is the home of one of the largest collections of rare and unusual items from Lionel & model railroading, toys, war related items, etc. Much of the collection pre-dates World War II. The museum houses one of the largest operating O-gauge model railroad displays on the east coast, with all the sights and sounds of the real thing ....and tons of railroad memorabilia!

Baltimore Society of Model EngineersBaltimore Society of Model Engineers is undergoing a transition while they look for a new permanent home. The club has relocated to an interim location in the Woodberry neighborhood of Baltimore.  While searching for a new home, the club will be constructing layouts in a sectional manner in HO and O scales, with additional display layouts in N and Z scale possible. In addition to building layouts plans are for monthly clinics covering model techniques, layout planning and construction, and railroad slide presentations. In addition plans are being made for visiting home layouts in the area.         Open a new window at the Baltimore Society of Model Engineers site.

Augusta Co. Railroad Museum & Model RR Club — Hosts the annual Harrisonburg area model railroad show, the first Sunday in May.
The Meade Area Model Railroad Society - MARRS is a group of model railroaders, collectors, and rail enthusiasts based in the vicinity of Fort George G. Meade and the town of Laurel, Maryland
The Japan Rail Modelers (JRM) of Washington DC is a loose group that focus on modeling Japanese rail systems. Our goal is to support and encourage modeling of Japanese rail systems and provide public education about the extensive Japanese railroads.
The Harford Associates for Railroad Modeling (HARM) is an informal group meeting every Tuesday evening for the past 35 years. Members live in or near Harford County, Maryland. Our objective is to operate and construct member layouts. Scales range from N through G. HARM members are active with the NMRA. Our site offers a platform to share ideas to enhance the model railroading experience.
The National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) is devoted to the development, promotion, and enjoyment of the hobby of model railroading. It is people at the national, regional and local level promoting the hobby, educating people about it and working to insure that your trains and equipment will work on other layouts. The NMRA member enjoys participation in the Achievement Program; Photo, Slide and Model Contests with fellow members; modelers Aid (ask a question); directory of Information; glossary of terms; retailers network; estate counseling (we may all need this some day); access to Master Model Railroaders; and the most important fellowship of other modelers.

The Mid-Eastern Region (MER) of the NMRA includes the central states of the east coast, from New Jersey to North Carolina. The purpose of your MER is to promote, stimulate, foster and encourage the art and craft of model railroading, to expand interest in and publicizing the hobby of model railroading through publication of the LOCAL six (6) times annually, and to sponsor a convention or two each year. These conventions give MER members the opportunity to network with other model railroaders without traveling cross country. 


November Model Railroad Open HousesNovember Model Railroad Open Houses DE - MD - PA - NJ.
Model Railroad Month Open House information site 

Kalmbach Model Railroad Event Calendar Kalmbach Model Railroad Event Calendar
To see the trains.com calendar, click on "All Events" in the left column. This gives a filter where you can ask for events within so many miles of your zip code. For example, putting in "20904" (Silver Spring) for zip code and "100 miles" for Radius revealed 42 events within 100 miles between November 28, 2014 and March 15, 2015. For slightly further distances you will have to scan the entire list, which at the time this was written had 264 events listed nationally through October 29, 2017. For events more than about 4 months away, you have to recheck the list periodically - some groups are more organized and list their meets 4 to 5 months in advance; others barely get listed a week ahead of the event.

  RailServe.com Model Railroad Event Calendar RailServe.com Model Railroad Event Calendar
Another events calendar.

  DCC by Design DCC by Design provides services & product to help layout owners implement a DCC system tailored to their needs. The free information includes several articles about starting with DCC. Services include DCC system and wiring design, control panel design and assembly, JMRI software customization, and mobile decoder installation. Products offered include YardBoss, a locomotive and rolling st management software which interfaces with JMRI, LocoBuffer USB for connecting Digitrax systems to a computer, and numerous kits, components and how to information.
Great Decals! Great Decals! produces prototype decals in N- through O- scales with a focus on the Piedmont railroads. Everything in our line started as someone's idea.
Even if you don't model that area, the web site has something for you: a list of all the model railroad decal web sites we know about.

