Hamtramck Mi USA

View of the layout under construction. Posing for the photo are a Dash8-C40W, and a GP40-2W.

Hamtramck (pronounced Ham-tram-ick) is an HO scale USA-set layout being built by Thistle ModelMakers Society.  It is set in the town of Hamtramck Michigan, which is bordered pretty much entirely by the city of Detroit, famous as the “Motor City”.

Despite Detroit’s industrial decline, there are still several auto manufacturers present (including GM who have an assembly plant in Hamtramck itself).


The scenario here is that a nearby industrial site has recently been developed with money from Hamtramck and Detroit’s local govts to create jobs.  Thanks to President Trump’s ongoing trade war against the EU , Mercedes Benz have opened up shop in Hamtramck.


The industrial park connects to Canadian National Railway (CN)/Grand Trunk (GT)’s East Yard and Conrail shared assets south yard.  CN engines are the main power at the site with the occasional visits from Norfolk Southern (NS) and CSX via the Shared Assets yard. Industries include:

– MB assembly plant. Boxcars bring vehicle bodies and autoracks take away the finished vehicles

– Packaging plant. For fruit to be exported to San Francisco. Folks in Detroit don’t eat fruit

– Oil terminal – ethanol

– Grain elevator – grain from rural Michigan and Ontario is stored here for cross country markets

– Graphics Printing shop: anti Trump posters and junk mail leaflets are a big money maker for these guys

The layout is a work in progress and measures 20′ X 5′

The Packaging Plant (already part built). This model was rescued from our now retired Phoenix Fruit Express Layout. Some windows need to be added back in!