Member Benefits

Indiana Large Scale Railroaders is a group of enthusiasts, hobbyists and collectors who enjoy large scale model trains. The club was formed in 1989 as “The Indiana Big Train Engineers”.  Now called the “Indiana Large Scale Railroaders”, the club today has around 80 members located primarily, but not exclusively, in Indiana. A more detailed history can be found here.

Model railroading combines many interests and can engage you and your family in a life-long activity. Because most of our railroads are in the garden, the hobby frequently is shared by couples.

The goal of our club is to provide information, inspiration and creative examples for the large scale model railroader in a fun and relaxed environment. ILSR members share experience and knowledge by exhibiting their layouts, conducting workshops and attending club meetings.

Specific Questions or Ready to Join?

Go to the top of the page under the “About” dropdown and click “Contact Us”. Select Vice President for Member Information or select Treasurer to join.

General Information

ILSR’s members build and enjoy several types of large scale railroads, including:

Outdoor Garden Railways –

A Modular Layout

and Indoor Operating Railroads –

What Size Are The Trains?
We have included some full scale members and spectators in the photos above in order to give you some relative notion of what we mean by “Large Scale”. But, in order to answer the size question, and, since we model in several scales, we really need to talk about track gauge, which is the primary constant in our club. Virtually everyone in the club runs their trains on track that is technically designated “Gauge 1”, or commonly called “G Scale”. It actually measures 45 millimeters (1.77 inches) in gauge, the distance between the rails:

We call them “Large Scale” because, in the model railroad world, the most popular scales are HO, which is 1:87.1 scale and N, which is 1:160 scale. Our scales, the dimensional ratio of the model to the actual train, generally range from 1:20.3 to 1:32 but that is a topic that needs further explanation. Here is a general overview and here is the National Model Railroad Association’s official recommendation. Note that NMRA does not use the ‘G Scale’ designation at all but instead breaks it down into ‘Fn3’ and LS.

Club Meetings

Our club holds meetings about six times a year on Saturday afternoons. Most meetings offer a workshop subject or a layout tour to help members build their own layouts or improve existing ones. See the right column on the Home (Welcome) page, or use the “Contact” page, for information about the next meeting. Visitors are always welcome.

Special Events

Special events are scheduled several times throughout the year and are always a highlight for our club. These events provide an opportunity to share ideas, socialize and gain a greater appreciation for model railroading. Some past highlights include restoring the model train display at Riley Hospital and creating the garden railroad display at “Orchard in Bloom”, both located in Indianapolis.

Each year the club takes part in the “Four Club Bus Tour” wherein four area garden railroad clubs charter tour buses for a one-day tour of several outstanding garden railroads in nearby states. In 2012 ILSR hosted clubs from Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus, Ohio and they toured some of our finest garden railroads.

There is also an Annual Club Banquet, generally in May.

Dues and Newsletter

Annual dues are $15 if you would like to receive your quarterly newsletter by email.

Annual dues are $20 if you would like to receive a printed newsletter delivered by your mail carrier four times a year. In either case your dues, payable on the first of January, include a spouse or other family member. Preview the newsletter (sample copy here).


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