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Midlin Models

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Midlin Models
Posted by R. T. POTEET on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 2:00 PM

This is a I-would-sure-like-to-know topic. You are probably going to have to be a real old-timer to answer this.

In perusing 1949 Model Railroaders I encountered a company called Midlin Models based in a place called Scotch Plains, New Jersey. They manufactured a line of self-gauging roadbed which required a specially drawn rail that had a web(?) hanging below the track; this web fit into a milled groove in their roadbed. Early in the year their advertisement covered a half-page on the inside covers; this is an expensive advertising location. Later in the year it began to slip farther inside and by December it was restricted to a half-page single column back on page 70 or so; this indicates the company was in a measure of economic distress. My back-issues end at 1949 and do not resume until 1953; by that date the company appears to have completely disappeared. In looking at the ads the concept had some merit however this Midlin rail would have been unusable in any other situation than with their roadbed and that probably spelled the company's doom.

I heard reference to this company in the club that I joined in the mid-60s - "We're going to tear out that old Midlin track'. - until I encountered this advertising I thought that it was Midland track. The club was installing Tru-Scale self-gauging roadbed for all new construction; I have no idea when - or why - this club had made a decision many years before to use this Midlin rail and roadbed.

As I said at the head of this topic I am just curious about this Midlin Models Company if anyone can provide me some information.


From the far, far reaches of the wild, wild west I am: rtpoteet

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Posted by Dallas Model Works on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 3:02 PM

Did you google it?

"midlin track" tirns up a number of results. Here's one:


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  • From: Southwest US
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Posted by tomikawaTT on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 3:06 PM

Howdy, Jay,

Midlin roadbed was similar to Tru-Scale roadbed, but had slots milled in at the factory to accept the special Midlin rail.  It wasn't really compatible with anyone else's standard T rail, but did have one unique feature.

If installed right side up, the cruciform Midlin rail had a standard HO code 100 profile, and a leg down into the slot that secured it without spikes.  It could be installed upside down, and would then yield a code 70 profile for old-time or secondary trackage.  Because there were no spikes, even the pre-RP25 HO flanges could run on it without interference.

IMHO, the non-compatability led to Midlin's demise.  You couldn't simply slip on a standard rail joiner and connect it to anything end-to-end.  In fact, I don't know how it was joined even to itself.  I could see that being a problem.

Chuck (modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

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    December, 2015
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Posted by midlinmodels on Wednesday, December 23, 2015 7:52 AM
I know it has been a while since your post but Midlin Models was started by my grandfather Fred Chemidlin. If you google him you will find a lot. He had 11 children and lived in Fanwood NJ. His oldest son is Fred as well, his full name was Frederic..
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  • From: California - moved to North Carolina 2018
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Posted by DSchmitt on Wednesday, December 23, 2015 2:47 PM

Midlin Models highlights from Model Railroader:

July 1938: Trade Topics  "New Kind of HO Track",  Ad :Self Assembled HO Track"

November 1938: Ad "Assembled Trestle"

December 1938: Ad "Finished Track"

February 1939: Ad "HO Finished Turnouts"

April 1939: Ad "Self Assembled OO Gauge Track"

June 1939: Ad "Assembled OO Switches"

November 1939: Ad "Crossing"

April 1940: Ad "Manual Switch Control same principle as car choke" 

August 1940: AD HO and OO Assembled Crossover"

February 1942: AD Production Curtailment" -  Production reduced due to war but small quantities still made for direct sale to customers. See dealer first.

April 1942: Ad  last ad until 

January 1945: Ad No-essential industry. Waiting for OK to resume production

April 12946: Ad "Make Tracks For Midlin"

November 1946: Ad "Back to Normal In Full Production"

December 1946: Ad "seasons Greetings" Photo of staff - 19 people

July 1947: ad "Ellis Type Bumpers"

August 1947: Ad "Wye Switch"

October 1947: Ad 'Lighted Signals"

April 1949: "S Gauge"

September 1946" Ad "order by Mail"

December 1948: Ad "Plastic Switch Frog, Universal Assembled Switch Points" 

March 1949: Ad "Assembled Scissors Crossover", Crossings 30 45 60 90

July 1949 Trade Topics: Review of crossings and double crossover

January 1950: Ad "New System" Roadbed and ties one piece made from cork"

March 1951: Article "How To Use Midlin Track" with ad

January 1952: Last Midlin Ad

April 1952: Trade Topics  Review od 15 degree crossing

 March 1959: Off the Train Wire Facilities of Midlin sold to Gnome Models

June 1959" Gnome Models ad "Track, Switches, Crossing Formerly Made By Midlin Models

August 1959: Gnome Models ad

September 1991: Reminiscing With Howell Day

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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