This Week @ The Spike - Darrell Risley

March Newsletter

Published by Claire Saucier, March 11, 2021

Here's just page one of our recent Newsletter. We have a wonderful new editor and will be publishing monthly. If you'd like your own copy send your e-mail address to with Newsletter as the subject. This month's newsletter is a full four pages long!

Published by Claire Saucier, April 24, 2021

Volunteers have been busy as usual at the Iron Spike this week. Don has been continuing to work on the HO scale lock system for moving barges that he is building from scratch! That means he is cutting and shaping each piece of wood to 1/87th scale by hand. He told me that in his research, the angle of the gates must meet at 18 degrees when closed. Any other angle can not contain the pressure of the water. He has also scratch built several of the barges that will be going thru the locks. The tugboat and the Rescue boat have also been built and realistically painted. They look very sharp. He still plans to paint more people to operate the Rescue boat. And then he will get started on the hydroelectric dam, which is starting to take shape.

Mike has been continuing the behind-the-scenes maintenance to keep things running smoothly as well as adding some LED lighting. Mike is the guy you holler for when an engine stops running, derails or finds a dead section of track. He has also spent a lot of time cleaning the thousands of feet of track! It wouldn’t be any fun if the trains didn’t run! Thanks Mike!

Our N Gauge DCC (that’s Digital Command Control), guys are working on some exciting projects as well! Tom and Scott are continuing to add sensors to control different sections of track to add some more realistic operations. For example, having an engine working in the yards (that’s where the rolling stock is stored until needed) making up a train by getting cars from the yard or siding and moving them to a siding waiting for an engine to come and take them to their destinations. Tom and Scott are working on a Python script to automate some of the operations.

And we are grateful to see more visitors that we can share our passion for model railroads with! First time visitors are always amazed at the details that the many volunteers have put on the many layouts at the museum. One of them commented to me that they “had no idea” that the museum was so large and well done. Visitors are always impressed. And the excitement of the kids is a pure delight to watch! They run from one section to the other in amazement!

If you haven’t seen it yet, come on out! It is a wonderful way to spend several hours, or days! Because there is no way you can see all of the detail in one trip!

Registry for Good

So, you've all heard of a bridal registry? Iron Spike now has a "Registry for Good" courtesy of It is another way you can show your love and support to your favorite model train museum. We have a registry called "Everyday Essentials." It only contains things we use on a regular basis such as office supplies, batteries for the LEGO display, and coffee for the volunteers. We've kept the list modest and frugal. The great thing is ANYONE can purchase off the list, and the items will be delivered directly to us. Here is the link to our registry landing page. Maybe you will find something on our list that you would like to help out with. Of course, we have also included gift cards to help out with those unexpected or one-time purchase needs.


Published by Claire Saucier · January 7, 2021

Effective January 13, 2021 you will need to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance to visit the Museum on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Phone number to call is: 636-283-5166.

We are struggling with COVID 19 impacts. We have had a number of our volunteers out, either because they are sick or because they live with someone who got sick, and have to quarantine. It's difficult to keep up with the retail side of the museum and the tour side at the same time with so few volunteers available. We will keep this policy in effect until we get back to our normal volunteer strength. Watch the blog or our Facebook page for updates.

And speaking of our retail activities, you should check out our eBay store. We put a link on the front of our website. We have listed over 200 items for sale, mostly in HO and N scale. You will also find lots of train books to add to your library. The eBay store has kept your Museum running while visitors have been few. Here's hoping visitors feel comfortable returning in the near future!

As a reminder, we still require visitors to have their temperatures taken and leave a contact phone number before entering the Museum. Visitors over age 6 must wear masks while touring the Museum. We appreciate very much that most of you have been very cooperative with our safety precautions. These procedures are in place because we want to stay healthy and we want you to stay healthy too.

Posted 05/01/2021 Iron Spike Model Train Museum

Published by Claire Saucier

The Children's Train Room is back open, and little ones are enjoying themselves again! (Big kids, too!)


Published by Claire Saucier · May 20, 2020·

Iron Spike Model Train Museum will reopen to the public on June 3, 2020 at 10 am.

As a BIG Thank You to those who purchased memberships while we were closed due to COVID-19, our first week will be a Members Only week.

