a ModelersLife

     You’ve had too much egg nog, your dog ate most of the bacon and you keep refreshing the water bowl for your artificial tree but it doesn’t seem to get any greener. Christmas is a time to spend holidays with family and friends, the Queso Cowboy has had major dental work done but stills speaks with the velvet tomes of Mel Torme. After a lively discussion about artificial trees we discover that the TableMaster has a seventeen-foot tree set in the main foyer of his estate.

     Next was a great discussion about your favorite Christmas movie. Everyone had excellent selections and it was all going along fine until we asked Kelly because little did we know or expect “Kelly’s” favorite movie would be a chick flick starring Hugh Grant, yes that’s correct “Kelly’s” favorite Christmas movie is “Love Actually” a bonafide chick flick, we’re all stunned and still aren’t sure how to react. Enjoy!!!

Direct download: Christmas_2023.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 8:54am EST

The model railroad industry lives and dies on the ability to appeal to the buying public, it seems easy to us consumers that merely have to check out what’s in stock and part with our hard-earned dollars. We take a peek behind the curtain to find out what’s it actually like to own a store dedicated to this great hobby, what to offer, dealing with wholesalers, consumers who just can’t seem to be satisfied no matter the problem and everything in between.

Stephen Atwell owns Midwest Model Railroad in Independence, Missouri a successful retail shop that’s becoming a destination, with a large selection of products and a great team ready to help. Lorne James owns Otter Valley Railroad in Tillsonburg, Ontario another wonderful store with an excellent selection of products and some of there own manufactured cars. It’s a great podcast with lots of great info from these leaders in the hobby. Enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_231__Retail_Wars.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Sports announcers are a breed of their own and few stand out from the rest, such as John Madden in football, Vin Scully known as “Mr. Baseball, Foster Hewitt the long-time announcer of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dick Vitale who began broadcasting college basketball games in 1979. Each one of these men had a quality you can’t teach, their unbridled passion for what they loved was infectious and so it is with our very own “Uncle” Dave.

Dave brings a special kind of enthusiasm that can’t be taught, to this great hobby of model railroading and anyone that tries to keep up with him is almost surely going to fall behind. Just listen to him as he describes his new book from Kalmbach about yard design or his self-published book, Guarding the Chicago Line, and his excitement about refurbishing a couple of Kato SD40-2’s. It’s time well spent with “Uncle” Dave we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: _Uncle__Daves_Fireside_Chat_15.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Brass locomotives are dead. There’s no point in buying them. They’re a bad investment. In fact, we couldn’t understand why anybody would even want to buy and sell them until we met Matt Dowd at Resourced Rail’s. Not only is Matt an avid Model Railroader but he’s been an avid collector and trader of brass locomotives in all scales for decades, and now he’s turned it into a full-time business.

We decided to have a return visit to find out how this fledgling company turned into a full-time job for Matt who now employs seven people to help him keep up with demand. Plus he tells us all about his exciting trip to the “Land of the Rising Sun” and what model railroading is like in Japan as he introduces us to some of the great brass locomotive builders of our time. It’s a great episode and one we’re all sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_230__Resourced_Rails.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

It’s the OVR Pop-Up event #2 with several great guests, a mediocre introduction, and a Marginally Adequate wrap-up show. We’ll hear interviews from Nick Masney of ITLA Models, with lots of great products and is as excited about the future of the hobby as anybody, next up is Andrew Duns, who’s partners with Lorne James in the OVR Trains manufacturing business, then we hear from our old buddy George Bogatiuk from SoundTraxx who can dispense more information in 10 minutes than most people can in an hour.


Finally, we meet legendary accordion player Walter Ostanek, a three-time Grammy award winning musician who’s travelled the world and been on just about every show there is such as Johnny, Carson, Lawrence Welk, Don Ho, Phil Donahue etc. etc. Walter is still going strong at the age of 88 and it was a real thrill to meet him and spend quality time chatting about his life. This is a great podcast and one you’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: OVR_Pop-Up_Event_Part_2.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:44am EST

It’s the end of the Ken McCorry forty-seven-part trilogy of one of the best layouts in all of North America, from its humble beginnings in a townhouse to a dedicated thirty-three hundred square foot barn this story about a man and his dream is completed for now. There so much to learn about the Buffalo Line and in this series of podcasts we only managed to scratch the surface.

With an actual quarter mile of mainline and eleven different branches, this one of the most extensive and exciting to run model railroads ever built. But don’t be mistaken, operations on this railroad are taken very seriously and you can’t just step into a job of your choosing without being fully qualified as the Evel Overlord found out. Ken was a great guest and after a brief pause due to medical complications, we were able to bring this series to close. It’s a great podcast and one we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_228__Ken_McCorry_Part_Four.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Tillsonburg, Tillsonburg, my back still aches when I hear that word. However, one thing that Tillsonburg does have, is one of the best model railroad shops in all of Canada, ideally located about two hours from Toronto, Buffalo and Detroit. Our very own, Lorne James and his wife Sara are the proud owners of Otter Valley Railroad and decided to host a day long show for some of the best manufacturers in the hobby.

