We Are A Very Active Division
As you can see from the menu above, we have many things going on in the division. Some of them are once-a-year, some are once-a-month, and others are continuing programs available to members on an "on call" basis. The common thread among them is that they are focused on allowing our members to enjoy our hobby, to provide opportunities for them to develop new interests and skills, and then share those skills among the membership. This page gives a quick introduction to our major activities, all of which support the real activity, which is the modeling activity of our individual members.
We also support other major railroad-themed community activities such as the North Carolina Transportation Museum and local train shows. Our participation in these events is noted in the section on meetings below.
Railroad Modeling University
Do you want an easy and enjoyable way to discover the fun of model railroading? Master Model Railroaders and just 'Plain Ole Modelers'
conduct clinics (short classes in 'university speak') and hold
make-and-take sessions (labwork in 'university speak') about the various aspects
of model railroading. The curriculum is designed for everyone - from beginning modelers through those with a bit more experience.
We have been holding these events annually since 2004, usually in January of each year, at vaious venues throughout the Charlotte, NC area. They are open to the public and registration is held here on this website in the fall of each year. More information is at this link.
Wade's Train Town
We have adopted a large display layout originally located in Brookford, NC (just outside Hickory, NC) called Wade's Train Town. The layout contains literally hundreds of structures, most with operating lights and other features. However, work needed to be done to clean, repair, restore, refurbish, upgrade, and maintain the layout and keep it presentable for the monthly open houses we host there. The long term goal of the restoration program was to preserve the work of Wade Warren, while upgrading the layout with contemporary electrical equipment and scenery materials. Restoration work has essentially been completed, although we continue to make adjustments to individual scenes. We are currently in process of moving the layout from Brookford to its new home at the Newton, NC Depot with a target of reopening to the public in the Fall of 2021. More information is at this link.
Annual Swap Meet
Our first train show was held on October 31, 2010 at Hickory Grove Methodist Church in Charlotte, NC. Since 2012 we have been holding a Swap Meet in conjunction with the November Open House at Wade's Train Town in Brookford, NC (just south of Hickory, NC). The Swap Meet is free and open to the public. More information is at this link.
NMRA Achievement Program
The Achievement Program is a voluntary continuing education program in which members learn and demonstrate mastery of the many crafts and skills necessary in the hobby of model railroading. The ultimate honor bestowed by the Achievement Program is the title of MASTER MODEL RAILROADER (MMR). More information is at this link.
In addition to all of the above, we usually hold monthly meetings or member activities during the year. Examples are our Annual Meeting
at which we conduct the main business of the Division, monthly gatherings at which various members present clinics and demonstration on various
model railroading topics, visits to home layouts of our members,
and trips and visits to various railroad-related sites throughout the region.
Most of these gatherings are "members only" events, but guests of members are always welcome. More information is at this link.