By Robert Regan ‘23

The Brother Rice 3-rail Model Railroad Club has rapidly grown over the past couple of years since its formation. The club started in 2021 and was founded by Charles Regan, currently a senior, who is very passionate about trains and the model railroad hobby. His strong leadership is the biggest reason why the 3-rail Model Railroad Club exists at Brother Rice High School today.

In the early days of the club, the meetings were held in the Cainkar Center and consisted only of discussions of different aspects of the model railroad hobby. Now, the club has its own room in the east wing of the school. Meetings consist of students actually running trains and working on a large model train layout of their own. The layout sprawls over two tables and is filled with tracks, trains, a tunnel, and a lot of scenery. A mountain is currently under construction.

Mr. Parker is the moderator of the club. He has a model railroad layout at home and is a highly skilled and experienced model train hobbyist. He has been trying to start a model railroad club at Brother Rice for years, and now his dreams have finally become reality. His love for the hobby and dedication to the students involved has been a crucial part of the club’s success.

The many donations from members of the Brother Rice community have also greatly benefitted the club. Old model trains, tracks, and scenery have been generously donated in large quantities from faculty and staff, alumni, and parents of Brother Rice students. This support has helped the club grow in the number of its members, as well as an increase in the size of the club’s layout.

Senior Aydan Tetrev said, “I joined the train club when I was a junior and it was really small.  We only had a few trains and tracks. Since then, we’ve gotten lots of scenery, extra room to expand, and a diverse group of people who share the same passion for trains.”

Senior Charles Regan said, “The generosity of the donors and the dedication of club members amazes me. I am happy I have been able to spread my love of trains to others. Also, Mr. Parker is one great dude.”

Mr. Parker said, “We have a lot of motivation. Kids are really excited. We have participation from kids that normally wouldn’t be interested in model trains. They came by and saw what we were doing, and then wanted to join the club. Noah Palomino said that he almost hates that he’s graduating because he won’t be able to be a part of the Model Railroad Club next year.”

The future for the model railroad club is bright. While many of the founding students of the club are graduating this year, the club has attracted the interest of many future Crusaders. At the open house last fall, many incoming freshmen showed their interest in the club and committed to it for next year.

There are hopes that someday Brother Rice High School will host a “train show”. A “train show” is an event when model railroad hobbyists from all over the area get together and set up their own model train layouts. This is a goal for the 3-rail model railroad club and given how large their layout has become, not only is the goal certainly possible, but it is attainable.

Mr. Parker said, “We’re making progress on our layout. The future will be great.”