Rainier Great Western Railway & Navigation Company

The Route of the Thunderbird


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The Super and his Chief Engineer share the success of placing the first table section

The People and Places Behind the RGW....


General Info:

Location: Black Diamond, WA
Established: June 1980
Superintendent: Michael Highsmith
Key Employees: Wain Miller (Chief Engineer), Mike Petty, Ken Liesse, Ed Liesse,
  Doug Thorne, Reynold DeJager, Bill Messecar, Scott Taylor, Greg
  Amer, Bob Stumpf, Lynn Miller, Doug Walters, Marshall Wilson,
  Walt Huston, Dale Kraus, Harald Hohendorf and Jackson Peters
Special Remembrance: Dick Molzahn
Reporting Marks: RGW, RGWX
Trackage Rights: RGW, BNSF, UP, CNW


The people involved in the design and construction of the RGW are all long time model railroaders, all of which have participated in the construction and organizational management of the Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers (PSMRE).  PSMRE is a group of 50 dedicated model railroaders who gathered under the direction of Marshall Wilson and built a model railroad for the Washington State Historical Museum.  The bond formed through this endeavor has been very strong and the enjoyment of developing and building the RGW has been extraordinary.  Each member of the RGW brings unique technical expertise and modeling background to the RGW, but it is the synergy of the group that is its strength.

The RGW was was originally designed and constructed in Tacoma, WA.  It was built in a 14 ft by 25 ft space in a basement room.  The layout had reached full operating capability but no scenery when it was dismantled due to a move.  After two years in storage, the new home of the RGW has been constructed and a new design has been decided upon (with continual modifications, whose railroad doesn't).  The new building is a 20 ft by 30 ft self contained structure which was completed in January of 2005.  Since the first table section was installed in February of 2005, construction continues in earnest.  For more details on the building and the layout, go to the Layout Page.

To my family and friends who have so graciously given of their time and talents to see that this project makes strides and eventually becomes a reality, I say a personal thank you.



Michael R Highsmith, Superintendent






Model Railroading Can Develop Great Skill and Character, Support the NMRA