The Model Railway Show – Episode 0009

Listen to this archived episode of The Model Railway Show through
streaming audio at TrainLife!

The Manufacturing Show!

In this episodeā€¦

Jason Shron, founder, Rapido Trains Inc.
Seth Neumann, owner, WP / SP Niles Canyon Layout.

21st Century Hobby Manufacturing

At some point, everybody in the hobby wonders what it would be like to start their own model railway manufacturing company. Most of us will never pass the pondering stage. A few hobbyists will set up cottage industries in their basement, spare room or shed.

Jason Shron set his sights higher.

Jason launched Rapido Trains Inc. in 2003 and it has quickly grown to become one of the major suppliers of high-end model trains and accessories in HO and N scales. Rapido’s products are often innovative or iconic: Two examples of this are Rapido’s steam generator cars that actually steam and its excellent model of the ground-breaking TurboTrain.

Jim talks to Jason about Rapido’s roots, the challenges of running a hobby-based company today, and just what it takes to get things right.

Related Links:
Photos of Jason Shron’s models.
The Rapido Trains gallery of customer photos and videos.

Big Manufacturing = Big Modeling Fun

When it comes to operating a model railway, it’s hard to beat industry switching. But many of our model towns feature a sprinkling of small industries that receive just a couple of cars each. Could we do better?

For Seth Neumann, the answer is, “Go Big”. Seth’s late 1990s layout features the Western Pacific and Southern Pacific in California’s East Bay area. It features several industries, but the online customer that dominates operating sessions is an 18-foot long automotive assembly plant modeled after the joint GM/Toyota NUMMI facility in Fremont.

Seth speaks with Trevor about why he chose to devote such a large chunk of his layout to a single customer and how such a major user of rail services beats a half-dozen smaller customers when it comes to operating fun.

Related Links:
Photos of Seth Neumann’s layout.
Seth Neumann’s layout planning page (from 2001).
More photos of Seth’s layout (from this year’s BayRails event).
Additional pictures (Rob Sarberenyi’s photo gallery).
NUMMI on Wikipedia.

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Episode 09 (mp3)

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Next time on The Model Railway Show:

Trevor speaks with Jack Burgess about X2011 West, this year’s must-attend model railroad convention.
Jim talks to Neal Schorr about his decision to build a “scale” railroad using three-rail track.

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