Audio Episode

Brought to you by:

Jim Martin: Jim's radio broadcasting career includes both the private sector and the CBC, Canada's national network. During his many years on air he was a reporter, announcer, news director, talk show and news magazine host, and his favorite part, interviewer. For many years he was also the book review and video review editor for Canadian Railway Modeller. More recently he has been writing articles for Railroad Model Craftsman. He also enjoys presenting backdrop painting clinics to local groups and train shows.

Trevor Marshall: Trevor cut his teeth in radio at Standard Broadcast News, a national radio newswire service in Canada. The radio news writing style has served him well in his current profession as a freelance writer for clients in the transportation, life sciences, and government sectors. Trevor's articles for the hobby press have appeared in Model Railroad Planning, Model Railroader, Railroad Model Craftsman and other publications and he regularly presents model and prototype railway clinics on a variety of topics. He finds everything about the hobby interesting, but is particularly interested in the process that goes into a well-thought-out, prototype-based layout.

Chris Abbott is our Technical Director. Jim and Trevor would still be talking to each other without his help.

Otto Vondrak is our Creative Director. That awesome badge and banner on the site? That's his doing.

David Woodhead is our Music Director. If you find yourself humming our theme song, well - you're not alone. Jim and Trevor have had it stuck in their heads for weeks now. Well done, David!

The Manufacturing Show!

The Model Railway Show

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In this episode…


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.