The Proto-Freelance Modelers
Special Interest Group

"How long ago a flag fell does not matter as long as there are railfans and
modelers to pick it up again and hand it off to the next generation of fans."

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Welcome To The P-FMSIG's Website!

Dedicated to the joys of proto-freelance model railroading.

Founded in 1999, the Proto-Freelance Modelers Special Interest Group (P-FMSIG) is an independent, internet-based, group of model railroaders who share a common interest in modeling fictional railroads that are in some ways based on prototype railroads, their operating practices, or the good ol' "what if" scenario. We are not your normal SIG -- in fact, few people have ever accused a P-F'er of being normal! Membership in the P-FMSIG is free, and it is open to anyone with access to the internet. All you need to do to join is sign up for our Facebook Group:

What's new?
January 29, 2007: The links page has been updated.

What is a proto-freelance model railroad?

That's a very common question; unfortunately, there as many answers to it as there are model railroaders! To a degree, all of us are proto-freelancers as it's next to impossible to model all but the shortest of railroads in perfect, unedited detail. But, in a more narrow sense, proto-freelance model railroads usually fall into one of three groups:

  1. A layout that draws heavily from one or more prototype railroads, in an effort to convey the impression of a real railroad, without copying all the details of any specific one. Some examples would include: The Allegheny Midland (RIP), and The Virginian & Ohio

  2. A layout that models one or more specific railroads, real or fictional, using a "what if" scenario to portray what the railroad(s) might have looked like if the "Powers That Were" had done things differently than they had. Some examples include: The Cat Mountain & Santa Fe, and Dave Messer's PRR, Northeast Division (Pennsy buys LHR)

  3. Any fictional railroad that follows, in form and function, accepted design and operating practices for that type of railway in the era, and region, in which the layout is set. Some examples of these include: The Franklin & South Manchester, The Canandaigua Southern, The Gorre & Daphetid (RIP), and The Delta Lines (RIP)

If your model railroad empire doesn't exactly fit into any of those above, don't worry. This is a hobby, not a nitpicking society, so any and all model railroaders are welcome here. So, c'mon aboard!

Copyright Notice

© 1996 - 2024. Unless otherwise noted, the contents of are copyrighted to A.J. Kleipass. All rights are reserved. Reuse without permission is forbidden. Downloadable material, including but not limited to maps and posters, are intended for personal, non-commercial use to aid in model railroad design and construction only.

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