Special Interest Groups

A Special Interest Group (SIG) is an independent, not-for-profit, membership group organized to provide a forum for the exchange and collection of railroad prototype and/or model railroad information about specific topics. This page contains information about railroad and model railroad organizations which have chosen to join the NMRA Special Interest Group Program.

For information about creating an NMRA SIG, or registering an existing organization as an NMRA SIG, please consult the SIG Program Guide then contact the SIG Program Coordinator at:

Seth Neumann - SIG Program Coordinator
National Model Railroad Association
2712 Katrina Way
Mountain View, CA 94040-4461
sigs [at] nmra.org

SIG Program Documents

American Civil War Rail Road Historical Society


Paul Dobbs 
4332 Birchman Ave. 
Fort Worth TX 76107 
dobbsp [at] charter.net

This is a group for individuals interested in the history & modeling of American Civil War Rail Roads. Though we cover the ante-bellum period though the end of Reconstruction, our focus is American railroads from 1860 through 1865. Sample topics include the U.S.M.R.R., the W&A, the O&A, the B&O., sharing model & layout photos, sources of modeling supplies, & archival resources. We are proud of our ever expanding bibliography of primary & secondary sources on railroads in the Civil War. Our goals are (1) to help preserve & disseminate Civil War railroad history and (2) to be an aid to individuals modeling the railroads and railway systems of this period. Group discussions & sharing are encouraged.

American OO Gauge SIG


Paul Magnussen 
3115 S. 11th St. 
Tacoma, WA 98405 
(253) 272-9069

The American OO Gauge SIG was formed in the fall of 1985 and is dedicated to the preservation and advancement of American OO gauge, which has a scale of 4mm=1ft. and a track gauge of 19 mm, essentially 0.75 in. This scale, which is slightly larger than HO scale, flourished in the 1930s through the mid-1950s. Manufacturers of American OO included many of the most famous model companies--Lionel, Mantua, Scale Craft, and j-c Models, among others. A small but devoted group of modelers continues in this scale, and wishes to help others and to foster interest in OO gauge modeling.

The primary activity of the SIG is the publication of a quarterly newsletter, The OO Road. Membership in the SIG includes a subscription to the newsletter.

Baltimore & Ohio Historical Society


PO Box 24225 
Baltimore MD 21227 

The Baltimore & Ohio Historical Society (BORHS) publishes a quarterly magazine, The Sentinel. Drawing on the BORHS's extensive archives collection and its knowledgeable members and railroad historians for articles, this high-quality publication covers the history of the B&O and provides ample background to assist both the rail historian and model railroader. Various publications, models, videos, clothing, and reprints of maps, equipment rosters, facilities, etc. of the B&O system are available through the Company Store. Another publication, The B&O Modeler, provides detailed photos, history and instructions for modeling the prototype. The BORHS hold an annual convention in the fall, and two "mini-conventions" each year, including one in the west end (usually Ohio) in the spring, and one in the east end (usually Maryland) in the summer. Memberships are available for nominal annual dues at various levels for organizations and individuals, including a student membership. A subscription to The Sentinel is included with all membership levels, and Sustaining members receive a calendar each year.

Burlington Northern, Friends of the


Gary Seymour 
P.O. Box 271 
West Bend, WI 53095-9271 
contact [at] fobnr.org

This group was formed to preserve the history of the Burlington Northern Railroad from its inception in 1970 to its current operations. The group publishes a quarterly newsletter, The BN Expediter. For more information consult:

Burlington Route Historical Society


P.O. Box 456 
La Grange, IL 60525 

The mission of the BRHS is to preserve and disseminate historical information about the collective Burlington railroads for the benefit of BRHS members and others by creating and promoting fellowship and education among persons interested in the CB&Q, and locating, gathering, preserving, interpreting and distributing information relating to the CB&Q.

Canadian National Railways Historical Association


Greg King 
51 Sommerfeld Dr
Regina SK S4V 0C6 

This group was founded to provide a forum for people with common interest in the Canadian National family of railways (Canadian National, Grand Trunk Western, Central Vermont, Grand Trunk Railway, and Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific). Links to those railways in the CN family can be found by going to the CN Sig-maintained web page listed below.

