Membership in the Chesapeake Bay & Western Railroad Club is currently open to prospective members, who are encouraged to stop by during regularly scheduled operating sessions. The club is incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia and functions as a non-profit hobby organization (501(c)3). The CB&W derives its income solely from member dues, proceeds from white elephant sales/flea markets held during club open house events, and public donations.
The business meeting is held on the first Thursday of each month, while the remaining Thursday nights are reserved as a scheduled operating session. Major layout construction, maintenance, scenery, and other work activities usually are Tuesday nights or other convenient times for the members involved. Many members are at the club on weekends running or working on their equipment…or just hanging out and talking shop. These are perfect times to share various techniques or certain maintenance practices, DCC decoder installation, weathering, and many other aspects associated with model railroading. There are usually a large group of engineers running strains on the layout during the weekends.
Regular CB&W members are given clubhouse keys following the completion of their probationary period and are free to operate on the layout at any time. However, trains operating within the club’s structure shall be inspected for compliance with National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) and club standards such as metal gauge wheels and Kadee or Kadee-compatible couplers.