a ModelersLife

It’s the day after Christmas and for many of us around the globe it’s known as Boxing Day, while for many others, it’s simply known as Monday and while recovering from heaping mounds of turkey, bread stuffing and Aunt Emily’s Christmas pudding at the AML Nation’s world headquarters, we decided there was no need for a podcast on such a magical day.

But wait, while some of the AML gang were cleaning up the studio after what can only be described as an epic Christmas party, someone hit the switch and microphones went live and we loaded up the recording on our trusty cassette player so everyone could hear what could only be described as our “Boxing Day a.k.a. Monday” podcast. Grab yourself a big bowl of shredded plastic bows, a tall cool glass of week-old tree water and enjoy!!

Direct download: Boxing_Day_Non-Podcast.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

As another year draws to a close it’s time once again for our annual state of the hobby and with so much happening in the hobby, we here at the ole’ AML world headquarters decided this would be the ideal time for the newest editor of Model Railroader magazine to share his thoughts about where this great hobby of ours is headed. Of course, such an interview wouldn’t be complete without help from everybody’s favorite “Uncle” Dave, who’s always excited to talk all things railroading.

Eric White is a veteran journalist with a wealth of model railroading knowledge behind him, he joined Model Railroader as an associate editor and looks forward to leading it into the future. Leading the hobby’s flagship publication is an important role which Eric plans to take very seriously. He enjoys the operations side of the hobby and meeting readers of the magazine. This is great podcast and one we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_207__Eric_White.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 1:55am EST

It’s time once again to don the tin foil helmet and have our latest contestant attempt to answer a series of hard-hitting questions about model railroading and the choices they make on the journey of life. While cleaning the office and looking for spare change behind the filing cabinet we found this old cassette tape labeled “O Scale” in Quebec. Imagine our surprise when we discovered it was actually talented modeler Serge Lebel on the hot seat.

Turns out his superhero alter-ego would be “Stop Time Man” and all over the world people are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting patiently to hear what type of uniform he’d wear, perhaps a spandex one-piece uniform with his underwear on the outside and a gold cape. This is a great podcast with our old friends the “Spoon” and “the Mayor of Horne Payne.” So, grab yourself  a big bowl of shredded poutine, a tall glass of melted yellow snow and enjoy!!

Direct download: Kelly_Questions__Serge_Lebel.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Model railroad manufacturing in all forms continues to grow across the hobby and one of the most exciting companies we’ve found is “ITLA Scale Models,” producing some of the finest laser cut craftsman style kits available today. Renee and Nick Masney have been in business over ten years producing laser etched wood materials representing masonry, steel, and concrete when painted using basic techniques. 

One of the unique features of these kits is the ability to build in a variety of footprints and varying wall combinations including “flats” and “shallow relief” suitable for the growing shelf layout segment of the hobby. The gritty rail-side architectural look that’s still easily found across North America today is easily reproduced with ITLA’s fine line of kits and wall modules. It’s a great episode with some great insight into what makes the company tick. Enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_206__ITLA_Scale_Models.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

It’s part two of “What’s the Deal with Dave” more interviews, more questions and more insightful commentary into what makes this young man tick and why his mission in life seems to be spreading happiness and joy throughout the human race. In other words, “Uncle” Dave would like to buy the world a Coke and furnish it with love, grow apple trees and honeybees and snow-white turtle doves.

In this episode we hear from even more of Dave’s guests at the Station Inn as dozens of Norfolk Southern trains continue to roll by just a few feet away as he tries to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. So imagine yourself relaxing on the porch on a warm summer’s evening with a cool refreshing Coca-Cola and enjoy!!

Direct download: Deal_with_Dave_-_Part_Two.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

We found him… We found the guy that actually wrote the book. After years of searching, asking questions, tracking down leads and interviewing thousands of possible witnesses, there he was… Hiding behind a big box of “ArrowHead Models.”

We first met Bob Zink eight years ago through our mutual friend Keith Thompson. Later on, we discovered he’d written the book about the Krause-Maffei locomotives, a diesel-hydraulic road switcher built in Germany during the sixties. Bob is a fountain of knowledge on this subject, but the interview suddenly took a different turn when we discovered he’d visited John Allen as a teenager. Tighten your chin straps, you’re in for a wild ride!!!

Direct download: Episode_205__Robert_J._Zenk.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

There’s nothing like having the opportunity to meet new people and spend quality railfanning time with friends. The Station Inn - https://stationinnpa.com/ - located along the Norfolk Southern mainline just west of Altoona is probably one of the best railfanning spots in all of North America. First opened in 1993, as the brainchild of Tom Davis a retired school administrator from New Jersey.

