Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society
Our Expansion has begun!
Updated 14-Oct-2017! Click here to see the latest pictures.
Webpage Table of Contents
Announcements and Special Events
Kalamazoo's own "Bell's Brewery"
is featured on the current KMRHS Club Car!
Click Here for Picture and Details
'Like' The Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society on Facebook !
Next KMRHS clinic -
Date: TBA -
Subject: TBA - Location: TBA
------- KMRHS Club Cars and such - for sale -------
The 2016 "Bell's Brewery" car is Here!
Hurry! There are only 9 (4 numbers) of the 2013 "St. Julian Winery" cars are still available!
The 2012 "Farm Bureau" ACF Covered Hoppers in N scale are still available!
-- Notice: Price drop on the N scale "Farm Bureau" car. Now only $17.50!
--- The cars listed above are available for immediate shipment, or
for purchase at our clubhouse.
Sorry. The HO-scale "Farm Bureau" car and all previous Club Car designs are Sold Out.
Besides the club cars, KMRHS has other railroad themed items for sale!
Click Here for information on all items for sale.
indicates a link with pictures !!!
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Introduction to our Society
Are you thinking about joining a model railroad organization? Are you interested
in model trains and just starting out? Or, are you interested in the "real" trains. Then
you should be thinking about visiting the Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society!
- The KMRHS is a very stable organization, having been in existence for over 50 years.
- We hold monthly sessions where we operate our large HO permanent layout in a prototypical manner.
- We are an active historical society collecting and preserving railroad memorabilia.
- Members have interests in all scales of model railroading and in full size railroading.
- Need to do research? We have an extensive library containing material on both model
and full size railroading.
- Like to show the hobby to the public? Help us take our modular HO scale layouts on
the road for public showings.
- HO trains too small for you? Then help out with the restoration of our full size
caboose or build museum exhibits!
- Join us every week and socialize with people who share in the world's
Click here for Membership Information
2018-2019 Society officers:
Richard Garthe, President
The officers may be contacted by e-mail at
email@example.com or by writing to P.O. Box 144, Parchment, MI 49004
Fritz Haney, Vice President
Lorraine Fedochak-Kraker, Secretary
Mark Tomlonson, Treasurer
Steve Wood, Past President
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Model Railroading and Our Organization
Model railroading is an international hobby that has over a half-million
participants in the United States and additional hobbyists across the
globe. Among the more famous hobbyists are talk show host Sally Jessy
Raphael, actors Mandy Patinkin and Harrison Ford, Al and Bobby Unser and
investment counselor Warren Buffet.
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While there have been models of trains as long as there have been
trains, the present hobby began in earnest during the Great Depression.
The model railroader attempts to recreate a miniature replica of a
railroad and its surroundings, either from the present day or from years
gone by. Some modelers create this miniature world from pre-built
models, others from commercial kits, and still others from basic wood
and metal shapes. Control of the trains ranges from the simple
"transformer" familiar to toy train owners to sophisticated computer,
infrared or radio control. Many model railroaders remember fondly the
Lionel or American Flyer toy trains they began with years ago, and those
items too will be well represented at the show.
Model railroads come in a variety of sizes, from 1/220th actual size, or
"Z" scale to 1/22.5, known as "G" scale. Model railroads designed to be
used outdoors can be even larger. By far the most popular scale in the
United States is "HO" at 1/87, followed by "N" at 1/160.
The Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society has been in existence
for over fifty years. It has been at its present location at 9336 North
Riverview Drive in Cooper Township since the early 1970's. Membership is
open to anyone interested in model railroading, and its library and
collection of railroad and model railroad items are open to the general
public by appointment. Meetings are Monday evenings from 7:00 until
10:00 and Saturdays from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. Visitors are welcome at
any of the meetings.
The KMRHS is open to the public every Monday night from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM and Saturdays 11:00 to 1:00 (Holidays excepted).
Operating Sessions (where members run trains on dispatched schedules) are held on the third Monday of every month except October. Business meetings are held on the 2nd Monday and work sessions are held on Mondays not otherwise designated.
Visitors are welcome to attend any of our meetings or sessions, and trains will be run for
guests except in cases where construction on the layout prevents it.
The KMRHS library is devoted to materials on model railroading and the history of
railroads in general, concentrating on the railroads that served Kalamazoo
County. There are both primary (Timetables, Official Guides, Maintenance manuals etc.) and
secondary (books, magazines, videos) materials in the collection. We have a full run of
Trains magazine and nearly full runs of Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman.
We are attempting to acquire back issues of other model titles to improve our
collections of these and other magazines. KMRHS members may check out materials from the
collection. The general public is welcome to use the collection while at the clubhouse. A movie
production company, the National Park Service and local historians and authors
all have used our library as a resource. The collection may be viewed during our regular
meetings or by using the contact information at the bottom to make
an appointment with the librarian.
The Society's permanent layout, the Cooper Park & Eastern, is a mythical railroad named after
Cooper Township, the location of the Clubhouse. The time modeled is 1960 to allow the
prototypical inclusion of steam locomotives as well as diesel. The layout is modeled in
HO scale and there is just over 212 actual feet of track on the main line. There are also
narrow-gauge and trolley portions on the layout. The layout is wired for Digital Command
Control and more than 6 trains can be running on the layout at one time.
The CP&E is imagined to have strong ties to both the New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroads, so you will see a lot of equipment lettered
for them as well as for the CP&E.
