Wheels of Time manufactures historically accurate model trains, vehicles, and model railroad accessories with a real “wow” factor. Our obsession with detail and historical accuracy is reflected in our exceptional design and production: hold a Wheels of Time model in your hand and you'll be tempted to say, “It's the real thing!”
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Wheels of Time was founded by Matthew Young in the fall of 1995. From an early age, Matthew has had a passion for trains, both in full-size and in miniature. His family frequently went out of their way so he could ride the train, or simply watch the action on the tracks. "On one occasion mom took us to San Francisco along the waterfront. Spotting a State Belt ALCo S-2 locomotive switching the wharves, I persuading my mom to follow it. I watched in wonder as I saw and heard the hit-cup sputtering of the ALCo engine as it revved-up to move railroad cars on and off the car float at Pier 43." Other early family experiences included watching Southern Pacific freight and Amtrak’s San Joaquin Amfleet trains roll by as his family waited to be seated at Spenger’s in Berkeley, which sat happily right next to the tracks. "My brother and I would shoot pictures of the trains with our Instantmatic 110 cameras, sometimes only getting the wheels or worse yet ... getting a real good close up of my big thumb."
Riding the SF Muni Railway PCC streetcars from Stonestown through the Twin Peak Tunnels to downtown was always a treat. "My brother and I would sit near the front so we could take in the action. At that time, we were fascinated at how the operator would always time it just right, passing the signal light just as it turned red .... Innocent days of youth, little did we know that those were block signals which automatically turned red as the streetcar passed into the next signal block."
Matthew has spent many hours watching the Espee commute train action rolling in and out of San Francisco's 4th & Townsend; watching the switcher cut-off the consist so the SDP-45 or GP-9 locomotive could back down to the 7th Street engine terminal; watching as a string of commute power was turned at the wye ... all these stirring sights that are now folded into railroad history.
Making his own
Matthew and his brother built models of all kinds, but their model train carreer began in elementary school when they started making 3-D cardboard miniature trains from pictures found in the pages of Trains Magazine and Model Railroader Magazine. On a visit, many years later, with the late Richard Buike of Trackside Trains in Burlingame, California, the conversation turned to the lack of N-Scale passenger trains and how the few that existed didn’t look right. "I told him right then and there that I was going to produce high quality, historically accurate passenger railroad cars. Even I was a little surprised when I said this." The first product was a 1950 Pullman-Standard “10-6” sleeping car made of brass. Wheels of Time became one of the first makers of historically accurate and realisticly detailed passenger train cars. At Wheels of Time, we research original equipment and recreate it with CAD software for production. We're lovers of history and sticklers for detail. On our line of Transit Motor Coaches (a fancy way of saying "buses"), even the destination “roll” signs are historically accurate. Be sure to check out all our beautiful and accurate products. We hope you'll come to share our passion for trains, here recreated in miniature. At Wheels of Time, you get to take home a piece of a fascinating history.