Not long after it opened, an advertisement was placed in one of the more popular rail magazines of the day and a young “Uncle” Dave along with his brother and a couple of friends spent a weekend at “the Inn.” Dave’s been coming back every year since with an ever-growing band of characters, this was the twenty-nineth straight year for Dave and the first for the AML crew. With microphone in hand the “Evel Overlord” decided to find out what’s the deal with Dave through the eyes of his friends and brother Ben. It’s a great interview that we know you’ll enjoy!!!

Direct download: Whats_the_Deal_with_Dave_-_Part_1.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Our next guest has led a life of railroading since the day he opened his eyes, with parents that were supportive, Mike Burgett has been a railroader his entire life. Whether he was planting signals in the backyard of his childhood home or writing letters to the presidents of railroads, and sleeping in his own private caboose, high iron has been in his blood forever.

This is a fantastic interview with one of the most talented model railroaders on the planet and Mike is more than happy to tell his story, share his ideas and help others achieve the same level of success he has. After a visit to the Chesapeake & Ohio, Clifton Forge Division, “Uncle” Dave insisted that we get Mike on the phone and organize an interview. This podcast is packed with information, so find a comfortable spot with pen and paper in hand to take notes!!

Direct download: Episode_204__Mike_Burgett.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

On this podcast we re-connect with an old friend of the AML Nation who’s taking his career to new heights. If you’ve never listened to the “Roundhouse” podcast we highly recommend it (https://theroundhousepodcast.com) Since the last time we chatted, Nick’s company Streamliner Media (https://streamlinermedia.com) and his podcast have soared to new heights making videos of all sorts while primarily focusing on railroads.

His East Broad Top introduction video is of the highest quality and is an excellent example of what Nick is capable of. Whether he’s interviewing Cheryl who created her latest musical album while riding an Amtrak train or producing a video for the aerospace industry, Nick is always on the move from one project to another. We had fun recording this podcast, look forward to chatting with Nick again and we’re sure you’ll feel the same way.

Direct download: Waz_Happenin_with_Nick_Ozorak.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

What do Broadway musicals and model railroad operations have in common?? Well not much unless you happen to live in New York city and make your living working on the “Great White Way.” Stephen Atwell has been part of the AML Nation since the early 70’s but only recently had the opportunity to get involved in the operations scene in and around the “Big Apple.”

This is a fun podcast as we learn about Stephen’s first opportunity to operate on Phil Monat’s layout and travelling just a little further west into beautiful New Jersey to operate on Tony Koester’s “Nickel Plate” railroad. While at the same time being the resident electrical guru on Broadway’s next musical hit show, “K-POP.” Get comfortable in an aisle seat and follow along with the program as we find out Waz’ Happenin’ with our next guest.

Direct download: Waz_Happenin_with_Stephen_Atwell.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

We’ve said it before and we’ll say again, social media, the digital age and access to so much more information through the wonders of the internet is changing model railroading at supersonic speed. One of the leaders in all of this is TSG Multimedia and John Abatecola, a very talented videographer and storyteller based in San Jose, California.

With an impressive catalog of over two thousand YouTube videos featuring an extensive series with Jack Burgess and his Yosemite Valley Railroad, product reviews, plenty of trackside action, chats with the always lovely Michelle Kempema, Wiley’s Wanderings and a host of other great videos, there’s more than enough to keep you busy while munching down a hastily thrown together hoagie at lunch time. So get ready to enjoy another great podcast.

Direct download: Episode_203__TSG_MultiMedia.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 11:02am EST

It’s time for another victim errr… We mean guest, to put on the tin foil hat and get ready to test their skills in the Kelly Questions. This time we travelled out west to the beautiful state of Oregon to find one of our favorite guests taking a nap deep in the forests of the Rogue River Valley. From doing a stint in the Navy, his roots of building architectural models, scale ships and whatever caught his fancy, Joe finally ended up at Micro-Trains in the booming metropolis of Medford with his faithful companion “Kelly.”

This round of the Kelly Questions was more difficult to score as Joe had trouble staying awake through the entire process. Constantly referring to scenery techniques as landscaping, convinced the only beer that mattered was Fosters, discussions of teaching “Kelly” how to properly take a photograph and singing Supremes hits from the sixties it was a long and difficult process. Get comfortable in your favorite chair with big bowl of shredded pine needles, a tall glass of standing water and enjoy!!!

The Penn Central Transportation Company is and was, one of the most maligned and disrespected railroads to ever grace the rails in the lower forty-eight. The result of a merger in 1968 with three different railroads, Pennsylvania, New York Central and New Haven it was a disaster from the start, filing for the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history just two years later in 1970.

But miracles do happen, the Penn Central is once again alive and well in the basement of the Homoki home in Central New Jersey. Jim has built an impressive layout highlighting some of the operations of the PC while combining it with the Central of New Jersey and Reading Railroad. This is a great podcast with lots of info on a variety of topics that we’re sure you’ll enjoy. So, sit back with steaming hot mug of joe in your favorite PC mug and enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_202__Jim_Homoki.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Variety is the spice of life, and this All-Star variety Hour is the spiciest one yet, with multiple introductions, on the spot reporting and a visit to the world scanning championships it sure to put you to sleep before you know it.

