Railroad club hosts Christmas open house Nov. 26

Friday, November 25, 2022
(Photo contributed) Model trains will be running during the Floyd Valley Model Railroad Club’s open house Saturday, Nov. 26, in the lower level of the Plymouth County Historical Museum.

LE MARS — The Floyd Valley Model Railroad Club will be hosting its annual Christmas open house from 1-5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 26. The club’s display is located in the north end of the basement of the Plymouth County Historical Museum.

“We will be having a free raffle for a ready to run train set and we will be selling and giving away many model railroad items that we have a surplus of,” said John Schneider, President, treasurer and chief electrician, of the club.

Coffee, cider and cookies will be available.

The FVMRRC was formed in January 2012 after Brian Nitzchke came to the museum board with his dream of forming a club to model Plymouth County railroading and its history. A total of four members were recruited and two are current members of the club plus one additional.

The layout is HO scale on a U-shaped layout with double mainline with each mainline about 100 feet in length. Several local industries and businesses are featured. Rolling stock consists primarily of road names that currently run in Plymouth County which include – Canadian National, Union Pacific, BNSF, Dakota & Iowa and C&NW thrown in for history’s sake.

The layout is controlled in DC. Most of the turnouts on the mainline are operated by tortoise machines plus many yard turnouts that cannot be easily reached from a control panel. Track is 100 percent laid and scenery about 75 percent. Many industries are represented on the layout that utilize rail service in Plymouth County such as BoDeans, IML, Plymouth Energy, Le Mars Public Storage and CVA. Many business and land marks of Le Mars are also featured.

The main switching yard is reminiscent of the Milwaukee Railroad Shops in Riverside.

“In recent years we have made some updates especially in electronic animation,” Schneider said.

These include a crossing signal with moving arms, a simulated welder in the car shop, traffic signal lights in downtown Le Mars and an automated block signal.

“Each member has his own area of interest and expertise so that we work well together to build and maintain this layout,” he added.

Floyd Valley Model Railroad Club can be found on Facebook.

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