   The Washington, DC Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society (NRHS) The Washington, DC Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society (NRHS) is a diverse group of people with a common interest in rail transportation and its rich and storied history that conducts a wide variety of activities, including public excursions, train trips, tours, as well as private railroad car journeys, and monthly meetings. There are a wide variety of programs, community service projects, rail equipment restoration and operation, excursion train operations, community service activities, historical research, photography contests, and railfan outings.

  The Potomac Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) The Potomac Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) is a group of railfans based in the National Capital Area. We seek to increase public awareness of railroads and their history. We meet the third Tuesday of every month at 8:00 PM in the Montgomery Country Executive Office building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville, MD. We welcome visitors. Member benefits include: interesting monthly meetings with guest speakers, railroad- related film and slide shows; annual chapter picnic; Potomac Rail News monthly newsletter; opportunities for rail excursions and industry field trips; and opportunities to assist at the Gaithersburg Railway Museum and local railroad heritage celebrations.

  Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Scratch the surface of the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail and you will find a railroad -- quite literally in some places. Ask the older residents of the towns along the trail, and they will tell you that they remember it. Known as "The Virginia Creeper," in a reference to the speed of its trains, the W&OD Railroad ended passenger service in 1951, lost its contract to carry mail in 1951 and expired in 1968.
  The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society (B&ORRHS) Throughout its 160 years, the B&O Railroad enjoyed a rich and varied corporate life. It was America's first common carrier railroad and survived to become one of the world's oldest railroad companies. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society (B&ORRHS) exists to help assemble, interpret and share that history. The B&O, like railroading everywhere, touched virtually all areas of American life. This diversity is reflected in the Society: members' interest range from motive power and railroad architecture to modeling and artifact collecting. Each year the B&ORRHS holds an Annual Convention, with facility tours, workshops, photo and models shows, displays, and the Annual Membership Meeting and Banquet. Two regional mini-conferences are held annually in the spring in the Baltimore area and in Ohio.

 B&O Railroad Museum Located among Baltimore City's historic southwest neighborhoods, at the original site of the historic Mt. Clare Shops, the B&O Railroad Museum is recognized universally as the birthplace of American railroading. Forty acres of heritage and a world class collection await your discovery. In Association with the Smithsonian Institution.
NMRA members receive a $2 discount off the regular admission charge.


 Ellicott City B&O Railroad Station MuseumEllicott City B&O Railroad Station Museum. The old mill town of Ellicott City was the site of the first passenger terminus of the B&O Railroad and therefore has the distinction of being the oldest railroad terminal in the country. Built in 1831, the station was a hub for both commercial and Civil War trade. The museum features rotating themes throughout the year: the Civil War from February through May, the birth and development of the B&O from May through September, and a holiday model train exhibit from December through January.

The National Capital Trolley Museum The National Capital Trolley Museum was founded after the abandonment of streetcar service in the District of Columbia. The Museum opened to the public in 1969 at its present location in Northwest Branch Park in Montgomery County, Maryland. The Museum's mission is to preserve and interpret the history of Washington's electric street railways. The collections consist of 17 streetcars from Washington D.C. and other cities. Many of these are operated on a one-mile demonstration railway. In addition, there is an O-scale model layout representing a Washington streetscape from the 1930's, a film program, and traditional exhibits of street railway artifacts and photographs.

The Baltimore Streetcar Museum The Baltimore Streetcar Museum is dedicated to preserving Baltimore's public transportation history, especially the street railway era.  Their collection is focused on equipment that ran in Baltimore.

 The Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum (HRM) The Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum (HRM) is dedicated to promoting a public understanding of the railroad history and railroad related activites in the general area of Hagerstown, Maryland through restroration, preservation, entertainment and education.

 The Brunswick Railroad Museum The Brunswick Railroad Museum is located in the heart of Historic Brunswick Maryland. The museum offers a 1700 square foot interactive HO scale model railroad layout, which depicts the B&O Railroad's "Metropolitan Subdivision" from Washington DC's Union Station platforms to Brunswick's large classification yards. The BRRM also houses a large collection of artifacts from the last century (and beyond) in exhibits telling the story of the city of Brunswick, and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad who built it, and the C&O Canal National Historic Park Visitor Center for the nearby historic site of Canal lock 30.

