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A Hidden Gem!


During our September First Friday event, the gentleman from the Darke County Model Railroad Club opened their doors for an open house. This was the first time I had ever been in the 2nd story location and it was truly a sight to see! It was amazing. A space hidden away on the upper floor of a historic building downtown - a space that I pass every day, but never knew about. I am working with the club to hopefully have the space open during the Hometown Holiday Horse Parade, it is a pretty magical place and really fits the mood of the parade. Stay tuned! The gentleman invited my friend David to visit them a few days after First Friday. Here are the photos he captured and the story he posted with the photos: I spent Sunday afternoon with the Darke County Model Railroad Club. This kind and passionate group of gentlemen run an amazing layout in the upper floor of one of the buildings on Broadway. They have over 1,400 feet of track (more than a quarter mile, about 24 miles to scale), and the layout is modeled in meticulous detail. Well over a dozen cities are represented around the sprawling design. There is a dispatcher with an electronic map, and everyone wears a headset to communicate. They generously let me run trains all day, which involves receiving printed schedules from the dispatcher and guiding your train throughout it's various stops. Some of the freight schedules are quite detailed and confusing and involve leaving cars at different yards and picking up others, all of which are kept track of. There was always someone around and willing to help if needed. You have to call in to dispatch to get permission to move on to your next stop, and the dispatcher makes sure the necessary switches are in place to correctly route each train. Clocks placed around the layout are accelerated to 5x's actual time, and schedules are run against these clocks. The whole thing is full-on, unapologetic geek mode, and a ton of fun. I will be back next month.

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