Local railroad club turns 40, invites public to weekend party

The Crossroads Railroad Club is celebrating 40 years with an open house Nov. 10 and 11 in Vandalia. CONTRIBUTED.

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The Crossroads Railroad Club is celebrating 40 years with an open house Nov. 10 and 11 in Vandalia. CONTRIBUTED.

VANDALIA – After 40 years, the Crossroads Railroad Club Inc. is still running strong.

The organization formed in 1978 to promote interest in railroading from full-size to the smallest models will share its story and its permanent model railroading displays Nov. 10 and 11 at the club’s home in the basement of 304 N. Dixie Drive, Vandalia. The building is located across from the Dayton International Airport.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 10 and noon to 4 p.m. on Nov. 11. Admission is free and videos will be playing with three to four trains operating simultaneously on each layout.

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The club today has 45 active members – including four original members – from across the Miami Valley. Members range in age from middle school through senior citizens, said Gerald Miller of Tipp City, a club member.

“We have members with all levels of experience, willing to help a newcomer or old timer in any aspect of the hobby. As a hobby, it is interesting, challenging and educational,” he said.

The club home features two large rail layouts, which were started shortly after the club’s formation. Miller explained one is a N scale approximately one inch in height, while the other is an HO scale approximately two inches in height.

“Theoretically with N scale, you can get approximately twice the amount of layout in the same amount of space as HO scale. Currently, of all the various scales, HO scale is the most popular scale, N is the second most popular,” Miller said.

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“These layouts represent two of the finest examples of model railroading in the Dayton-Springfield area,” he said.

In addition to the permanent layouts, the club has a portable HO layout that it takes to various local shows. At its largest, this layout can be 20 feet by 36 feet.

The club also participates in the National Model Railroad Association Division 3 Dayton Train Show each November and takes portable layouts to other shows, including the Railfest at Carillon Park and Christmas on Campus at the University of Dayton.

The Crossroads Railroad Club meets Tuesday evenings at the North Dixie Drive location. Rail layouts are running and are being upgraded most Tuesday evenings, Miller said.

Guests or prospective members are invited beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. More information and layouts can be viewed on the organization website at www.crossroadsrr.com.

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