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Today, I had the time of my life as a model railroader.

During the past year, I have gotten together with a few fellow O Gauge model railroaders located mostly in the Northern Westchester County, NY area on an approximately monthly basis.

We call ourselves The Railboys.

I think that is a nice name for a train club. However, if any of you folks happens to be an enthusiastic female model railroader who checks us out and would like to join the Railboys, I, for one, will move heaven and earth to advocate for you to be able to join our local train club and, then, maybe we will change the name of it so it's more inclusive.

A few of us who have layouts have taken turns hosting the Railboys get togethers.

They have always been enjoyable, but today's get together was terrific. I think the reason for that is we are now very relaxed about sharing with each other our passion for the hobby. Also, the Railboys has grown during the past year; now we have about 15 active members.

Below is a video I took today of a train decorated for the upcoming Christmas and holiday season running on the beautiful home layout of one of the Railboys:

I think The Railboys is still in its embryonic stage. My sense is that it will remain informal. At this time there are no dues, rules, etc., just a cast of characters with a lot of joie de vive getting together and having some good food, comradrie and conversation, mostly about trains. Will we grow and become more formal? Who knows? It's possible, but what I'm most confident about is that The Railboys is here to stay. The friendships and fun will continue for as long as we continue to dance on this good Earth.

Incidentally, a few of the Railboys are active Forum members including yours truly. I will keep the other Railboy Forum members anonymous until such time that they may choose to identify themselves.

For food, each Railboy brought an appetizer or two. IMO, that was a great idea. The appetizers were delicious.

If any of you Forum folks is interested in checking out the Railboys, you can send me an email. My email address is in my Profile. My feeling is the more the merrier.

If anyone would like to share their enthusiasm for their local train club, please do so on this thread.

It's wonderful to connect with fellow model railroaders at a local train club as well as on this Forum.

My wish for each of you, my dear Forum friends, is that you are able to connect with a local train club. I know many of you have been blessed to belong to some fantastic local train clubs, some of which have World class museum quality layouts.

Arnold

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Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari
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Arnold,

We also formed a group of local guys to share our hobby with - be it pre-war, post-war, modern, Lionel, American Flyer, HO, Standard gauge, wind-ups, even some live steam.

We have grown to 16 strong and call ourselves LITCA (Long Island Train Collecting Aficionados)

The first Wednesday of every month most of us enjoy lunch together - usually 12-13 of us at every lunch.

Most of us stay at the same hotel at York (10 rooms) and travel together there, to the Allentown meet and local shows. Breakfast after local shows.

Visits to each others layouts are fun (See the "Friend's Layouts" series of Blog entries here: www.Warrenvillerailroad.com ).

BBQ's in the summer! Once a year we attend a LI Ducks ball game

Today a couple of us will be leaving in a few minutes to visit  COL's layout open house, NLOE's open house and 3 hobby shops. Of course lunch in between.

Last edited by Lionelski
@Lionelski posted:

Arnold,

We also formed a group of local guys to share our hobby with - be it pre-war, post-war, modern, Lionel, American Flyer, HO, Standard gauge, wind-ups, even some live steam.

We have grown to 16 strong and call ourselves LITCA (Long Island Train Collecting Aficionados)

The first Wednesday of every month most of us enjoy lunch together - usually 12-13 of us at every lunch.

Most of us stay at the same hotel at York (10 rooms) and travel together there, to the Allentown meet and local shows. Breakfast after local shows.

Visits to each others layouts are fun (See the "Friend's Layouts" series of Blog entries here: www.Warrenvillerailroad.com ).

BBQ's in the summer! Once a year we attend a LI Ducks ball game

Today a couple of us will be leaving in a few minutes to visit  COL's layout open house, NLOE's open house and 3 hobby shops. Of course lunch in between.

Love your above post, John, which mentions some things that are great ideas for the Railboys to consider doing. Arnold

I've been a lone wolf modeler since I was about 12.  Last year, a couple of fellows in nearby Zelienople, Pennsylvania made a successful venture into starting a model railroad club, the 'Model Train Club of Zelienople'.  Today was teardown after showing the layout 3 days.  The 2nd annual Christmas layout will be moved from the home location in Zelienople to New Castle, Pennsylvania for an event there.  From about 8 folks last year to about 20 this year, the club has set up seasonally inspired layouts 4 times a year, and plans to continue that schedule.  I haven't participated in the last 2 displays, but visited yesterday.  I neglected to take photographs, but will post some once I get them from the Grand Poohbah.  I do have a link to the club Facebook page in my signature line for anyone who has a Facebook account.

They have proven to be a great group of guys and a couple ladies ranging in age from about 12 to about 75.  I have to travel about 45 minutes each way, but most members are a lot closer.  It has been good to share face to face with folks who love our hobby, and not just share online.

@Mark Boyce posted:

I've been a lone wolf modeler since I was about 12.  Last year, a couple of fellows in nearby Zelienople, Pennsylvania made a successful venture into starting a model railroad club, the 'Model Train Club of Zelienople'.  Today was teardown after showing the layout 3 days.  The 2nd annual Christmas layout will be moved from the home location in Zelienople to New Castle, Pennsylvania for an event there.  From about 8 folks last year to about 20 this year, the club has set up seasonally inspired layouts 4 times a year, and plans to continue that schedule.  I haven't participated in the last 2 displays, but visited yesterday.  I neglected to take photographs, but will post some once I get them from the Grand Poohbah.  I do have a link to the club Facebook page in my signature line for anyone who has a Facebook account.

They have proven to be a great group of guys and a couple ladies ranging in age from about 12 to about 75.  I have to travel about 45 minutes each way, but most members are a lot closer.  It has been good to share face to face with folks who love our hobby, and not just share online.

Mark, thanks for sharing, and delighted to hear that you have a connection to a local model train club.

Like you, I used to be a lone wolf model railroader. Maybe, after having that experience, we are more inclined to relish the connection and comraderie that comes from being active on this Forum and in a local club. Arnold

I think some of you folks have been rather modest in refraining from trumpeting about well established model railroad clubs, of which you may be a member, that are nothing short of awesome.

I would love to know when and how some of these model railroad clubs got started. For instance, the New Jersey Hirailers, the club in the Richmond, Virginia area that Peter Condro is a member of, and the club in the Albany, NY area. If anyone knows approximately when and how any of these clubs, or similar well-established clubs, got started, please don't be bashful to share such information, which could be very inspiring to some of us.

I doubt if the club I helped get started, centered in the Northern Westchester County, NY area, will grow to be such a giant model railroad club, but, as I said before, one never knows what the future will bring. Also, when you have as many as 15 active, enthusiastic members, like we do, I can't help but think that the sky is the limit.

It is nothing short of exhilarating to get a club started, and see it grow, not only in numbers, but in the passion that the members express for our wonderful hobby. Such interesting people with such a rich diversity of talents, knowledge and skills, contacts, and resources, when all the members are considered as a whole.

Indeed, it blows my mind what extraordinarily interesting people model railroaders tend to be. Of course, this is true of all of you, my fine Forum friends.

This Forum is, IMHO, also a model railroad club, of sorts.

Arnold

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