AMROC logo

AMROC, The Associated Model Railroads of Columbia, is an organization of approximately 30 members who build and operate the G, O and S, HO, and N scale club layouts. Some members confine their efforts to one gauge; others participate in the construction and operation of several gauges.

Above is the home of The Associated Model Railroads of Columbia: 1800 Lincoln Street, Columbia, SC 29201. That's Lincoln Street on the porch side of the building.

Our clubroom is beyond the door into the lower floor of the building. We meet to work and run trains every Thursday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. On every third Thursday some of our 30 or so members are available to answer visitors' questions, to help them solve their equipment and layout problems, and to help them get their trains running on one of our layouts.

The brick and glass building to the right is an office building; the tall concrete structure behind our home is a parking garage. Across Lincoln Street out of the picture to the left is a block square area which houses the governor's mansion and two large ante-bellum homes that are tourist attractions. Out of the picture to the right are the Columbia Chamber of Commerceparking lot and the Strom Thurmond Federal Building. Across the other street in the picture is Finlay Park.

The building is officially the Arsenal Hill Park. The original structure was built in 1850 as an arsenal to manufacture guns and bladed weapons--initially for the state militia and later for the Confederate armies. After its destruction in 1865 by General Sherman, the arsenal was rebuilt and housed the Palmetto Iron Works.

Community organizations use the main floor of the building for meetings, dances, luncheons, and even pot-lucks. We use it for our monthly business meetings and as a place to set up our modular layouts for the Open Houses which we hold on the Columbia Action Council sponsored Kids' Day scheduled for the last Saturday in March and on the two days in early December which coincide with the governor's open house and the Christmas parade.

Above is a view of our main clubroom looking toward Lincoln Street. (The end of the handrail on the steps down from the entrance door is visible at the left of the picture.) The finished area of our HO layout is in the foreground; the area under construction is beyond it. Our N layout is below and to the right of the large AMROC sign. The O and S layouts are in the far right corner; the O yard runs along the far wall. And the structure hanging from the ceiling is our G gauge loop with its siding.

Above provides an overall view of our N scale layout; the O/S layout is partially visible in the background.

Above are close-ups of different areas of our N scale layout.

Above is a shot of part of the city visible in the previous clubroom picture.

Above shows a different part of the same area and some of the crowd during our last Kids' Day Open House.

Above provides a view of the HO layout area under construction. The backdrop in the foreground is behind the finished area that was prominent in the previous clubroom picture. On the right and left of the area under construction are portions of the loops, wired for conventional DC and DCC, that run around that area and tie into the finished area. Along the left side of the layout are a yard (on the lowest level) and bridges leading to, as yet, unlaid track. Just visible over the backdrop are the tree tops in the logging area of this layout.

Above is a shot of a finished, or nearly finished portion of the HO layout. The trains are running on the lower level loops; the yard beside the logging area is beyond the UP coal drag. The truss and through bridges are the work of Joe Meehan; Van Peay is working on the scenicking.

Above shows part of the logging area just beyond the backdrop in previous pictures.

Above, taken from the opposite direction to that in

above which shows more of the bridge and trestle portion of the logging area. They were free lanced by member Joe Meehan. In the background is the completed yard portion of the loops around the area under construction.

Just beyond the McDonald's cup in below

is the sawmill which is under construction. After doors and windows have been added and the visible Strathmore skin and roof are covered with weathered corrugated metal, it will look much more like the prototype.

When the portion of the layout around the sawmill is completed, there will be pond where member John Kelchner is standing and a wet chain will move a continuous stream of logs from it into the end of the mill; there will also be a slash burner, sawdust bin, power house, and extensive lumber storage area--with trackage--on the same level as the mill.

Above is a general view of our O and S layout. The O yard runs along the wall behind the people in the left of the picture.

Above is a closeup of the O and S hi-rail layout. It provides trackage for fun running and the testing of new motive power, talking rolling stock, and controllers.

The upper loop over the bridges is the only S track. The O layout on the lower level is very tight because our O scalers major interest is their modular layout which is set up for Open Houses and the Lowman Home Pioneer Days where it is a major attraction for the residents of the home and the many visitors who attend the event.

Above is another view of the O and S layout.

Above is a shot of the crowd which attended one of the December, 2002 open houses.

For each open house we erect modular or informational layouts on the main floor of the building.

Above was taken early one day of the December, 2000 Open Houses. The 14 ft. x 42 ft. modular hi-rail O scale layout was in the center of the room; the informational G scale loop was to the left of it.

Above is a shot of the informational G scale layout. It was set up to introduce the scale.

Above is a shot of the O scale layout taken from the door end of the room. It shows some of the equipment run. The yard is not connected to the loops.

For this Open House we even had a live steam loop outside.

Above shows it.

Above shows the locomotive that ran on it.

Above was taken early on one day of the December, 2002 Open Houses. The yard in the hi-rail O Scale modular layout in the foreground is now connected to the two outer loops. The entire layout was moved toward the rear of the room to make room for the N scale module which member Bob Roof is discussing with a visitor. A much expanded informational G gauge layout is visible to the left in the picture.

Above shows part of the O scale motive power and rolling stock run during this open house.

Above is member Bob Roof's N scale module. There is real water in the lake. It flows over the dam and is recirculated back into the lake. When Bob finishes this module, the hoppers will move, dump coal, and move on; the balloon will move back and forth from one end of the module to the other.

Above is the informational G gauge layout. The two loops of the oval are connected. The visitors are blocking a view of the Santa Fe A and B units and the Shay which was run.

That photo completes this welcome to AMROC. We invite you to visit on a Thursday night or during an Open House. If you are interested, we invite you to consider membership in our organization.

Jack Huffman