While the Museum was closed, we introduced a new Membership Program. You can find all the details under the membership tab on this site. There's a membership to fit every wallet. It's a good value too! And it's an even better value if you purchase your membership before June 3. By doing that you will get 13 months for the price of 12. Of course, you can buy your membership during that first week, but you will miss the sale.

When we open, our volunteers will be wearing masks for everyone's protection. We will ask you to wear a mask for the same reason. Feel free to bring your own. We will be taking every visitor's temperature. Visitors with a fever of 100.4 or higher will not be admitted to the Museum. You will be asked to provide contact information in the guest book so we can contact you in case we receive information about a COVID-19 exposure. We will be controlling the number of people in our smaller rooms to maintain social-distancing.

We are still struggling with what to do about the Children's Train Experience. We are keeping that room closed for a while longer to avoid spreading any germs or bacteria through our young visitors.

Anyone unwilling/unable to comply with these few policies will be asked to leave. We value your health and safety. We hope we'll be able to relax soon.

Iron Spike Model Train Museum

Published by Claire Saucier · May 10, 2020·

Happy Mothers' Day to all the moms out there. We sure miss seeing you.

I'm taking this opportunity to share the news that Iron Spike cannot open for regular business this Friday, May 15th. Our volunteers are in the category of MOST VULNERABLE as they are mostly seniors, and many have underlying health conditions. They've stayed healthy so far, and we know no one wants that to change.

If you are looking to shop the Recycled Railroad, give us a call (636-283-5166) and we'll do that by appointment only, starting on May 16th. If you shop that day, we will honor the 3rd Saturday Market Discount of 10% off your total purchase. Call this week to schedule your Shopping Experience!

We will continue to take material donations by appointment only also.

When we do open, we may begin with small tours at scheduled times which will require reservations to keep our groups small. Not sure when the Children's Train Experience will be able to open.

If you have suggestions for safe operations when we open, please send them our way. We are listening.

Until then, the Membership sale will continue! Free admission for 13 months for the price of 12, with activation delayed until we are able to open! Just go to the Membership tab on our website to find the level that suits your pocketbook.

Iron Spike, Inc is a 501(c)(3) public charity museum in Washington Missouri, dedicated to the preservation and display of model railroading and railroad history. All listings benefit the museum and come from donations.

In the interest of public safety and an abundance of caution, Iron Spike Model Train Museum will be closed until further notice to try and help minimize the spread of COVID-19. This decision reduces the Museum's regular income by at least 75%. Your donation, at this time in particular, will help the Museum continue once the contact restrictions can be eased.

The Museum is an important part of the local landscape and draws over 5000 visitors each year to Washington, MO. Your support during this crisis would be greatly appreciated.

Iron Spike Model Train Blog

Do you have a Lionel and want to expand? We have large selection of vintage track available of all shapes. Also vintage HO engines, cars, etc. Large selection of Village items for detailing your home train layout. Come in and check it out!!

November 22, 2019

Iron Spike adding rails for placement of a Caboose outside on site soon to be delivered.

November 29 - December 12.

Christmas Tree sales at Iron Spike sponsored by the Washington Optimist Club and Iron Spike Model Train Museum

December 13-December 21.

Christmas Tree sales at Iron Spike sponsored by the Washington Optimist Club and Iron Spike Model Train Museum

Just one more way you can help support Iron Spike. When you shop on Amazon, and we KNOW you do, choose AmazonSmile and designate Iron Spike as your chosen charity. Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase to US at no extra cost to you. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner...we appreciate your support.

  • Sunday, December 22, 2019 at 2 PM – 5 PM

  • 1498 High St., Washington, Missouri 63090

  • Limited Capacity · Reserve a spot and confirm details to attend

The Polar Express movie will start at 2:15 pm on Sunday, December 22nd. Iron Spike will provide free popcorn. Soft drinks may be purchased for $1 each.

At the end of the movie (4:00-5:00 pm) A Most Famous Christmas Visitor will make an appearance for the children who attend this showing.

Please note: We are asking you to reserve seats because of limited capacity. We hope you will be able to honor your reservation. As a courtesy to others just send a FB message or call the Museum (636-283-5166) to cancel if your plans change.