The AML Nation decided to send one of its crack reporters to this event for interviews and what’s happening in the hobby. None of those people were available so instead they sent the Evel Overlord, and he got a chance to talk with several of the attendees. It’s a great podcast, so grab yourself a big bowl of shredded sales receipts, all cool glass of left-over soda and enjoy!!

Direct download: Otter_Valley_Pop-Up_Event.mp3
Category:Model Railroad, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

It’s part three of the Ken McCorry Chronicles, and during this episode, we tried to convince him to let us take the Corvette out for a spin. We also investigate the changing eras and railroads on the three-hundred-mile-long Buffalo Line and what’s behind them. We find out how difficult it is, how much different equipment is needed and what’s behind it all.

For this podcast were joined by former Conrail employee Doug Watts who’s been operating on Ken‘s layouts before the barn was even built. Plus, there’s plenty of discussion about how to maintain one of the largest layouts in the country. It’s a great podcast and one for sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_227__Ken_McCorry_Part_3.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Back in the studio is a newly discovered AML talent with a resume that would impress any railfan, modeler or locomotive engineer in just about any generation. Mike May has been a railfan his whole life, a steam and diesel engineer for about half his life, the guy in charge of the “Polar Expess” Christmas extravaganza and now has decided to dip his toe into model railroad manufacturing.

About ten years ago Mike began building my third layout, the White Pass & Yukon Route. The railroad is an unusual prototype which led to many challenges and solutions along the way. This turned into an idea to start offering high quality kits of prototypes that haven’t been available for this unique railroad. Hopefully these kits can help others start modeling the WP&YR or find great freelance homes for them as well.

Direct download: NorthBound_Model_Works.mp3
Category:Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:33am EST

It’s another great edition of the always popular All-Star Variety Hour, and there’s plenty of good discussion with two people who are involved in the manufacturing and retail side of the hobby. First up, we talk with Jordan Smith of Rapido while attending Dealer Daze at their world headquarters just north of Toronto, Canada. It was a very busy event and Jeremy the video guy even gets involved.

We also chat with Chris Palmieri of Home Shops who has stopped by the ‘ole AML studios many times, this is a model railroad company that specializing in custom painted quality freelance equipment. It’s an interesting story and we catch Chris as he travels from show to show trying to sell all sorts of distinctive freight cars from various manufacturers painted and lettered for many different freelanced railroads. It's a great podcast and one we're sure you'll enjoy!!

Direct download: All-Star_Variety_Hour_51.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 5:22am EST

It’s part two of our thirty-seven, four-part trilogy featuring the life and times of Ken McCorry. In this episode we try to find out just exactly how Ken ever managed to develop such a superb track plan with an HO-scale mainline that’s one-quarter mile long for his magnificent Buffalo Line model railroad.

There’s also great discussion about the care and feeding of the operators for this fine railroad. You can’t just walk into the Buffalo Line, pick-up a throttle and choose whichever job you’d like on any day, many of the jobs on this model railroad are highly skilled and can take quite some time to learn. It’s a great podcast with all sorts of interesting information about operating a thirty-two hundred square-foot layout. Enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_226__Ken_McCorry_Part_Two.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

There’s no way a guy living in the North Atlantic off the coast of Scotland on a tiny rock could have any sort of significant impact on an organization such as the NMRA with the majority of its membership located in the lower forty-eight. Turns out nothing could be farther from the truth, not only has our next guest’s hard work resulted in major changes, but in reality, his leadership has helped to improve the hobby of model railroading for everyone involved.

As the NMRA continues to struggle with declining membership lack of renewals and a younger generation that sees no immediate benefit from belonging, one man stands alone against almost insurmountable odds, with a single-minded goal of making the NMRA and all its members get as much from the hobby of model railroading as possible. So grab yourself a big bowl of haggis, a tall cool glass of lukewarm sea water and enjoy!!!

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

What would happen if you grew up in the 1960s alongside the four track Pennsylvania Railroad main line in Berwyn, Pennsylvania?? There’d be a good chance you’d end up becoming a lifelong model railroader and that’s exactly what happened to our next guest Ken McCorry. But that’s not where the story ends, an American Flyer train set, a short stent in the Navy, a couple of N-scale layouts followed by an introduction to model railroad operations, and the rest is history.

 After the switch to HO scale Ken decided to model the Buffalo Line based on an article, he’d read in the Penn Central Railroader magazine. Early retirement at the age of forty-six, allowed for the opportunity to build a specially designed building behind his home that would eventually house a thirty-two-hundred square foot multi-deck layout. This great podcast is the first part of a fascinating story and one we’re sure you’ll enjoy.