After a poor attempt at an introduction, Kelly is brought in to help out, then Bruce the Mailboy and the Evil Overlord recount the fun they had with Hard Part in downtown Toronto. Next up is some excellent reporting from the S-Scale convention in beautiful Buffalo, New York.

Finally, we visit the World Scanning Championships in Reading, Pennsylvania with three-time scanning champion Kevin Marks. It’s an action-packed podcast that’s sure to bring a smile to your face with plenty of opportunity for introspective look at why raccoons prefer to be night owls.

Direct download: All-Star_Variety_Hour_44.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

So, you‘re asking yourself, how does a guy from Austin, Texas end up modeling the Port of New York or more specifically the Hoboken Shore Railroad?? The answer is simple… Bananas, plus the desire for something different offering a lifetime of research and modeling. Long before modern day railroading there were so many railroads running into New York with lots of ports and barges etc., it seemed like a natural for our next guest to model.

But that’s not all, this layout uses the CVP Products “Airwire” to control the trains, it’s DCC but there is no power to the track. Each locomotive has a receiver and a battery. There is no wiring on the layout at all. But wait, there’s more… Riley is also the NMRA’s publisher and played a major role in getting the magazine to its digital format. This a great episode and one that we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_201__Riley_Triggs.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

So, you can’t find a ski rack tall enough to hold your Batman snowboard, still trying to figure out why the engaging essence of your deodorant called “Salt of the Sea” smells more like worms in a can, or perhaps you’re trying to match the color of your 70’s avocado green refrigerator to paint your newly restored AMC Pacer.

We can’t help with any of these problems, but we can help you waste another ninety minutes listening to the latest edition of “Kelly” Questions. This time we’ve managed to lure in another unsuspecting model railroad manufacturer with the promise of increased sales based on his ability to get the highest score possible. Chris Costello of JL Innovative stops by the studio to try his luck under the tin foil hat. Grab yourself a big bowl of shredded packaging tape, a tall cool glass of acrylic caboose red and enjoy.

Direct download: Kelly_Questions__Chris_Costello.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Milestones are often times something to be celebrated and here at the ole’ AML Network we think Episode 200 is something definitely worth getting excited about. Thanks to the persistence of “Bruce the Mailboy,” the dedication of folks like the modeler simply known as “Kelly” and a host of others, we’ve arrived at a place many didn’t think was possible.

Model Rail Radio played a significant role in the birth of this podcast and with that in mind we decided there was no one more suitable to be part Episode 200 than its creator Tom Barbalet. Tom was always available during the infancy of “a ModelersLife” ready to answer questions and offer advice. So, with that in mind it’s time to find a comfortable place on the couch with a refreshing beverage and enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_200__Tom_Barbalet.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

It’s time once again for another exhilarating round of the Kelly Questions!! In this episode we travel to the shores of Lake Erie and the snowbound village of Fairview, Pennsylvania to visit with our favorite retired navy doctor.

It’s an exciting episode with all the twists and turns you’ve come to expect from the Kelly Questions. Find out why Mike’s favorite spoken word song and Star Trek are one in the same. Grab yourself a big bowl of shredded snowblower drive-belts, a tall glass of melted yellow snow and enjoy!!!

Direct download: Kelly_Questions__Mike_Hauk.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

It’s always fun to talk with folks who are enthusiastic about the hobby but when you stop to think about it, I’m not sure we’ve ever talked to anyone that’s not excited about being involved in this great community of model railroading. Are next guest is no stranger to regular listeners and certainly doesn’t lack enthusiasm.

This edition of Waz’ Happenin’ features the one and only Chris “Fitness.” Whether he’s fretting over the next section of backdrop, finishing up another great magazine article or trying to figure out what color to paint the fascia it’s always fun to hear why he’s doing what he does.

So, grab yourself a big bowl of shredded discarded backdrops, a tall cool glass of old Pullman green paint and enjoy!!!

Direct download: Waz_Happenin_with_Chris_Adams.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

It’s always fun to occasionally check in with manufacturers and find out what’s new or what plans there are for the future. So, we here at AML headquarters decided it was time for a return visit to Arrowhead Models to see what our buddy Blaine had been up to and aside from announcing his latest project, the ACF 4600 covered hopper, he’s also about to release a new book, “One Hundred Ghosts” documenting the last of grain elevators across the west.

You can find out more about both projects here: https://arrowheadmodels.com

As always Blaine strives to make the products delivered by Arrowhead Models to be some of the finest models available to the general model railroading public. It’s a great interview that as usual has some interesting twists and turns. Plus, there’s an interesting discussion about the restoration of a steam locomotive in downtown Sheridan, Wyoming.

