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Train Addiction Help Line: 1.866.840.7777



On December 8th 2004, Pacific Western Rail Systems, elected to the Board of Directors:

  • Ed Homer
  • Stuart Sedlacek
  • Sheldon Frankel
  • Tim Monette
  • James Wiseman
  • Daniel Huberman


What is PWRS Retail Ltd.?
PWRS Retail Ltd. is a model railroad store, and we also do a lot of special runs.  We do most of our business by mail order.  Please call ahead of time if you would like to visit in person.
Why are your prices in US dollars?

You might think that prices are in U.S. Dollars because the majority of our customers purchase in U.S. Dollars.  Actually, however, the majority of manufacturers whose products we distribute are U.S. manufacturers and they price their products in U.S. Dollars.  We simply list prices in accordance with manufacturers? suggested retail prices (MSRP).  That means we also list Canadian manufacturers and suppliers in Canadian Dollars, including products produced by Hobbycraft Canada, now TrueLine Trains,  Kaslo Shops,  H&H Trains Canada, and so forth. 

The software that has been developed for PWRS recognizes the difference between U.S. and Canadian prices (designated differently in a product box) and between addresses (by country designation).  The exchange rate between U.S. and Canadian Dollars is set each week in accordance with what it costs us?not what is listed on the market exchanges which do not reflect costs imposed by the bank on us?to  exchange money from one currency to another.

What is the relationship between PWRS Retailing Ltd.  and Pacific Western Rail Systems (Co-Op)?

Pacific Western Rail Systems (Co-Op), the club in Surrey, BC, created and developed PWRS Retailing, LTD.  A lot of our original business was selling limited-run cars. PWRS Retailing, Ltd. is a business.  It was formed because the club's relationship with suppliers grew from a few special run cars, to ordering some locomotives for members, to helping a few friends, to the point where it was a full-time job and a large investment.  Volunteer labor was not sufficient.  The main owners of the business are those individual members of the club who chose to invest their own money and time in the business.  The club members each own a minority interest in the store, but the club and the store are separate entities. Some of the original goals, such as developing a showcase, interactive layout with a sales point for the public, remain works in progress, and the shareholders of PWRS plan other achievements for the future of model railroading as well. 

An example of a special club run is the PWRS BCR 3 Bay PS2 Hopper (2 sets)     1-H1026-6AB, which is sold out, of course.

Also sold out are the Mystery Cars from previous years, as 1-H-Mystery1998 PWRS 1998 Mystery CN rainbow car 1-H-Mystery1999 ,  PWRS 1999 Mystery Car UP Bicentennial.

What about those member (shareholder)-only cars?
The club has issued "members-only" (shareholders) cars which are not available to the public.  In order to obtain any future offerings we might produce, you have to be a member (shareholder). 

Who owns Pacific Western Rail Systems?

PWRS is a company incorporated in the Province of British Columbia and is owned by over 130 individual model railroaders. Our shareholders live in Canada, USA, Switzerland, England, and Australia.


What does Pacific Western Rail Systems do different than any other Train store?

Produce special run - limited edition cars and engines. Usually we produce cars that normally never get done by the other model railroad manufacturers. Sometimes we will throw in extras or unexpected features such as multiple shades on cars, restencil marks, or light graffitti.


Why did PWRS start doing special limited edition runs of selected cars and engines?

The members (shareholders) of PWRS were tired of going to their local Hobby Shop to only see a constant supply of cars we did not want. Therefore we approached Intermountain Railway Company in Colorado who offered to manufacture for us the cars we wanted.


Why do we do 6 to 12 road numbers?

 We as model railroaders were tired of waiting 20 years to get a second road number of our favorite car. We decided to take matters into our own hand.


Do we produce single cars?

No, usually we produce 6 or 12 road numbers. We generally produce 50-75 copies of each item. If just before we go to press, we have sufficient demand for a car we will produce more. Usually cars go to press 4 - 5 months before they are ready for shipping to customers.


Do we discount PWRS special run - limited edition cars?

