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FairfaxAll aboard! Model railroaders, town ink train-station pact

All aboard! Model railroaders, town ink train-station pact

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Northern Virginia Model Railroaders Inc. has not been able to offer monthly open houses of its sprawling HO-scale layout at the Vienna Train Station during the pandemic, but the group now has a renewed five-year agreement with the town of Vienna to operate the facility.

The Vienna Town Council on May 17 voted 7-0 in favor of the renewed operating agreement.

The station’s memorandum of understanding is unique and “what I would call a classic Vienna deal,” said Town Attorney Steve Briglia. The town originally did not have a program for the facility and formed a partnership with the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders to run and staff the building, he said.

“The hook is that the town provides some general maintenance and some utility funds for it,” Briglia said.


The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority owns the Vienna Train Station, as well as the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail right-of-way on which it sits, and covers all of the building’s capital-improvement and major maintenance costs.

The Model Railroaders group, which is more than 65 years old and has been headquartered at the station for at least three decades, will continue to perform routine maintenance for the building’s interior and grounds.

Under the renewed agreement, the town will provide repairs and routine maintenance for the station’s exterior, as well as provide and maintain its water, sewer, electrical and fire-alarm services.

Council member Charles Anderson toured the facility and asked the club to consider more public outreach, possibly including programs on the Underground Railroad during the town’s upcoming Liberty Amendments Month celebration. Another possibility could be a course on model railroading, done in conjunction with the Vienna Parks and Recreation Department, he said.

“I’d love to see that wonderful facility have a more visible presence in the community,” Anderson said.

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