Direct download: Episode_199__ArrowHead_Models.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

What’s that you say??... The NMRA is dying, and membership continues to decline?? Well sir on this podcast we have two gentlemen that would very much respectfully disagree. Gordy Robinson a.k.a. “Young Master Robinson,” a.k.a. “the Prez” and board member John Doehring are here to present a case for just the opposite, in fact they are convinced the NMRA can grow and surpass all-time high membership numbers.

If you’re not enthused about the future of this great organization after listening to this podcast you probably should check yourself for a pulse. These guys are deadly serious about growing the NMRA and making it a place for all model railroaders to gather and grow together. So, get behind the wheel of your 1978 AMC Gremlin shove a cassette into the tape deck and get ready to be excited about the future of the NMRA.

Direct download: NMRA__Were_Doubling_the_Membership.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

There are so many great folks to talk with in the AML Nation and one of the best, is our very own Jim Scorse the owner NCE. Jim has spent over twenty years building NCE into one of the most important companies in the hobby while he continues to innovate and improve his products year after year.

But like so many of our guests Jim isn’t just NCE, he’s passionate about model railroad operations along with his many outside interests such as trivia nights at the local pub, online racing, and his love of music. It’s a great interview and one we’re sure you’ll enjoy, so grab yourself a big bowl of shredded car cards, a steaming hot mug of melted solder and enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_198__Jim_Scorse_-_NCE.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

There’s nothing like going to an NMRA “Gateway 2022” convention to get the most out of the hobby and this year’s national convention is no different. With over a hundred different clinics, dozens of layouts to visit and operate on, lots of prototype tours, this is going to be a great event for all to enjoy. Plus, the St. Louis Cardinals baseball stadium is just down the street from the hotel.

Brad Joseph stops by for another visit to give us an update on all the comings and goings of this great convention, Brad’s full of energy and if his enthusiasm is any indication of what this year’s edition of the national convention is going to like you won’t want to miss it. So grab yourself a big bowl of shredded tour maps, a tall cool glass used decal solution and enjoy!!

Direct download: Gateway_2022_Convention_Update.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

After numerous phone calls, several neutral site meetings, mountains of email and having our people talked to their people. It’s finally gonna happen, the editorial staff of Railroad Model Craftsman stopped by the AML studios in Busted Knuckle for an in depth interview. Now that Otto Vondrak is the editor of RMC he wants to promote the staff and let the world who’s behind some of the pages you’ve been reading.

This is a great interview and really helps everyone listening realize that RMC has some of the most knowledgeable people from the industry. So, sit back with a big bowl shredded expire Christmas cards a tall cool glass of printers ink and enjoy !!

Direct download: Episode_197__Railroad_Model_Craftsman_Staff_.mp3
Category:Model Railroading -- posted at: 2:42am EST

Third time’s a charm or at least that’s what the gang at ScaleTrains world headquarters in Benton, Tennessee are thinking. When Shane Wilson and his wife set out on the third leg of, their journey across America, towards the southeast and a whirlwind trip through Florida.  Visiting several clubs and private layouts while meeting new friends and catching up with old. This was much more than just an opportunity to sell more product but more to discover just how vast the model railroading landscape is.

They also managed to visit the Daytona International Speedway and take in the Daytona 500, visit with old friends from Shane’s Athearn days while taking in an Indy car race from the balcony of a condo twenty floors up. It’s a great recap of this latest leg of the ScaleTrains journey across America and one we’re sure you’ll enjoy !!

Direct download: ScaleTrains_Road_Trip_Report_3.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Some modelers stand head and shoulders above the rest, our next guest has proven time and time again that he takes the hobby seriously while getting as much enjoyment as possible from every aspect of model railroading. Scott’s Milan Branch of the Iowa Interstate Railroad is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable model railroad layouts in the hobby.

So, we here at the ole’ AML World Headquarters decided it was time to swing  back and find out what Scott’s been up to. We decided to include Bernard Hellen of Miniprints because it was Scott who introduced him to us in the first place. This is a fun episode with lots of twists and turns, so grab your favorite 3D printed chair, a big bag of pork rinds and enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_196__Scott_Thornton.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

What’s the deal with guys named Dave?? Every Dave we’ve interviewed on the ole’ AML has a passion for model railroading that almost can’t be described in words and when you think about it, that’s why the Evel Overlord decided to start this podcast. Not only is he one of the most capable French horn players in the world, but our next guest also has limitless enthusiasm for the hobby.

This is a great discussion describing how the hobby helps David cope with the day-to-day pressures of a job that requires him to perform his best at all times. Plus, he describes the joys of friendship, some cool new products and how he eventually intends to replace the lawn in front of his home with static grass. Grab a big bowl of shredded musical scores, a tall cool glass of horn spit and enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_195__David_Heyde_Part_Deux.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 11:13pm EST

We try to interview everyone here at the ole’ AML Network but sometimes one or two important members of the hobby slip through the cracks. In this episode we discover a someone that’s been a major contributor to the hobby for quite a while now. Our very own “Bruce the Mailboy” has been moderating some valuable discussions in the Groups io and we’ve only just now found out.

Plus, we have a great interview with Eric Hansmann who’s been researching and compiling as much information as possible about railroads from more than a century ago, “Uncle” Dave helps host this segment and brings us his perspective as only “Uncle” Dave can. Sit back in the lazy-boy close your eyes and before you know it your wife Dolly will yelling at you about cutting the grass. Enjoy!!

Direct download: All-Star_Variety_Hour-43.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

They say variety is the spice of life and we here at the ole’ ModelersLife headquarters feel the same way. In this podcast we get an update from Ron Klaiss of Mine Mount Models and news of his latest kit, McQuirk Coal and included with this kit is a coal conveyer Ron designed and built. If you ask Ron nicely and tell him the crew at the AML Nation sent you, he might just sell the conveyor separately.

After the subway chimes, we meet up with Keith Revell who fills us in on the progress of his HO scale Shay locomotive, gives us an update on how his company KR Models continues to grow and how to start a model railroad manufacturing company simply by Googling it. There’s a whole lot of info in this podcast, so don’t get started unless you have a pen and paper handy.

Direct download: All-Star_Variety_Hour_42.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

So, you’re wondering what it’s like when a fully qualified heavy truck mechanic and a world class chef decide to start their own 3D printing company?? Well as luck would have it, we found two such guys and learn their story from the ground up. Steve and Dan are a couple of lifelong model railroaders with an itch to improve the hobby for as many folks as possible.

Yelton Models is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, with such products as the HO Scale replica of AC Tower in Marion, Ohio. There was unfortunately a little bit of ugliness when the Evel Overlord discovered they’d yet to create a website for their wonderful products, but after some negotiations and careful thought it was decide that it would be best for all if one was created post-haste. This is a great episode to be enjoyed well sipping margaritas on the beach in St. Maarten. Enjoy !!  

Direct download: Episode_194__Steve_Tuff.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 3:05am EST

What better way to find out what’s happening with your friends than getting them on the ole’ AML podcast?? We haven’t heard from our resident 7 ½” gauge expert Adam for a quite a while and there’s been plenty of changes at Prospector Models with a new 2 ½” scale gondola kit ready to be released and there’s plenty of news about building steam engines.

Then of course there’s our little buddy “the Mayor of Hornepayne” with all his adventures as a full-time employee of the Canadian National Railroad. There’s plenty of discussion about being trackside to see our very own “Boy George” at the controls of Train 451. Get comfortable in your favorite chair with a big steaming mug of cocoa, a large bowl of crushed ballast cereal and enjoy !!

Direct download: All-Star_Variety_Hour_41.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 3:34am EST

It’s time for another exciting round of the Kelly Questions and this show’s featured victim…Errr… Guest, is none other than Jim Lincoln, railroad conductor, track laying expert, NASCAR fan… Actually, check that. He’s purchases used trucks, built by well-known NASCAR race teams. Aside from his many other interests Jim, is a lover of all things Disney and even named his model railroad the Carolwood Pacific.

A fan of all different aspects of railroading Jim’s love of the hobby easily comes to the fore-front as he’s grilled with question after question and then finally falling asleep at the end of the couch. It’s time to get yourself a big bowl of shredded mouse ears, a tall cool glass of melted amusement park ice and enjoy !!

It’s finally happening, our long AML Nation nightmare is finally coming to an end and TomStock 2020 is literally just weeks away. One of the greatest gatherings in AML history is about to take place with four days of peace, love and little trains !! It’s a jam pack festival with your fellow AMLer’s coming from all over the globe for this special event.

Starting with dinner at the Shady Maple restaurant on Wednesday evening, a Budd Car ride on Thursday to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania via the Reading and Northern Railroad, a bus tour on Friday to Strasburg Railway, a hobby shop, Dairy Queen and Ken McCorry’s fabulous Conrail layout. Saturday is the sometimes-annual AML BBQ followed by an evening game of double “A’ baseball with the Reading Fightin’ Phils taking on the Portland Sea Dogs.

This is gonna be an AML event to remember, so pack plenty of sunscreen, your favorite AML t-shirt and get ready for the time of your life !!

Direct download: TomStock_Update.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Every once in a while, we meet a model railroader that brings more to the table than most and our next guest fits this description perfectly. With three personal layouts, several books, dozens of articles in the model railroad press and a successful private layout construction business, Lance Mindheim is a true asset to the hobby of model railroading.

