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Are there or have there ever been any O Gauge clubs around or north of Tampa, Florida? Doesn’t seem to be much in the form of 3 Rail O Gauge from what I’ve seen on an internet search, mostly appears to be Ho or N Scale if anything. I’m about an hour north of Tampa and only have enough room in my current residence for a ceiling layout so it would be nice to have an actual layout to run things on. If not, I have considered starting a modular O Gauge club around the Tampa Bay Area possibly using Lionel’s FasTrack Modular System. It’d be nice to have a movable club layout to bring awareness to the O Gauge hobby in a state where it seems to have little presence, especially for younger people like myself! Anyways, thanks for any replies and happy railroading! 😁🚂

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Ive been thinking the same thing. I just moved back home to Hernando from San Diego and want to find or start a club closer then Broward. There was one in ocala but I cant get a hold of anyone to see if they still run.

Ah okay, I'm just a little north of Hernando up in Citrus County! I've tried to contact the club that was in Ocala a few times in the past as well, but from what I've been told they're no longer around. Other than them the only other O gauge club that I know of is down near Miami, but that's way too far lol. Modular O Gauge clubs/groups seem to be the best bet here in Florida!

I agree Florida seems to be mostly vacant of O Gauge 3 rail.  I'm in the Cape Coral-Ft. Myers area and haven't been able to find anything.  I'm trying to see if I can find a way to fit a layout in the garage and still have room to park the car.  Problem with Florida is all the junk goes in the garage since there aren't any basements which leaves limited room to work around the car.  I'm open to discussing a solution with anyone who might be in the area.

I think you guys above are just a bit too far north to make something work.

That’s an awesome layout! When I first moved down here I had something similar in size in my garage. After a couple years though I really needed the garage space for other things so I had to take it down before it got to the scenery phase unfortunately. That’s when I got the idea for the shelf layout I currently have which has gotten me by in terms of not having to run trains on the floor, lol.

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I am not in the LCCA, but I am a member of the TCA! (train collectors association).  I live in Tampa and have a layout, which is quite eclectic.  The layout is "high rail", three rail, etc.  Trains from all era's with "whimsy" thrown in for good measure.  Basic theme is "New York to Tampa".....but very loosely portrayed.  Mostly MTH trains,  of which I have many from all time periods.  In addition, to the "American" models, I have several MTH "European" models. (I also have some older Lionel, some Weaver, some K Line, and a few Williams models.  But mostly MTH trains.)

I looked awhile ago for a three rail O gauge club in the Tampa area, but as previously stated here by the original post.....there does not seem to be one here in Tampa for 3 rail O gauge, that I am aware of.  If someone is forming a "club", let me know....I could be interested!  Cheers !

Old railroad stations...if held in some regard locally and maintained...seem like possible locations for a club layout.   Sometimes they're more of a seasonal opportunity...like these current holidays.  But others have been given space to reflect the importance of the railroad to the town's history. 

Re Florida, for instance...  There's a really sizeable preserved station in Punta Gorda...

punta gorda station

Never been inside.  Don't know what's available re historical displays, retail, etc..  The adjacent track is 'active'...serving local industries, only, it seems.  But perhaps they have space and would be amenable to club/layout presence.  Wouldn't hurt to ask, I suppose. 

There may be other depots in the greater Tampa area that could provide space for a club/layout activity.

Of course, there are those obligations and expenses that go with this sort of arrangement.  Not the least of which is c-o-m-m-i-t-m-e-n-t...time/talent/treasure.   Support of the facility's goals...community, visitation, history, maintenance, etc..   Hey, I'm no expert on such matters, but I can well imagine that this sort of  opportunity is probably more than a casual substitution for lack of a residential basement.

Seasonally, though, there should be no shortage of expertise...of the old phart snowbird variety...like me/spouse.

Just a suggestion...

KD

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@Gpritch posted:

All -

I think you might be missing an opportunity here.  I found a great group of O-Gauge guys with an active club and large layout just north of the Sarasota Airport on rt 41.  They go by the name of RealRail.  They run Lionel Legacy.  They are open on Saturdays 10-2pm.  Stop by and visit.

Ah interesting, I haven’t heard of them before. Sarasota is pretty far from me though, but perhaps I’ll check it out sometime

@dkdkrd posted:

Old railroad stations...if held in some regard locally and maintained...seem like possible locations for a club layout.   Sometimes they're more of a seasonal opportunity...like these current holidays.  But others have been given space to reflect the importance of the railroad to the town's history.

Re Florida, for instance...  There's a really sizeable preserved station in Punta Gorda...

punta gorda station

Never been inside.  Don't know what's available re historical displays, retail, etc..  The adjacent track is 'active'...serving local industries, only, it seems.  But perhaps they have space and would be amenable to club/layout presence.  Wouldn't hurt to ask, I suppose.

There may be other depots in the greater Tampa area that could provide space for a club/layout activity.

Of course, there are those obligations and expenses that go with this sort of arrangement.  Not the least of which is c-o-m-m-i-t-m-e-n-t...time/talent/treasure.   Support of the facility's goals...community, visitation, history, maintenance, etc..   Hey, I'm no expert on such matters, but I can well imagine that this sort of  opportunity is probably more than a casual substitution for lack of a residential basement.

Seasonally, though, there should be no shortage of expertise...of the old phart snowbird variety...like me/spouse.

Just a suggestion...

KD

That’s a good idea, I haven’t thought of that! Come to think of it I do know of two restored train depots close by in Brooksville and Inverness that were former Atlantic Coast Line stations back in the day. Not sure if the Brooksville depot’s size, but the Inverness one is a pretty good size. Probably could look into that and see if they’d be open for a club layout or something!

I have friends in the Tampa area. About 8 years ago I was sent a link to a Fox 13 news show. Charley Belcher was the host and they interviewed a builder of a layout. It was being built in a Quonset hut. On a visit our friends pointed out the hut on the side of the highway. Didn’t see a way to access it. The layout was only being built in the hut. It was of modular design but it was very highly detailed with craftsman like construction. More in line with a 3RS layout. It was going to be moved to a permanent location.

I did a goggle search and only come up with a Facebook link. Not being a member it ended there. Wondering if anyone has any info as to what became of it.

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