Blessed Past, Bright Future: Visiting Rossville with Shane Wilson of Scaletrains.com

In a passionate and sometimes emotional presentation, Shane Wilson, CEO of Scaletrains.com returned to Rossville, Illinois on a hot afternoon in August. Shane discussed the origins of the company, a relatively new, but already well-regarded manufacturer of HO and N scale model railroad equipment, right here in Central Illinois. Held at the Danville Junction Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society‘s Rossville Depot Museum, Shane kicked off a lengthy national tour today by returning to his Rossville roots. Besides his deep faith, Shane placed a lot of credit for his company’s success in the nurturing atmosphere provided by the Historical Society’s members, who accepted him as a teenager into the organization, encouraging his interest in railroads, which eventually lead to his founding Scaletrains.com.

Shane and Michelle of ScaleTrains.com ready their presentation for old friends and new at the Danville Junction Chapter of the NRHS’s Rossville, Illinois museum on August 28, 2021.

A couple of dozen interested model railroaders from Illinois and Indiana crowded together under shady trees on a hot August afternoon outside the depot museum.

Chillin’ with Shane under the shade

Shane spoke beside the ScaleTrains Road Trip rig, which will see extensive miles covering many states as he brings news and information about the company’s HO and N scale prototypically faithful product lines of locomotives and railroad rolling stock cross-country, beginning what will eventually be a years-long nation-wide Road Trip tour. I was thrilled to be able to pick up and examine an example of the fantastic new Museum Quality SDL-39 that I ordered recently and is due around the end of the year.

Rick Schroeder and Shane Wilson recall working out ways to get a 13-year old kid involved in historical preservation and curating his education about railroads.

Besides numerous examples of the upcoming rare-bird SDL-39 in HO, many other examples of ScaleTrains.com locomotives and cars in HO and N on display, some much-appreciated quality swag in the form of ScaleTrains and Rivet Counter pins was available for the asking, along with sharp-looking and quite comfortable writing pens.

Some quality-crafted ScaleTrains.com pins to decorate the hat or shirt

Shane’s presentation is a work in progress, chock-full of interesting stories that are both human and introspective. I suspect he’ll adapt it according to the audience of the day, as most entertaining speakers are apt to do.

Ending his presentation, Shane threw things open to questions about ScaleTrains products and the art of successfully manufacturing through global trade disruptions, including a pandemic that was in no one’s business plan. Yet, despite the tough general economic climate, ScaleTrains.com has grown into solid financial territory in times that have seen an expansion in interest in stay-at-home hobby’s such as model railroading. A steady schedule of releases expands the product line with the quality that ScaleTrains has become known for. Examples were operating inside the depot on the museum layout, a layout that was familiar to Shane.

For everyone present, it was a very special afternoon, marking where a young man came of age armed with the knowledge and skills that would serve him well, while also marking the end of the beginning of a now successful and productive supplier of exquisitely detailed model railroad equipment with a bright future of repeatedly satisfying customers with superior products.

Everyone needs a Road Trip from time to time, so join Shane when he visits near you on the ScaleTrains Road Trip. You can even nominate your club to host a visit. Rossville won’t be the only small venue he’ll visit, as the intent is to visit those who for whatever reason, big or small, want to hang our for awhile and talk trains.

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  1. I wanted to note that the article above has numerous hot links to other sites embedded within it. Just pass your cursor over the text and then click. I’m trying to get the site settings here adjusted so they’re more visible.

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