OTOW Model Railroader’s Club

Within the community of On Top of the World (OTOW) lies a club that captures the essence of nostalgia and craftsmanship—the OTOW Model Railroader’s Club. Established in 2009, this club has become a place for both enthusiasts and novices, fostering a sense of camaraderie, creativity, and joy through the world of model trains. The club meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 9 am in the Hobby Building Event Room. Many members initially started with the OTOW R/C Flyers Club, and later found a crossover in interests between the two. Their shared passion and fascination with model trains and crafting intricate landscapes drew them together.

What began with a modest group of 10-12 members has since blossomed into a larger community, fueled by the acquisition of a new 20’ x 35’ train room in 2019. This room has become the canvas for what Jim Lynam, the club president, describes as a “world-class” layout—a testament to the dedication and creativity of the club members.

Jim, a longtime enthusiast and one of the founding members, had a G-scale train setup in his garden before the club was established. With the acquisition of the new room, he’s been able to showcase his beloved collection within this dedicated space. The club is able to run vintage trains dating back to the 40s, 50s, and 60s that are still operational due to Lionel’s enduring craftsmanship. They also have cutting-edge technology that allows for a smartphone to be a controller and for new animation capabilities. Within this club, there is something to captivate everyone’s interest and imagination.

Beyond the trains themselves, the true essence of the OTOW Model Railroader’s Club lies in its people—their ingenuity, boundless creativity, and the joy they derive from this shared passion. The room is a canvas for their imagination, where the animation and meticulously crafted scenery bring the room to life.

New members are warmly welcomed, and the club offers orientation sessions after each monthly meeting. They are even in the process of making a tutorial booklet to facilitate the learning process for newcomers. For those without trains, the club graciously provides access to their collection, ensuring that all can partake in the joy of this hobby. The OTOW Model Railroader’s Club has begun hosting operational sessions, where members collaborate, undertaking tasks that mirror real-life train operations. This spirit of camaraderie extends to events like their weekly open houses, inviting residents and visitors to witness the magic of the model trains firsthand. For these residents, the OTOW Model Railroader’s Club is a gateway to cherished memories, a way to relive childhood wonders, and an outlet for endless creativity.

Haunted House display for Halloween Open House 2023

Upcoming events for the club include:

  • Christmas Display at MTP (Master the Possibilities) December 4th – 18th
  • Christmas Open House in the model train room from 11 am – 3 pm, December 28th – 30th
  • Weekly Friday Open House from 2 – 4 pm in the model train room

The club is also hoping to host more open houses throughout the year including ones on Easter, 4th of July, and Halloween. As the year unfolds, the club remains committed to enhancing the train room, making it a source of pride for all OTOW residents.

In a final statement, Jim wanted to reiterate the club’s appreciation to On Top of the World for providing the club with a dedicated train room, as he believes it is one of the only retirement communities to have one.

For more information, you can visit during the weekly open house or contact Jim Lynam at 352-861-2822.

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