Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. Below, we have tried to  answer the most common questions visitors to our Web site may have. If  you find that your question is not answered on this page, please email  our webmaster at webmaster@nwvrailroad.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When are the NWV meeting times?

Meetings are held every Wednesday at 7:30 P.M. with the following general schedule:

First, Third and Fourth Wednesday - Layout Construction
Second Wednesday - Operations Night
Fifth Wednesday (if any) - Additional Operations night

Usually, the last Wednesday of each quarter, in March, June, September and December are often used for business meetings. Occasionally, we meet on Saturdays or Sundays for special projects or operating sessions.

Check our calendar page for the exact times of each event, as some do move on occasion.

2. Where is the NWV Model RR Association and layout located?

We are located at 57 River Road, Unit 1011 in Essex Junction, VT in the office space directly above Planet Fitness.  Our entrance is up the hill in the back of the complex. Click here to go to our map link.

3. What is an Operations Night?

Operations Nights are those times when we run the layout in as much as possible in the same way that real railroads operate. Trains run on schedules and they deliver loads and empties to industries modeled on the layout. We try to  follow real practices as much as we can. We use a dispatcher via radio with the road crews and yard master to manage the traffic during an operating session. It really makes the layout come to life.

4. What about non-members? Are they allowed to come to a meeting or NWV activity?

Absolutely!  We welcome guests at our meetings and activities, although there may be fees charged for attending some of our educational sessions, such as clinics or participation in operating sessions.  For a normal Wednesday night scheduled gathering at the NWV, there is no fee to come and observe the layout, ask questions and meet some of the members.  We welcome folks who want to come and see what we do.  We strive to keep our calendar on this web site up to date with the latest activities and events put on the by the NWV.  Please refer to the information in our calendar to learn about our upcoming events and activities.

On occasion, we schedule educational activities for members and non members.  Such activities may be attended by visitors or non-members for a fee.  The minimum fees for each vist are $10 for non members over 15 years old and the fees for the younger children are $5.  For some of the clinics that use more expensive materials, the fees will be higher.  Please contact the NWV at info@nwvrailroad.org to inquire about an activity or clinic that you would like to attend to learn what the fees will be and to register for the event.  We’ll also try to highlight those events on our calendar ahead of time. Examples of such fee based activities that you may be interested in are:

  • Participating as a crew member in one of our operating sessions
  • Attending one of our educational clinics.
  • Attending one of our educational outings that is open to non-members.

At least once each quarter, the NWV has a business meeting of the general membership to discuss and vote on business pertaining to the operation of the NWV Model RR Association.  During those meetings, we are unavailable to escort any visitors around our layout.  We ask that any visitors who must visit during one of our meeting nights to please make arrangements ahead of time by contacting us at info@nwvrailroad.org so that we can establish an arrival time either before or after the business meeting.

5. Do you have an age limit for members?

We only have a minimum age limit for members, 8 years old. We offer different classes of membership as defined in our
By-laws.  Children under the age of 16 must have a parent accompanying them during NWV activities.

6. What is a Run What You Brung event?

Run What You Brung events are the NWV’s casual layout operating events.  Members may bring and run their favorite HO scale DCC locomotives and HO rolling stock as they see fit.  There’s no timetable to follow, no goods to deliver and no requirement  to do anything but have fun and enjoy the company of fellow model  railroaders.  These events usually occur on a weekend  and are  hosted by a volunteer member, so scheduling of these sessions is irregular and  they tend to occur less frequently in the summer.

7. What are the Golden Spikers?

Some of our members have a lot of miles on them and driving at night isn’t as easy as it used to be.  A group of us decided to get together during the daylight hours for our operating sessions.  We thought of several monikers and finally settled on Golden Spikers.  I’m not sure what it means but it’s got to be better than Old Codgers.  Anyone is welcome to attend our daytime operating session, although many have to be at work during the day.  We typically have our daytime operating session the week after the regular monthly Wednesday night operating session. These sessions are listed on our web calendar page.