Club History

Club Quick Facts

What's the story with the club name?
While southeastern Connecticut is now best associated with the two large casinos in the area, the club was not named after them as the casinos didn't yet exist when the club was formed.  In fact, the club was named for the "Mohegan Pequot Bridge" which carries CT Rte. 2A over the Thames River.  This bridge was what many members had to cross to go to early meetings and work sessions and the name stuck.

Major Milestones

1980-Club formed
1981-First show and first modular layout
1987-First appearance at the Big Railroad Hobby Show in W. Springfield, MA
1987-First Avery Point Holiday Display
1988-Club profiled in NY Times Christmas edition
1990-Club meetings move to Bill Library in Ledyard, CT
1995-Club moves to Young Building at Railroad Hobby Show
1997-O Scale layout cover story in April 1997 O Gauge Railroading magazine
2000-First summer club trip held to Cass Scenic Railroad
2001-The Passenger Module project commences
2003-New website at launched
2005-Module benchwork build session re-vamping entire HO layout given Webmaster's Choice Award by NMRA
2009-Dispayed at 2009 National Train Show in Hartford, CT.
2011-Compiled 30th Anniversary Book
2014-First Place at 2014 National Train Show in Cleveland, OH.
2016-Dispayed at 2016 National Train Show in Indianapolis, IN.
2017-Dispayed at 2017 National Train Show in Orlando, FL.
2017-The club leased a space in Preston, CT, as a new permenant clubhouse location.

Club History Narrative

In 1980, a notice was placed in Model Railroader magazine with a call for model railroaders in southeastern Connecticut interested in forming a model railroad club and so the Mohegan Pequot Model Railroad Club was formed.  The initial meetings set the name for the club as well as appointed the first set of officers. 

The first show the club was asked to participate at was the Ledyard Fair on Labor Day Weekend in 1981. The club was able to pull together a small display with an operating S tinplate layout and a N scale layout.

The club began its module tradition later that year with it's first module display at a NMRA event in Groton, CT.  Many lessons were learned from these early shows with standards developed and ideas to improve the layout shared among members.

The club's largest growth spurt occurred in the late 1980s and 1990s when the club was able to hold an annual Holiday Display in the cafeteria at the Avery Point campus of the University of Connecticut.  At the time, four modular layouts (N, HO, O, and G) were setup for 8 weeks and open to the public every weekend during the holiday season.  This allowed many new members a chance to join and a place to work and operate on modules.

The largest event for the club has always been Amherst Railway Society’s Big Railroad Hobby Show held at the Big E in West Springfield, MA.  The club has participated since the late 1980s and moved to its current space in the Young Building in 1995. We have been located in this building ever since and the show is still our largest display of the year.

The first official summer railfan trip was in 2000 when a small contingent went to the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia. This proved to be the spring board for future trips with annual summer railfan adventures to the south and midwest.

Prior to the spring of 2001, the club had built a number of small club project modules. At this time it was becoming apparent that the largest previous project, the original Passenger Module, was nearing the end of its lifespan so a new plan was designed. Construction started on the mammoth engineering feat in March of 2001. The entire module set was over 42’ in length and took approximately 5 years to build.  It was retired in 2012.

In 2009, the club was honored to be invited to participate in the2009 National Train Show which was held in Hartford, CT.   The club displayed a completely renovated layout to the show and was a great event for all.

For the last couple of years, the club is experiencing a bit of a growth spurt with numerous new members joining.  We had enough people to warrant another large module building session to add over 80 linear feet to the layout.  In 2014, the club made its longest trek even to a train show - the 2014 National Train Show in Cleveland, OH - and managed to win First Place in the Module Group category for our efforts.