Club History

The club was founded in 1979 and was originally located in the basement of a local hobby shop in Palmyra, NJ, called Track N Trains. After a few years, however, the hobby shop owner needed space and the club had to find a new home. The last show in the original location was in1984.

The quest to find a new location had begun. Fortunately, the FOOTLIGHTERS Theater Group had an unused room in the basement of their building and agreed to rent it to the club. The train club has now been at this current location since 1985. Construction of the layout commenced almost immediately, but by the end of 1986, it was realized that the initial area was much too small to create the railroad that we had envisioned, the Rancocas Valley Lines (RVL). The club asked for additional space, to which the FOOTLIGHTERS agreed. The rent went up with the larger space, but the club's vision would definitely be more reachable. Even though progress was a bit slow, by 1999 most of the track work and scenery were completed. At this juncture, the club most definitely desired additional space to expand.

After the FOOTLIGHTERS became the sole owner of the building, in the year 2000, the club was able obtain the room in the rear of the basement, adjacent to the current layout, which almost doubled the floor space. Work on the addition started the following year and continues with steady progress. All of the track has been installed and scenery is close to 90% complete. The double track mainline now stretches over six (6) scale miles long or 365 feet. There are hidden staging tracks with five (5) long sidings in each direction. As the years slipped by, significant progress has been made. The city is near completion, with the center piece being 30th Street Station. The Rancocas Steel Mill and Coke Works are completed along with the brewery being done. The Yard at Douglas has been completed and now services through trains and manifests along the Reading Line.

To keep things fresh and current, there have been a number of new projects that have been undertaken. The new power plant with all the necessary infrastructure was added and now completed. The carnival has been relocated from the older section of the layout, modernized, and spruced up. It now features a new Ferris Wheel, along with a train ride for the carnival goers. Daley Yard (the main Yard) has been completely renovated with all new trackage, electronics and signaling. There are a number of other projects that will be initiated in the future, to include complete signaling of the entire railroad - so stop by and visit us to see our progress first-hand.

Currently we have 25 members, one of whom is a founding member of the club. If you would like to be part of this exciting project please join us. No matter what talents you may have or level of interest you have in model railroading, there's a place for you. If you have no experience or skills at all our members will be happy to share their many years of experience and vast array of talent with you to get you started in this great hobby. Stop by and visit us us on Monday or Thursday evenings, chat with our members, look around at our existing layout and see the work in progress on the layout.

This page was last updated on 04/14/2020
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