Did you know that the Associated Model Railroad of Columbia, or AMROC, is regularly open to the public free of charge? Whether you’re an experienced model train hobbyist or just have a young child who likes trains, AMROC could be just right for you! You’ll be able to learn how to drive a model train, how the trains work, all about the different models, and more! See model trains in Columbia, SC at AMROC!
What is AMROC?
Located directly across the street from the Governor’s Mansion, you will find the Associated Model Railroads of Columbia, also known as AMROC. AMROC is an organization made up of several members who build and operate a variety of model trains. They’ve got large “G Scale” models, tiny “N Scale” models, and everything in between.
AMROC is Open to the Public at No Cost
Every Thursday, excluding the first Thursday of the month, the members of AMROC open up the building to the public. They begin their demonstrations at 7 pm and are there to educate the community about model trains, give advice on modeling and servicing, and even allow the public to run their own model trains along the tracks. These Thursday events are completely FREE and they welcome all ages to join in on the fun!
You will need to enter the building on the main level using the door along Laurel Street and across from Finlay Park. There is plenty of on-street parking and a parking garage right next door if needed!
Become a Conductor at the Associated Model Railroad of Columbia
My husband and I recently had the opportunity to take our kiddos to ARMOC and were greeted with knowledgeable model train engineers who were eager to get us involved. The members answered several of our questions and curiosities, taught us about the differences in each model, and gave us several neat facts about the trains.
My 4-year-old son was given the opportunity to “drive” one of the model trains and to say his day was made would be an understatement! He was given the throttle and shown how to make the train stop, control the speed, blow the whistle, and make steam come out. He spent the majority of our time there being a little conductor and had so much fun doing so!
We also had our 2-year-old daughter with us and while she was a bit too young to get as much out of it as my son, she still had fun watching the “choo-choos” and pointing out all the details within the displays.
Quick Takeaways: Parent Review and Things to Know
Even though my daughter enjoyed the experience, I think it is best suited for children no younger than 4 years old.
Because of the large models, there isn’t tons of “wiggle room” so keep that in mind as you’re loading up. Strollers would be best kept in the car.
Also, be sure to talk with your kiddos about the importance of not touching the models or trains themselves unless they are given permission.
Upcoming Seasonal Events at AMROC
Along with the Thursday events, AMROC also hosts several other events and demonstrations throughout the year! Some of their upcoming kid-friendly events include:
- Track or Treat – October 26, 2023 from 7 pm to 9 pm
- Christmas Show – December 2, 2023 from 10 am to 3 pm
Associated Model Railroad of Columbia
1800 Lincoln Street, Columbia
Have you had the chance to check out AMROC yet?
Discover more totally fun and totally free things to do in Columbia, SC!