The SIG also maintains a mailing list via a list server. Visit https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/CNLines-CNet/info to subscribe to or unsubscribe from the mailing list.

Canadian Pacific Historical Association


Box 700
Streetsville, Ontario

We publish an historical magazine CP Tracks approximately twice a year. CP Tracks contains photographs (many colour), scale drawings, historical information and CPR drawings about equipment and infrastructure. CP Tracks is available by subscription to members and also available at many hobby shops in Canada and at a few select hobby shops in the USA.

The CPHA is a volunteer organization dedicated to sharing information about the Canadian Pacific Railway and its subsidiaries, past and present. Our website has a very extensive "Documentation" collection of reproduced CPR documents; including CPR equipment and infrastructure drawings, timetables, equipment lists, etc.

Cane SIG (Cane Railway Modeling SIG)


A C Lynn Zelmer
Box 1414
Rockhampton QLD 4700 
lynn [at] zelmeroz.com 

The purpose of the Cane SIG is to preserve, develop and exchange information for the modeling of sugar cane railways (tramlines) worldwide. The SIG does not publish a newsletter, but disseminates information primarily through their web site. 

Chicago & North Western Historical Society

This SIG publishes a quarterly newsletter, North Western Lines. For further information consult the SIG coordinator:



Seth Neumann
2712 Katrina Way
Mountain View CA 94040
sneumann [at] pacbell.net 

The SIG will serve as a clearing house for information about:

1) The CMRInet standard LCS-9.10
2) general information and mutual support surrounding the C/MRI system as developed by Dr. Chubb

The SIG will be using the existing cmri-users yahoo group as forum. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/CMRI_Users/info 
There will be no printed publications.


ETE (European Train Enthusiasts)


Stretch Andersen
337 Paraiso Drive
Danville, CA  94526
stretcha [at] aol.com
925 963-2410

European Train Enthusiasts, Inc . (ETE) is the premiere North American organization focused on educating the public on the subject of European Railroading.  Founded in 1973, ETE serves modellers, railway fans, related organizations, and the community at-large through public events, working model displays and media presentations.  Membership in ETE is open to anyone who has an interest in the railways of Europe, whether model or full scale.  As a Regular Member you will receive our quarterly journal, the ETE EXPRESS, which is full of railway histories, modeller how-tos and  prototype news. 

Friends of the East Broad Top


Vagel C. Keller 
PO Box 5130 
Pittsburgh, PA 15206-0130 
vckeller [at] comcast.net 

This SIG publishes a quarterly newsletter, Timber Transfer.

Frisco Modelers Information Group

he FMIG is an informal organization of model railroaders who model the St. Louis-San Francisco (Frisco) Railway. The communications media are a periodic newsletter, electronic mail, and occasional conventions.

Great Northern Historical Society


gngoat [at] gnrhs.org

The GNRHS provides extensive information about the GNRY via high quality quarterly publications that include organization news/activities, detailed reference sheets and modeling information. These publications are included with The Great Northern GOAT

Layout Design SIG

The prime purpose of this SIG is to aid efforts to design and create layouts that achieve owners' layout goals (with minimum space and cost), avoid common design flaws, and include prototypical and model design features that maximize operating and visual interest. The SIG publishes a magazine, Layout Design Journal.

Missouri Pacific Historical Society


Steve Marquess
503 West Central Avenue
Bentonville, AR 72712

steve503 [at] cox.net (subject: Email%20from%20NMRA%20SIG%20page)

To preserve the memory and history of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and its associated lines.  Encourage modeling, publishing, preservation and digital retention of documents, and restoration of equipment.

MSS (Modular Signal System) SIG


Jere Ingram
1826 Moreland Drive
Alameda, CA. 94501

upwpfan [at] comcast.net

This SIG will serve as a clearing house for general information and provide mutual support about the MSS 2.0 (Modular Signal System) standard. This is a standardized method for animating model railroad signals to react to trains moving along a signaled track. MSS simulates basic Absolute Block Signal (ABS) functionality in any model railroad scale and format, though it's especially well-suited for a modular model railroad.  Additional information about MSS can be obtained at the MSS web site.

The SIG will be using an IO groups as a forum. (modularsignalsystemstandard [at] groups.io).  There will be no printed publications.

NTRAK Modular Railroading Society, Inc.


