About 20 people started meeting in November 1975 in the basement of one of the founding members, calling themselves the "No Name Model Raiload Club." They formally incorporated as the Mount Hood Model Engineers in July 1976 and about the same time found their present location, at the Mt. Tabor Masonic Lodge, 5500 SE Belmont Street, in Portland, Oregon. Their first open house was in 1978 and over the years, the railroad has been rebuilt and refined to its present configuration.
The HO-scale layout covers almost 1200 square feet and the mainline extends seven scale miles. The east and west ends of the railroad are connected to a double-ended 10-track yard concealed beneath a high, mountainous ridge.
Originally operators used four mainline cabs and several local control cabs to move the traffic with the power supplies and throttles designed and built by club members. On operating nights, the dispatcher keeps up to a dozen club members busy with yard, local and mainline work.
The club completed the conversion from conventional Direct Current (DC) control to Digital Command Control (DCC) in 2011.