Model Railroad
  Open Houses
  DE - MD - PA - NJ

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for a listing of Garden Railroads open throughout
the year

This site is privately funded.  Donations are welcome!

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Welcome to the 2015 Model Railroad Open House website! The Model Railroad Open Houses are an annual event which has showcased local model train layouts in DE, MD, PA and NJ for more than 30 years.

Layouts are open only in November with the exception of the garden railroaders who generally open the last weekend in October when weather is warmer.

Our process for the 2015 open house scheduling will start on August 15. We collect dates from layout owners from August 15 to September 15 and we hold to our deadlines. New layout owners should contact me directly for instructions and information. As always, I prefer that all layout owners proactively send their open house info in during this timeframe. If we do not hear from you, we cannot promise we will call you. We will post the completed schedule around October 1.

Also as a reminder, when you commit to an open house, cancellations should only be made for extenuating circumstances or emergency, not convenience. Not everyone has access to up-to-the-minute information and we don’t want to anger or inconvenience a visitor who might show up for a canceled open house. Please make every effort to abide by your chosen date(s).

Thanks to all who donated so generously in previous years towards the costs of maintaining this site. We hope some more of you can assist this year. If you have never donated to the cost of the site, please consider doing so. We’d like to see everyone involved in this. Even a $5 donation will help. Look to the left side of this page for the link for donations. If you have trouble with the donation link, please let Karen know.

We will continue our trend this year grouping layouts in certain areas open on common dates. This allows people to see multiple layouts in one day.

If you are a layout owner and will be open, contact the following people in your area with your open house dates. If you do not have their email, email me and I will send the info. Some of these coordinators will be reaching out to you proactively also.

  • Joe Walters – Delaware

  • Chuck Kadyk – Eastern PA

  • Jerry Britton – Central PA (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York)

  • PJ Mattson – NJ

  • Fran Giacoma – MD

Four years ago we created a Facebook page for the schedule. Last year’s Facebook page was very active with visitors posting photos from their visits. Layout owners can also post pictures of their own layouts to entice you to visit! We will also post cancellations and updates there but our main website will continue to be our official source of information. Our Facebook page has over 400 people now and growing. The Facebook page is *Model Railroad Openhouse Schedule* Please join our social community and participate.

Finally, I want to let everyone know that this will be my last year running the schedule. I have been quietly looking for a replacement for a couple of years but no takers yet. I am looking for someone to be the coordinator who will continue to grow the schedule and be its owner. If you are interested, please contact me. I do not know what will happen in 2016 if we do not find a replacement. John Lassahn, who handles all the spreadsheet work will also be retiring with me, so we would need someone to build our spreadsheets for 2016. Contact me also for this.

This website would not be possible without the assistance of Karen Darling. We want to thank Karen for her hard work and if you see her, please let her know!

Bruce Z. Friedman

NOTE:  If you are hosting an open house and have a picture of your layout that you would like featured in the rotating pictures at the top of each page for next year, please email it to Karen prior to September 15, 2015 at  Each picture must be at least 500 x 200 pixels.  I'd prefer you send the full size image. Cell phone photos are often not adequate. Keep in mind that I need to use a portion of the picture that will show your trains and/or layout in the 500 px wide x 200 pixel tall rectangular area.  I'll let you know if it is acceptable.  Due to the large number of folks participating, only one picture from each person will be used.  It is possible that due to content and/or layout of the scene, it might not be suitable. If your layout has a name and website, please let me know and I will include it in the listing.

Thanks to those who donated to the cost of running the site!  Karen Darling