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NMRA-NRHS Tour of Micro Engineering Co., Fenton, Missouri

NMRA-NRHS Tour of Micro Engineering

Photos by Richard Schumacher

On Tuesday morning, September 24, 2019, a joint group of 27 members and guests from the Gateway Division NMRA and the St. Louis Chapter NRHS toured the Micro Engineering Co. manufacturing shop in Fenton, Missouri.

Micro Engineering was started in 1964 under original name of “Rail Craft Products.” They manufacture a wide assortment of model railroad products, from track to turnouts, bridges, viaducts, structures, detail parts and vehicles, in a variety of scales and gauges.

Our group was split into two smaller groups, with Ron Rands (owner) and Kim Driskill as our tour guides. They gave us an extensive tour of the shop on a weekday, under actual working conditions. They provided excellent explanations of what went on at each manufacturing step; for example, creating the metal dies for the products, to inserting rails and parts into the dies, injecting plastic into the dies, and releasing the finished product. We saw and learned a lot more details and appreciation for what special expertise it takes to fabricate the numerous model railroad products. We viewed and gained a better insight into the specialized equipment and labor used in the production of the parts, from inception to final product.

We were allowed to take pictures and we asked questions – Ron and Kim were patient and informative with their answers. Ron Rands, the tour was a great success!

The tour was arranged by Ron Gawedzinski, Outside Activity Coordinator, Gateway Division NMRA and St. Louis Chapter NRHS.

Ron Gawedzinski is the Gateway Division NMRA Outside Activity Coordinator and models the late 1940s through early 1950s Appalachian Mountains areas in HO scale. He was the past Secretary of the Gateway Division NMRA and the past Secretary and President of the St. Louis Chapter National Railway Historical Society. He is the St. Louis Chapter NRHS Outside Activity Coordinator.