A portion of the rail section of the Agriculture and Forestry Museum is represented by three model railroad layouts constructed and operated by the volunteer efforts of the Central Mississippi Model Railroaders Association and the Red Caboose Crew. The layouts represent railroading in the late 1960s and early 1970s when steam locomotives were nearly replaced with modern diesel-electrics using the popular HO and O scale gauges. The layouts depict the contribution of railroads to the development of agriculture and commerce in Mississippi.
The HO Scale layout depicts Mississippi with a city area, logging area, a small rural town, catfish ponds, and fields of production agriculture. Also shown are many of the rail side industries of the era including cotton gins, sawmills, vegetable shipping warehouses, and railcar icing facilities.
The O Gauge layout represents the varied topography of Mississippi along the Mississippi River. Also exhibited in this area is a full scale exhibit of a caboose. Visitors can get an appreciation of the size of prototype trains and, perhaps, imagine the feeling of standing on the porch of the caboose as the miles roll by.
The model trains are controlled by handheld radio transmitters similar to the controllers one would use on home entertainment equipment sending digital commands to the locomotives and other equipment. Many of the locomotives are equipped with sound chips and speakers for visitors to enjoy the locomotive horns, bells, rumble of the diesel engines, and the squeal of the wheels on the steel rails. When the steam locomotives run, the exhaust is synchronized with the locomotive speed. The track of the four exhibits represent approximately 25 miles of prototypical track. To power the track, accessories and control the trains, there is over one mile of wire under the tables. The exhibits are designed and wired so that visitors may press a button and make the trains run at any time.