West Central Model Railroad Members
I love railroads of the west, especially the Western Pacific from the
1920s to the late 1960s, logging railroads, and western narrow
gauge. I fondly recall seeing Milwaukee FP-45s in West Salem when
I was 2, I remember running out of my mom's college friend's printing
shop to see what was going on!
I also have a growing library of videos and books and I model WP's high
line in northeastern California. I also like modeling short lines in
Nevada like the Virginia and Truckee, and enjoy logging railroads also.
Model railroading has really helped me enjoy life. I have been a member since 2003.
Hamilton joined the club in January of 1988 after buying his sons a
train set for Christmas. He has always loved trains going back to
Waukon, Iowa, where he was born. A Milwaukee Road steam
locomotive brought the train to town every day, right across the road
from where he lived.
As with many boys growing up in the
1950s, his greatest Christmas gift ever was a train set which he shared
with his brother. They kept adding cars and structures until it
finally wore out from use. He started getting some HO equipment
from a local hobby store in Iowa Falls, Iowa, but it was hard to have
any kind of layout in college, but it was nice to dream and read Model
Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman.
was a science teacher at Sparta High School for 35 years with
audio-visual as a second preparation so he was a photography and
television production teacher as well, which served him well in the
model railroad club. He also loves to create with his computer
and has designed and printed the club's brochures, posters and
calendars for many years.
saw the TV show of Bob Ross the painter and thought "Why not use this
as background for a model railroad?" He bought a bunch of art
supplies and went to work and painted some of the backdrops on the West
Central model railroad.
to model the transition era of steam to diesel and up through the
1970s. He loves steam and Alco diesel locomotives and has painted
and lettered quite a few of these for the West Central Railroad.
love of trains started at an early age, as early as I can remember
Granddad and I would go to the Chicago & Northwestern depot in
Ames, IA to watch the trains. During the war years there was lots
of trains going through Ames as the C&NW was the Union Pacific
route to Chicago from the West. Along with the many freight
trains everyday were the City trains (Denver, San Francisco and Los
Angeles) also C&NW's own passenger trains. I got to ride to
Denver in 1945 and Albuquerque in 1946. Great trips for a kid!
I started with a wooden train on the floor and soon after the war ended
I got a wind-up version of the Union Pacific M-10000. For
Christmas of 1949 I got my first Lionel train, a steam engine with
smoke and whistle, I thought I had the world by the tail! I was
very happy with my Lionel until Christmas of 1954 when my mother
purchased a used HO layout. This was old enough it even had steel
track. Try keeping that clean! About the same time a family
friend, Walter S., had gotten in to HO. He was from a Chicago
Burlington & Quincy family. Walter was very influential in my
switching to HO where I have remained every since.
As I have lived in Iowa for many years and the North/South line through
town was originally the Cedar Valley Road, I started using the Cedar
Valley Northern as my own road name. No one can tell me I have
too many windows in that caboose or the headlight is in the wrong
place! As for prototype roads I lean towards the CB&Q, the Chicago
Great Western and the C&NW.
I met Wally
Schuster at the La Crosse Train Show in March of 1988. After I
told Wally I would be at Ft. McCoy that summer he said I should look up
the train club when I got to town. When I first went to the club
they were in the process of turning an old warehouse into a usable
place for a layout. As I am an electrician by trade I was able to
help with the work right away. I joined the WCMR in 1988 and am
still the long distance member.
I did continue to
work on my own CVNR at home but more of my energy was devoted to the
WCMR over the last 20 years. I lost my CVNRR in June 2008 during
the record floods in Iowa.
I prefer steam and
early diesel engines. Many of the models I run were made in the
1940s and 50s. Some of my trains probably should be on a museum
shelf and not run, but that is no fun!
friendships and contacts I have made at the WCMRR club are very
important to me and I have really enjoyed the club.
model railroading started in 1975 with the purchase of a train
set. His wife thought it was just going to be a train that would
go round and round. Little did she know that before the end of
summer a layout would pretty much fill the living room in their mobile
home. The following year a new layout was developed in the master
bedroom of their two bedroom apartment. When they bought their
own house it took up the largest room available. Ron joined the
club in 1988. He's mainly a scenery builder. His railroad
of choice is Santa Fe of the 1950's through the 80's.
His parents got him an O-scale oval around the base of the
Christmas tree when he was about 5-years-old, later a 5-foot-by-5-foot table
set up in his bedroom during winter months. With his photography
hobby, including 8mm home movies, he occassionally documented The Milwaukee Road running through
his hometown, Watertown, east-west Chicago to St. Paul, with the
north-south Chicago & North Western crossing a diamond in
town. The Milwaukee Road is now Canadian Pacific mainline and
C&NW is now a barely-used Union Pacific track.
Thirty years later he saw an HO exhibit at the Rhinelander Library and
latched onto those guys, becoming a founding member of the new
Rhinelander Railroad Association, about 1995. They have a 24-by-40-foot
in basement of the rescued and restored Soo Line Depot moved to a
Rhinelander Park. He started stocking HO rolling stock and town
buildings. He built an 8-foot-by-14-foot layout in his Baraboo home in
2004 as his Kreuziger, Yellowstone and Nicolet Railroad, all
1885-era style. Kreuziger was his mother's maiden name,
Yellowstone National Park he visited twice, and the Nicolet National
Forest in Northern Wisconsin where he was a very frequent
visitor in his 22 years in Rhinelander. Guadalupe, Montana,
home of the KY&NR, vanished upon his move to Tomah in 2008 and his
new job as a photojournalist at the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office.
He joined the WCMR in 2009. He enjoys watching Amtrak, Canadian
Pacific, Union Pacific, and
Burlington Northern Santa Fe daily through Tomah to La Crosse, also,
yet, again, with a camera.
He enjoys every aspect of
model railroading, rail layout, community set up, scenery creation,
different locomotives and rolling stock, operating in club atmospheres,
attending model railroad shows, chasing real trains throughout
Wisconsin, and all of that with a camera. Replicating a neat part of
history, past and recent, is part of the aura. Doing it with
friends in club settings makes it double, triple and more fun.
got his first train when he was four-years-old. It was a OO scale
Lionel New York Central Hudson which he still has. He joined the
West Central Model Railroad Club in 1987 when the present clubhouse was
purchased. Mike models the Northern Pacific and belongs to the
Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association. He models the
late 1950's to early '60s focusing on the Tacoma-Seattle area.
was first interested in model railroading when I was a young boy back
in West Bend, Wis. I got my first HO train set when I was about
eight- years-old. I remember walking all the way to the Milwaukee
Road tracks to watch trains go by. About 3 years ago, while
moving my cousin form California to Oregon, I found an HO train set in
boxes that had belonged to my nephew who is now 25 years old and no
longer interested in trains. I wound up getting it. I then
started buying a few cars at a time and became more and more interested
in the hobby. I joined the WCMR in 2007. Since I worked on
the Milwaukee Road it is now my favorite railroad with the Chicago and
Northwestern a close second.