Northern Virginia Model Railroaders (NVMR)
Western North Carolina Railroad
A Visit to
the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders, Inc. By Nicholas
April 14 2018, our Potomac Division was granted exclusive access to the
HO scale Western North Carolina Railroad located at 231 Dominion Road
NE Vienna, Virginia 22180 from 11 AM to 1 PM. The club remained open
until 5 PM that date as part of its monthly openings for the general
public. The club has been located in the historic Vienna Railroad
Station for some forty years. Their golden spike ceremony was on
February 11, 1978. The W&OD bicycle trail passes right outside
their entrance. The club President, Sandy Robeck, was there to warmly
greet us and give tours. The club has about 100 members of whom about
60 are active.
Division members enjoyed a tour underneath their layout and to some
scenicked areas the public does not see. What was visible underneath
their layout may be as impressive as the scenery above.
of our members have been to this layout before but there is always
something new to learn. First, the waiting room had been converted to a
neat new museum. I learned for the first time that this layout had been
designed by famed model railroader Captain Pliny Holt (1910 - 2010).
Indeed, their layout was built in Pliny’s garage and then moved to the
station with no problems other than one section being six inches too
long. Not one to rest on his laurels, noted N-scale modeler Pliny
Holt even built the switch machines for this layout.
in the 20 by 50 foot W&OD baggage room, this layout is
controlled by digital command control (DCC)
real life, the Western North Carolina Railroad operated as a regional
railroad running 138 miles from Salisbury to Asheville in North
Carolina. Trolley fans will be delighted to see the Blue Ridge Traction
Power & Light Company in operation.
layout was featured on the cover of the February 2016 Model Railroader.
club, over 65 years old, has faced some obstacles. In March 2010, snow
storms visited structural damage on the old railroad station they call
home. NOVA Parks owns the building (but the club has a three-way lease
with NOVA Parks, The Town of Vienna, and the club itself). Luckily,
NOVA Parks had budgeted some funds for the station and they were used
to right the structural problems on a timely basis. The club moved back
in in September 2010 and was operating again in May 2011. Their club
was fortunate that a local church allowed them to meet in their
facilities. The months away from the station were used to tune up
rolling stock and invite speakers to address club members.
are five dollars per month after a one-time twenty-dollar application
fee. Tuesday evenings from 7:00 PM onwards are meeting nights. NMRA
members are invited to view their layout; talk model railroading; and
receive a tour of their layout on those nights. For more information
about the club visit www.nvmr.org or firstname.lastname@example.org or 703