Welcome to the
Eregion RailRoad Company

Br. Elias Thienpont OSB
Railroad Mogul



Br. Elias at the computer terminal.
Br. Elias is a monk of Assumption Abbey in Richardton North Dakota. Having a life long love of model railroading, he brought his train layout to the Abbey more than 15 years ago. It now occupies a former classroom on the third floor of the Abbey library building. The layout models a moderately sized commuter railroad running over 106 scheduled trains daily. This site shows the layout, its construction, and expounds on the "history" of the railroad. There are no goals for the completion of the layout. It, along with this website, exists and it grows at whatever pace I choose.



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The Fornost Local crosses the bridge onto the mainline.Model Railroading began at Assumption Abbey when I approached then Abbot Lawrence about the posibility of setting up some model trains that I had brought with me when I joined the monastery. The Abbot, recognising the "child in all of us" gave his permission. The Prior suggested using the old monastic refrectory (dining room to you non-monastic types) located in the basement of the monastery building, since this space was already approved by the Senior Council for 'hobby use'. He also suggested that there were several surplus pingpong tables around, as if I might use one. In a move that all model railroaders will understand, I took two tables, and this resulted in a layout 5 feet wide by 18 feet long. It also led into one of the hallmarks of my railroad construction here at the Abbey: the almost exclusive use of recycled building materials. I have never purchased any lumber or other building material for the layout. This first layout lasted more than five years before word came from on high that this room was to be rebuilt as our Centennial Exhibition Room, and that a train layout was not part of the plan.

After spending some time to identify another space that I might use, I settled on a vaccant classroom above our library building. Never mind that someone else was using the classroom, it was being under utilized, and as a store room at that. I was able to negotiate with several of the other monks to move things around, and I emptied this room, painted and refinished it, and began moving the trains up from the basement. The layout is an irregular shape using the two original ping pong tables at opposite ends of a three foot wide 'L' shaped table that was constructed from surplus lumber derived from the demolition of the old machine shed down near the barn. 

I invite you to spend some time visiting my layout on this website, as this is surely easier than draging so many visitors up to this classroom above our Library.

Br. Elias Thienpont, OSB

Br. Elias Thienpont
member of
The HTML Writers Guild


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