Direct download: Episode_225__Ken_McCorry_Part_1.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Let’s head back down to the Station Inn on the Norfolk Southern mainline at Cresson, Pennsylvania for some words of wisdom from “Uncle” Dave and “the Wiz.” In part two of the “Chronicles” Rich Wisneski gives us some detailed background about the grades heading east and west as the tracks cross the summit near Gallitzin, Pennsylvania. We find out more about a seventeen-year-old Dave that’s made the same trek every year for the last three decades and how he managed to keep going.

Much has changed at the Station Inn over the last couple of years as Alex Lang along with his lovely wife have purchased this historic property, Alex describes some of the challenges they’ve faced running the Inn while making some major improvements. Several trains pass while conducting interviews on the porch which just adds to the excitement of sitting just a few feet away from a busy mainline. It’s a great podcast and one we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

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

So you’re asking yourself, who’s that guy sitting beside the “Dude” each time you watch “What’s Neat This Week” featuring Ken “the Dude” Patterson?? Why it’s none other than Joshua Barton, a man of many skills including to help keep the “Dude” on track so to speak, with product announcements, guest line-ups and looking after the always popular Mike Budde.

Joshua has had a very interesting life as a chef, musician, video tech to name just a few of his talents. He’s also currently building a layout featuring the area around Desoto, Missouri in a friend’s basement, with benchwork that could support an M1 Abrams tank from the U.S. Military. Most of us know him as Joshua “SugarFire” Barton but he’s moved on from that career and for now is concentrating on the hobby of model railroading. It’s an interesting episode and one we’re sure you’ll leave with more questions than answers. Enjoy!!  

Direct download: Episode_224__Joshua_Barton.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Have you ever stood on the shores of Lake Erie looking wistfully across towards Canada only to wish you had more foreigners use your bathroom. Have you ever stared at the photos from the Collinsville Railroad Prototype Modelers wondering what it would be like if Buzz and Lorne went?? Well, then this is the podcast for you.

On this addition of “a ModelersLife,” we learn about such things as using a hovercraft to get across Lake Erie, burying assorted model railroad train supplies on a farm, heat stroke at the St. Louis Cardinals game, and what to do if you’re Canadian and you like trains. So grab yourself a big bowl of shredded marine maps and a tall cool glass of Cleveland Harbor sludge and enjoy.

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

What do you say to somebody that tells you they’re building a four-deck model railroad, we weren’t sure either, but were determined to find out. John’s love of railroads in the Chesapeake Bay area during the 1970s has led him to create a model railroad with multiple helixes several decks creating what believe will be in layout for the ages. Our next guest is a lifelong modeler, who recently joined the Rapido Trains team as project manager number 347.

 But wait, there’s more, after a short stent at Custom Model Railroads in Baltimore and creating laser cut acrylic structure kits. John moved on to producing accurate decals for all major scales of the hobby, as well as stenciling for the restoration of some full-size railroad equipment with his Mount Vernon Shops becoming a growing concern since the early 2000’s. It’s a great interview with tons of interesting info, enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_223__John_Frantz.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Time has passed, a year has gone by, and another visit to the Station Inn in Cresson, Pennsylvania has produced more great interviews with some very interesting characters. Situated beside the Norfolk Southern’s main line from Altoona to Johnstown, Pennsylvania fighting over some of the steepest mainline grades east of the Mississippi. It’s a busy helper district with high-volume traffic.

In part, one of the Cresson Chronicles, we interviewed a delightful fellow known as John Zelehoski with a plethora of unfinished stories. We talked to Doug Watts, a former Conrail employee, lifelong railroader and finally someone that’s becoming a fan favorite with his cheerful personality, Ralph Heiss, or we like to refer to him as Ralphie Boy. This is a great podcast and one we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

Direct download: Cresson_Chronicles_Part_One.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 3:44am EST

The hobby is dying, there’s nothing but old guys in it, and soon there won’t be anything left of model railroading. We here at the old AML Nation don’t believe that for a second and this podcast is solid proof that the hobby is alive and well. John McGuire is a 22 year old enthusiastic modeler with a talent for installing LED lights and DCC decoders. 

Installing LED lights in model railroad locomotives can add a realistic touch to your layout, making the trains more visually appealing and immersive. John decided to start Garden State Modelworks and is quickly becoming known as a master craftsman with installations. When “Uncle” Dave found out that all he had to do was meet John with a box of locomotives at a gas station on the interstate he was sold on the idea and seeds of this of this podcast were planted. Enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_222__John_McGuire.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Much like President Franklin D. Roosevelt's series of radio broadcasts during WWII, “Uncle” Dave’s fireside chats have become a cornerstone of the AML nation, bringing calmness and stability to the fast-paced, ever-changing world of model railroading. Just like FDR, “Uncle” Dave’s fireside chats are designed to make complex issues and policies more accessible while at the same time avoiding that most common of all mistakes… Gluing your finger to your eyelid.

