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Author Previous Topic: 4 new members of the forum Topic Next Topic: Welcome Bob to the  Crew
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New Hire

Posted - 06/08/2012 :  2:07:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My name is Charlie Abbott and I live in an oasis in the desert called Las Vegas Nevada. I started in the hobby when I was 15 with an American Flyer layout that expanded to 3 4X8 sheets of plywood. My paper-route $ went into this fun beginning. After a 42 year hiatus I got back into the hobby with a 4X8 HO layout.
A new house with a 3 car garage has led to a 12X22 layout.

I am modeling a ficticious area in Arizona/Utah high desert with lots of red rock scenery. The time frame is 1958 which lets me mostly run early diesel with some well weathered steam locomotives.

Some numbers to give a better idea of the scope of my work:
Length of mainline run: 115' on 2 levels
Minimum radius: 22" mainline, 18" in yards
Scenery: Bragdon Enterprises resin rock castings
Control: MRC Prodigy Advance DCC
Steam Engines: 5 Diesel Engines: 16
Rolling Stock: Passenger Cars - 16
Box Cars - 42
Reefers - 16
Tank Cars - 14
Gondolas - 8
Hopper Cars - 10
Ore Cars - 7
Flat Cars - 10
Cattle Cars - 7
Cabooses - 6
Vehicles: 194
Figures: 360
Structures: Scratchbuilt - 24
Kitbashed - 15
Craftsman Kits - 4
Laser Wood Kits - 19
Weathered/Detailed Plastic Kits - 45

The favorite part of the hobby for me is designing and scratchbuiding structures. I am in the process of replacing plastic kits with these structures.

I enjoy opening up my layout every year at Christmas inviting the neighborhood and members of our church to bring kids, grandkids, and grandparents. After 3 years I have people asking me "when is your open house day going to be this year?"

Charles Abbott

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New Hire

Posted - 06/23/2012 :  2:04:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My name is Bob McConnell. I am a Senior Software Engineer about to retire after 26 years with my current employer. Although the Post Office says I am in Ithaca, that is only because they ignore most of the established boundaries. I actually live in the town of Dryden, NY and have for the past 32 years. Prior to that I spent a couple of years in Idaho, preceded by 8 years in the US Navy. I am a licensed Amateur Radio operator (N2SPP).

I grew up in Coudersport, PA, home of the Coudersport and Port Allegany Railroad (C&PA). This is the line I would like to model, but I have found very little about the history of that line and even fewer photographs. I do know it started out around 1890 as a narrow gauge, then retooled for standard gauge. It went through a few steam engines and a couple of gas powered self propelled passenger units, but only had a pair of GE-44 diesels operating while I lived there ('55-'67). This is the also the era I want to model, but with the addition of the wooden passenger cars and steam engines used a couple decades earlier. The C&PA was purchased by the owners of the Wellsville, Addison and Galeton (WAG) in 1965 and abandoned in 1970. One of those GE-44's disappeared. The other is now property of the Stewartstown RR.

My dad bought me an American Flyer set in the early fifties. I must have been four or five at the time. It was the standard 2-6-2 engine and tender with three freight cars and a caboose. I could smell the ozone after running it for only about 30 seconds.

For one year we lived next to the tracks a block from the empty passenger depot. There was a line shed off our side yard where the maintenance crew stored their speeder. I was only six at the time, but it was fun to see them manhandle that speeder out of the shed onto the tracks. It had an old one-lung gas engine with a very poor muffler, and I can still hear it pulling away from the shed and heading North after all these years.

I first played with HO trains as a teenager. I had a 5x9 sheet of green homasote with a simple oval of sectional track, dc power and a basic UP diesel set I bought second hand at an auction. I added a Tyco stock pen and a loading dock with two tractor/trailer sets, but little else. After I left for college, my siblings scattered that set and I never saw it again.

Nearly two decades ago, on advice from both my doctor and my therapist, I began assembling HO train kits again for stress relief. Power was all purchased ready to run, but most of the rolling stock was or is kits to be assembled. I have a couple of ovals of EZ-Track and can set up one on the bed very quickly, much to the delight of our youngest grandson. Unfortunately I don't have room for a permanent layout. I have a small portion of the collection on shelves in one hallway, but most of it is in storage boxes scattered through several closets. Many of the kits are still un-assembled because I don't have anywhere to display them.