This is a great podcast about one individual’s dedication to a hobby that’s provided him with a lifetime of enjoyment and in recent years a steady source of income. Along with Tom Klimoski and William Sampson, Lance answers our questions, provides plenty of thoughtful commentary, lots to think about and most of all makes his enthusiasm for the hobby well known. Enjoy!!  

Direct download: Episode_193__Lance_Mindheim.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

It’s back!! It’s back!! After a long and lonely absence, one of the best RPM meets in the country is alive and well. The New England or Northeast (honestly, it’s been so long they can’t remember the name exactly) Railroad Prototype Modelers Meet has been revitalized and is back for another great gathering with lots of fabulous models on display, dozens of clinics and as always, the best model railroad raffle east of Trout Run, Pennsylvania!!

Dave Owens and the crew have found a new hotel in Springfield, Mass., enlisted the help of Amherst show director John Sacerdote and rounded up some of their favorite model railroad vendors. You can pay in advance online, $40 bucks, or $45 bucks at the door and this year there’s a one-day registration for just $25 bucks!! So toss those beautiful models in a box, gas up the Subaru and head on out to the next great NERPM (‘cuse me) meet !!

Direct download: NERPM_cuse_me_is_Back.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

What is it they say…?? All good things must come to an end, after years of work and enjoyment model railroads are most often subjected to the same fate, total destruction with hopefully structures, locomotives and cars being saved for a future layout. Our next guest has already experienced what it’s like to take down a beautifully crafted model railroad but in it’s place he built a newer and better version of the Denver & Rio Grande Western. The website can be found here: http://drgwrr.com and you can follow along on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/LexParkersModelRailroad

There’s only one thing that could possibly make this story have a better ending; the layout has been sold in its complete form to a gentleman on the other side of the word in Tasmania. Lex’s layout will live on and continue to bring hours of enjoyment folks in the Southern Hemisphere.  It’s a great story, so get comfortable in your favorite chair, throw another shrimp on the Barbie, cuddle up with your favorite Tasmanian Devil and enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_192__Lex_Parker.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

There are some people in this world that just can’t help but make you feel good about life and so it is with our next contestant under the tin foil helmet. She’s been spreading happiness and joy throughout the model railroading community for several years now, whether it’s flying all over the lower forty-eight checking out the latest in railroading, both model and prototype, or holding down the fort at one of the country’s top model railroad attractions.

This was one of the toughest versions of the Kelly Questions to score and after several large pads of scrap paper, boxes full of erasers and enough pencils to outfit your local high school Bruce the Mailboy was able to finally establish a score. It’s a great episode, so grab yourself a big bowl of leaded pencil shavings, a tall cool glass of melted museum floor wax and enjoy!!

Ever wonder what it’s like to be the president of a model railroad club with a long and storied history in southern Louisiana after a hurricane?? Our next guest is that very person and after Hurricane Ida decide to cut a path of destruction through New Orleans it was time to inspect the damage.

The Crescent City Model Railroad Club sustained serious damage after a neighbor’s roof came off his home causing multiple holes in the club’s permanent home, but the problems didn’t stop there. With insufficient insurance and a mountain of government regulations to overcome, Greg decided it was time to roll up his sleeves and do the best he could to save the club. It’s a great story of perseverance against what some might see as insurmountable odds. Enjoy.

It’s time for another exciting edition of the Springfield show report with a few of the same characters and some folks who’ve never heard before on the podcast. After the big Geep-30 announcement from ScaleTrains we wandered back into their booth to talk with Bailey the human ball of energy, Todd Arnett a long-time contributor and Norfolk & Western devotee. We of course talk to the big cheese Shane Wilson and Jesse the winner of the paint scheme contest.

Next up is a great interview with Jeff Springer of Custom Model railroads and Tom Jacobs the “Queso Cowboy.” Finally, two fellows who made their first ever appearance of the big show, Tom Schmieder and Ralph Heiss, regular operators on the Onondaga Cutoff. It was fun to talk with everyone but Ralph’s discussion about Uncle Dave’s ability to play the triangle is classic AML material. Sit back and relax with a big bowl of shredded OC bulletins, a tall cool glass of melted cheese and enjoy !!

Direct download: Springfield_Report_3.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

For years we were told the possibility of having the NMRA’s monthly magazine going digital just wasn’t possible, it just didn’t pencil out, there just weren’t enough electrons in the universe for such a thing to even consider doable. It seemed as if all was lost and the vision of taking the NMRA into the digital age would be gone forever, until one day a stranger sitting tall in the saddle, rode into town with little more than a sack of dreams and a trusty sidekick named Riley.

People came from far and wide as the stranger stood on a mountain of blue boxes telling them not to be afraid, he’d round up the electrons and soon, they’d be able to load it on their tablet, phone, laptop, or tabletop computer without fear of the apocalypse. It’s a great story, so warm up the Motorola and gather round for another exciting tale of life in model railroading’s wild west.

