These pictures are from the archives of the Society of Model Engineers model railroad club at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. I scanned these pictures in November 2003 so they could be posted on the club’s website. The website is no longer online, so I am posting them here.
In 1987, the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Society of Model Engineers built a portable modular HO-scale layout to display at mall shows, which at the time paid layouts to come. This provided the club with publicity as well as income. The layout was originally built as an 8' x 16' single track layout. By 1989, the layout had expanded to a 22' x 28' L-shaped layout with passing sidings.
I did not actually scan these pictures of the old modular layout, as I did not have the prints. These are old scans that were used on an earlier version of the club’s website.
In 1996, SOME's alumni members took over the Society of Model Engineers modular layout activities because the club could not support both a permanent layout and a modular layout. The original modular layout was rebuilt into the double-track Modules II with new specs and new scenery.
These pictures show the modules being worked on at an alumni work session in 1997. Of these three pictures, I only had a print of the last one to rescan.
These pictures show the layout at Trainfest in 1997. I did not have prints of these to rescan, so these are old scans from a previous version of the club’s website.
1998 brought around more changes, with the addition of new yard and staging yard modules. Plans began brewing for another revision to the layout, including a new corner module design and new benchwork specs.
The following pictures show the layout at TrainTime 1999.
I didn’t have a print of this last picture to rescan, so this is an earlier scan from an old version of the club’s website.
The following pictures show the modules being worked on at an alumni work session on October 24, 1999. I didn’t have prints of these pictures to rescan, so these are old scans from an earlier version of the club’s website.
Since then, all of the modules have been rebuilt, and a new crating system has been developed. The modules are owned by individual alumni members, and the layout expands as new alumni build modules of their own. In addition, the Society of Model Engineers maintains two modules making up one corner of the layout.
The modules come together at train shows across Wisconsin throughout the year, including Trainfest at State Fair Park and of course TrainTime, and at occasional alumni worksessions on campus. Society of Model Engineers members are eligible to join the Overland Western Lines club upon graduation or otherwise leaving school. For more information visit The Overland Western Lines Model Railroad Club website.