The Abilene Society of Model Railroaders (ASMR) is an officially chartered [501(C)4] non-profit organization. It was established to promote public awareness and appreciation of Abilene's Railroad heritage, and the important role played by railroads in national and local history. It strives to do this utilizing various educational programs and projects, including operating model railroad layouts.
In 1990, Abilene's mayor decided the city should begin celebrating its significant railroad heritage with a community festival which would include model railroad layouts. Responding to the mayor's call several local model railroaders got together and built a modular HO-scale layout and a Lionel “toy train” layout in time for the first “Abilene Railroad Festival” which took place the following spring. The model railroaders enjoyed building the layouts for the Railfest so much, they decided to form a club. Thus was born the Abilene Society of Model Railroaders.
ASMR at the Abilene Civic Center, circa 1994
Photo courtesy, Jim Gibson
Abilene's Preservation League provided space for ASMR to set up and operate layouts in the old Cypress Building downtown, and for the next five years ASMR had a home there. During that time the HO layout grew steadily in size and complexity, and was moved to the Civic Center each year for display during Railfest weekend. The Lionel layout was modified with an upper level for American Flyer S-gauge train operation. ASMR regularly entertained large crowds during during downtown activities like Artwalk, City Sidewalks, and other special occasions.
Sadly, in 1995, the club had to vacate the Cypress Building when the historic structure underwent a complete restoration. After several interim moves the club is currently located in the old TSTI facility at 2043 North 2nd St. (directly behind the former Coke bottling plant on North 1st.).
The club meets on Saturdays at 10 am and Tuesdays at 7 pm.
The club currently meets in the old TSTI facility at 2043 North 2nd st. directly behind the former Coke bottling plant on North 1st.
Yes, the public is invited to the meetings. However please see our Calender page to make sure that we will be there.
Clinics on various model railroad subjects are held from time to time. We try to have a operating session on the third Saturday of each month. We also go on trips to train shows and do some railfaning on occasion. Please see are Calender page to see what is scheduled.
Membership is open to any person who enjoys model trains, railroad history and lore, “railfaning”, collecting railroad memorabilia, or just about any aspect of the overall subject of railroads or model railroading. There is a $25 initiation fee. Dues are $15 a month for members age 18 to 65, $10 for ages 65 to 70 and 14 to 18, and $5 for 70-plus. Note: Members under age 14 must be accompanied by an adult. If their parent is a member, their dues are only $2 per month.
Please feel free to contact any of the following members: