When I was growing up, we had a Lionel O-Scale train which circled under the tree every Christmas. When I was a teenager, my father started a project to build an HO layout in the basement, but it didn’t get very far. There was little interest from me or my brothers.
It wasn’t until I was out of school and starting a career in Urbana-Champaign, that I developed a real interest in model railroading. The local hobby shop specialized in N-Scale equipment, so that was the scale that I adopted. When I left Urbana-Champaign in 1978, I had a 8×12 layout in the back of my garage. (I am still trying to find the photos I must have taken of it. When I do, they will be here.)
Selected Images on Railroading
When I moved to California, it took me 15 years to get back into the hobby. For once in my life, I was busy working at a real job and had little time for hobbies. In addition, housing was expensive and I could not afford extra rooms for an indoor layout in any scale.
Then, I discovered G-Scale, which was relatively new in the early nineties, but growing quickly in popularity. The primary advantage of G-Scale was that you didn’t have to sacrifice space in your home to run trains, they could run outdoors in your garden! Another attraction was that to build an outdoor layout in G-Scale, you had to get your hands dirty and solve real-world problems. And it didn’t hurt that the hobby shop just ten blocks away was the largest supplier of G-Scale trains in the area and that the Bay Area Garden Railroad Society (BAGRS) was a large and very active club of garden railroaders.
Since 1982, US garden railroaders have held an annual national convention hosted by one of the numerous clubs in the US. At a National Garden Railroad Convention (NGRC), attendees not only visit the garden railroads of the hosting club members, but also take excursions to railroad museums and tourist railroads in the convention area. After attending just one of these conventions, I became a rail fan. So, now I enjoy riding trains as well as running them.
The list on this page contains all of my slideshows and videos that feature railroads or railroading. The RAILROADING menu items show subsets of this list focusing on RAIL-FAN EXCURSIONS, G-SCALE CONVENTIONS, and MY LAYOUTS, respectively.