The Austin Model Railway Society was founded in 2017 as a private non-profit corporation for the purpose of:
• Educating the public on the value of railroads in the development of the nation,
• Sharing the enjoyment of model railroading by building a layout that displays the many facets of the hobby, and
• Providing a place for hobbyists of all skill levels to meet, work together, and improve their modeling ability.
We are building in phases a modular HO scale layout based on the rail industry in the Austin area around the middle of the 20th century. While we do not limit the types of trains we operate to that era, we want to depict the rail system in Austin in its heyday when several railroads served the city with freight and passenger service.
The layout consists of mostly 2 x 4 foot modules which can be easily transported. The current layout contains about 35 modules and covers an area of about 22 feet x 50 feet. Members may purchase their own modules, share them with other members, or simply bring their equipment to operate on the club layout.
Long-term, our goal is to acquire property and build a permanent layout that is open to the public, which will help us further our mission of education, advocacy, and fellowship. Click here for more information about our past, current, and future layout plans.
Our normal meeting time is the 3rd Saturday of each month from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, although we sometimes vary the schedule to accommodate other events. Visitors are welcome.
We set up the layout at train shows and in other available spaces in the Austin area (such as Austin Lifeworks and the Hope Presbyterian Church) while we search for a permanent location. We own a trailer which we use to transport the modules and store them between meetings. The next meeting is usually posted on our home page.
We sponsor the Austin Area Train Show, an annual gathering of railroad fans of all ages with operating layouts, vendors, activities for kids, and a tour of exceptional layouts in the area. We have also had a train-watching event and heard presentations from local experts on the history of railroads in Austin.
Membership in the Society is open to any person who:
• Is interested in railroading
• Is willing to share their knowledge with others, and
• Is a member of (or will join) the National Model Railroad Association.
The NMRA is a non-profit organization formed in 1935 to promote the hobby and establish standards and recommended practices so that equipment from different manufacturers will operate compatibly. It promotes fellowship among model railroaders at the local, regional, national, and international level through educational materials, conventions, and other activities designed to enhance the skills of participants. We are proud to be a 100% NMRA Club, which not only helps us achieve our mission but also gives us several benefits.
• Regular member
• Student member (18 and under, or registered student age 19-25)
• Trial member, valid for up to 9 months
Members under 18 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or adult sponsor at club activities.
Model railroading is a diverse hobby with something for everyone: carpentry, tracklaying, electronics, programming, model building, painting, model making and scenery construction, engineering, research, operations, and more. As a club member you can concentrate on areas you most enjoy while learning how to improve your skills in other areas. You will also have the opportunity to build and operate a model railroad that is larger than most people are able to build on their own. You will get to spend time with other members who share your interests and encourage your participation. As an NMRA member, you are also eligible for discounts on purchases from certain model railroad dealers.
Although we encourage members to participate as fully as possible in club meetings, work sessions, and activities, your main responsibility is to have fun! How much you involve yourself in the club is a matter of choice.
The club is financed through dues, donations, and proceeds from events like the Austin Train Show. Members can (but are not required to) purchase the materials needed to build completed modules. The current AMRS dues are:
• Regular members: $20 per month
• Student and Trial members: $5 per month
In addition, NMRA dues are:
• Regular member: $50 per year
• Student member: $40 per year
• Trial member: $19.95 for 9 months
• Magazine subscription: $32 per year (optional, for regular and student members)
Please click here to contact us (or call us at 512-836-5275, if you prefer). You can also follow (and message) us on Facebook and Instagram. And check out our YouTube channel where we post how-to videos, clinics and other fun stuff!