Photos from the George L. Carter Railroad Museum

One of the exciting parts of my new railroad hobby is discovering the multitudes of possibilities of how you can put together your collection. You can choose any number of railroad companies to feature, such as those around here: Norfolk & Southern, Southern, Norfolk & Western, or you can highlight the Sante Fe, Canadian pacific, Missouri-Kansas-Texas, the Baltimore & Ohio or more.

Once you get that choice out of the way you can then plunge into a deeper pool filled with endless possibilities about whether to do urban scenes for your layout or country locales. I have been poking around on Google, You Tube and Pinterest for ideas, which is a great way, but then I got the opportunity to visit the George L. Carter Railroad Museum at East Tennessee State University, where I got my college degree and the experience was a model railroad lover’s dream!


There used to be a railroad line that ran from Johnson City, Tennessee to Boone, North Carolina called the East Tennessee and Western north Carolina Railroad. At this time (June 2016) the members of the local railroading club, the Mountain Empire Model Railroaders, are recreating this line in a portion of the George L. Carter Railroad Museum on the E.T.S.U. campus. This first picture is of the beginning of this grand layout. I took it because I plan to have some similar mountain-like features in my layout.


One of the things the club has done to help in modeling is to take photographs at various sites to assist in development of life-like scenes. This is an example of one of their efforts.


Although it is hard to see, their is a picture of a railroad trestle on the right of the actual replica trestle in place on the “Tweetsie” layout.

Here are two urban centric photos of the other layout in the museum. I am not sure how much room I will devote for this type of scene on my layout since it takes up so much space.


In an effort to conserve space I am contemplating a tunnel design to allow my train to climb to a second level so I can have an extended track run. I liked the way this multi-level multi- track design works.

With as many coal cars as I have collected so far I will need to design some sort of cola operation and this one is a great example. In the bottom picture is a village where the coal miners and their families live.


I definitely want a church or two within my layout and would also need a place for the three cross display on my wish list.

I also favored this industrial scene. In trying to make the most of my limited layout space I have designed a scene, at least in my mind, of a crew digging a tunnel into the corner of my layout. Of course in reality it will always be under construction, but there are great ideas within the pictures above.


Every train yard must have a roundhouse and I know just where mine will go. I liked the way this one was placed, although their is a twenty-seven stall monster on the other end of this large display that is much more impressive.


Somehow I have to work in a station terminal, although mine won’t be as large as this one. Unless somehow I can carve out a bigger space for my town based section. We shall see what shakes out of my planning sessions.

If you are ever in East Tennessee near ETSU you owe it to yourself to take in the museum. It is free to the public and loads of fun for young and old.



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