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New Members: Please Introduce Yourselves II

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  • Greetings everybody, new guy coming aboard... My name is Tracy McKibben (the MALE spelling, no "e"!!!). Originally from southeastern Ohio, moved to a Minneapolis suburb 12 years ago.

    I've been a train nut since I was a kid, and except for those girls/cars/college years, I've always had some sort of layout to tinker with. I've always been completely freelance, just running/building whatever I felt like. That has changed with my current layout, which is based on a real railroad, in a real town, except in the real world, this railroad and town never came together. The layout is set in late fall/early winter of 1920, in Hill City, Minnesota. In my world, the DM&IR is not just an ore carrier - it is also dabbling in general freight and passenger service, moving goods and people between Hill City and Duluth. I've posted a link to my blog in the "Personal Web Sites" forum, be sure to check it out - lots of photos and how-to's.

    Like most of us, I started with HO, at one time having a large layout that filled the basement. When we moved to Minnesota, we bounced from apartment to townhome to rental home before finally purchasing a house. All of that bouncing around, with limited space, led me to try N scale for a few years. Wasn't quite my cup of tea, so I'm back to HO again, and happy.

    The current layout is a 3'x10' shelf layout, built as a giant shadowbox. I intend to finish it over the next 3-4 years, by which time my kids should be moved out, and I will have a much larger space in which to build my basement empire. In the meantime, I'm using this smaller layout to hone my skills, learning to scratchbuild, and working towards my NMRA MMR certificate.


    • Tracy,

      Welcome to the RR-L Forums. We are glad that you signed on and took the time to tell us a bit about your interests in the hobby.

      We have a number of NMRA Achievement Program "Support Threads" here on the forum. Here is a link that will explain them and direct you to each in turn.

      Personally, I have three of the certificates in hand (Scenery, structures, Author) and should finish the Cars Certificate this fall.

      Again, welcome to the Forum!


      • Tracy, welcome aboard.

        Glad you could join us.
        Follow along as my dog and I travel the country in our van.
        FaceBook link:


        • 1) Where do you live? Potosi, MO.

          2) How long have you been a model railroader, and how did you get started in the hobby? 26 years. It all started with a Bachmann N-scale set and Dave Frary's Scenery Book.

          3) Do you model a prototype railroad or freelance your layout? Freelance.

          4) Do you model a certain era and/or geographic region? 1979, South Central Missouri

          5) How large is your layout and what scale do you model? 4' x 6' with a staging yard extension. HO Scale.

          6) What's your favorite part of the hobby? And what do you enjoy least? Favorite: Operations. Least Favorite: Wiring.

          7) How do you control your trains (DC, DCC, or something else)? DCC

          8) Tell us anything else about yourself you'd like us to know. Still a beginner after 26 years in the hobby! Always learning new stuff!

          9) Post your picture - if you dare

          Tom C.


          • Jack,

            Welcome to the forum. Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself to the crew.


            • Hi everyone,

              My name is John. I live in Fallon NV, home of the navy's top gun school. I have retired after 37 years of being a CA state employee.

              I model HO and am still pretty much a beginner at it. I am building a 7X14 foot layout. A rectangular layout with a center opening. My period so far is the end of the steam era.

              I also belong to the Fallon model railroad club. this layout is in the old Southern Pacific freight depot in town.

              I have been lurking here for awhile and am amazed at the talent I see. Everyone seems so willing to share their tequniques I figured I should join the site.


              John W


              • John,

                Welcome to the forum. We are glad that you decided to come aboard!


                • Good Day, I hail from Fort Kent Alberta and go by fortkentdad or FKD for short on line. Originally from Hamilton Ontario I model the THB set in 1967 - seemed like a good year and I can celebrate Canada's Centennial - remember the triangulated maple leaf? I even have a THB boxcar with that centennial symbol. I dabble in realism, meaning that some bits of my layout are very loosely based on some bit of reality, but mostly freelance. So for example I have a lift bridge, lighthouse, yacht club and amusement park down by the water, just like the old beach strip in Hamilton. Dabbling means that the rail line there was CN not THB but hey it is close and MRMR* (*My Railway - My Rules)

                  Started in the hobby back about 1967 (coincidence - I think not) with a Aurora Postage Stamp starter kit. I even have a few of the original cars and some of my earliest buildings. I started with a coffee table layout - which means my circle of track was put onto a coffee table in my room.

