LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – A larger than life train display has been forced into storage. Now members of a New Mexico railroading club are hoping the community will help save a museum that’s been around for more than 20 years. “We have probably over 100 locomotives that are powered and over 1,000 pieces of rolling stock that we could display,” said James McKelvey, Chairman, Southwest Model Railroad Museum.

The Southwest Model Railroad Museum has been around for more than 20 years and has always been open to the public at no cost. It was first housed in the Harvey House Museum in Belen. Then, it was moved to Mid-Valley Airpark in Los Lunas five years ago.

Last month the club was forced to pack the display into storage after the building was sold. “They put us in a pickle so to speak and it’s been disheartening overall,” said club member Roman Wolf.

Now the club is hoping to raise $10,000 to renovate and move the display into the old city hall building in Belen. “To be able to share in a hobby that we enjoy,” said McKelvey.

Along with the elaborate display, club members hope to provide visitors with a unique interactive and educational experience. “We would have classes on how to make mountains, how to put the track down, and how to run an engine. We’ll teach these people the art of railroading in miniature,” said club member Bill Tresfsgar.

The club is hopeful the community will rally around a hobby that honors the history of the city.
The club also has a portable display that they use for specials events across the state but those were canceled because of the coronavirus. To donate to the museum visit their GoFundMe page.

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