Model Railroad
  Open Houses
  DE - MD - PA - NJ

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Please visit
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 2014 Model Railroad Open Houses. This annual event has showcased model train layouts in DE, MD, PA and NJ for more than 30 years.
This year's open house schedule features 215 total open houses with a record setting 131 layouts, including 18 new. This still remains the largest collection of open houses that exists today (that I am aware of).

We continue our trend grouping layouts in geographic areas on the same date. This allows people to see multiple layouts in one day. We have asked people over the years to attempt this and this year's effort has been great. If you look at the schedule you will notice that New Jersey led by PJ Mattson has many layouts open on November 8 and 16; Delaware, led by Joe Walters is on November 1 and 9; Fran Giacoma in Maryland has scheduled several MD layouts open on November 23; and Jerry Britton has done so for Central PA for November 1 and 2. This year we have 20 club or modular layouts open including 6 new. Many of you do not have layouts. Consider visiting these clubs or modular layouts in your area and joining up. Clubs are always looking for new members. We also have two live steam layouts open this year. Mike Prokop and the Anthracite Model Railroad Club return in 2014 after several years off the schedule. This will be the last year for Bob Jans’ great PRR layout as he will be moving. Please stop by!

We also lost some good friends of the open house schedule this year who helped out or had layouts on our schedule.

  • Lou Benson – Longtime member of the Wednesday night operating group. Lou hosted operations on his railroad, the NW, and helped many in this area with their open houses

  • Dick Dabney – Longtime member of the Wednesday night operating group. Dick helped many with their open houses. Dick had a 700 ft. g scale railroad at his home.

  • Rev. Charles Drummer – Long time open house participant, his love for trains was great.

  • Joe Lofland – Longtime participant in the open houses. Had a great Erie Lackawanna layout on our schedule for years.

The main features of the site are:

  • Download of the entire schedule. (In PDF format) This includes complete addresses.

  • All layouts are linked to a Google map for you to print. You can get an overview map showing the locations of all layouts open on a certain date so you can plan your route for the day.

  • A "Changes and Cancellations" area. Please check this prior to heading out every time. We do have mistakes from time to time and sometimes cancellations. If you notice any discrepancies in the information, please let Bruce know right away so that it can be corrected.

  • A Facebook page. See the link on our website. Come on over to our Facebook page and share your experiences and post some pictures of the layouts you see. Layouts owners are encouraged to do the same.

The Model Railroad Openhouse Schedule is a wonderful event to share with family and good. Along the way, stop by some of our excellent local hobby shops and buy some model trains.  Support our local hobby shops!

Other key people who helped with the schedule are John Lassahn (admin), PJ Mattson (NJ coordinator), Joe Walters (DE coordinator), Chuck Kaydk, Jerry Britton, Lee Rainey and Forrest Lucas (PA Coordinators) Fran Giacoma (MD coordinator) and Bob Jans. John Lassahn does a lot of the administrative work and number crunching. This is quite time consuming so thank him if you see John. Once again this year Joe Walters has taken it upon himself to print flyers with his own funds about our open house schedule this year and distribute them to hobby shops, clubs and train shows. Thank you Joe!

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!

Enjoy the open houses this year and, as always, please contact me if you would like to participate in 2015. I can be reached at

Remember - we only take dates from 8/15-9/15. We ask that everyone please proactively send us your dates via email. We try and call everyone if we do not hear from them, but cannot promise that you will be called. We hold to our deadlines. Please join us next year and show off your layout! Even if you are just getting started, have an open house. People enjoy coming back year after year to see your progress.

Bruce Z. Friedman
PS – You will notice one layout open Thanksgiving eve. That is a good date and time.

Layout visitation is at one's own risk. Please abide by times on schedule.  ANY CHANGES NEED TO BE SENT TO BRUCE 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 x 200 pixel 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