Direct download: Episode_190__NMRA_Goes_Digital.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Its back, it’s back, the Springfield, Big “E”, Amherst train show is back and we sent a crack team of reporters to find out what’s new in the world of model railroading. After closing down the show last year, John Sacerdote and his team decided it was full speed ahead, fighting mother nature as the snowstorm of century arrived just as the doors opened to the general public.

Despite less than capacity crowds, several vendors missing in action, there was still plenty to see and do as folks from all over stopped by the ModelersLife booth to say hello and spend time in the hot seat answering questions. So grab yourself a big bowl of leftover week-old coleslaw, a tall cool glass of melted slush and enjoy!!!

Direct download: Springfield_Report_-_Part_One.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

The AML Nation is pretty well acquainted with Dave Abeles and his model railroad. Turns out his 37-part Trilogy was just the beginning with big news from The Onondaga Cutoff.  "Uncle" Dave finally decided to go ahead with it, “OC” has started its very own Patreon page!  


After creating his very popular Facebook Live 'Trackside on the Onondaga Cutoff' shows during the pandemic it felt like something was missing so Dave decided to produce a channel dedicated to the story behind what you've seen in those Live videos and numerous articles in both Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman

So grab a seat and ride along through Central New York as we listen to how Dave is working to create videos that take you backstage to one of today's most popular model railroads.  

Check it out here: https://www.patreon.com/onondagacutoff


Direct download: Uncle_Dave_Goes_Patreon.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

The old cliché of: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again has never been more appropriate than for the gang of the NMRA’s 2020 convention. After the disheartening decision to cancel because of a worldwide pandemic and the subsequent cancellation of the national convention scheduled for Birmingham, England this group of tenacious volunteers has decided to pick up where they left off.

Brad Joseph came by the AML studios to give us the low-down on what’s planned for the  Gateway convention 2.0 and there’s no doubt this convention will be well worth the trouble of attending. Headquartered downtown at the Marriott St. Louis Grand with reasonable rates and an excellent location within walking distance to many of great attractions in the center of St. Louis this promises to be a first-rate affair. So get comfortable in your favorite chair, warm up the Motorola and enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_189__NMRAs_Gateway_2022.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

One of the most popular model railroad gatherings these days is any Railroad Prototype Modelers meet. (RPM) You can find these meets just about anywhere and they are open to all modelers, regardless of their abilities or interests. Most of the time these meets have plenty of vendors displaying their products, modular layouts, and large areas to display current and finished modeling projects.

The Cocoa Beach, Florida RPM has been a popular destination of modelers for decades looking for relief from the winter and this year was a welcome relief from all the difficulties of Covid over the last two years. We sent our crack staff to interview some of the movers and shakers of the hobby in an attempt to keep our loyal listeners up to date with everything that’s occurred at least two months ago. So, sit back with a big bowl of beach sand, a tall refreshing glass salt water and enjoy !!

Direct download: Cocoa_Beach_RPM.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

The Midwest, Mid-Central, and North Central Regions of the NMRA along with the Chicagoland Railroad Prototype Modelers, are joining together this year to host Indy Junction 2022, an NMRA Tri-Regional Convention, in the beautiful city of Indianapolis, Indiana. Registration covers both the NMRA’s Tri-Regional convention as well as the RPM meet and is open to any and all modelers.

Scott Kremer stepped up to the plate to chair this convention along with a capable group of volunteers, with reasonable hotel rates, clinics from both NMRA and Chicagoland RPM, over fifty layouts on a self-guided tour, this promises to a great convention with lots to do and see. This convention is AML certified and here’s a direct link to the convention website:  https://www.indyjunction2022.org/

Direct download: Episode_188__Indy_Junction_2022.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Have you ever wondered what’s it’s like to buy a gift certificate from Otter Valley Railroad, it’s easy, unless of course you’re the Evel Overlord who usually gets frustrated trying to purchase a quarter pounder at the local McDonald’s drive-through on a blustery Saturday afternoon. This edition of the “Variety Hour” features our favorite hobby shop owners, Lorne James who knows more cliché, buzzwords and more acronyms than anyone else in the hobby.

We also hear from our much-loved NMRA president who’s quickly becoming known as simply “Gordy.” It’s a great discussion about how to connect the NMRA with so many others and how the community of model railroading is becoming as much about brotherhood as it is about the newest freight car release from your preferred manufacturer. So grab yourself a bowl of shredded hamburg wrappers, a tall cool glass of salt water from the North Atlantic Sea and enjoy!!   

Direct download: All-Star_Variety_Hour_40.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

We’re checking back in with Chris from Homeshops.net for progress report and to discuss the possibility of creating a PS-1 boxcar from the Allegheny and Lackawanna Southern. All of the cars that come HomeShops are manufactured by Tangent one of the finest freight car manufacturers out there.

