Model Railroad Club celebrates milestones



Bruce Petrarca

2016 marks two milestones for the PCMRC. It was ten years ago in January when we started our HO-scale layout in the Eagle’s Nest Activities Center Room 106. It was fifteen years ago this fall when we started work on the garden railroad.

Let’s back up a decade and review what we were doing. Having spent the year of 2005 planning our layout, we jumped right in when we got the keys to Room 106 in January of 2006.

First priority was to plaster over the texture on the walls so we would have a flat surface to paint for a backdrop to the layout.

Then it was time to start on benchwork. Within a few weeks we were able to run an HO-scale train a short distance on permanent track work.

We celebrated (February 7, 2006) with a party and a ribbon-cutting ceremony, as shown in the photo insert. Major work continued on the layout until the “golden spike” ceremony about 18 months later. The work continues to this day, but at a much slower pace. Now that we can run trains, there is less pressure. The rest of the photo shows the same location on the layout today.

Folks frequently ask what we do, “now that the layout is finished?” Even though the benchwork is complete and we have the track down, we have lots of things to do. There are new O-scale modules to build and populate. We expand and enhance the garden layout, as well as doing the gardening. There is scenery to add to or enhancements to make on the HO-scale layout. Lots of fun and artsy things. Then there is the maintenance. While it may not be as exciting as new construction, it is part of keeping the layouts running and is an opportunity to learn new skills, too.

We are constantly trading secrets and techniques amongst ourselves to become better modelers and create more interesting and authentic scenes. That is really the basis of the club: friends sharing with friends.

The PebbleCreek Model Railroad Club has been a part of community life here since 1998. We are headquartered in the Eagle’s Nest Activities Center, Room 106. Members are there on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from about 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. or so – but not always running trains.

Outside those times, members may be available to show off our railroad. Make arrangements with Mark Pelletier at 847-224-5653 or Chuck Weart at 623-535-0325.

You can always keep up with the PCMRC on the web (