About Us

NorthWest Short Line has been providing the widest selection of high quality model railroad upgrade and repair products since 1959. The company was founded by Fred and Sheryl Martin in Seattle, initially importing brass locomotives but later moving into the lines you see in our catalog today. In 2008 the company was purchased by Dave and Lynda Rygmyr and relocated to Hamilton, Montana. NWSL is, at heart, a machine shop; most of what we offer is made within our own shops.


NWSL manufactures, imports and markets products that make model building and crafts more fun in many scales and railroad gauges. NWSL tools and other products are prized by custom builders, custom kit manufacturers, as well as manufacturers of medical instruments, security devices, robotics, computer peripherals, etc. where economy, quality and functionality are highly valued. Below is a quick reference general guide to what product types are offered and their general applicability. Most products are listed and/or described in the following catalog pages, however, a few limited availability items can be found only by perusing the complete full-line catalog. Many NWSL products can be custom assembled to your special gauge or other requirement – inquire with full requirement detail for appropriate custom charges.

​​General SCALE/CRAFT Product Applicability

C=custom manufacture to order.
A complete, current product listing is listed in the full-line catalog which can be found on the home page of this website. All prices shown are subject to change without notice. NWSL continually evaluates products for improvement in function, value and economy for the modeler and therefore reserves the right to revise specifications or availability of any product at any time without notice or liability. All products are believed useful and safe but user assumes all liability for application and suitability for use of any product for any specific use. NWSL, having no control over application and use of any product, assumes no liability beyond repair or replacement, at NWSL’s option, of NWSL product defective in manufacture. You can purchase NWSL products at your regular local or convenient hobby dealer. If you are unable to conveniently obtain NWSL products from your regular hobby sources, NWSL will be pleased to assist your hobby enjoyment – please order direct via our online store, mail, telephone (406-375-7555) or fax (406-375-7559) or email. NWSL does NOT operate a showroom or retail store. An order form is included with the catalog for your convenience in remembering needed items, but is not required to place an order – to place an order with your dealer or NWSL just provide the information sufficient such that your dealer or NWSL can accurately identify what item(s) you desire, where to ship the order and enclose remittance or bankcard charge information.


There ARE good hobby shops. Many hobby shops are the locally owned labor of love of a frustrated hobbyist trying to provide better product availability than they previously experienced. But it is a foreboding task because of the vast choices and specialties. As a result, your local hobby dealer must depend on your feedback and purchases to both know what to stock and to have the income to be able to provide you these neat specialty products that enhance your hobby and skill. There aren’t many hobby shops left, compared to back in the day. If you want to see your local hobby shop stay in business, you need to support them.


For your convenience, safety and ease in ordering,  we accept VISA, MASTERCARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS,  DISCOVER (or foreign affiliates) or PAYPAL. Most small purchases are shipped via first class mail to provide fast delivery to you and uninsured to keep your cost low – if you wish insurance or other premium delivery service, please advise.  All orders are fulfilled at current list price at time of order receipt. Orders are fulfilled as accurately as we can interpret your information. If we cannot identify ordered items or if there are apparent discrepancies or misunderstanding of product, we will fulfill your order to the best of our understanding or query you for clarification. our objective is to supply you with quality product that achieves your hobby or professional enjoyment. If your order is not as you understand or desire, return for exchange as appropriate (local hobby dealer policy may be different, check with them). Damaged, used or otherwise unsalable returns cannot be accepted.For inquiries, please email:

This isn't a link so you have to type the email address with the @ symbol. We do this to keep the spammers from harvesting our email address. Thanks!