Whether Dave is discussing the ebb and flow in world of business and railroading, the hiring of conductors and engineers, getting ready for next year’s big Springfield show, his family taking precedence over all things railroading or just talking about one of his favorite railfanning spots, it all makes for great conversation. So grab yourself a big bowl of shredded hotel bed sheets, a tall cool glass of melted candle was wax and enjoy!!

Direct download: _Uncle__Daves_Fireside_Chat_13.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 1:50am EST

The hobby of model railroading just continues to grow and grow, and today’s electronics is opening up all sorts of avenues that we never thought possible just a few short years ago. One of those companies that is increasing enjoyment of the hobby is a small business located in Warwick, Rhode Island, called East Coast Circuits, specializing, in lighting affects for emergency vehicles, such as police, cars, firetrucks, ambulances and other vehicles like the UPS five-ton delivery van.

There’s also a whole range of circuits for crossing gates, traffic lights, burning fires and a range of other random lighting circuits. In just a few short years East Coast Circuits has made a name for itself and continues to grow. This is an amazing story of some enterprising fellows that decided to turn the hobby on its ear using nothing but a few LED lights, nine-volt batteries and a bit of wire. It’s a story we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

Direct download: Episode_221__East_Coast_Circuits.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

This is the story of a boy and his heavyweight passenger car known as “Erie Business Car One.” When not running JL Innovative Design with his brother Mike, Chris Costello can be found pursuing his other hobby of collecting full size 1:1 railroad equipment and the center piece of his collection is “Erie One,” a private railroad car operated by the Erie Railroad Company.

 Private railroad cars, also known as business cars or executive cars, were used by railroad executives, dignitaries, and sometimes wealthy passengers for luxurious and comfortable travel. These cars were equipped with lavish amenities, including comfortable sleeping quarters, a dining area, lounges, and even office spaces to conduct business while on the move. Chris bought the car and with the help of some dedicated individuals is slowly bring it back to life. This is a great podcast and one we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: Chris_Costello_and_Erie_Number_One.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:24am EST

It’s the final part of all our NERPM interviews from this year’s event, we heard from more than a dozen different participants and each with an interesting story to tell. RPM meets continue to grow and attract a wide range of modelers with various interests in all types of different railroading. This year’s event attracted well over two hundred modelers and we’re already looking forward to some more great interviews next year.


In this episode we hear from avid Penn Central modeller Blair Davis, Erik Hansmann also known as Mr. RPM, the always lovable Chris Adams, Springfield show director, and man about town John Sacerdote and finally the man, the legend, none other than Dave Owens making sure everyone has a great time and occasionally gives people rides to dinner. So grab yourself a big bowl of shredded resin kit instructions, a tall cool glass of used decal water and enjoy!!

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

If you’re gonna be in the Navy it might as well be on the deck of a carrier during the storm of the century and if you’re gonna be a member of the NMRA, it might as well be as the Conformance and Standards Chairman. Our next guest is Ex-Navy and the now serving the NMRA with the same commitment and enthusiasm as he did when firing jets off the deck of a carrier. But after trying to explain T-Trak to the Evel Overlord he’d rather be tied up in the Port of Memphis, Tennessee.

We first met Andy on AML’s Wednesday night Patreon chats and after finding out from Gordie the NMRA prez he’s running the Conformance and Standards department for the NMRA, it seemed only natural to have him stop by the ‘ole AML Studios for a more in-depth investigation of this model railroader. From filling the basement of his parents home with plywood to helping out with the Big Bend Model Railroad Association, Andy wears a lot of different hats and they all seem to fit just fine.

Direct download: Episode_221__Andy_Zimmerman.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Its’ ”Part Two” of the NERPM (excuse me) interviews direct to you from downtown Springfield, Massachusetts home each January to the big Amherst Society’s model railroad show held at the Eastern Exposition grounds and each June modelers gather together at the NERPM meet in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts to celebrate model railroading in a different way. With various activities such as clinics covering topics like weathering techniques, scratch building, layout design, historical research, and some hands-on instructional workshops. 

In this episode of the NERPM Chronicles, you will hear from such great modelers as Jim Homoki who discusses recent events on his Penn Central layout, Rob Hinkle fills us in on what’s up at the Operations Special Interest Group, Luis Segarra talks about being part of the show crew. Dave Oppedisano discusses starting his dream layout featuring his love of BNSF and Ted DiIorio tells about his hands on instructional weathering clinic that’s always a hit at any show he attends. It’s a fun podcast we’re sure you’ll enjoy!! 

Direct download: NERPM_Interviews_Part_Two.mp3
Category:Model Railroading -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Modeling the New Haven Railroad in the mid-1950s can be an exciting and historically accurate project. The New Haven Railroad, officially known as the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (NYNH&H), was a prominent railroad company that served the New England region of the United States during that era.