 No - we have one standard price for our cars. Everyone is treated the same. We do once a year place on sale any available single "orphan" cars or three car sets remaining on the shelf. These few "remnant" cars are only sometimes available and you will have to contact your PWRS rep to check on availability.


We have over 8,000 customers.

It is impossible to call 8,000 customers the day an item is released, therefore our sales reps will call our customers 12-6 months before a car(s) is released. We actively pre-book the cars. Most cars are pre-booked before they are released. If you want to ensure you will get a car please contact Pacific Western Rail Systems well before the car is released to insure you will not be left out.


We do not reprint cars.

Once a road number is done we will not reprint the car. The only reason why we would reprint a car would be "if we found another picture of the same car with different graphics".


Do we sell singles?

 In the process of making our special runs the production process is never exact. The number we get of each road number can sometimes vary. Therefore we try to honor all requests for complete sets of road numbers by customers. Then we try to honor all requests (reservations) for three car sets. Then if we have any left over "orphan" singles we will honor those requests last, providing there is sufficient inventory. We will not break open three car sets to satisfy single car requests.


What is our Mystery Car Series?

Each year we have submitted to us many pictures of unique cars. We pick one each year to be our Mystery car for that year. In order to qualify the car must be unique and one of a kind. We generally try to release the Mystery Car in December each year. Our sales Reps will begin calling our customers in January and begin taking orders on that years Mystery Car. Thus existing customers have prior knowledge about a given year's Mystery Car before the public finds out in October. All existing customers are given priority over new requests for our new Mystery Cars.


To be placed on our list what do I have to do?

 Simply call us and request to be placed on our "DO CALL LIST". And one of our sales Reps will give you a courtesy call at least once a year and give you prior knowledge about upcoming PWRS releases and that years Mystery Car.


What if I do not wish to be called?

If you are currently on our customer list and do not wish to be called, simply ask us to remove you from our list or ask us to mark your account "DO NOT CALL".


Why do we call customers?

 Many of our customers live in areas where access to a fully stocked model railroad store is just not available. PWRS does not wish to bother any fellow model railroaders with excessive tele-marketing calls. We are in business to serve you and to give you information about up coming releases of products you might be interested in. We will always ask you when calling "if this is an appropriate time to call". It is the customer's choice to have a dialogue with PWRS.


Do we randomly call customers?

No all customers have the option of having us call them monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or once a year. The customer decides upon the frequency. All individuals on the customer list who we call are previous customers or individuals who have asked or have given PWRS permission to leave on the Customer List.



Why does Pacific Western Rail Systems have reps in cities other than in Surrey, BC, Canada?

PWRS recognizes that model railroaders as a group are a unique group of individuals with a passion for their hobby. It is difficult to find locally enough model railroaders with the unique skills and historical knowledge to sell and service model trains. Therefore we have begun the process of hiring many of our customers who have the unique historical knowledge to serve you our customers.


How can a sales rep serve me when he is not physically at PWRS's facility in Canada?

 Through the genius of the internet we have built a Management Information System that is internet based. Our Sales Rep's can give you the same service as if they where physically in Canada at our warehouse.


Is PWRS looking for additional Sale Reps?

We are always looking for Intelligent, energetic, and knowledgable model railroaders who would like to work with us. If you are interested please go to our employment opportunities section of the web site.


Do we have a store in the USA?

PWRS has a facility for shipping and receiving goods in Washington State near the Canadian/US border. The facility in Washington State is not open to the public. All orders originate from our location in Canada. The Warehouse location in Canada is accessible to the public.


Do we have a Store in Canada or a Warehouse?

While we at PWRS realize Model Railroaders as a whole like to save money, we at PWRS have built a no frills warehouse to hold our enormous inventory of N and HO Scale Engines and Rolling Stock. We carry about $2,000,000 worth at any given time. By holding a large supply of model railroading engines and cars we can sometimes have in stock, many items long ago sold out, at other smaller stores. We have NO fancy glass cabinets. Just engines and cars floor to ceiling.