                  While most of my MRRing is in N, I have an On3 for under the Christmas tree and a G starter set with extra track for a yet to be built garden railway. I also volunteer at the local museum with vintage Lionel.

                  I enjoy the scenic side, buildings etc - I could do without the electrical / wiring side of things. I am contemplating DCC - saving my pennies for the annual train show I attend in Edmonton, may pick up either a Zephyr or a NCE Starter or not.

                  I am also contemplating retirement, once the mortgage is paid off - which the count down timer on my igoogle homepage says is in 447 days. Then I'll RV in the summer and MRR in the winter, and given how far north we are that works out to a little more MRR than RVing.

                  For a more up to date pic:



                  • FKD,

                    Welcome, and thanks for telling us a bit about yourself and your interests in the hobby.


                    • Hello everyone,

                      It's great to be part of the Railroad Line Forms. I found out about it from listening to the Scotty Mason Show podcast(Fantastic Show). Here's some info to get to know me a little better.

                      I model trains in both HO scale and 2-Rail O scale.

                      My HO fleet is set in the present day with a no mergers and no Amtrak theme in a still to be determined fictional Wisconsin location.

                      Why Wisconsin? Well, my primary road is the Wisconsin Central. I plan to have the WC interchanging with the Burlington Northern, C&NW, Green Bay and Western, Milwaukee Road, and Rock Island. Soo Line also has trackage rights over some of the WC lines.

                      Now, you may be asking how can I have BN with a no mergers theme? Well, CB&Q simply did a name, logo and paint scheme change to freshen up the companies look!

                      With no Amtrak, all railroads have their own thriving passenger service, making coming up with passenger fleets and paint schemes fun for each one!

                      Railroads in my HO empire are more rebuild conscious, so the chances of seeing some rebuilt U30C's, F-Units, C-630's and other older locomotives types trackside are very good. I'm working on individual railroad rosters as time allows to work these older units in with modern power.

                      For those WC fans out there, I don't plan to do anything funky with the roster and keep it pretty much the same with it still being all EMD roster. That doesn't mean of course that some other locomotive types can't squeak in just under the disguise of an EMD re-power such as Rock Island did with their FA's! I do plan to bulk up the roster with some more F45's, SD45's and add some variety to name a few GP45's (GP40X Predecessor) SD40-2's, GP50's, SD50's, GP60's, GP60B's, SD60's, SD70's and some SD70I wide cab's!

                      As far as locomotive builders, EMD is still EMD in La Grange with overflow production going to other contracted shops in the US. GE is still a permanent business partner with ALCO that never dissolved. ALCO shut down the line of Century locomotives after not seeing the sales it wanted and started building the then U-Series at the Schenectady, NY Plant that it helped GE design. The Erie plant handles the majority of the building with the Schenectady plant handling overflow production, but also does all of the major rebuilds and upgrades of older locomotives.

                      My 2-Rail O Scale fleet is set in the early 1970's, somewhere in Nebraska with BN being the main road, C&NW the secondary and UP having a branch line coming down to interchange with both. I plan on adding the same no mergers, no Amtrak, and plentiful rebuilding theme as the HO fleet.

                      A lot of this is still on paper and waiting to be built as room in our town home is limited to a HO 4x8 railroad right now which I plan on building the Woodland Scenics Grand Valley Layout kit on this fall. There will be a couple of fun changes to it plus making the whole layout a little longer and wider to give it more breathing room. So, it will probably end up being a 4' 6" X 8' 8". I'm working on the final dimensions right now. I'm treating the whole project as one big diorama for photography and video in mind. I plan to run the layout and locomotives with Digitrax DCC and all locomotives installed with Tsunami sound. All of this I will be very happy to share in pictures as I get working on it.

                      When we do move into a house and depending on the room available, one scale will be at home while the other will attend train shows.

                      As for myself, I'm a stay at home Dad during the day with our seven year old son that has Autistic Spectrum Disorder (thankfully on the lower end of the spectrum). I also decided to go back to school to pursue my interest in photography and I am working on an AAS Degree. Both keep me busy and happy!

                      In my off time I head over to the tracks to take pictures and video of trains.

                      I also like to model WWII ships and airplanes to take a break from trains. I also have a high interest in shipwrecks and the history of these lost vessels.

                      Thanks for making it this far!

                      I'm looking forward to sharing and growing with you in this fantastic hobby! Talk to you again soon!

                      Best regards,



                      • Hello.

