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RailRoad Modeling

Mountain Empire Model Railroad Exhibit

Nestled in the "Great Valley", or Tennessee Valley of Appalachia, is East Tennessee State University. And sheltered in ETSU is the George L. Carter Railroad Museum. The museum is home to the impressive Mountain Empire Model Railroaders club.

Mountain Empire Model Railroaders
Mountain Empire Model Railroaders tell us;

Three model railway layouts are in the museum: a G (large) scale layout (obtained by former Johnson City Mayor Tom McKee) measures 12.5 feet by 12.5 feet; a 44-feet-by-24-feet HO scale layout owned by members of the modular club and a 23-feet-by-12-feet N (smaller) scale layout donated by Ms. Marian Bankus, of Knoxville, make up the permanent display.

The HO modular layout built by the Modular Railroaders club is owned in portable sections by each of its members. ETSU President Dr. Paul Stanton saw this layout and became an enthusiastic supporter of obtaining a permanent home for a railway museum on the ETSU campus in tribute to George L. Carter. At any given time you may see any or all of Johnson City's three legendary railroads, the ET&WNC (Tweetsie), the Clinchfield, or the Southern in operation on the HO scale layout.


In September the group hosted their first annual model contest with weathering as the theme. The impressive entries, shown here, were proudly displayed in the room of the Mountain Empire Model Railroad Exhibit, which is open every Saturday 10AM thru 3PM ( and FREE!).

Impressive as the three main layouts are, there is another scale treasure to behold. Under construction is the complete original Tweetsie in HO! Come join us in this photo tour of the contest and the layouts.
Museum and model show
Great glass cases host the models and awards of the first annual show. Some of the locomotives and rolling stock are custom painted and all custom weathered. Additional customizing resulted in some incredible modeling efforts!

Many artifacts populate the museum, model and prototype. Several amazing models are showcased behind the glass. One model that will catch anyone's eye is the large wooden locomotive and passenger car. This model, impressive as it is, is even more so when one learns of its tragic background. You see, it was created over the years by a convicted murderer serving a life sentence; carved and fitted and polished with a single tool, a chisel! While it may seem curious that a convicted murderer was allowed access to a chisel, I will leave you to cogitate about beauty from tragedy.

Now let's visit other pages to see some model layout! And stop back by soon -- video is coming!
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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...