Pictures of our Permanent Layout
The Society has also built a modular layout consisting of 12 - 6 foot by 2 foot
sections that fit into our trailer and can be hauled to public
exhibitions.The modular layout has 2 main lines and a local. The layout is wired for Digital
Command Control and more than 4 trains have been running on the layout at one time. The
layout has been in use since 2001 and while a model railroad can never be said to be
finished, the modular layout is complete mechanically and electrically and most modules are
Children's Layout - "The Red and Black"
The Society has built a 4 by 8 foot layout that we take to many of our functions for the children to run. It consists of 4 - 2 by 4 foot sections. The children's layout has 2 main lines. The layout is wired for Digital Command Control and 2 children may each run a train independently using the controllers we supply. The layout is completely scenicked, the engines are wired for sound and there are stations to stop at to give the children a feel of actual railroading. Our members are always there to assist the children and answer any questions.
In 1999 former Boyne City Gaylord & Alpena caboose #802 was donated to our society. It
was installed next to our clubhouse on track laid by club members. Much work has been
done to restore it to its former condition. With the completion of
replacement platforms, new windows and doors, replacement of most of the siding,
a new paint job and a stairway and deck, work has progressed to
the point that we are proud to open the caboose to visitors during our regular hours
(check when we are open)
and during special events. Exhibits inside illustrate the history of railroading.
In 2009 the caboose was painted with the original White Road paint scheme and number.
1912 BCG&A Caboose - 1999 - Moved to Present Site
1912 BCG&A Caboose - 2009 - New Paint Job
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The KMRHS is available for lectures, presentations, and public exhibitions. We
can arrange private showings of our facilities. Speakers with knowledge on both model and
prototypical railroading are available for presentations. We also have a modular layout that
can be set up at your location/function, or we can set up a temporary layout such as a Holiday
Annual Show and Sale
Every Fall on the last Sunday in October we hold our annual Train Show & Sale at
the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds. The Train Show & Sale features
over 150 vendor tables, along with door prizes, free how-to clinics and a food concession
stand. Operating layouts in G, HO, and N scales are present. An announcement with full details
will appear at the top of this webpage several months before the event.
Pictures from previous Train Show & Sale
Once or twice a year we hold an Open House to share our facility with the public.
An announcement will be placed at the top of this webpage when plans are finalized
for the next one.
Previous Open House Pictures
Watch the Announcements and Special Events
section at the top of this web page for other special events.
In the Spring we hold a Swap Meet at the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds.
We rent tables to individuals who wish to sell their excess model railroad
equipment and to model railroad vendors. An announcement will be placed at
the top of this webpage when plans are finalized for the next one.
Occasionally the KMRHS holds or organizes other events. Check out the photo galleries below:
Our 2012 trip on the Coopersville and Marne
In 2006 KMRHS went on a Rail Fan trip to The Little River Railroad at Coldwater Michigan.
A 2017 club tour of the Eden Springs Park.
How to Find Us
From the north, south, or west of Kalamazoo, Michigan:
Take US-131 to exit 44 (D Avenue). Take D Avenue east 5
miles to Riverview Drive. Turn left and travel north 1.3 miles. The entrance will
be on the right side of the road.
From the east of Kalamazoo, Michigan:
Take I-94 west to exit 81 (BL94). Travel 1 mile west on BL94 to the second traffic light (Sprinkle road). Travel north on Sprinkle/25th
Street for about 8 miles until it curves to the west, where it will
become D Avenue. Follow D Avenue West to the first stop sign
(Riverview Drive). Turn right and travel north 1.3 miles. The entrance is a long driveway on
the right (East) side of the road (9336 N. Riverview Drive).
When we are open, (
), a large black on white reflective sign displays our logo and "Kalamazoo
Model Railroad Historical Society" at the entrance road to our clubhouse.
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The Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society
9336 Riverview Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49004
Phone: (269) 343-8269
Mondays: 7 PM -10 PM and Saturdays: 11:00AM to 1:00PM
Other times by appointment
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 144
Parchment, MI 49004
Web address: http://www.kmrhs.org
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society is registered as a non-profit 501(c)(3)
organization. As such, donations to further the goals of the KMRHS in encouraging Model
Railroading and preserving the historic significance that Railroads played in the development of
our country may be tax deductible.
Further, the organization is registered with the
Kalamazoo Community Foundation. Your gift to our
account in the foundation is tax deductible and may provide tax credits and other
Please contact your financial advisor for more information.
If you wish to make a gift to the Kalamazoo Community Foundation in the name of
the Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society, please make your check
payable to the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. On your check's memo line,
please write "KMRHS". Gifts may be hand-delivered or mailed to the:
Kalamazoo Community Foundation
151 S. Rose St., Ste. 332
Kalamazoo, MI 49007-4775
KMRHS is a 501(c)(3) historical society and does accept donations of historically significant railroad memorabilia, and previously owned model railroad equipment. We will give the donor a tax deduction slip. We do have two train Show/Sales per year at the fairground where you can rent tables from us and sell these items yourself. Ebay is also an option for you. Please contact us with questions or if you need further information.
There is a new way to donate to the Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society!
KMRHS is now registered with the eScrip program at Harding's Markets.
Every time you use your eScrip card, Harding's Markets will contribute up to 4%
to the KMRHS. Stop in at any Harding's Markets, pick up an eScrip card and call the number on
the front to activate it. Give the operator the ID# "500024693" for the
"Kalamazoo Model Railroad Hist. Society".
You will need to give your name, address and email. You will also be asked for your phone number.
You may also register online at the website shown on the card.