Welcome to the Prairie Lakes Division Website. The PLD is a division within the Thousand Lakes Region of the National Model Railroad Association. We hope to promote Model Railroading as an entertaining and educational hobby for the whole family. Through this website, our semi-annual meets, and train shows hosted in NW Iowa and SW Minnesota, we hope to further your enjoyment of this and other modeling hobbies. Please join us at one of our upcoming meets, email us, or call one of our officers to find out how you can join in the fun by becoming a member today.
Prairie Lakes Division website in need of articles, news, events, and information!
If you have an article or a picture with a caption that you would like to have in this space, contact Keith Wells, webmaster. There is always room for your information, and articles. If you know of an event coming up in the region, let us know and it could go on this website. Boost up your attendance to your layout tour by sending some photos and a description about what people are to encounter!
Have something for swap?
Looking for some help or tips?
Have a useful tidbit to show and tell?
Send it here! firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a vendor table at one of our shows? Send us your business flier or information and get a little boost to your sales if members know that you'll be at our next Meet!
Prairie Lakes Division Meets
On April 9th, the Prairie Lakes Division held it's spring Meet in Le Mars, Iowa. The Floyd Valley Model Railroad Club hosted the train show and meet at the Plymouth County Museum. There were Clinics, Model and Photography Contests, and vendor tables. The Meet was a great success and The PLD looks forward to the fall 2016 Meet in Estherville. This will be the 30th anniversary of the Prairie Lakes Division. Join everyone on Saturday October 1st at the Regional Wellness Center located at 415 South 18th Street. There will be vendors, clinics, a popular vote contest, and model railroad tours. Since it will be a special celebration, members will be invited to a banquet in the evening. More information to come so check back here to be updated.
See you There!
Floyd Valley Model Railroad Club Vice President John Schneider talking to local children that visited the Model Railroad Layout located in the basement of the Floyd Valley Historical Museum.
The Prairie Lakes Journal
The PLD is currently looking for an Editor for its publication, The Journal. Former Editor Keith Wells stepped down during the summer of 2015 and PLD Superintendent Jay Davis has taken on the duty of temporary Editor. If you are interested in this position, please call Jay Davis.
By PLD Superintendent Jay Davis
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday
and wish you all a happy New Year. It
has been a different sort of winter so far, but
the cold and snow will soon be here to drive
us into the basement to work on our model
I did a little work on my layout last
fall. I had the track gang working on some
track improvements under the train shed at
the Milwaukee depot. I never glued down the
track in this area, so over time the passenger
platforms have worked their way above the
track resulting in engines and cars lifted off
the track and causing derailments and engines
to lose power. This was a needed fix
and a very hard place to reach.
I also had the honor to work on the
scenery for Miles Rohan’s Rusty Spike RR
layout in Everly, IA. We have had a big push
to complete the layout in the last year. The
scenery is about 98% done. There was a core
group of us that worked on it every couple
weeks. It looks great and in the words of one
of the scenery guys, “No more pink foam!”
Back on September 26, we had our annual
fall meet in Sibley, Iowa. This event
was held in conjunction with the celebration
of the Otter Valley Model Railroad Club’s
The meet was attended by ninety
members and general public. I think more
would have attended, but the weather was
unseasonably nice for late September. For
those who didn’t attend, you missed a great
day of clinics, vendors, contests, and fellowship
with old friends.
We had three remarkable clinic presenters.
Rich Wilkinson presented a great
look into the Rock Island’s impact and history
around Sibley. He also shared some classic
photos he had taken in the late 70s and
early 80s, of the Rock and C&NW. Next up, John Galstad gave us a history of
different early products and train sets from
Athearn. He had many examples from his
collection on display. It was very interesting
to see the advancements that the hobby
Lastly, Jim Bernier from Rochester,
MN, showed us how to get freight cars
ready to perform on your layout by upgrading
wheel sets, correct car weighting and
couplers. He gave many helpful tips and
hints to attain great performance out of
The contest and the special fallen
flag display, drew many great models.
Thanks to all who took part in the days activities,
and to John Galstad for arranging
the fallen flag display.
The Otter Valley had its layout
open for viewing. The club has added
many new attractions to this great layout.
Big thanks to Denny, Tim, and the rest of
the club, for helping out with the meet.
The day concluded with the business
meeting. At the meeting Keith Wells submitted
his resignation as editor. He said he
would still carry on as webmaster for the
Thanks Keith for your many years as
editor. We are looking for an editor! If you
are an NMRA member, and interested in
taking on this job, please contact the superintendent.