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Train Club Switches Homes

By May K. Tse
Staff Reporter

After one last open house tomorrow, the Tech Model Railroad Club will be saying goodbye to its long-time home in Building 20 as it prepares to move its 1000 feet of track to firmer ground.

"We're planning to move because the Institute is planning to tear down building 20 within a couple of years," said Daniel M. Silevitch '96, the club's co-governor.

The club will likely be setting up again in the MIT Museum building (Building N52). Most of the club's current layout - the 600 square-foot so-called Tech Nickel Plate line, which has 200 track switches and bridges two model cities - will be taken apart. Members will build a new model at the new site.

The move is the first one in a long time for the club, which has been in Building 20 since 1948, two years after it was founded. This last open house will last from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will be held in Room 20E-214.

As the name implies, the model railroad club focuses on building and running model railroads. Members design control systems, plan track layout to making scenery, and paint cabs and cars.

The club has about 20 active members, and usually meets every Saturday afternoon and into the evening.

"Approximately half of these are alumni members, some of whom have been in the club for over 30 years," Silevitch said. "The other half is divided between students and guest members from the Boston area."

Club's goal is to have fun

Today, the club's goal is "to have fun," he said. "People do projects to see what if's' materialize," said Co-Governor Peter K. Lee '97.

"Because of the collective nature of the club, people are free to focus on the areas of modeling that they enjoy most, without having to worry about the other areas that are necessary to create a believable, functioning miniature world," Silevitch said.

Becoming a member of the club is easy, Silevitch said. "For people affiliated with MIT in any way, you need only show up and say that you want to join."