Our next guest is recreating as much of the New Haven Railroad as possible on three levels, with a track plan scaled down from the prototype, while enjoying the process and letting his creativity fill in the blanks. For Bill Chapin modeling the New Haven Railroad in the mid-1950s allows him to recreate a fascinating era in railroading history and bring it to life for the rest of us to enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_220__Bill_Chapin.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Railroad Prototype Modelers meets, (RPM) are an excellent way to connect with other model railroaders who share a passion for realism, exchange ideas and discuss techniques. There’s a wide variety of detailed locomotives, rolling stock, structures that closely replicate real-world railroads, time periods, and geographic regions with precise attention to detail.

This podcast features interviews with attendees David Yale, Jim ”the Hammer” Lincoln and Rapido’s own John Frantz. Overall, attending railroad prototype modelers meets can be an enriching experience for model railroaders. It allows you to immerse yourself in the world of prototype modeling, learn from experts, discover new techniques, and forge connections with like-minded individuals who are as passionate about the hobby as you are.

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

Allen Keller is a name that everyone in model railroading, young or old should recognize as a contributor to the hobby through his video series ”Great Model Railroads.” Travelling all around the lower forty eight over three decades to visit and record some of the best builders and their railroads.

Allen’s Bluff City Southern also a great model railroad in it’s own right, is alive and well today set in the area around Memphis in 1950 when cotton was king, operating throughout the Mid-South providing interchanges in the Memphis area with the IC, Frisco, L&N, Southern and the Missouri Pacific. This is a great podcast discussing some of the most interesting layouts and thier owners from the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. Enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_219__Allen_Keller.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

The Northeast/New England RPM Meet has been growing and growing over the past twenty years until it became one of the go to meets in the country. RPM Meets are all over the country and they truly began as simply someplace to display models finished or otherwise, meet old and new friends, learn some new techniques and leave by the end of the weekend enthused as ever about the hobby.  

The NERPM is not an exclusive group of super modelers, they are regular folks' like you and me. Some may be more talented than others, but most aspire to be better, to produce more realistic looking models and share ideas. Dave Owens and his band of merry men encourage modelers of all abilities to share what they accomplished so far: Finished or otherwise, completed or in-progress. There is no judgment, no one telling you that you are wrong, just good camaraderie. This is a great podcast that we’re sure you’ll enjoy!! 

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

It's always fun to welcome a newcomer to the AML Studios in downtown, Busted Knuckle, Kentucky and this week our guest travelled all the way from North Carolina. Marcus is a veteran in the world of N-Scale and his beautiful layout the Charleston, Roanoke & Eastern Railway set in the late 80's/early 90's when there was still a lot of variety on the Class One railroads and operations from that era were what kept the country moving.  

When our wandering reporter Nick Santo stopped by for a visit, we knew that there was much more to learn about the layout and the owner. Overall, Marcus's combination of interests in N-scale model railroading, his work at the North Carolina Transportation Museum, and his affinity for the Norfolk Southern Railroad showcases a deep passion for railways and a dedication to preserving and promoting their legacy. 

Direct download: Episode_218__Marcus_Neubacher.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

It’s coming, like kids at Christmas or standing rail-side waiting for Union Pacific’s “Big Boy” the anticipation for this year’s NMRA National convention in Dallas, Texas continues to build. Model railroad enthusiasts are passionate about their hobby, and conventions are a chance to share that passion with others, talk about their layouts, share modeling techniques and show off their latest creations.

Chris Atkins and Riley Triggs stop by the AML studios to give us an update on all the exciting events taking place at the Supercharged Highspeed, Texas Express !! There’s plenty of great layouts, prototype tours, clinics and of course the chance to get your very 3D image thanks to Bernard Hellen at MiniPrints. Be prepared for surprises, whether it's a creative new design, a new locomotive release, structure kit or unexpected celebrity sighting, you just never know what you might see at the NMRA National convention.

Direct download: The_Texas_Express_.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 1:36pm EST

What happens when a prospective member calls up and asks for advice??...

We say leave a message and we’ll get back to you, or we gather together some of the greatest minds in all of AML Nation to answer the call. Last week’s guest Bradd Williamson had fallen asleep in the studio while trying to decide whether or not to join the NMRA, so it only seemed natural to make a podcast out of it.

Bradd was trying to decide if joining the NMRA was worth the money and answered his own question as the night went on. He really wanted to attend a local NMRA regional convention with his buddies and in a final effort to get the ball rolling the “Queso Cowboy” stepped up to the plate and offered a challenge. If Bradd joined Tom Jacobs said he’d follow suit and before the show was over the NMRA had two brand new members added to their ever-growing membership list!!

Direct download: Bradd_Joins_the_NMRA.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 3:52am EST

Members of the AML Nation come in all shapes and sizes from all corners of the globe, with this episode of “a ModelersLife,” we meet one of the Iron City N-Scalers, a group of friendly fellows brought together by some other fellow, who’s name we can’t recall at this time. Bradd Williamson was destined to be a lone wolf modeler, until one day he decided to find out if model railroading had a presence on the internet.

A high school physics teacher from the Jersey Shore has had a passion for model railroading as long as he can remember, quite content to live out his life alone in railroading while the hobby slowly died away. Then one day this creature called social media reared its head and Bradd discovered a whole world of modelers just waiting to become close friends and help him set out on all sorts of exciting adventures!! Grab yourself a big bowl of shredded standardized tests, a tall cool class of Newtonian fluid and enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_217__Bradd_Williamson.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

After a quick chat at Springfield, Jason Shron expressed an interest to come back on the podcast and talk about what’s the landscape of the hobby post pandemic, what the future holds and the importance of pre-orders.  Running a successful model railroad manufacturing company based in Canada, or any other country for that matter, requires a strong business plan, good communication with suppliers, a solid understanding of the market with a commitment to quality and customer service.

There’s also a discussion about Jason’s deep commitment to his faith, working on his layout, “Canadian National’s Kingston Sub,” spending more time with his family, Rapido in the United Kingdom and of course one of the latest offerings from Rapido… The GE 44-Tonner. This is an interesting chat with lots of twists and turns, so grab a big bowl of shredded N-95 masks, a tall cool glass of fish fry oil and enjoy!!

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

Here comes another podcast with another great story from the AML Nation, this time we travelled all the way to Switzerland to visit with a locomotive engineer that’s about to change careers and become a police officer. Transitioning from being a locomotive engineer to a member of the local constabulary will involve several changes for Robin but it quickly became obvious to us that it won’t be getting in the way of his ongoing enthusiasm for the hobby.

American prototype modeling is alive and well in Switzerland with an active group of dedicated modelers accurately depicting railroading in north America. Robin has enjoyed weathering locomotives and rolling stock for some time now and with an impressive collection of brass engines his modeling can stand with the best of them. Grab yourself a big bowl of shredded moving citations, a tall cool glass of day-old coffee and enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_216__Robin_Fel.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

It’s the final installment of all the Springfield 2023 interviews and this time interview several folks from Rapido trains on late Sunday afternoon, plus we hear from John Sacerdote the show director for more than twenty years. After a tough couple of years, the show bounced back with big crowds and tons of new product announcements.

We finally get to meet some Rapido’s brightest minds, chat briefly with “Uncle” Dave and catch up with our old pal Kaylee Zheng. Bruce the Mailboy stops by at the end of the show to wrap things up and give his thoughts on hands free driving, it’s a great podcast with an interesting cast of characters. Enjoy!!

Direct download: Springfield_Report_-_Part_Four.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 11:38am EST

Well, we’ve come to the end of the Mike May thirty-seven part trilogy and a good time was had by all. We discovered that there is no bear on the “Polar Express,” learned all about the Hesston Steam museum in LaPorte County, Indiana, found out what it’s really like to a locomotive engineer on the Durango and Silverton and had a chance to hear about running on Amtrak.

We took in so much information during this series, it feels like our head is about to esplode, but fortunately for the AML Nation Mike agreed to come back and update us on his latest adventures. What a great story, a true railfan since he could remember, supportive parents and a journey through railroading that most of us can only dream about. This is another great podcast we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_215__Mike_May_Part_4.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

It’s part three of the Springfield, “Big E”, Amherst Society train show reports, where a great time was had by all. This show is a wonderful opportunity to connect with old friends make new ones and browse a through a large variety of vendors all in one location, plus the pre-show clinics giving everyone a chance to learn more about the hobby.
On this podcast we hear from the folks at Hattons, one of the largest model railroad vendors in Britain, learn more about the Reading Historical Society, chat with our old friend Ron Klaiss from Mine Mount Models and promise George that next year we’ll visit his layout. This year was the first show since weathering a worldwide pandemic and the snowstorm of the century. The crowds were huge, and the fun was enormous. Enjoy!!

Direct download: Springfield_Show_Report_Part_3.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Running the “Polar Express” is a full-time job and yet our guest Mike May still has time to occasionally put his name on the extra board and run some of the most iconic locomotives in North America. In this episode we dive deeper into what it takes to keep the “Polar Express” on track at several different locations around the continental United States and various spots around the globe.

Mike has been an avid railroader most of his life whether it be model or prototype and his opinions on the hobby of model railroading and the influence railroading of any kind has on the population as a whole are interesting to say the least. There are so many that ride the Durango and Silverton that might only have a passing interest in are yet drawn to Colorado by the hundreds of thousands each year to ride a train. It’s a great episode with lots of thoughtful discussion. Enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_214__Mike_May_Part_Three.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

It’s always fun to chat with folks you only see face to face very occasionally and this Springfield report is no different. Whether it’s Ralph Heiss, one of “Uncle” Dave’s regular crew or Shane Wilson the controlling hand at ScaleTrains, the conversations are always fun and always full of interesting tidbits.

