Rails on Wheels
525 E. Michigan Ave #151
Saline, MI 48176-1588

Founded 1988

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2016 Train Show - November 27, 2016


Our upcoming activities are

13-OCT-2016   Business meeting, Saline Historical Society Depot Museum, Saline, 8:00pm
27-OCT-2016   Social meeting, Saline Historical Society Depot Museum, Saline, 8:00pm

Latest News



rails on wheels
Washtenaw County, Michigan's first HO modular model railroad club.

Updated: 30-SEP-2016

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.

Club News

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.


Club Activities

Our next activities will be:

22-SEP-2016   Social meeting, Saline Historical Society Depot Museum, Saline, 8:00pm - Poss. members-only event off-site, TBD
13-OCT-2016   Business meeting, Saline Historical Society Depot Museum, Saline, 8:00pm

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.

Upcoming Events

We will be holding or participating in the following public events:

27-NOV-2016   Rails on Wheels' Southeast Michigan Model Train Show and Sale, Saline Farm Council Grounds, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 10:00am to 3:00pm

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