The SMSG Today
In recent years the Southeastern Michigan S Gaugers club has enjoyed participation from 40 to 45 members, coming from as far away as Western Michigan, Northern Ohio and Ontario, Canada. We even have members who reside in Colorado and Northern Ireland. Our membership includes S manufacturers, authors of articles in national publications, presenters of clinics at NMRA and NASG conventions, as well as two individuals who have earned the title of NMRA Master Model Railroader. Going back to our founding in 1978, three of SMSG’s charter members remain on the roster today.
We continue to exhibit our display layout at shows and conventions, facilitated by our own customized trailer and wheeled carts which contain the sections. Over the years we have taken our portable layouts to events in eight other states besides Michigan. In addition to the club layout, thirteen of our members have home layouts at various stages of construction. Our monthly meetings offer fellowship, show-and-tell of projects we’re working on, and news within both the modeling and railroad prototype worlds.
SMSG welcomes new members, whatever your experience level might be! Our dues are just $15 a year, and this brings you an informative newsletter following each meeting. In this age of COVID we have been conducting some of our meetings in person, but we also offer online participation via the Zoom app. If you would like to ask a question about our club, go to the (Contact Us) tab. If you’re interested in applying for membership in the SMSG, click on the link below for an application form.
About "S" Scale
Within the hobby of model trains, S designates the scale where 3/16” equals one foot in the real world, a ratio of 1:64. This places S roughly half-way in size between HO and O scales. The S community is somewhat unique in that it has a national organization: the National Association of S Gaugers (NASG). If you’re new to S or to the model train hobby in general, there is a great amount of helpful information at the NASG’s website: www.nasg.org
In 1978 a small group of S enthusiasts formed the Southeastern Michigan S Gaugers (SMSG). Those who joined the club were generally all from the metro Detroit area, and we began a program of monthly meetings hosted by a rotation of members at their homes. While many of the club members got their start in American Flyer and Marx equipment, we also attracted modelers and collectors from other scales. All facets of S were represented: standard-gauge and narrow-gauge modeling in scale, high-rail and tinplate formats.
Above picture is of SMSG club members at an SMSG meeting hosted by club member Dave Held in his home. We were celebrating the SMSG Clubs 40th Anniversary.
One of the first club projects was the construction of a 6’ x 6’ display layout which the members took to various train shows. In the early 1980’s the NASG was developing standards for S modules, and several SMSG members were contributors to those standards. Soon the club had constructed at least a dozen modules to the new standards, and we continued to display our work at shows and conventions. A highlight was SMSG’s participation in the largest modular display ever set up in S: at the 1990 NASG national convention in Pittsburgh, twenty-five modelers from across the country connected 44 modules into a fully-operational layout.
A picture of the previous SMSG club layout at the Durand Union Station Historical Site Circa 2006. The boy is fascinated with an old Steam engine belonging to SMSG member Sig. Fleischmann.