About Rails on Wheels
Rails on Wheels was formed in 1988 by a group of model railroaders
interested in constructing, displaying and operating a high-performance
HO scale model railroad. At the time, only one of the members had the
space available for a permanent layout, so we each began to build small,
portable sections that could be joined together, incorporating the specifications
that would eventually become the Rails
on Wheels Module Standards. This layout was usually stored dismantled
between public showings.
To promote our goals of educating our members and the public about
railroading and the hobby of model railroading, our activities have
included monthly meetings and workshops, layout setups at over 75 train
shows and the NMRA National Conventions in 1992 and 1997, private layout
setups, railfanning outings and trips to train shows and swap meets.
In 1998, several Rails on Wheels members who had developed an interest
in prototypical operation branched out and began to develop the Operations
Road Show. These members constructed a second dedicated layout which
resides in a member's basement and is used to hold operating sessions
using timetable and train order operating rules. This layout was publicly
unveiled at the Maple Leaf 2003 NMRA National Convention in Toronto,
where 135 attendees participated in operating sessions. Our success
in Toronto was repeated at the 2005 Cincinnati Limited and the 2009
Hartford National NMRA National Conventions. Our plan is to take this
layout out for public operations demonstrations far less frequently
than we show the display layout, probably no more often than once every
two or three years, as the design of this layout does not lend itself
to easy viewing by large numbers of people.
Rails on Wheels provides a forum through which members can learn techniques
and get help from persons experienced in layout design, benchwork, scenery,
electronics and wiring, rolling stock construction and structure building.
We have developed new approaches and techniques to meet our specific
construction needs, techniques which we feel have in some small way
contributed to the advancement of the hobby.
We are in the process of building new modules to replace the HO scale modular display layout that was stolen
in 2009, and welcome new members, regardless of their level of experience.
Our members range from beginners to people with over 40 years' experience
in the hobby.
Anyone interested in HO model railroading, from beginners to experienced
craftsmen, is welcome to join. Rails on Wheels is an independent club
not formally affiliated with any other organization. Membership is always
open. You need not own or build a module to participate.
Conrail Christmas Party 2015
On December 20, Rails on Wheels members took the display layout to a private event-- Conrail's 2015 Christmas Party, held in Dearborn, Michigan. The layout performed well and was well-received by over one hundred of the railroad's guests; after all what is a Christmas celebration without trains! While there, the Rails on Wheels crew was invited to have their picture taken with Santa Claus.
For those who may be unaware, Conrail still exists as an entity (Conrail Shared Assets Operations) operating approximately 1,200 miles of track in the Detroit area and New Jersey, as a contract carrier and switching service for its parent companies, CSX and Norfolk Southern.
Our next activities will be:
Activities related to the Operations Road Show layout are listed on
the Operations Road Show section of this site.
We usually meet at the Saline Historical Society's ex-NYC depot at
Ann Arbor and Bennett Streets in Saline. Our meetings at the depot are
open to members and non-members alike. Click
here for a map.
Southeast Michigan Model Train Show and Sale
Our 2016 train show will be held on Sunday, November 27, at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline
Road, 4.5 miles southwest of I-94 exit #175 (Ann Arbor-Saline Road), from
10:00am to 3:00pm.
Our show features over 100 tables of new and used trains for sale, large operating layouts on display, and food available on site. Parking is free.
Admission is $4.00 per person for ages 12 and older. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by a paid adult. "Early-Bird" admission is available for $10.00 per person, beginning at 8:00am.
Vendors: Sales tables are available for $18.00 apiece
until November 1. After November 1, tables increase to $20.00 apiece.
A limited number of spaces are available with electricity, for an
extra $5.00 per "booth" (group of tables). Requests for
tables in the same location as last year must be received by October
15. For additional information, or to purchase table space, call Jeff Fryman at (734) 944-9872 (evenings) or Walt Trancygier at (734) 552-4581.
If you wish to sell items at our train show, please download the table request form, print it out and mail it, along with your payment, to the address on the form.
We will be holding or participating in the following public events: