The Prince William County Model Railroad Club Layout Tour by Brian W. Sheron, MMR
On Saturday, April 29th, Marshall Abrams, the Division’s Senior
Assistant Superintendent and Potomac Flyer editor, and I headed down to
Quantico to visit the Prince William County Model Railroad Club.
I had not been down that way in a while, and forgot how big our
Division is! The club is located in the VRE train station that is in
the town of Quantico, just inside the Quantico Marine Corp. base. To
get to the train station, you must enter the base through the north
gate reachable off Exit 150 on I-95. You will stop at a
checkpoint and all people in the vehicle have to show identification
(driver’s license works). Upon receiving approval to proceed, we drove
to the town of Quantico, parked at the VRE station, and proceeded to
the layout, which is housed in a room on the south end of the station.
Entering the layout, we received a warm welcome from Bill Sydow, the
club president, and several of the members that were there operating
trains. I would estimate that the layout room was about about 30’ x 30’
and consisted of a folded dog bone track plan with various passing and
industrial sidings. The layout uses Digitrax DCC.
explained that the club’s railroad is called the PD&Q, which is the
Potomac, Dominion, and Quantico Railroad, a fictional railroad that
serves the Quantico area. During our visit, they were running both
steam and some early generation RS diesels. However, I was told that
the members could run any engines that they wanted to. The scenery
varied around the layout and included a waterfront dock area, some
industrial sidings, and some trackage that went through hilly rural
explained that they have recently been focusing on some overdue
maintenance, but are now ready to get back into operations.
club has served the Northern VA area for over 25 years, and was created
with the primary purpose of sharing the hobby of Model Railroading with
club started as a modular club and still does 10-12 modular shows
annually throughout the county and at train shows in the Washington DC
and Baltimore area. In 2005, the PWMRC began construction on its
permanent layout in the VRE Train Station in the Village of Quantico.
addition to the modular shows, the club hosts an open house at its
Quantico layout on the first Saturday of every month, on the Marine
Corps Birthday, and on the first three Saturdays of December.
club is always looking for new members, whether they are seasoned
veterans or brand new to the hobby. They have a relaxed atmosphere and
encourage members to run the equipment and railroads that interest
them. The club is proud of its Junior Member program which
introduces the hobby to boys and girls between the ages of 8-17. The
club also hosts clinics and operations sessions. Their meetings and
events are usually open to visitors and potential new members, and they
encourage everyone to come out and meet them. Their website is www.pwmrc.org or you can contact the President, BillSydow at firstname.lastname@example.org
and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this well-done club layout. If
you missed the opportunity to see it last Saturday, I strongly urge you
to take advantage of their open house on the first Saturday of each
month and stop by for a visit.