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HiRailers Unlimited is a not for profit organization whose goal is to provide a communications line with manufacturers regarding Hirail products. We also wish to provide a location for people interested in HiRailing to communicate with each other. 

Our group, HiRailers Unlimited exists on your contributions. Our purpose is to provide a  quarterly newsletter, the Buzz, this web site, the Egroups and a meeting held once a year at the York show. After you have had a chance to view this site and visited our Egroups chat board please consider a contribution of at least $15. This will enable us to continue to provide the afore mentioned locations for you to visit.

Please make your check payable to HiRailers Unlimited and mail to: 

Art Hopkins 
10433 Shadyside Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45249

Thank you.

HiRailers Unlimited History

In 1996 Joe Lesser and Art Hopkins started a “HiRail Special Interest Group (HiRail SIG).” Their vision for “HiRail SIG” was to organize three-rail hobbyists like themselves who sought to replicate the building of a layout or modules as prototypical as possible into a collective group who expressed their desire for new prototype products from the manufacturers. In its infancy, this group had no particular name and was just known as “Hi-Rail SIG.” The first formal meeting of “Hi-Rail SIG” was at York, Pennsylvania on the evening of October 16, 1997 at the Holiday Inn. This meeting featured Frank E. Qualls displaying an “Independent HiRailers” module, and discussing modular railroading and also showcased Fred Severson of QSI Industries as the guest speaker. There was a large turn out for this meeting and a lot of interest in Hi-Rail modeling was exhibited. This spurred Lesser and Hopkins to proceed with their idea of establishing the “Hi-Rail SIG.” A formal name was sought for the organization and “Hi-Rail Modelers Unlimited” was chosen. Subsequently, two more meetings were held, one in San Diego, California in July 1998 with the guest speaker being Mike Wolf of MTH Electric Trains, the second meeting was at York, Pennsylvania on October 15, 1998, which highlighted Jim Weaver of Atlas O and others. The “Hi-Rail Modelers Unlimited” continued to evolve through their newsletter, which communicated the latest in Hi-Rail information and events to those hobbyists who made financial donations.

In May of 1997, Qualls of metropolitan Washington, DC founded “The DC Area Independent Hi-Railers” module group. This occurred following his tutelage under Steve Horvath of the “Independent Hi-Railers” for several years. As a method of communicating with the module group, Qualls started writing a local newsletter named “The Hi-Railers Buzz” which kept the members informed about each others module building progress. However, the newsletter became an avenue for contributing articles from other Independent Hi-Railer groups. This resulted in a wider circulation than the local Maryland and Washington, DC area. In December 1998, Lesser contacted Qualls and suggested that Qualls’ group join with his and Hopkins’ group and combine their newsletters by amalgamating their editorial skills. This was done since much of the information in the “Buzz” about module modeling related directly to home layout modeling also. Thereafter, “The Hi-Railers Buzz” became “The Journal of the HiRail Modelers Unlimited and Independent Hi-Railers.” “A Newsletter for Hi-Rail Train Hobbyists and Module Builders.”

We continue to progress as we strive to be the source that hobbyists may come to for all of their Hi-Rail information. We have changed our name to include all Hi-Rail hobbyists whether they have a permanent home layout or modules.

We are now The HiRailers Unlimited” and we welcome you to our web site.

John N Shankland Webmaster