Lethbridge Model Railway Club celebrates 50 years – Lethbridge | So Good News


On Saturday, the Southern Alberta Model Railway Club (SAMRC) held an open house, welcoming back members and the public after two years following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All the members have been really excited to get going again after not having an open house for a couple of years, so we’re really excited about the turnout,” said Simon Apperloo, SAMRC superintendent.

The club was formed in 1972 with a group of seven members. Since then, they’ve expanded twice, now seeing more than 25 members and adding scenic backdrops to the clubhouse layout this year.

Behind the Gyro Park clubhouse doors sits the incredibly detailed model train system.

“I guess you’d say there’s a bit of magic in it,” Apperloo said.

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Southern Alberta Model Railway Club’s open house showcases newly renovated facility

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Tony Lee is one of the four remaining founding members of the club. Growing up near the tracks and watching his father work for the railroad, he has always had a fascination with trains. He started model railways at the age of four, using his father’s layout.

“I grew up with it; I had to become a model railroad driver whether I wanted to or not,” Lee said. “I found that model railroading, even just for a few minutes, would completely relieve the stress of the day.”

Lee said seeing the technology evolve over the years has been one thing that keeps him coming back.

“The selection we can get today is so far better than what we could get 50 or 60 years ago.”

Lee added the pounds of plaster used to create the layouts that have built up over the years show how much the club has grown.

“I’ve seen the evolution of things as they’ve expanded and moved forward over the years, so it’s pretty exciting,” Lee said.

Apperloo says with open houses underway, they hope to continue to go full steam ahead with their new builds.

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