My wife got interested as well, but thought HO was too big. So I got her an N scale set to try out. (She thinks she wants one of the Z scale sets, but they are definitely out of our price range.) The set I got for her was Lehigh Valley, but since she was born in Baltimore, I have added a few B&O engines along the way. The result is a mixed bag of incompatible couplers, which I need to fix soon.

I also need to do the coupler switch on many of the HO units. They're current 50% horn-hook with the rest split between semi-compatible knuckles. Then I need to replace many of the trucks, since most of the early kits I bought have plastic wheels. I also need to find a good scale so I can weight the cars properly.

Right now everything is DC, but I have been looking at DCC. I would prefer to have sound, but can't justify the cost for the little bit I get to play with the trains right now. Maybe that will improve after I retire, but then I won't have much money to spend.

I have been considering if I want to build my own DCC equipment, even to programming the decoders myself. But I haven't had the time to dig out the details I need for that. I did find some DIY articles online, which should get me started. I even tried to find my way around JRMI, but was unable to penetrate their veil of obfuscation. I'm afraid I don't do Object Oriented Programming very well.

I am working on a database schema for my rolling stock and other reference points. I would like to store it in one of the PostgreSQL servers already running on my home network. Then I could write scripts to automatically generate car cards, waybills, and other operations documents. I have also been trying to figure out how to convert some of the CC&WB templates I have found into Open Document Formats, so they can be manipulated with those scripts much more easily. That's been tough going, as I can't even print out the originals in a format that would be usable.

Along those lines, I have been studying several of the articles about operations and operating sessions I have found. I think I need to understand this side of the subject before I can even begin to design a layout. I was thinking about building several modules, but haven't figured out where to store or set them up yet.

One final note: I don't do Windows. I got so fed up with Microsoft's bug ridden garbage, that I switched to Linux for all of my home computing about 20 years ago. Now that Microsoft has been convicted of unlawful activity in 23 countries, including the US, that move seems quite prudent. I am not comfortable doing business with criminals. While I have to use Windows at the office, most of my work is aimed at embedded devices, which don't normally have the resources or horsepower to run a full operating system.

Country: USA | Posts: 4 Go to Top of Page

New Hire

Posted - 06/24/2012 :  3:27:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
1) Where do you live?
2) How long have you been a model railroader, and how did you get started in the hobby?
Started around age 13 in "N" scale. Moved To HO scale shortly after. Active in early 20's, Model RR club member off and on (currently on). Left the hobby in mid-20's (life,marriage,kids,you know the drill). Now 50, been finally planning that dream layout now that I have a basement for it. (built the house 4 years ago with intent to have the basement be the "man-cave")
3) Do you model a prototype railroad or freelance your layout?
Yes. Southern Pacific ALL THE WAY BABY! Long live Espee!!
4) Do you model a certain era and/or geographic region?
Yes. Roseville Subdivision (Donner Pass) mid-80's era.
5) How large is your layout and what scale do you model?
Ho scale and the layout will essentially fill a 1500 sq.ft. basement, double decked. 40 1/2" minimum mainline radius. (inner track)
6) What's your favorite part of the hobby? And what do you enjoy least?
Not a big fan of operation, car cards, waybills, blah blah blah. Just like to watch the trains run. Thats just me, no offense!
7) How do you control your trains (DC, DCC, or something else)?
Digitrax DCC
8) Tell us anything else about yourself you'd like us to know.
Hope to learn, hope to contribute.
9) Post your picture - if you dare.


Edited by - SLI_Fallen on 06/24/2012 3:29:34 PM

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Engine Wiper

Posted - 06/28/2012 :  11:55:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit kirtleypete's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone,

I live in Melton Mowbray in England and I've joined the Forum because my new layout is going to be On30. I've been building models all my life - ever since that first Airfix Spitfire - and the trains began with a Triang set bought for Christmas when I was about seven....I remember that my Dad forgot to buy a plug for the transformer!

I like to follow a prototype; I have an O gauge German layout called Schwachhausen on the exhibition circuit in the UK already. We tend to build portable layouts to take round the country to shows as space is so limited at home. Instead of building another DB layout I fancy doing something new for me, On30 American. I used to model in 1/20.3 scale about ten years ago and I still have all the books and Narrow Gauge Gazettes, but it was seeing the quality of the Bachmann models that tipped the balance for me. After the price of German O gauge, it seems like a real bargain. I like to build one layout while the existing one is being exhibited, then that will be retired in three years or so to allow another to be built while the On30 is on the circuit.