                        My name is Roger, I live 45 miles northeast of Dallas, Texas in Caddo Mills Texas

                        I got started in model railroading when I received a Revell HO Santa Fe set for Christmas 48 years ago.

                        My HO layout is based on the Santa Fe; my On30 Coyote Ridge RR and Large Scale Post Oak & Otter Lake RR are freelanced.

                        All 3 layouts are based in the southwest [TX & NM]

                        HO 9 X 9 around the wall; On30 will be a 10 X 10 modular; The LS is a 17 X 40 outdoor.

                        favorite part of the hobby? Running trains

                        And what do you enjoy least? soldering anything

                        trains are DC and battery/RC; just beginning to dabble with DCC with the HO

                        8) Tell us anything else about yourself you'd like us to know. I attended the 2001 & 2002 NMRA with the Dallas, Garland & Mesquite club to exhibit our Z Scale modules [140+ FEET of modules in 2002]

                        I teach 5th & 6th grade Special Education.

                        COYOTE RIDGE RR

                        Caddo Mills, TX


                        • Roger and Darin,

                          Welcome aboard and thanks for taking time to introduce yourselves. This is a great place to share model railroading information. Don’t be afraid to join in on discussions that interest you.

                          With sufficient thrust pigs fly just fine.


                          • Welcome Fortkentdad, Roger and Darin! Thanks for the introductions.

                            Fortkentdad, you ideas for retirement coincide with mine to the tee - RVing in the summer and MRRing in the winter. Although I have a few more years to go before I get to enjoy it.

                            Welcome to you all and I look foward to your contributions.


                            • Hello all,

                              My name is Darrell Smith. I live in Fort Wayne, IN, and have been a model railroader since 1967. I am modeling primarily the Bellaire Zanesville & Cincinnati Railroad (3' narrow gauge in SE Ohio) along with the connecting Baltimore & Ohio and Cleveland & Pittsburgh railroads, all in the year 1885. This is all in S scale. As you may guess, there is absolutely NOTHING available in S scale for this era, so I get to scratch build or kitbash everything. That is my joy.

                              So far I am working in my home office/hobby room to build rolling stock and other small items. There is no layout at this time, but hopefully before too many years slip by. I plan on a "Connected Dioramas" type layout with modules that can be moved for display, and possibly be connected with other module layouts as perhaps "S-Mod".

                              What do I enjoy the least? Perhaps spending money. If I can make it myself, I'd rather do that than buy an already made product, especially if it costs an arm and a leg. Call me cheap. Locomotive control at present is by string power. Ain't no track to run 'em on anyhoo.
                              building 1885 from scratch in S scale


                              • Hello everyone,

                                As I'm new round here, I guess I'd better introduce myself.

                                My name is Huw Griffiths - I live in South East Wales (UK) - I'm in my mid 40s - and I'm an electrical engineer.

                                I've been interested in trains and tramcars for most of my life. In fact, my earliest memory is of travelling in a Blackpool tram not long before my 3rd birthday - and this left an indelible impression on me.

                                My first encounter with model railways came at Christmas 1972, when I was 7 - an uncle bought me a Hornby OO trainset (which got added to over the years).

                                In my teens, my focus switched to passing exams and going to college. (I studied electrical & electronic engineering - no surprises there, as I've been actively into electronics since I was 12.)

                                I was in my mid 20s before I got chance to do anything model railway related - and that basically consisted of little more than visiting exhibitions.

                                Since then, I've never had the space to build a layout - so my model making activity has consisted of research (which I enjoy), with the occasional "proof of concept" part model (I also enjoy this, even if I've never built anything of note).

                                I've learnt quite a lot in the process - I also learnt quite a lot from the 13 years I worked as an instrumentation technician in a university civils department.

                                By now, some of you might be thinking: "So what - why join this site?"

                                The short answer is that I've visited this site so many times that I thought it would be bad form not to join. I'm not sure I'll be able to add anything useful - so you might not hear much from me for a while.

                                The reason I've visited this site so often is that I've been impressed with a number of the models I've seen here (and I've been keen to learn more). As yet, I haven't built anything worth showing (which is why I've never taken photos of my models).

                                I'm here to learn - if I know anything which might be helpful to other members, I'll try to pass it on. What I don't want to do is fill up the site with rubbish - if I can't post anything useful, I'd prefer to keep quiet - so I don't know how much I'll have to say.

                                Anyway, I think that's more than enough from me. I'm sure you've all got far better things to do with your time than read my ramblings - and I don't want to stop you.