Bruce Alcock
1030 County St 2930
Tuttle, OK 73809
bruce [at] ntrak.org

Our purpose is to foster the quality of life in general and the hobby of model railroading and modular model railroading in N scale (1/160) in particular, through a variety of community activities, including exhibits, lectures, workshops, conventions, educational classes and historical displays.

O Scale Kings


SIG coordinator:
Rick Liebich
121 Main Street
Rippey IA 50235
meliebich [at] dmacc.edu

This SIG concentrates on the advantages and constraints of modeling the King of Scales. While wishing the best to our 3-rail friends, and appreciating the products that they bring into the hobby, we are proudly 2-rail. We publish a quarterly newsletter, usually within the O Scale Kings Newsletter, and meet on the Yahoo O Scale Kings newsgroup. The newsgroup moderator is Rod Miller.

Operations SIG

Operations SIG
PO Box 567
Downingtown, PA 19335­-0567

info [at] OpSIG.org
membership [at] opsig.org

This special interest group is devoted to furthering the simulation of prototypical operating practices on scale model railroads. Publishes a quarterly newsletter, the Dispatcher's Office.

Proto:87 SIG


René Gourley 
rene [at] proto87.org 

The goal of this SIG is to develop and promote practical and reliable standards and construction techniques for high-fidelity wheels and track in HO scale. THe SIG publishes a twice-yearly newsletter, Proto:87 Journal.

Railroad Industries SIG


Derrick Brashear
Gwendolyn Schmidt
2829 Larkins Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(412) 223-6665
gwerrick [at] gmail.com 

This SIG concentrates on developing a deeper understanding of the history and operations of the industries that are served by the railroads. This information helps to understand and replicate prototypical operation on model railroads and to construct prototypically accurate models. The SIG publishes a quarterly newsletter, Lineside.

Railway Signaling Technical and Historical Society


Richard Napper renapper [at] centurylink.net

Railway-Signalling [at] yahoogroups.com (Contact the SIG)

This SIG studies railway signaling and operations, including: the historic and present day methods, equipment, devices, wiring and modeling simulations / applications. The members share interests including: interlocking and signal system rules and operation, signal and track charts, signal and machine hardware collecting, studying prototype towers and operations and replicating them accurately for model railroad applications and usage.

Rock Island Technical Society

The purpose of this SIG is to preserve, distribute and publish information about the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, its predecessors, and affiliated companies. The society serves anyone interested in the Rock Island Lines, for any reason. The SIG publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Rock.

S Scale SIG - SSS


Christopher Borgmeyer
PO Box 670
Westfield Center, OH 44251-0670

Promote S scale model railroading conforming to NMRA/NASG standards and recommended practices. Provide a forum for S scale camaraderie, exchange of information, expertise, advice and technique. Emphasize S scale's size advantage. Size matters!

Shore Line Interurban Historical Society

This is a railfan group with membership open to anyone with an interest in the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee, the Chicago South Shore & South Bend, and/or the Chicago Aurora & Elgin railroads. Interests also include the electric railways which connect or connected with these roads in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. The SIG publishes a quarterly newsletter, First and Fastest.

Steel Mill Modelers Special Interest Group (SMMSIG)


Steel Mill Modelers SIG
Westminster Shopping Center #333
WestminsterMD 21157

The mission of the SMMSIG is sharing information about the modeling of steel mills and associated railroads as well as fostering camaraderie among persons interested in these topics. Articles and photographs related to the steel-making process, both model and prototype, are published in the quarterly Journal.

Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Historical Society

Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Historical Society - This group was created to provide information on the history, operations and activities of the TH&B Railway (now part of the Canadian Pacific Railway). The SIG publishes a quarterly magazine called Focus.

The SIG also maintains a mailing list via a list server. Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thb_hs/ to subscribe to or unsubscribe from the mailing list.

TT Scale SIG


Thomas H. Dempsey
PO Box 215
Veradale, WA, 99037-0215
(509) 999-6247
tom [at] cloverhouse.com

SIG Purpose:

  • To promote active modeling in TT scale at a ratio of 1:120 in compliance with the standards and recommended practices of the NMRA.
  • Attract new people to the scale and promote its benefits.
  • Provide an online resource (website) about TT scale.