I don't like freelancing so I had to settle on an area to model. I always try to look to do something that is a bit different; here in the UK all the On30 layouts you see tend to be small and twee or else big logging lines with everything moving at a snails pace. What you don't see is a fairly large layout based on a real place, so that is what I decided to do....and not in Colorado! I browsed through all my books and settled on Grass Valley on the Nevada County narrow gauge, mainly because I like the depot building so much. Best's book has a scale plan and enough pictures to make a fair stab at it and the overall size wouldn't be excessive. I won't go into more detail here as I'd like to begin a thread following progress as I construct the layout, but the overall size will be 32' x 2'6".

Having said that I don't like freelancing, I'm also wary of following a prototype too slavishly....I once did this with an O gauge English layout and I found it very stifling, as there was so little scope for using my imagination. My Grass Valley, then, will be based on Grass Valley, and will be called Grass Valley, but I won't be modelling all the Nevada County loco's and stock exactly, it's too limiting. My line will be the Laurel County, then if I want to run something I like, then I can.

As I said I like to build layouts to exhibit at shows, and we have been seven times to shows in Europe in the past, in France & Germany. This is the best part to me, other than actually building the models; talking to people, exchanging ideas, finding beers I haven't tried before! The worst thing is taking it all down after the show and loading the van for the drive home...this is when things can get damaged because everyone is tired and wants to get finished.

I use DCC control for all my layouts; my friend John and I work together and we both have a metal camera case each containing a Lenz 100 system which we can simply plug into any of our layouts....John has two in HO scale and one in Oe, while I have O gauge, an O gauge garden line and the new On30...the same controllers operate all of them. We only need one set really, but it pays to have back up.

As I said, I hope it will be of interest if I begin a thread on the On30 Forum in due course. I don't anticipate finishing things until around this time next year; I do have a deadline, as it has been booked for an exhibition in November 2013 which does tend to concentrate the mind.


Country: United Kingdom | Posts: 169 Go to Top of Page

New Hire

Posted - 07/19/2012 :  2:04:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello everybody,

I live in Udenhout, a little town, in the Netherlands. I've started out in modelrailroading when I get a N-scale trainset for my birthday. The first twenty years was my N-scale period. After I discovered kit bashing and scratch building I sold all my N-scale equipment and started in HoN3 model railroading. Scratch building became more to scale in Ho scale and the HoN3 trains still allowed me to do the modeling in small places.

I'm only 1 of 5 to maybe 7 modelers in the Netherlands who are doing so in HoN3. Very few so.
My HoN3 layout is freelanced strongly influenced by the D&RGW of course.
Two years back I discoverd On30 and I'm building a small completely freelanced modular layout in that scale besides the HoN3 modeling. I'm thinking of doing some shows with the On30 modules when there ready of course.

Hope to post some pictures of my work here soon.


Narrow Gauger HoN3 On30
Udenhout, the Netherlands

Country: Netherlands | Posts: 17 Go to Top of Page

Nick Spanbroek
New Hire

Posted - 07/19/2012 :  3:19:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Leon, also here?

Hi all,

I live in Angeren, a small village in eastern Holland. I am modelrailroading for around 10 years, of which the last 1 and a half year seriously.

I model both prototype, the station of Ressen-Bemmel in standard gauge H0, and I am planning to build the small tramwaystation of Angeren in 0m. Furthermore I also model some freelance layouts, an 0n30 Grain elevator, a small cement factory in Gn15, and I am planning a bigger, east coast On30 layout.

The station of Ressen-Bemmel will occupy approximately 33' by 2', and is an exhibition layout. The station of Angeren will occupy an approximately 6' by 6' corner, the 0n30 grain elevator occupies 3'4" by 1', the small Gn15 cement factory is 2'4" by 8", and the somewhat bigger 0n30 layout will occupy 8' by 1'1".

The Era for both Ressen-Bemmel and Angeren are 1910-1920, both the 0n30 grain elevator and the Gn15 cement factory around 1980, and the larger On30 layout will be situated arround the 1929 wall street depression.

