Great Lakes Amateur Radio Rovers at the DMRC
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CHRISTMAS IN HOLLY

GLARR Again Operates From Site of Largest Model Railroad in State:

TrainFor the second consecutive year, GLARR paid tribute to the largest model railroad in Michigan by setting up and operating a working Amateur Radio special event station during the Detroit Model Railroad Club's December open house. On-the-air operations took place from 10 AM until 5 PM on Sunday December 7th 1997. The open house was be held in the DMRC's club building in downtown Holly, Michigan.

The Detroit Model Railroad Club is an "O" Scale model railroad organization based in Holly, Michigan. The club owns the Old Holly Theater building and maintains the largest model railroad in Michigan therein. The club has been part of model railroading in Michigan for more than 60 years.

According to a history of the club which is posted on their World Wide Web site, "The Detroit Model Railroad Club started as a spin off from the Detroit Society of Model Engineers, a group that modeled not only trains but cars and boats as well, in 1934. The Club's first layout was a single loop in the club president's basement. With in a year the club had moved to the 3rd floor of a commercial building in downtown Detroit. In 1941 after the first club open house was so crowded that city fire codes were violated, the club moved again.

The Third incarnation of the Detroit Model Railroad Club was built in 1942 in a former taxi garage an Atwater Street in Detroit, across from Grand Trunk Western railroad's passenger depot. With this layout the club started on the course that it still holds today. It was decided that instead of a 3 rail show layout, the club would build a 2 rail DC layout. The Railroad was named the Detroit Union Railroad so that many different railroads could be represented on the layout. The layout was an "out-and-back" single track railroad with several passing sidings and a reverse loop and staging yard at the far end.

In 1948 the club moved from Atwater to the New York Central freight station in downtown Detroit. The members of the club moved the layout in 30 foot sections to the new 3400 square-foot room. Once moved in operation continued on the Atwater layout as a new and bigger layout was built around and added on to it. On December 29, 1949 the last run was made on the layout and it was dismantled for parts.

In 1958 the Club moved into a 19 X 90 foot building on the Michigan State Fair Grounds. The members quickly built a four loop layout for exhibition at the 1959 Michigan State Fair. When not on display, temporary towns were set up in the public aisles so the club could operate the layout. In 1973 the Club started looking for a new place to call home. After eight months of looking, an old theater in the village of Holly presented itself. Holly, approximately 45 minutes north of Detroit, was somewhat remote but for many members the drive to the new site would not be much longer than to the State Fair Grounds. The Club Moved to the Old Holly Theater, where it still resides today."

They have the kind of train set that a kid of any age would love to get for Christmas. Donít forget to put it on your list today. Or, more realistically, contact them about membership.


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Last modified 3/16/98 2:30:21 PM