BRMNA Information

(Last December 21st, 2016)



The British Railway Modellers of North America was formed in June 1968 by three like-minded modellers to meet two basic needs of modellers of British prototype in Canada and the U.S.A. Why? Because, FIRST,there was no means of communication, either verbal or written, as there was no central place for establishing contact; and, SECOND, there was no way of exchanging information, surplus items, or being able to obtain parts or have repairs made.


As with most railway clubs, the BRMNA is run by volunteers; unlike many such clubs it has no bylaws or annual elections. The headquarters of BRMNA is Ottawa, Ontario, Canada only because that is where it was founded and where those who have run it live! At the present time the workload is shared between the president, the secretary/treasurer and the editor of the JOURNAL.


Now with around 330 members, who belongs to BRMNA? There are those who prefer a specific railway in a specific era; those who operate joint railways so they can run what they like; and, those who like mixtures of British/European, British and North American, and other combinations. There are those who derive pleasure from being specialists in painting and lining locomotives, or building coaches, or wiring control systems. Others are just interested in railway history. Some members are also suppliers who carry a wide selection of British or Continental lines at competitive prices. Whether historical or contemporary, diesels or steam, signals or semaphores, from Z gauge to live steam, interests in BRMNA cover many areas and provides something for evryone who is interested in modelling the British scene.


The BRMNA publishes 6 JOURNALs per year with over 300 published to date. Four of them feature brief articles; ads to sell or to seek used items; requests for help or advice; information and meeting dates for BRMNA and other British groups in North America; and information on model railway shows in North America that include displays or sales of British equipment. The other two are larger issues featuring articles, tips, photographs, hints, trade reviews, news, opinions and critiques addition to the topics featured in the other four issues. (Advertising is free for members but there is a charge for commercial advertising.) Take a look at a past Journal

BRMNA also publishes an annual membership directory that provides the name, address, email address and interests of each member as well as a list of supplier members. Note that this information is never provided to non-members and is never provided in electronic form.

In addition, the BRMNA Web Site contains resource references and information to assist those interested in modelling the railways of Britain. A feature of this site is the reference listings to over 10,000 drawings and articles in various modelling magazines.

The web site also includes a Member Zone which is accessible only to BRMNA members. It features access to the Journal and a Member forum which allows members to post questions and get answers back quicker than is possible through more traditional means. It also includes a preview of new advertising of second-hand sales lists which ensures that members get first priority when it comes to making purchases from these lists.

Finally, BRMNA members receive a membership badge engraved with their name and an embroidered crest both of which are useful when attending meetings or shows.


The majority of members keep in touch with one another through the JOURNAL and the web site. Many make direct contact through the membership directory. Finally, in some locations such as Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Chicago, there are enough members to organise local meetings.


If you have seen enough to want to join, then go to the how to join BRMNA page and see how easy it is! You won't regret it.

Need more convincing? Then consider for a moment the following:

  • 1. In 1968, while it was occasionally possible to obtain some British models in some stores, there was NO-ONE in North America who specialised in importing and servicing British goods; today there are over a dozen.
  • 2. In 1968, the formation of BRMNA created the ONLY organization in North America which catered specifically for the needs of those modelling British railways in Canada and the USA; today there are about ten.
  • 3. In 1968, it was virtually impossible to find British model railway magazines on the rack in hobby stores or magazine speciality stores; today there are many places where the number is over a dozen.
  • 4. In 1968, it was rare to find British layouts on display at local model railway shows; today there are many where there is at least one; several where there are at least three; and one show devoted entirely to British railway exhibits.
  • 5. In 1968, it was rare to find dealers specialising in British railway modelling products at local model railway shows; today there are many where there is at least one; several where there are at least three; and one show where all the dealers sell British model railway products.

Perhaps the foregoing are simply natural developments that would have occurred anyway without BRMNA. However, I think not. Rather I think that the existence of BRMNA gave a very large helping hand in two areas: to the market place by demonstrating in quantitative and qualitative terms that there was a market; and in those areas where was a nuclei of enthusiasts that just needed a nudge to go beyond the critical mass necessary to make them a going concern on their own.

I can't think of anything more to add so why not go to the how to join BRMNA page and see how easy it is! You really won't regret it.

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