The Mountain Empire Model Railroaders is a group of individuals from all walks of life with one common interest, we all enjoy the hobby of scale model railroading. Our ranks include individuals from industry, education, government, business, communications and other sectors of the community. Our mission is to promote, advance and support the hobby of scale model railroading in the Tri-Cities metropolitan area.

For Info Call (423) 439-3382

P.O. Box 70697
Johnson City, TN 37614

Annually thousands of visitors enjoy the museum’s displays, which include historic prototype railroad memorabilia, toy trains and model railroading locomotives, rolling stock, and structures. Four large operating layouts in three different scales provide viewing enjoyment in the museum’s 5,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space.

The museum’s model railroads are operated by volunteers from the Mountain Empire Model Railroader club  (MEMRR) who provide information about local historic railroads and knowledgeable tips on the basics of model railroading. In addition, two railroad historical societies are affiliated with the museum; the George L. Carter Chapter National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) and the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad Historical Society.

Devoted to the region’s historical ties to railroads, the museum is dedicated to the memory of George L. Carter who built the Clinchfield Railroad through 277 miles of mountainous terrain to carry coal from Eastern Kentucky to the Carolina Piedmont. In 1909, when the state’s selection committee visited the area while searching for a site for a proposed teachers college, Carter offered his 120-acre farm and $100,000 toward the establishment of the normal school, which became ETSU. 

The Carter Railroad Museum includes model railroad layouts, a special child’s activity room, and ongoing programs. Donations are welcome for its upkeep. The museum is also seeking artifacts for display, including the newest addition dedicated to the long-defunct, but well-remembered ‘Tweetsie’ line, the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad.

In addition to the displays, there is also a growing research library, the National Railway Historical Society chapter, membership opportunities, and an oral history archive being established as part of the museum’s programs.

The Mountain Empire Model Railroaders (MEMRR) works in conjunction with the museum to demonstrate and maintain the model layouts, museum exhibits and other projects. Models trains will run on N scale and G gauge layouts and on the club’s 24’x44′ HO scale model operation. More info can be found at Membership opportunities are available to adults, and include special benefits and model railroading enjoyment.

For more information contact the Museum Director, Dr. Fred Alsop, at telephone (423) 439-6838 or by email at

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