We also get a chance to visit with Riley Triggs who heads up the NMRA’s Publication Department, the “Queso Cowboy” has a great chat with Rob Hinkle the president of the Operations SIG. We were introduced to “That Train Couple” Jasmine and her husband Frank you’ve just begun a journey into the world of model railroading utilizing Facebook and YouTube. Finally, we get a chance for a quick chat with Stephen Atwell the owner of Midwest Model Railroad in Independence, Missouri. It’s a great podcast and one we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

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

It’s part two pf the forty-seven-part Mike May trilogy and in this episode, we discover how a young boy from the suburbs of Chicago eventually is drawn to the wilds of Alaska and one of the most famous three-foot gauge railroads in the world, the White Pass and Yukon Route. Mike has built a beautiful rendition of this railroad in HOn3 that’s just eighteen inches wide and over twenty feet long.

Today the White Pass is the busiest tourist railroad in America after being shut down in 1982 due to lack of freight traffic and then re-open for tourism few years later. Mike has carefully modeled the railroad and eventually become a Master Model Railroader. We also discover that he enjoys writing, having had several articles published in the Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette as well as having the layout featured in the 2022 edition of Great Model Railroads. It’s another great podcast and one we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode__213_Mike_May_Part_Two.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Another Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show has come and gone and by all reports was a rousing success!! With an attendance of well over twenty-thousand enthusiastic model railroaders, hundreds of vendors and dozens of layouts the Springfield show is back in full swing after a worldwide pandemic in 2021 and the snow storm of the century in 2022.

As always, the AML gang was in attendance and this year, we had four tables featuring Iowa Scaled Engineering and our very own “Uncle” Dave Abeles. We met and interviewed so many fans of the podcast, took a group photo with well over fifty of the finest podcast listeners you’ll find anywhere. This is part one with Andy Zimmerman, David Heyde, Drayton Blackgrove, John Frantz, John Dohring and NMRA president Gordy Robinson. Enjoy!!

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

We’ve met a lot of interesting people on this podcast but every once and awhile somebody comes along that just makes you sit up and take notice. Mike May’s lifelong love of trains has taken him all sorts of interesting places but if you’re wondering how a guy that studied theatrical lighting ended on a Brightline train in Miami in the month of November you’ve come to the right place.

Whether he’s waxing poetically about his love for the White Pass and Yukon Railroad or telling stories of his journey to become a locomotive engineer on the Durango and Silverton. One thing is abundantly clear Mike’s story is to big for just one episode. Find a comfortable place to sit, grab a big bowl of coal ash, a tall cool glass of melted driver grease and enjoy!!!

Direct download: Episode_212__Mike_May_Part_One.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Well, it’s time once again, when we carefully select which candidate is best suited for the job and on this podcast the NMRA president Gordy Robertinson introduces us to Fred Soward who’s running against John Coy for Central District Director. 

Fred spent twenty years as a commissioned officer in the US Army and has been a member of his local Division 8 Board of Directors since 2016. After two years as a Trustee, and four years as the Superintendent, he’s now the Assistant Superintendent and also serving as the Secretary for the Mid Central Region.

 John Coy has been a model railroader for over fifty years, finally joining the NMRA in August 2018. By November of that same year, he joined the Central Indiana Division Board and has served the NMRA continuously since then. He’s currently the Assistant Superintendent of the Central Indiana Division and served as the Midwest Regional Director at large for almost four years. John Coy is heavily involved at both the regional and divisional levels and is excited about an opportunity to advance his career as a volunteer in the NMRA.

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

Before the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad it was simply the Lackawanna Railroad, connecting New York City across state to Buffalo, New York and that’s all you need to know. Unless of course you’re a retired police officer in New Jersey with fond memories of running across the Lackawanna Cut-off in a speeder car with your dad. Which then brings us to our guest Tom Schmieder.

After years of preparation, planning, collecting supplies and learning to build an addition to an already beautiful home, Tom Schmeider is well underway with the construction of a model railroad layout for the ages, based on the memories of a young boy riding the “the Cutoff.” We’ve brought in some New Jersey’s most enthusiastic model railroaders to help us find out as much a s possible about Tom and his railroad. It’s a great podcast with tons of info to enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_210__Tom_Schmeider.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Who doesn’t like a party, especially one that celebrates a milestone like the 90th anniversary of Railroad Model Craftsman. We were fortunate enough to convince RMC editor Otto Vondrak to stop by the ole’ AML studios and tell us some of the history of the magazine, learn about some of the previous owners, plus interesting discussions about some of the key players over the years.

