Mystique of Model Railroading

Vintage B&O model trains

The foundation for scale model railroading in the US began nearly 100 years ago when pioneers like E. P. Alexander, Minton Cronkite, and Fred Iken elevated the global fascination with “toy trains” to a higher level of accuracy, craftsmanship, and enjoyment. Since that time, the hobby we now enjoy has seen unrelenting progress that shows no signs of diminishing. It is no coincidence that one of the early model railroad suppliers started in Baltimore, MD, which is rightly recognized as “The Birthplace of American Railroading,” due to the 1827 founding of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Predating the 1920s start of scale model railroading, a small hardware store founded in 1913, that sold trains as a sideline, but later went full-throttle for trains in 1967, propelled scale model railroading along the East Coast: M. B. Klein, Inc. – now known as

The impact of that hobby legacy and the determination to provide stellar service to those who love trains was not lost on Joe Grubba and his team, the new owners of Joe and his associates bring a wealth of product knowledge, operational skill, and a passion for the hobby that will restore the competitive pricing, product selection, customer service, and seamless delivery that was temporarily sidetracked late last year. To underscore that commitment, Joe has recruited several former MTS staff members, including John Weigel and Cheryl Jewett-Koblinsky, who were drivers of the success associated with that respected brand name.

I can testify to much of that history and present progress since I too was an MTS customer for decades, later a part-time then full-time employee, and finally briefly the final Director of Operations. During the last four years of the former organization, I wrote and illustrated much of the content and produced the last four video productions posted on our website. I will continue to assist Joe and his team with such services in the near future.

So much for history now, so what is the value of this renewed path forward for you? For starters, an energized staff that wants to serve you! We share your love and passion for the hobby and want to do all we can to maintain the momentum of what is truly the World’s Greatest Hobby. More to the point, Joe has built and maintains effective working relationships with manufacturers and distributors and has built a delivery mechanism that promises to impress. Equally important, a much broader product selection, the ability to place preorders for limited, special runs, and a knowledgeable staff to interface with to ensure the best possible service level. Finally, we are interested in your comments and suggestions along the way since we firmly believe this is not a one-sided relationship. Like all massive remakes, some of this is a work in progress so please be patient. Your patience will be rewarded with a much-improved customer experience.

We stand ready to serve you!

Frank Wrabel