History (1974-1975)

In early 1974, after 16 years of effort, we had one of the largest model railroads in the Southeast. We had approximately 350 feet of mainline track and about 50% of it was scenerized. (Scenerized means towns, buildings, mountains, vegetation, freight yards, and signals had been added.). All main and branch lines were separated from view, by partitions, as they extended from the junctions. Members were enjoying operating sessions. At last, the Alabama, Tennessee & Northern was beginning to come to fruition.

Then came that fateful day, April 3, 1974, when the building and layout were destroyed by one of several tornados that devastated the area that day. Building 3541 was leveled; 16 years of work gone. In the photo at left, benchwork is visible on the right side, along with the entire southeast wall that was blown outward. More benchwork can be seen to the left. Debris was scattered over several hundred feet and very few items were salvaged from the area. "Our railroad was basically out-of-business".

Members had meetings at the Redstone Recreation/Service Center on post for several months. In November of 1974, seventeen charter members and three junior members filed for Certification of Incorporation of Redstone Model Railroad Club, Inc. The purpose of the corporation was to organize and promote greater fellowship between model railroaders and advancing the hobby of model railroading. This action started the "rebirth" of the Alabama, Tennessee, and Northern Railroad. The Army provided another building in the fall of 1975.