Our office has been in Roslindale for quite awhile, yet we are constantly discovering new and amazing things about this little village. Long time Rozzie residents all know about the Bay State Model Railroad Museum. The museum is tucked away on the second floor of a building on South Street. You won’t see any signs on the outside of the building advertising their presence. Neither will you be able to just walk in off the street and get a tour. The club is run by a dedicated group of like-minded scale model enthusiasts in the pursuit of their hobby. Twice a year, they open their museum to the general public. This past Spring, we happened upon the show by accident and was totally blown away by what we saw.
The Bay State Model Railroad Museum was established in 1968 in Roslindale, MA as an O and HO Scale oriented model railroad club. In late 1977 they were evicted from their space. The determined members found new quarters in another section of Roslindale. To avoid having to move again, they bought the building. These accidental landlords have been there building models, laying down tracks, and expanding their world ever since.
After 30 years, the richness of the scenes was almost overwhelming. We could have spent the entire day there shooting photos of this miniature world. With the short time we spent squeezing our way amongst the crowd and the tracks, it was impossible to appreciate all of the intricate details. Still, it was easy to see that their passion for their hobby is huge. On display were:
- O scale layout with 1940s Roslindale Village
- N scale layout featuring scenic New England
- HO scale layout spanning from Atlantic to Pacific
- HOn3 scale Colorado narrow gauge
The scenes covered the entire floor. Walkways and crawl spaces were created for construction, maintenance, and upgrades. The space was just large enough for two people to squeeze by each other, as long as they hadn’t had lunch 🙂
Controlling and coordinating all of the activities is not left up to chance. The monitoring, track switching, and signaling setup is quite elaborate. Computers are employed where appropriate, but there is plenty of hands-on-the-lever activity to keep it all from ending up in a jumble.
Even though there is nothing simple about these trains, watching them wind their way around the tracks transported us back to a simpler time. A time before videogames, Nintendo, and other electronic distractions. Their next open house will be on December 5th. Go put it on your calendar now. It will be magical 🙂