About Us

Tristate Model Railroaders is a group of model railroaders who promote the hobby of model railroading. We do this first by working with the Joplin Museum complex to promote their annual train shows in November and March. And secondly, we have constructed a portable train layout that we take to train shows and other area events. Our interest in model trains spans N scale to G scale. You will find that scale trains as well as toy and tinplate trains are enjoyed by members of our group. I use the term members here loosely. While we do have an official name, our meetings are very unofficial.

So where did Tri-state come from in the name. Several names were considered. Members of our group reside within 25 miles of Joplin . The three states of Tri-state are Missouri , Kansas , and Oklahoma . We could have used the initials MKO for our group but it sounded too much like a name for an electric cooperative. River or creek names were considered. There are not geographic names that describe where we are located. The names tri-state and four-state are used by local business as part of their names. The words four-states are used by TV and radio stations in referring to our area. The Tri-state name is the older of the two. Four-state was considered but seemed to be to far reaching since no one from Arkansas would be a part of our group on a regular basis(we do have many model railroaders attend our shows from Arkansas and we are really glad to have them). The Joplin Museum Complex houses the Tri-state Mineral Museum . Tri-state Model Railroaders is the name.

We shared the common goal of having a layout to display at train shows. However, the journey to bring this layout to completion drew from our differences. The portable layout was started in the summer of 2005. We are very pleased with our progress thus far. The layout is 32 feet long and 5 feet wide on the ends and 2 feet wide at the middle 16 feet. In model railroad terms, the layout configuration is referred to as a dog bone shape. It features two main tracks, a yard, industrial spurs, and a short siding between the two main tracks.

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