The Miniature Railroad Club of York will celebrate its 70th birthday during its annual open house holiday event.

The club, established in 1943, will have its birthday party from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at its facility at 381 Wheatfield St. in York City.

The party time also marks the beginning of the club's 70th annual open house events that will be held 1 to 5 p.m. on the weekends throughout December and in the first two weeks of January.

"We want to give people an understanding of the passion we have for modeling and also the fact that we're here to try to preserve history, even in a miniature way," said Michael Keiser, the club's open house chairman.

York City Mayor C. Kim Bracey is scheduled to be at the event, he said.

Open house details: The club has about 30 members whose trains will be used for the event, said Keiser, 43, of Codorus Township.

"We run the gamut of ages, from teens to older adults, well-retired people," he said. "We have a few that remember when the club was started."

The club's open house will feature its 30-foot-by-90-foot HO scale model railroad that runs up to 14 trains and locomotives at one time, Keiser said.

Replicas of historic steam locomotives and trains that ran through York on the Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1940s and 1950s as well as modern diesel and passenger trains are featured.


A miniature camera offers onlookers the engineer's view from the cab of a model locomotive.

The club will use a digital command control system to run the trains during the event. The system presents new possibilities for operating trains on the layout, with multiple trains on the same track, according to Keiser.

Model railroad scenery includes train yards, a steel mill, coal mine, engine terminal and a carnival with a little train that carries people, he said.

"We have early American steam engines all the way to the latest diesels that are running now, pulling trains," Keiser added.

Last year, about 1,000 people attended the club's open house, Keiser said.

"Some people have been coming since the 1950s and 60s and now they're bringing their children and grandchildren," he said. "That's great to see."

--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at