Where the club meets

Monday and Wednesday nights from 7:30pm until 10:00pm

Club Rooms
Central Avenue
BT20 5QF

A short history of the NDMRS

The North Down Model Railway Society (NDMRS) was founded in September 1978. This followed a visit by the first Chairman to the home of one of the founder members and found him working on his model railway. After a conversation about the possibility of forming a club an advertisement was placed in the local press and around 100 people turned up to the meeting, and so the NDMRS was established and the first Committee elected. There are four of the founders members still on the membership list including the first Chairman who is now the NDMRS President..

The club met in various locations over the next months. A small layout was built in the garage of one member and displayed in a tent in November 1978. A move to the present club rooms was made in 1979 and work commenced on the clubs first layout. This was a permanent layout filling most of the club main room and through an opening in the wall into the kitchen area with a lifting section to provide access to the loo although operators had to be careful as at least one train left the kitchen area and came to grief as the lifting section was in the up position. When the layout was completed open days became a regular feature with free entry for the public but enjoyable for members to run trains. At the same time club members layouts were used to attend shows.

After many years of service the permanent layout was dismantled and the club embarked on building portable layouts. Over time and a number of builds that have come and gone we now have layouts in ‘N’, ‘OO’ and ‘O’ gauges with one of each on display at any one time. The club has had layouts featured in the modelling magazines.

The current layouts are both DC and DCC controlled and for OO code 100 has mainly been replaced by code 75 with code 55 for N gauge and C&L fine scale for the O gauge. Auto uncoupling is also used.


Each year the NDMRS, in April, host its annual Model Exhibition, so called because we include model railways, model aircraft, static and a flying display, boats, dolls houses and diecast models and a full trade support.

We also exhibit across both Northern and Southern Ireland and the rest of the UK including Glasgow, Doncaster and the NEC.


As a club we organise a number of activities during the year. Dinner nights with wives and partners are occcasionally through the year. The largest gathering is on the Saturday night of the Exhibition when exhibitors, traders and club members with their wives come together for dinner and presentation of awards.


Just finished is the ‘O’ gauge layout based on Antrim, Co. Antrim which is on the Belfast to Ballymena line and all points north. Progressing is a new ‘OO’ layout based on Craigmore an 18 arch viaduct which carries the Belfast to Dublin main line and on the layout will span almost 10 feet.


Being a member of a club has been full of experiences that otherwise would not have been gained in modelling skills, such as design, woodwork, track laying, electronics, and producing the scenery. There is always someone on hand to help with advice and assistance with any problems that are encountered.


Come and visit us any Monday or Wednesday from 7.30 – 10.00 pm and ask and discuss any questions you have and if interested membership of the club. We also have tea and biscuits to enjoy. Contact the club Secretary if you would like to visit or just drop in.

Tom McKee
North Down Model Railway Society. (2018)