My N-Scale / Model Railroad background.
I did not start out liking trains all that much as a kid. I did not have an American Flyer, although there was a pretty big set of them in the house from my brothers. Nope, for me it was moving to Florida and seeing the ACL up close. My house in Crestview was near the tracks, and to get to the park to watch the ducks and walk the dogs, we had to cross the ACL/SCL tracks. The trains did not run often, but when they did… WOWZA. I was hooked. After a few walks up and down the line (Where I found a great old coal tower, but was too dumb to take pictures of it…), I was decidedly a train geek.
Then Pam bought me a totally cheap-o locomotive. A Santa Fe 4-8-4, Bachman, I think. I was hooked. I got the “9 N-Scale railroads you can build” book from Atlas and I was off. I built one of those layouts from the book in a spare room and had a blast. A few locomotives and cars here and there and I soon had a fleet. Granted, this was 1984 and the quality sucked, but I didn’t know that, none of us knew what was coming then.
Alas, it didn’t last long. The USAF decided it could best use our services in Germany, so off we went. Not much room for layouts in our German apartment. I did manage to ride on a German steamer, that was great. Oil fired, so it was a real mess! 6 years later, and we moved back to the States, Albuquerque, NM. Here I ran into the guys from the New Mexico RailRuNners, and what a great group! I joined the club and they even mistakenly made me President for a year in 1994. We even held the annual N-Scale convention here that year. Yoiks.
Again, the good times were not to last, and many things happened. The USAF intervened and took my free time away as well as asking me to go places and do things. My railroading had to go on hiatus.
Spin the clock forward to 2007 and I retired after 27 fun years of service!
Now, things are a little different. Albuquerque is still here, and so am I and the BNSF still runs strong. I get to Railfan a lot on the weekends. I also have the time, a job that provides disposable income an room to build another layout.
And that’s why you’re here, right?