Founded in 1994, the Providence Northern began as a hobbyist club in Providence, RI. Over the next twelve years, the club designed and built the largest HO scale model railroad in southern New England on Hathaway Street in Providence. Due to rising costs at that location, the PN moved to Warwick in 2006, where the layout was redesigned for the new space, incorporating lessons learned from the first location.
In 2007, the Providence Northern Model Railroad Club became a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. The club now acts as an educational center dedicated to model train building and design. Model Railroading is a multi-faceted hobby incorporating disciplines such as engineering, architecture, woodworking, electronics, and information technology. The Providence Northern layout has become a learning laboratory for teaching and refining these skills, in addition to being a perfect medium in which to educate, inform, and entertain the public.
Some of the Providence Northern’s activities include:
Creating and operating a large permanent exhibition layout that demonstrates the hobby. The layout is open for free viewing by the public during the weekly open hours.
Assisting local community groups such as schools and scouting organizations in promoting the hobby
Maintaining a reference library related to railroads and model railroading
Maintaining a portable modular layout used at shows to create awareness about the organization and the hobby of model railroading
Conducting periodic shows and seminars for the public at which members and non-members teach modeling skills, or display the results of applied modeling skills
This picture from "Unity" section of our Hathaway Street layout was used as the header on our web site for many years. The site you are looking at today is the 4th generation of the club site.
The photo is re-touched from the original. The Hathway Street location didn't have working signals, so the lights were added later to the existing signal bridge.