Welcome to my Web site!
When I was 5, my parents moved from an apartment
complex into our first home. The townhouse community was placed adjacent to
the Metropolitan Sub in Gaithersburg, MD. My first memories of train
traffic on this line are of dark blue B&O and C&O diesels heading every
freight train imaginable. I donít quite know why I was enthused with the
new yellow scheme, but it was easy to spot trains. We used to hang out at
the tracks and wait for the big freights headed by 4 to 5 GP-38, GP-40, and
GP-40-2 units. If the trains were traveling east, there were always 2 SD-40
helpers on the back that were added at Brunswick Yard and cut off at
Gaithersburg. It was exciting knowing that you would get to see another set
of big engines at the end of the train.
My first layout was built by my father and I (mostly by
him) when I was 8. I had an AHM B&O C-liner, the 1776 paint scheme Tyco
F7ís and several freight cars. My first Chessie item was a Lionel Caboose I
bought with my own money at Kay-Bee Toy and Hobby. Now Kay-Bee sells
nothing but toys.
At 11, my dad bought me my first copy of Model
Railroader, and I started learning about the hobby as well as the history of
the Chessie System. That Christmas, my first ďrealĒ train hit the rails, an
Athearn U-30-B, Chessie System #2307. (Borrowing a line from A Christmas
Story) It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. It wound up being
the first locomotive in Chessie livery that I ever had, the first I ever
super detailed, and the first I ever re-powered. It still resides in my
collection with the Lionel caboose and about 300 other pieces of Chessie,
B&O, C&O, and WM locomotives and rolling stock.
Even though we are well into the CSX era, my love
affair with the Chessie System continues, fueled by the great manufacturers
like Atlas, Athearn, and Proto 2000 who still make models in the Chessie and
C&O schemes; and great people like Ed Martin, who allowed me to operate
every aspect of his Chessie Mountain Division Model Railroad from
dispatching to yard master.
Since my first model railroad, the 4x6 Potomac &
Chesapeake, I built the 12x12 Baltimore & Annapolis, operated at Edís, and
happened into a club above Dennisonís Trackside Hobbies in Mt. Airy, MD. I
met Dan Rousseau at that club. Dan is a world class modeler and has
influenced my modeling more than any other single person (other than my dad,
who bought me my first trains). Dan is now one of my closest friends, he
lives in Ft. Worth, TX now and I live in Northern Maryland. We share phone
calls once a week and talk about modeling constantly. In January of 2004
the Baltimore & Annapolis was dismantled. I still own the Potomac &
Chesapeake and am refurbishing it with my 4 year old son and my
My next endeavor is the railroad that this site is
about, the Modern Chessie System. I have taken several liberties with
equipment (I run what I like Steam or Diesel) and history. I know all the
nitpickers would have a field day but I donít care! I take a page out of Ed
Martinís diary and run everything, itís my world Iím building, full of heavy
industry and urban railroading. My layout will have some rural scenery, but
the city scenes will predominate.
Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy my website.