Trains have been a passion my whole life. Growing up in the last days of steam left an indelible impression in my memory. As a child, I relished the Christmas holiday because the might just get something new for the train.

At any rate, my hobby is model railroading. My scale of choice is 1/4″ to the foot and I model standard gauge built to Proto48 standards.

My profession was in business development for nearly 45 years. I worked in the defense industry for my whole career. Prior to that I was in the US Navy. Full retirement occurred a month ago (June 2013) after two years of working part-time. All of that is in the past and the transition was much easier than I thought. My profession gave me an opportunity to travel all over the US and the world for many years. After racking up over 2,500,000 miles on United Airlines and nearly 700,000 on British Airways, I hope to minimize time spend strapped to a seat in an aluminum tube. I would like to try out the Boeing 787 some day. I flew the Boeing 777 the first week of operation from Paris to Chicago. My very first airplane ride as a child was in a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. The aircraft had Pullman style berths and a lower level lounge. I have logged a lot of miles in Boeing aircraft over the years and believe they are the safest aircraft in the world. Yes, Airbus sells a lot of aircraft but mostly because of their financing.

I have always enjoyed writing but sadly not very well. Over the years, I have been an author of a book on Southern Pacific steam locomotives, held the position as a staff member for Bob Brown’s legendary Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette. Prior to that I wrote articles for the Fine-Lines, Model Railroader. These days, I am the editor of the Proto48 Modeler web magazine and Yahoo Group Forum owner of the Proto48 group.

Over the years, I have learned how to develop kits for urethane model kit makers like Des Plaines Hobbies, Chooch Enterprises and Southern Car & Foundry. The kits are composed of patterns that are used to make molds to cast urethane resin parts.

I am married to a wonderful woman and we live in El Dorado Hills, CA.

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28 thoughts on “About

  1. Congratulations on your new blog Gene.
    If you attend the indianapolis o show in September please drop in on my open house.

      • Like you, I too rode the SP ferries from the Mole to SF in the mid 1950’s. Your model is incredible. I am interested in building an HO scale model of yours and am wondering if you have any plans or basic dimensions I could start from. Erection photos would be helpful too. Please advise.
        Best regards,
        Keith Jackman

      • Keith
        The model belongs to Norm Buckhart. I believe that the model was custom built for Norm. I don’t know where the plans were found.

  2. Gene, I always enjoy your blog posts, but I have one thing that bugs me. Apparently you don’t proofread them after composing because most of them have an occasional missing word. I would think a retired marketing professional would make sure each sentence had all its members. I’m a retired computer programmer so I really notice these things (computers used to be very unforgiving of missing words). My wife is a retired English teacher, which makes it even worse. Thanks for listening, and especially thanks for all you do for P48 and the hobby in general.
    /Fred Herr

  3. FYI The ongoing test flights of built 787s often come over our place in WA and I must say, the engines (GE & Rolls-Royce) are very quiet, on the outside, so hopefully will be quiet on the inside. When one of those giant Airbus junkers take off and come anywhere near us they make the most noise of anything short of military. In other words, I totally agree with your assessment.

  4. how does one access older blogs?
    the curremt one only goes back to
    11/2016, looking for earlier copied,
    i.e. reefer & mather cars, when i first
    reading the blog, they were there, but no lomger? ever thought of
    doing tank cars?

  5. hi:
    please disregard previous message
    regarding past blogs, it appears that my cell has limited storage, so
    i can’t view anything before 10/16,
    looks like library time, again my bad
    mel perry

      • gene:
        it’s the number of
        pages, that can be
        temporary stored in
        memory, this thing is
        two years old, i have
        the same problem
        also, btw forget comment about tank
        cars, just further back, that i could go
        with this thing
        mel perry

  6. Gene
    Could you assist with advising where lee turner procured the jewellery to his RS3 weavet diesel, particularly the air filter/filler to the fuel tank.
    Jim Lewis

  7. Gene,

    I enjoy your blog. May I ask what advice you would give to someone contemplating a switch from HO scale to P48?

    Thank you


    John V.

    • John
      You might want to start by finding a kit like the older Intermountain or San Juan Car Company kit. Decide on what style of coupler you want and then convert the car’s trucks. San Juan kits were available in P48. Try enhancing the kit details as build them. Once you decide you like the scale, try your hand at converting a diesel.
      If you are interested in modern equipment, you will find a range of conversion parts for Atlas, MTH and Lionel cars. Atlas and older Weaver diesel can be converted with a minimum of fuss. Lincoln Engineering has their parts listed on Shapeway.

      • many years ago I started by scratchbuilding a flat car. I was hooked, sold most of my HO stuff. Still have the flat….Its terrible!
        see youtube video I did “converting a Sunset F7 to proto48 with available parts its very easy to do. If I can do it with one working hand you can do it with two!

  8. Gene,
    Would you consider writing an article for Classic Truck Modeler magazine, about one of your 1/48 trucks?
    Lee Hartman (editor@classictruckmodelermag.com)

  9. Dear Gene,
    thank you very much for the wealth of information that you share in your blog. It’s delightful and inspiring to read.

    Kind regards
    Sarah Griessenboeck, Austria (2-rail)

  10. Gene: If you are still active and watching this blog I would be interested in your work. I grew up in Bothell, WA and my Dad was the agent there. I had the idea of doing some model RRing myself using the Woodinville / Bothell / Kenmore area as my base. I have found it difficult to obtain track layouts for these areas (I now have Bothell thanks to you). Did you do one of the Bothell area? Thanks Bob Ingram (now in Redmond, Oregon)

    • Robert
      I do watch comments on my blog.
      You can find track diagrams on the NPRHA website. They have done a fantastic job of preserving and sharing artifact of the Northern Pacific.

  11. Hello Gene,
    I am working on an article about a Northern Pacific Gas Electric car commonly called the Galloping Goose, which ran between Spokane and Cooley City, Washington in the 40s and 50s. I am being assisted by a man who spent a great deal of time in the wheat fields of Washington during his youth and saw this mail express car every day. He just located a photograph of it on your blog, posted on June 2, 2016.
    Is there a chance we can ask you a few questions about it?
    Thank you,

  12. Gene,

    I followed a link on Facebook and found this amazing website and treasure trove of really useful modelling information that you have compiled and I just wanted to say a big thank you for sharing all of this wonderful information and photographs – a truly inspirational journey of discovery.

    Thank you.

    Peter Bowen
    NMRA British Region

  13. Don’t know if you still use this Blog BUT I just purchased the Soo Line 99065 wooden caboose from wisconsin and I am presently restoring it. The picture you have of it (circa 1969) was very helpful

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