Welcome to the ACT Model Railway Society
Great Layouts
Creativity, passion and imagination pushed to their limits.
We are the ACT Model Railway Society
We are an active and friendly group of railway modellers based in Canberra, ACT, Australia


The ACT Model Railway Society (ACTMRS Inc)
is an active and friendly group of railway modellers based in Canberra, ACT, Australia

Membership info

Membership of the ACTMRS is open to all people with an interest in railway modelling, regardless of age or gender. All memberships are in fact "family memberships". The ACTMRS is registered with the Australian Men's Shed Association (registration #AMSA100931).

What we model

We currently have members modelling N, OO, HO and O scales, in both standard and narrow gauges. Our members and families are involved in the building and running of their individual home layouts, and have also developed a number of award-winning exhibition layouts for the ACTMRS. We now operate 2 layouts in our shed and have 2 exhibition layouts stored away until public exhibitions can once again resume post-covid.
Our 2 operating layouts in the shed are:

- An extensive multi-level HO scale layout operated with Digital Command Control (DCC), and
Little Woodland
- An OO-scale British prototype layout operated with DC control
Our 2 stored exhibition layouts are:
- An award-winning HO-scale Australian prototype layout operated with Digital Command Control (DCC), and
Little Austria
- An HOe-scale European layout operated with DC control

Our Meetings and Activities

Our club meetings would normally be held in our shed (the Evatt Men's Shed) on the second Wednesday of each month, starting at about 8:00 PM. However, these meetings are currently suspended because of covid-19 safety rules. Regular operating sessions are however still run in our shed 4 times a week and a regular layout work session is held once a week (see the calendar below for all the details). Visitors are welcome but we ask that you contact us before coming so that we don't have too many people in the shed for the covid-19 rules. You'll find a contact form below. Our shed is co-located behind the Mosaic Baptist Church (formerly called North Belconnen Baptist Church) at Chomley Court, Evatt, ACT, Australia.

We try to offer something of interest to all our members:

  • Displaying ACTMRS exhibition layouts at model exhibitions both locally and in other cities
  • Conducting formal modelling workshops
  • Railway-related video nights, and members' slide nights
  • Informal discussions of modelling techniques and interests
  • "Bring and Show" meetings
  • Operating sessions - some using timetables for running, or with the Society's Digital Command Control system
  • Social functions (such as barbeques, dinners, etc.)


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The ACTMRS holds regular meetings at our Shed each month in Chomley Court, Evatt, ACT. Details of upcoming events are shown in this calendar.

Our club activities are running under the government covid-19 virus "social distancing rules" which have been introduced to protect Australian public health. As a result, each of our club activities at the Shed currently operate with a maximum of 30 people indoors at any one time - though in practice we typically have far fewer people present. Visitors are welcome but we ask that you contact us before coming so that we don't have too many people in the shed for the covid-19 rules. A contact form is below.


There isn't a train that I wouldn't take.
-Edna St Vincent Millay

Have fun with model railways
The model railway hobby is incredibly diverse with quite literally
"something for everybody".

Those with an eye for detail and a creative flair, can produce amazingly realistic worlds in miniature. It might be the worlds of today, or those of yesteryear when steam engines ruled the rails. Other modellers with an interest in electronics and programming might concentrate on the complexities of digital command control (DCC) and wiring and configuring DCC decoders, lights, signals and point motors. Still others are more interested in operating locomotives and trains on realistic-looking layouts to realistic timetables that mimic real-world operations on full-size railways.

So whatever your interest, there's bound to be something for you.


A photo from 2019 of Mytabeen during construction and before much scenery development has been done



Construction of the permanent club layout, Mytabeen, is now well-advanced (see our Facebook page for up to date information on club activities including more details of Mytabeen). It is a multi-level HO-scale club layout which has been configured as a folded double dog-bone extending across the Shed. Operationally the layout features a long mainline that winds around 2 peninsulars on 2 levels that are connected by a circular riser. This layout design gives trains a long run of around 10 minutes at realistic scale speeds between the upper and lower set-up/staging yards on the right hand side of the Shed and also allows for continuous running. Separate branch lines interchange with the main line on both the upper and lower levels. Digital command control (DCC) is used to operate this layout and this, and the number of industries and intermediate stations being built allow club members interested in near-protypical train operations and timetabling to "roll up their sleeves".
(Part of the Little Woodland permanent DC layout can also be seen on the lower part of the left-hand wall that is shown in the photo above).

Yendys layout


Yendys (that's "Sydney" backwards) won the award at the 2016 Sydney Model Railway Exhibition for Best Australian Prototype Layout. Yendys is based on a generic suburban Sydney location with a highly sceniced double-track mainline, a suburban station, electric carriage sheds and various industrial yard tracks encouraging lots of shunting of goods wagons.

See more

Little Austria layout

Little Austria

Little Austria is an HOe-scale exhibition layout loosely based on the secondary railways of Austria, especially the narrow gauge lines of Styria.

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Little Woodland layout

Little Woodland

Little Woodland is a point-to-point British OO-scale layout with a single track line connecting a small terminal station with a remote fiddle yard. Operation is by DC control.

See more


A large part of what the ACTMRS
does is to hold its own exhibitions and to participate in other exhibitions around Australia

So far we have taken our exhibition layouts as far north as Taree, as far south as Geelong and as far west as Adelaide.
We also hold our own exhibition in Canberra each year in association with the Malkara Special School.

Malkara Exhibition

The ACTMRS runs the annual Malkara Model Railway and Scale Model Exhibition on the first weekend in August each year in conjunction with, and as a major fundraiser for, the Malkara Specialist School in Hughes, a suburb of Canberra. The ACTMRS has been running this exhibition for more than 40 years and it has become a Canberra institution. In addition to exhibiting its own model railway layouts, the ACTMRS invites and coordinates a wide range of other participants. In addition to model railways, you will find model boats and submarines in the school's hydro pool, miniature live steam train rides, remote controlled miniature tanks running around and shops to buy models, food and drink. It's a great family day out!

Malkara 2020

The 48th Malkara Model Railway and Scale Model Exhibition was scheduled for the weekend of 1-2 August this year. However, because of the covid-19 regulations it is not going to be possible to run the exhibition this year.

Last year's Malkara Exhibition was held at the Malkara Special School in Garran from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday the 4th and 9:00am to 4:00pm on Sunday the 5th of August. Admission was $10.00 for Adults and $5.00 for children and pensioners. There were 33 exhibits and trade stands. Full details are HERE.

Previous Exhibitions

Contact US

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