There is no thing I like most about modelrailroading, although scratchbuilding structures is something fun. All my train are controlled using DCC controllers.

Since posting a picture of me would result in the forum going on black, I won't do that

On (most of)these layouts I will start a topic in the (near) future.



BTW, something you should know about me, I like trains!


Nick Spanbroek
Angeren Netherlands

Country: Netherlands | Posts: 1 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 07/20/2012 :  10:23:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit djdutch's Homepage  Reply with Quote
great nick and leon more dutchies ;) you will found out this is a great forum with a lot of great modellers who are very kind and also willing to answer questions or help you out with all kind of problems



Country: Netherlands | Posts: 846 Go to Top of Page

New Hire

Posted - 07/26/2012 :  3:11:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit tpm1ca's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone:
I'm new to these forums. I've modelled all sorts of prototypes, including the Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo, Boston and Maine, Maine two-footers, and Canadian National. I've also worked in a variety of scales - from HO to garden scale live steam.
Currently, I'm building a prototype-based layout of the Canadian National Railway's branch to Port Rowan, Ontario in the 1950s - and doing it in S scale. I blog about it here:
I hope you enjoy if you visit, and thanks for welcoming me to Railroad-Line.
- Trevor

Trevor Marshall

Port Rowan in 1:64
I model a steam-era Canadian National branch line terminal in S scale, and blog about it here:

The Model Railway Show
Listen in as two S scalers (and recovering radio newscasters) host a podcast about the hobby:

Country: | Posts: 15 Go to Top of Page

Section Hand

Posted - 08/07/2012 :  11:05:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello my name is Jeremy Harris. I am 33 years old been railroading all my life, but been doing "actual" railroading for a living for 15 years. I hired out on the Soo Line in Terre Haute, IN in 1998, then got furloughed. So on to upstate NY after that, I had the priveledge of working on the D&H for two years. After Sept 11,th, Ihad to move back to Indiana, my job on the D&H became questionable, as to weather it was going to last?? I then hired out on the INRD where I stayed for two years, and then decided to get back to "real" railroading and hired out on the CSXT at Avon, IN. I have been model railroading for well let's see here, I got my first Lionel set when I was 4, and from there it was downhill. I had an Uncle that worked for the N&W in Frankfort, IN. He was my hero growing up, and got me hooked. Uncle Bill himself didn't particularly care for the railroad, but never the less he would load me up in the van and we would go down to the yards on his days off to watch trains. Papa Bill (that is what I called him)died several years ago, but he got to see me when I actually had an class 1 engineer license. He was proud, but very worried about me working on the RR.
I currently live in a house that does not support a model railroad, I am outnumbered by my wife and two year old daughter (which loves trains) To suppliment my model railroad jonesing, I work for several people on there model railroad. Currently I work on Bob Lehnen's C&EI. I am a member of OPSIG and CIRROPS, and the NMRA. I have had the privalage of operating on several layouts by being a member of the CIRROPS and OPSIG, I think it is an awesome thing!!! I myself model the N&W from lets say 1977 to 1982. I have been really into decorating undecorated cars, most recently I have perfected boxcars that served on the ERie Western, i have sold several on E-Bay. Right now I am working on tank cars that were in operation in the late 70's early 80's those who model this era know there is very little on the market for this era!! That being said, it has opened an opportunity for me to get into custom cars, by way of a compressor loaned to me by a fellow model railroader! I love it, it is my zenn! I would say that detailing and decaling is my favorite part of model railroading, I could give or take running trains, after all I do it for a living! I am excited for the future of model railroading, however I am also very scared, seems to me i am seeing the kits disappear, and the ready made stuff take front and center. We have to preserve this hobby for the future, not let the craft of building from scratch disappear!

Country: USA | Posts: 70 Go to Top of Page

Section Hand

Posted - 08/14/2012 :  12:32:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit AyalaBotto's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Althouth I already had created some posts I would like to introduce my self, saying I'm a railway model fan that produces my own models and modified others in order to produce diferent ones not available in shops.
My scale is H0 and I use the Märklin (ACC) system. So I transform all DC and DCC locomotives in order to work in my Märklin layout.

I want to share with you some of my works and learn from more experienced model railways fans!

