The Severna Park Model Railroad Club was founded in November of 1964, at the Depot Hobby shop in Severna Park. Plans for a layout were discussed and in February of 1965, construction was started in the rear of the hobby shop. The track plan, as then conceived was a folded dog-bone. The present stub-end station at Chesapeake, its throat and the upper loop behind the station were all part of the original construction.
In February 1966, after a year of construction, it became evident that both the hobby shop and the railroad needed more room. When the railroad station became available, plans were made to move what had been constructed to the new quarters and plan an expanded railroad. Plans were completed in April 1966, and the move followed in that same month. The old benchwork was set up and new benchwork was started.
By April of 1967, the benchwork had been completed and much of the main line track had been laid. First operation around the total length of the mainline was accomplished in October 1967. The mountain division track and scenery was completed in January 1968. The club had its first open house in April of 1968. Work continued along the same side of the layout. Scenery was completed from the mountain to the city in 1971. The city of Chesapeake was finished in 1972. Chesapeake resembles Baltimore in that most of the buildings were copied from interesting buildings in Baltimore, some, just weeks before the wrecking ball!
The Fells Point section of Chesapeake was done in 1973. It reproduces a waterfront area in Baltimore. The Pittsburgh Steel Mill at Brunswick solved a problem - what to do with an area 8 inches wide and 13 feet long? The answer was found along the river in Pittsburgh. Build a steel mill! The components of the mill were built from photos of several mills in the Pittsburgh area. The steel mill was finished in 1975. Potomac Junction was designed to hide a fireplace mantle rather than tear it out. The coverup was complete in 1976.
The railroad's board of directors met with management in the spring of 1979 to discuss a new opportunity for the railroad. Were they interested in the export coal market? A "yes" answer came back from the meeting. This meant building a new coal mine in Coalton and a new coal loading facility on the Chesapeake waterfront. Property acquisition and facility design was started at once. The mine was put into operation in 1981 and the rotary coal dump in 1982. Finishing a few minor projects completed the railroad in time for the Washington D. C. National Model Rail-road Association convention in 1982.
Open House for public viewing of the model railroad is held on the first weekends of May and December from Noon to 5 PM on both Saturday and Sunday. Club meetings are on each Thursday evening at 8 PM.
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