St. James Model Railroad Holiday Open House
The Saint James Model Railroad Club was founded in 1983. Originally located in what was known as the Flatiron Building in St. James across from the oldest, still existing, railroad station on Long Island. Unfortunately, 6 months later, the building was sold and the club was asked to vacate. Through the efforts made by the town officials, and the cooperation of the Smithtown Arts Council, the Saint James Model Railroad Club was granted a home in the basement of the historic Mills Pond House. In January 1984, the club moved all of its lumber, track and layout materials to its present location.
Since its inception, The Saint James Model Railroad Club has maintained as one of its priorities, its yearly open house. The club held its first open house in December 1984, and over 900 people came to see the Railroad. The Saint James Model Railroad Club has hosted a Holiday Open House all but 2 years of its existence. Only during its first year, when it was under construction, and again in 1999 when it was forced to temporarily close due to a major electrical upgrade to the Mills Pond House, did the club not host its Annual Holiday Train Display. Many people return year after year to see the display. Members have watched some regular attendees grow up from small children to young adults at this traditional event.
The club has improved greatly over the years. There are many scenic details that have been added. The layout has been upgraded to where 9 trains can be run simultaneously and there is enough storage tracks to hold 15 different trains during our annual open house. This means attendees will see more action and variety than ever before. Modern technology has allowed the club to provide more animated accessories, more lights and digitally recorded sound. Steam engines puff smoke and "chuff" with the recorded sound of a real steam engine in synchronism with the wheels. Diesel engines also sound like the real thing, and passenger trains make station announcements. The St. James Model Railroad Club will continue to improve and adapt as the years go by and is committed to provide the public with the best and most exciting display possible.
The 38' X 48' fully scenic layout, (i.e. track, scenery, accessories, controls, etc.) is the property of The St. James Model Railroad Club and is updated and maintained through club dues and donations. Trains run on the layout are the property of the individual members.100% of all money collected by the club is used to update and maintain the club facility and equipment. The club meets every Wednesday night in the basement of the Mills Pond House.A Holiday Open House is held every year on the first weekend of December. Additional Open Houses are sometimes held as well.The club will run private shows, as a public service, for non-profit, public service organizations. Arrangements for private shows must be made in advance, on an individual basis, for times when the layout is not undergoing significant modifications.Membership is open to any adult, 18 years of age or older, with a serious interest in "O" Gauge, 3-Rail, model railroading.