Rick Rideout’s start in selling and manufacturing his own model railroad products came from a need for a product that wasn’t available. The first items he produced were inspired by a lack of throttles that did not get hot in the hand. He was able to redesign an old throttle to be able to handle a lot more current and not burn modelers. One of his first manufactured products was a plastic bracket to mount switch machines to. These brackets were typically made of wood and were time consuming to make. Rideout’s goal was to design products that made modeling quicker, like the plastic brackets that did not require modelers to work with wood and stain.
Rideout’s love for modeling began the very first time he saw a train set as a child. Some of the first dates with his wife as a teenager brought them to watch trains and work on his model railroad. To Rideout, modeling is a life-long commitment and a job. His family accepts working on his layout as part of his profession because Rix Products make money. Although the goal of many modelers is to be able to work on their model full time, Rideout emphasizes that it can be a hard industry to be in. Due to its small size, it is never going to provide a full time modeler with a true living. That being said, the benefits have far outweighed the burdens for Rideout. The hobby offers many areas to work in and learn from such as woodworking, electrics, computer interfacing, home design, and more. For Rideout, modeling is exciting from the word go, and has never felt like just a job to him.