The magazine was started during the depression era of the thirties, when the NMRA was getting started beside some industry leaders that are still recognizable names today. Tony Koester played a big part in the seventies and was instrumental bringing Allen McClelland to the fore front of the hobby. We learn of the great contribution Bill Schaumburg made to the hobby as editor, long-time publisher Hal Carstens and a host of others that spent many years working with the magazine. This is a great podcast that we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: RMC_90th_Anniversary.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

What can we say about our next guest other he’s one of the greatest goalies the people of Durango, Colorado have ever witnessed, standing tall between the pipes this behemoth of a man turns back shot after shot while constantly thinking about ways to improve SoundTraxx decoders and get them out to the world so modelers from all across the globe can learn the infinite possibilities this product can deliver.

But wait, you say you’d like to know the best way to paint your goalie pads?? George takes time out of his busy scheduled to carefully describe the painstaking effort using a rubberized paint to turning you into the best beer league goalie this side of the Mississippi River. Then George takes us on a great tour of his present layout with a detailed description of how it was built in a garage that it shares with a car. This is a fun episode we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_210__George_Bogatiuk.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Lorne James is just one of those people you’re glad to know, someone that always leaves you with a smile on his face. He one of the exciting young men that continue to make this hobby grow beyond anyone’s expectations. Having started in the retail end of the hobby in his teenage years and continuing to grow that business to present day with a great retail shop in Tillsonburg, Ontario.

Never one to sit still, Lorne and his partner have now expanded into the freight car manufacturing side of the hobby with the National Steel Car 6,400 Cubic Foot gondola used mainly in the construction and waste disposal industries hauling waste to transfer sites. This podcast is full of excitement as a young modeler tells the tale of trying to get his new company off the ground. Enjoy!!

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

“What if we gave away our 1,000th ProtoThrottle to raise money for the Colorado Model Railroad Museum that Michelle Kempema runs??” These words were spoken to me by Michael Petersen whom I hadn’t heard or seen from since we worked side by side as bus boys on the Orient Express during the late eighties. Stunned by the offer, but anxious to help Ms. Kempema who in recent times had taken a job as a t-shirt model to raise money for the museum, I quickly accepted.

Michael stated there were a few conditions that must be met, apparently his time in the Orient had prohibited the fine folks at Iowa Scale Engineering from mailing any ProtoThrottles across the Atlantic and as of this broadcast Bhutan was strictly off limits. But fortunately, if you live in Canada, New Zealand, Australia or the United States of America you’re eligible to enter the free draw at the Amherst Railroad Hobby Show. So bring a pen, a couple of bucks for the museum and you too could be operating your layout with one of the finest throttles on the market today.

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

What can you say about someone that’s brought so much joy to folks young and old by simply standing trackside with a camera in the great state of Florida. These are the videos of someone with the expertise of a professional broadcaster and the excitement of a teenager railfanning for the first time.

Railfan Danny Harmon was born and raised in Florida, trying to catch all the rail action in Sunshine State while still taking the time to explore railroading as far away as Ohio. Shooting with a Sony AX-700 camcorder, GoPro Hero 7 Black, DJI Air 2 drone, and editing all the footage he’s captured on his iMac with Final Cut Pro X software the final product is well worth watching. This is a great podcast, and you can find the Distant Signal YouTube channel right here:


Direct download: Episode_209__Danny_Harmon.mp3
Category:Model Railroading, Model Railway Transport -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Hey kids, it’s almost time for the annual Springfield Train show time, the Big “E”, the Amherst Show, the “Great” Train Show, the “Big” Railroad Hobby Show, the show that John Sacerdote runs every year with help from a cast of thousands and its official name is “the Amherst Railway Society  Railroad Hobby Show.” Dating back as far as the 1960’s, the show covers hundreds of thousands of square feet in four buildings on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition.

Since 1991, the Amherst Railway Society started an annual grants program that began to support the efforts of other railroad-focused organizations. In the years since, the Society has donated $814,373 to railroad preservation. This is a great podcast with lots of great information that we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

If model railroad operations is your thing or you’ve never had the opportunity to operate a model railroad of any kind and you’ve got no idea where to start, then you’ve come to the right place. Eric Smith has created one of the most useful tools we’ve ever seen connecting model railroaders and operations-oriented layouts.

OperatingSessions.com is a free service that’s been purpose-built to help support model railroaders host operating sessions. Whether it’s individual sessions on a single layout, or multi-day events with dozens of sessions.

Scheduling operating sessions or finding operators can sometimes be quite a pain but with OpertingSessions.com even the most complex operating weekend can be simplified with ease. This is a great podcast with tons of information that we’re sure you’ll enjoy!!

Direct download: Episode_208__Eric_Smith.mp3
Category:Model Railroading -- posted at: 2:30am EST