 The Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum The Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum in Chesapeake Beach, MD commemorates the Chesapeake Beach Railway that served this summer resort 28 miles from Washington, DC. Exhibits include photographs of trains and the town, a model train, a diorama of the resort, and a surviving kangaroo from the carousel.

Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society (C&OHS) The mission of the Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society (C&OHS) is to collect, conserve, restore, index, archive, and make available materials on the history of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway to as wide an audience as possible. To interpret the American railway experience through the Chesapeake & Ohio's historical experience, using data, photographs, drawings, publications, small artifacts, and full-size railroad rolling stock.

Western Maryland Railway Historical Society, Inc.In the 125 years of its operation as an independent railroad, the Western Maryland built a reputation as a truly "Fast Freight Line." From the laborers on the docks of Port Covington to the top brass, Western Maryland people were noted for their skill in the transportation field, and the pride that showed in every aspect of their work. Today, the WM is a fond memory, its remnants serving as an important link in the CSX Transportation chain. Its memory survives, however, in the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society, Inc.

Walkersville SouthernTake a trip back in time . . . on the Walkersville Southern, established in 1991 on the Frederick branch of the old Pennsylvania Railroad. Come see our turn- of-the-century railroad station and freight house. Ride in vintage 1920s passenger cars or on an open flatcar as your rail excursion runs past a 100-year-old lime kiln, and then out into the picturesque Maryland farm country.

 The Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society (PRRT&HS)The Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society (PRRT&HS) brings together persons interested in the history of the Pennsylvania Railroad, its subsidiaries and its predecessor companies to promote the preservation and recording of all information regarding the organization, operation, facilities and equipment of the PRR. Publications include The Keystone, a quarterly illustrated journal; the monthly electronic newsletters Keystone e-NEWS and Keystone Modeler. The PRRT&HS meets annually, usually the first weekend in May. Activities include, field trips, illustrated talks/lectures on various aspects of the PRR, general discussion sessions, movies, and slides of the Pennsy.
  The Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad The Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad was a railroad connecting Richmond, Virginia to Washington, DC. It is now a portion of the CSX Transportation system. The RF&P was a bridge line, with a slogan of "Linking North & South". (A bridge line has more traffic passing through its connections with other railroads than it originates or terminates at points along the line.) For the major portion of its existence, the RF&P connected with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and Seaboard Air Line Railroad at Richmond. At Alexandria and through trackage rights to Union Station in Washington, DC, connections were made with the Pennsylvania Railroad, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Southern Railway.

Capital Free-mo Capital Free-mo is an open group of model railroaders who construct,operate and display an HO scale Free-mo modular layout at locations around the Washington, DC area.

The Chesapeake Beach Model Railroad Club - At the present some of us are meeting at the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum in Chesapeake Beach, MD.,on Tuesday mornings working on the model railroad there. Call the museum to make sure we are there. Contact Larry Brown lbrown9601@verizon.net for further information.

  Railroads in Washington, D.C  is a Facebook group where posting pictures and postings of railroading (passenger and freight) in the Washington area.

 Traction Model Railroading is a Facebook group where information on multiple scales, multiple locations, pictures and videos are posted.

 Central Ohio RPM is a Facebook group where information about their activities is posted.

 Mid-Atlantic Railroad Prototype Modelers Meet is a Facebook group where information about their activities is posted.

 Virginia Railway Heritage Trail is a Facebook group where information about their activities is posted.

 ET&WNC fans is a Facebook group where information about this narrow gauge railroad is posted.

 Pennsylvania Railroad Delmarva is a Facebook group that discusses the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) and its predecessor railroad companies that built and operated the railroad lines on the Delaware/Maryland/Virginia (Delmarva Peninsula or also know at the Eastern Shore).

 Norfolk & Southern Railway Historical Society is a Facebook group that discusses the original Norfolk & Southern Railway that ran from Norfolk, VA to Charlotte, NC with various branches. (This is not the current Norfolk and Southern Railroad.

 Narrow Gauge Railroad Discussion Forum is a Facebook group that discusses narrow gauge adn steam railroading with a primary emphasis on railroads.

The Eastern Narrow Gauge Fans is a Facebook group where information on narrow gauge railroads is posted.

Reading Railroad Technical and Historical Society is a website where information on the Reading Railroad is posted.                                                                                                                            ^top