GRAND OPENING Announced for Sept 9, 2018
Rockledge Model Railroad Museum Grand Opening September 9, 2018
The museum at 323 Montgomery Ave., Rockledge, PA, 19046, will be open between the hours of 2 and 8 pm. The opening is set to coincide with the Rockledge Fall Festival and Car Show
Rockledge, PA The Rockledge Model Railroad Museum has announced its grand opening on Sunday, Sep- tember 9, 2018. Gatsme Model Railroad Club purchased the shell of a former lace factory—and a neighborhood eyesore—at 323 Montgomery Avenue in Rockledge, PA, in 2014. After renovating the shell into habitable space, the members of Gatsme began building the museum’s primary attraction: an HO scale model railroad layout de- picting railroad activity in southeastern Pennsylvania in the 1950s. The exhibit model railroad represents a portion of railroad operations from West Philadelphia over the line to Reading PA and continuing on to Shamokin PA. It is inspired by the neighborhoods, towns and industries along the way. It features the trains of the Schuykill Valley Branch, which runs primarily through Montgomery County PA. A portion of the layout will feature the Reading Railroad’s Newtown branch, which ran through Rockledge and serviced both passengers and manufacturers in the borough.
Building a display layout of this size takes time, and, while the layout is far from finished, the main line has been completed from West Philly to Reading. Visitors can expect to see an assortment of trains; both passenger and freight trains of many eras will be operating.
The bulk of the renovation work, and all of the layout construction, has been done by members of Gatsme. Mem- bers donated countless hours transforming the factory shell into a suitable home, and club members as well as local businesses and contractors donated tens of thousands of dollars in materials and service, for which Gatsme is extremely grateful.
Doug Baer, president of Gatsme, said, “The goal of the Rockledge Model Railroad Museum is to educate the pub- lic about the hobby and history of model railroading. We will also use the layout to demonstrate multiple aspects of railroading including merchandise freight, coal, commuter and long haul passenger traffic.
We have an inspired membership group that has been busy building benchwork, hand laying track and turnouts, as well as wiring track and control panels. We have begun planning details of the scenery.
We are happy to share the details of our plans and of any of our techniques with our visitors. Please come to see our exhibit develop.”
The Rockledge Model Railroad Museum will also be open to the public during September on the 15, 22, and 29, from noon until 4 pm.
About Gatsme Model Railroad Club
The Rockledge Model Railroad Museum is hosted by Gatsme Model Railroad Club as a way to showcase the club’s modeling efforts while educating the public about the hobby of model railroading. Founded in the base- ment of an Abington township pizza restaurant in 1951, Gatsme has long been known for its museum-quality modeling. After losing its long-term quarters in Fort Washington, PA, the club acquired the former lace factory at 323 Montgomery Avenue in Rockledge and began building its new home. After four years of renovation and layout construction, the museum is at last ready for visitors.
Gatsme Model Railroad club has memberships open; interested individuals should stop by the museum building on Thursday evenings. The club holds business meetings on the first Thursday each month and visitors are wel- come. Previous model railroading experience is not a requirement for membership.
In addition, both Gatsme Model Railroad club and the Rockledge Model Railroad Museum are registered 501(c) (3) charities. Donations are welcome and can be tax-deductible.