by Jody Spear and Kelly Meyer –
MASON CITY –
The North Iowa Model Railroad Club (NIMRRC) has had their model railroad at Southbridge Mall since October of 2011. The mall allows them to display their model rent free and also pays for the lights. As the track expands and grows, they are thinking they may need a bigger place to display their work of art.
The NIMRRC has 25 members. Ages range from 16 to 75 years old and they are always looking for new members. They meet the third Wednesday of every month at the the room in the mall from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
“We have grown a little and we are also looking to open up a North Iowa Railroad Museum here in Mason City,” said Chad Weaver, Media Relations for the NIMRRC. “It would be nice to get the Trolley Park people and Friends of the 457 involved and see what we can all do together.”
Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Pate were at the mall Saturday morning enjoying the Model Railroad. “We are getting a guided tour,” said Jesse, a fellow model railroad enthusiast. “I like it. They are doing a lot of nice work. It’s a lot better than mine.”
“His (Jesse’s) is a work in progress,” said Mrs. Pate, having fun checking out the railroad and all the fine details.
Steve Juhl, Club President, was giving the couple their guided tour. “We would like to show everyone the model railroad. Some parts of the current layout are part of the original layout, which is over thirty years old. We’re open on weekends, Fridays 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Saturdays from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and Sundays noon to 6:00 pm.”
“The weekend of April 27 & 28, we will be holding our Second Annual Model Railroad Swap Meet and Show at Southbridge Mall,” said Weaver. “We hope to see many different railroads displays. They’ll be located in the hall in front of Younkers.”
“So far, our biggest sponsor is Poet Bio Refining out of Hanlontown, Iowa. We also have Pritchard’s Family Auto, First Citizens Bank Of Mason City, Young Construction, Yohn Redi Mix Out of Clear Lake and Astoria Photography Of Mason City, all as layout sponsors.”
The North Iowa Model Railroad Club is currently looking for more sponsors. For more details, check out the video and get a closer look. Check out the details, the work still being done and try to find the deer that are hidden in the landscape.