Club near Westfield, MA

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#1
Looking for a club near Westfield, Mass. I know there is a group in manchester, CO but its a bit too far to drive. Anything nearby anyone knows about? I have a lot to learn and clubs seem like the way to go.
 
#4
What are you looking for from a club? Are you looking for a place to operate or to go weekly? ABEL does not have a "clubhouse" or permanent layout as such. I am a member of "ABEL", Amherst Belt Lines modular group. We are the operating part of Amherst Railway Society. We get together about six times a year and set up and opearte at different train shows including our own in January in West Springfield at the Big E. We have a great time and many of the members have round robin operating sessions at different home layouts. The membership is also from a large geographical area, I live over two hours away. It's a great group of people with a large base of knowledge. If this sounds interesting got to our website and see more. See you all at the show in January.
 

MGWSY

Active Member
#5
I am only aware of a handful of full time clubs and the closest ones to you that I can think of would be in Manchester,CT , Worcester, East Brookfield,MA and Providence,RI. There is nothing full time in Western MA that I know of.
 
#6
Been awhile but thanks for the info. Anyone in here from the Worcester Club? Its a long drive but would seem to offer what I am looking for. I like the Amherst Belt Lines being so close but would really like a place with scheduled meetings and a layout in place to operate on. Emailed them but haven't heard much. They are probably still recovering fron The Big E show though. Maybe I'll just show up on Tuesday and check it out.
 
#7
There's the Worcester Club, then theres the Worcester Club.

The Worcester Model Railroaders/Worcester Central Lines Club is in Dudley, MA. They meet twice a week if I am not mistaken, and they are still in the process of building their new layout.

Real Model Railroaders, the club in Worcester, MA (which I belong to) occupys the old location of the Worcester Model Railroaders. In fact, RMR started when one of the members bought their old layout and started a new club because he didn't want to see the beautiful old layout get destroyed. We are usually there Saturday after 1PM, Sunday after noon, and Wednesday in the late afternoons although the club's president may be down there playing or working on the layout. Unlike the Dudley club, members get to go down to the club any time they want and play or work.

The CSX B&A main line is outside our front door! We get to play with models then run outside and see the real thing :D

Real Model Railroaders is at 70 James st. However, we're part of a complex that used to be a wire factory (so every unit is considered 70 James st since the front door to the wire factory was over there). Our front door is actually on Genesee st.

Crossing over the James st bridge you can see some old disconnected sidings that the New York Central used to use to pick up coils of wire from the factory. (we have a piece of track sticking up out of our parking lot :D )
 
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MGWSY

Active Member
#8

MGWSY

Active Member
#10
Hi Mark! When did you come down to our club?

How'd you like it? :D
I was there a long time ago around March of 2008 I believe. I assume there have been a lot of changes so I might have to visit again one of these days to see if the track work has improved. I wasn't to fond of RMR #1 either and all the bragging I heard and the funniest thing I saw is when a CSX train was coming half the guys there immediately stopped their trains and ran for the door. I asked my friend who I was with what was going on and he said oh its just a train going by. I thought it was a fire drill or something, lol. I would prob join if the dues weren't so high and the drive not as long. I remember being a member of the old Providence Northern Club in RI and due to me living over a certain number of miles from the club I got to pay half dues but the dismantled the layout and moved so that put an end to that club.
 
#11
March of 08... thats before I joined.

The club's president, Kevin, like to brag a lot. Don't mind him.

And yes, we stop our trains and run for the door to watch real trains :D

Our dues are $25 a month, with a $240 deposit (payable in installments) to cover any damages that you may cause (whether or not you cause damages, it's mandatory for every member). The deposit is also to make up for dues should the member be booted from the club for falling too behind in their dues.

We have an extension put up in the front room (it's not up and running yet, but progress is being made), and that will be up and running in a while (we're re-habbing the main layout first before we do any major work on the extension)
 
#12
Hey guys thanks for the info. I am leaning toward the one in Dudley because they are not up and running yet. I figure the earlier in the process of building a layout the better. I am about to tear down my layout and start a whole new one so am going to need all the hands on learning I can get. I will plan on visiting both clubs though in order to make a good decision. The drive does seem kinda long but for me it would only be every other meeting because i am out of town to other weeks.

Maybe we should start a club in this area. Anyone got an building we can borrow for awhile?;)
 

MGWSY

Active Member
#13
Hey guys thanks for the info. I am leaning toward the one in Dudley because they are not up and running yet. I figure the earlier in the process of building a layout the better. I am about to tear down my layout and start a whole new one so am going to need all the hands on learning I can get. I will plan on visiting both clubs though in order to make a good decision. The drive does seem kinda long but for me it would only be every other meeting because i am out of town to other weeks.

Maybe we should start a club in this area. Anyone got an building we can borrow for awhile?;)
You would be much better building your own layout in your basement or attic if you have room and get together with people you meet that have similar interests. Most clubs if not all have to much politics going on and rarely does everyone agrees on things. Some examples are whether to go DC or DCC, Specific RR and time frame or just a bunch of tracks, then there are those that want to run trains around the layout and others that want to have prototype operations, you also have the rivet counters that want everything to match the prototype and others that will run a NYC hudson steam loco with a 1990's era train. The way I look at it is no matter what way you look at it your playing with toy trains no matter how detailed they are. As long as your having fun thats all that matters, hell I remember running European high speed trains on a club layout and that use to piss off certain members but I was happy to watch them run. As for my trains I try to model what I saw in my younger days or what I have worked on which pretty much means I Will have the entire NECR Roster eventually and the 2 Sperry cars I worked on along with modeling Amtrak and Conrail.
 
#14
I hear ya. I get what you are saying but to be honest I made a lot of expensive mistakes on the first layout. There are definetely thigns I need help with. A club seems like a good way to get to know other people involved in the hobby. I don't know a lot of people involved in model railroading so part of the appeal is social. I'm not really looking for a club that runs my layout just one where I can pick up some advice on how I might want to do my layout.

I'll give you a for instance. As you know I am looking to model the B&A line Berkshire Subdivision. There are many areas I woul like to model but trying to fit it into my room is going to be very difficult. I would really like to get some other opinions on how to design a track plan which will allow for operations taht are more interesting than simply going in circles. I am hoping that meeting others involved in the hobby will give me some insights into these and other issues.

I know there are a ton of books out there but I am a visual person. Plus it would be fun running on a large layout in an operation type way.
 

MGWSY

Active Member
#15
I here you on that regard that is why I suggested looking at various clubs. If the drive doesnt bother you then I suggest checking the following.

http://www.realmodelrailroaders.org/

http://www.wmrr.org/

http://www.providencenorthern.com/

http://www.eastbrookfieldma.us/QuaboagValleyRailroaders/QuaboagValleyRailroaders.htm

http://www.timemachinehobby.com/ho_silk-city_model_rail_club.html

http://www.nsmrc.org/

http://www.ssmrc.org/

http://www.psmrc.org/

http://www.housatonicmr.org/

I would say visit these and talk to some people, look around, maybe even run something.
 
#16
I didn't know there were so many around. Thanks for the list. I have been down to the Time Machine and spoken to some of their members before. I may look into them more. They are about an hour's drive which is kinda the distance I would be looking to drive. Too much more and its not worth it. That's why Worcester might be a possibility too.

Of course visiting numerous layouts and clubs sounds rough but... I guess I'll just have to do it....;)
 





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