Ayala Botto
Lisbon, Portugal

Country: Portugal | Posts: 64 Go to Top of Page

New Hire

Posted - 08/14/2012 :  9:49:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit rogerhensley's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My name is Roger Hensley. I'm retired and working at the local historical society here in Anderson IN. I live about a quarter block from a major CSX line. This was a main Conrail line and PC before that and NYC back when. We also had the Pennsy here as well as the CI, a local line.

I'm been a full time model railroader since 1983 when I closed my hobby shop. I actually started in the hobby when I was about 8 years old off and on.

At the local society I have accumulated a number of layouts of various sizes in the basement. This is for an exhibit in December. I and Curtis (my help) are very excited about it.
I also have a modest sized layout in my basement here at home.

I am a model railroader and a railfan. I am married with children and grandchildren and I am 72.


Roger Hensley

Country: USA | Posts: 19 Go to Top of Page

New Hire

Posted - 08/19/2012 :  5:31:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Roger. When you said you lived in Anderson, In. close to the CSX line, you had me. I didn't remember CSX line in Anderson until you gave a little of the history. Back in 1952 I was in training at Great lakes naval training center. I had an Uncle who lived in Farmland, In. I went to visit him about three times. His back yard backed up to the NYC line. It was a real joy to watch the 4-8-4s, 4-8-2, 4-6-4s and a 2-8-2 run by. Okie Bob

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New Hire

Posted - 08/19/2012 :  9:29:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Let we just say that I turned 80 on the 14th. The first 12 years of my life I live on a fram in NJ. Our house was right next to the High Bridge line of the CRRofNJ. 3 train each was Mon-Sat, 1 each way on Sunday. Needless to say, but I would run outside to watch each and every train except the one that ran about one AM. I had a few train sets as a kid. After moving to Ok in 1944 it started buying Railroad mag. I saw an ad. by Mantua. I send for a catalog and order my first HO car kit. I mainly model the Santa Fe 1950-53 give or take 20 years. Working on a layout in a 20 by 26 foot building. lower level is main line and yards. Train will cut off the main at Ottawa and go to Tulsa which will be on the upper level. I will have an interchange line on the upper level which will mainly be just a loop with an interchange yard.

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New Hire

Posted - 08/20/2012 :  7:06:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit rogerhensley's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by okiebob

Roger. When you said you lived in Anderson, In. close to the CSX line, you had me. I didn't remember CSX line in Anderson until you gave a little of the history. Back in 1952 I was in training at Great lakes naval training center. I had an Uncle who lived in Farmland, In. I went to visit him about three times. His back yard backed up to the NYC line. It was a real joy to watch the 4-8-4s, 4-8-2, 4-6-4s and a 2-8-2 run by. Okie Bob

That is rather common. A number of people will recognize NYC but didn't live here through the changes. :-)
BTW - I went through Great Lakes in 1959.

Roger Hensley

Country: USA | Posts: 19 Go to Top of Page

New Hire

Posted - 08/20/2012 :  7:42:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

1) Where do you live? I live in Slidell, Louisiana
2) How long have you been a model railroader, and how did you get started in the hobby? 45 years, Got interested after slot cars interest went away. Had HO before I went into the Air Force (71 - 92). Tried to build layout while overseas, but couldn't find space or time. After I retired from Air Force, interest went away as I was working on my second career. Now interest is back and thinking of N gauge.

3) Do you model a prototype railroad or freelance your layout? I am thinking of the New Orleans area, especially the Intermodal system in town.

4) Do you model a certain era and/or geographic region? I will be doing current era. I like the idea of having the City Of New Orleans roll out everyday.

5) How large is your layout and what scale do you model? N gauge. Working on the space right now. Relearning what I forgot and the new innovations that have occurred like DCC.

6) What's your favorite part of the hobby? And what do you enjoy least? I am really interested in yard operations. I want the Intermodal area to be a centerpiece.

7) How do you control your trains (DC, DCC, or something else)? I will be doing DCC.

8) Tell us anything else about yourself you'd like us to know. Spent 21 years in Air Force as a Russian linguist. Spent 15 years overseas from 77 to 92. Missed the 80s here in the States. Managed a few warehouses after I got out of Air Force, did financial planning for about 5 years. Working on that last job before I completely retire.


Country: USA | Posts: 1 Go to Top of Page
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