There’s also a rather long-winded discussion as Chris tries to school the Evel Overlord on the advantages of embracing social media and why the A&LS so desperately needs a Facebook page. Find yourself a comfortable seat, grab yourself a steaming hot bowl of shredded unnecessary discussion notes, a shot of your finest whiskey, (make it a double) and enjoy!!!  

Direct download: Episode_187__HomeShops.net.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

So you’ve watched “Uncle” Dave doing his Facebook live updates from the Onondaga Cutoff and can’t figure out how he manages to concentrate with all the action going on around him or wonder if he ever stops to catch his breath. Well here at the ole’ AML we’ve done some investigative reporting, digging up all the dirt that goes on behind the scenes with the help of our buddy Rich Wisneski.

But wait there’s more… You’re wondering how it’s possible that Midwest Model Railroad is quickly becoming one of the premier hobby shops in the country and do they offer their customers fresh donuts on arrival?? It’s another great podcast, so grab yourself a big bowl of shredded take-out boxes, a steaming hot mug of electrons and enjoy!!!

Direct download: All-Star_Variety_Hour_-_39.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Have you ever ever wondered what would happen if you tried to power your layout using Mother Nature and 1.21 jigiwatts of electricity?? Well as we all know the first thing, you’d have to do is change the flux capacitor, then carefully run some heavy-duty wire from the tallest tree in your backyard to a spot on your layout with the most electronic equipment and wait for the next thunderstorm coming down your street.

It's only been a few short months since Mother Nature wreaked havoc on Jerry’s PRR Middle Division and with the AML Nation cheering him on and an unwavering determination, things are slowly getting back to normal. Find yourself a comfortable chair and get ready for an inspiring  tale of one modeler’s perseverance to not let anything stand in his way of enjoying this great hobby. Enjoy!!!

Direct download: Episode_186__Jerry_Britton.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be big man on campus, constantly worried if your hair is just right, which pretty girl to out with this week, the decisions would be endless?? Well, multiply those problems by a hundred and you get an idea of what it’s like to be the NMRA’s Director-at-Large.

Martyn Jenkins has been doing a stellar job in this position for some time now and it’s time for re-election, so what stump is better to explain his vision for the future of the organization than right here at the AML Nation. Martyn has been a great supporter of the NMRA for decades and has decided to dedicate even more of his time to making it better. This is a great podcast with a great guy, so get comfortable in your favorite chair and find out what the future holds.

Direct download: Martyn_Jenkins_-_NMRA_Elections.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Tillsonburg, Tillsonburg… My back still aches when I hear that word. But these days if you’re a model railroader, Tillsonburg and a stop at the Otter Valley Railroad store has become an absolute must see destination, our pal Lorne James has created a great shop with plenty of stock and lots of courteous staff to go along with it.

Not long-ago Lorne produced a manufacturers day and the AML crew was on the spot with our portable recording equipment to found out what’s new in the fast paced world of model railroading. So, grab yourself a big bowl of shredded cash register receipts, a steaming hot mug of packaging tape glue and enjoy!!

Direct download: All-Star_Variety_Hour_37.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:23am EST

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be the Director of Operations and Maintenance System Integration, Digital Systems Program Rail Delivery Infrastructure and Place Transport of New South Wales in Australia?? Well here at the ole’ AML Nation we were curious and decided to go right to the source and find out.

Australia is a hot bed of modelers with all sorts of enthusiastic participants, our next guest has spent a lifetime loving trains and all that goes with them. He even started a Facebook page devoted to shelf layouts with over seven thousand members. The is a great episode with tons of information suitable for modelers of any level, so sit back with a refreshing beverage and enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_185__Paul_Cassar.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Not much is known about ScaleTrains fearless leader Shane Wilson, other than both he and Willie Nelson have a lot in common, because neither one of them can wait to get on the road again. Travelling the highways and byways of America along with is wife and trusty sidekick Bear the dog they’re spreading the word of this great hobby to anyone that will listen.

This podcast reveals some stops at some great clubs, museums, inspection stations and camping spots. So sit back and relax with a big bowl of shredded road maps, a tall cool glass of windshield washer fluid and enjoy!!!

Direct download: ScaleTrains_Road_Trip.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Not so long ago, purchasing a brass model could as exciting as buying a new Chevrolet for the family chariot. Over the last few decades plastic models have become almost as exquisite as imported brass models but nothing will ever replace the magic of opening the box and removing a scale model that rivals the finest of jewellery.

This episode features the expertise and excitement of someone that’s always cherished the rich tradition of brass models in our hobby, so much so, he created his own company for refurbishing some of the finest models ever produced. So grab yourself a big bowl of shredded packing foam, a tall cool glass of gear lubricant and enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_184__Matthew_Dowd.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST