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Me & Chessie
Me & Chessie

08/18/04

 

Welcome to my Web site!

When I was 5, my parents moved from an apartment complex into our first home.  The townhouse community was placed adjacent to the Metropolitan Sub in Gaithersburg, MD.  My first memories of train traffic on this line are of dark blue B&O and C&O diesels heading every freight train imaginable.  I donít quite know why I was enthused with the new yellow scheme, but it was easy to spot trains.  We used to hang out at the tracks and wait for the big freights headed by 4 to 5 GP-38, GP-40, and GP-40-2 units.  If the trains were traveling east, there were always 2 SD-40 helpers on the back that were added at Brunswick Yard and cut off at Gaithersburg.  It was exciting knowing that you would get to see another set of big engines at the end of the train.

My first layout was built by my father and I (mostly by him) when I was 8.  I had an AHM B&O C-liner, the 1776 paint scheme Tyco F7ís and several freight cars.  My first Chessie item was a Lionel Caboose I bought with my own money at Kay-Bee Toy and Hobby.  Now Kay-Bee sells nothing but toys.

At 11, my dad bought me my first copy of Model Railroader, and I started learning about the hobby as well as the history of the Chessie System.  That Christmas, my first ďrealĒ train hit the rails, an Athearn U-30-B, Chessie System #2307.  (Borrowing a line from A Christmas Story) It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  It wound up being the first locomotive in Chessie livery that I ever had, the first I ever super detailed, and the first I ever re-powered.  It still resides in my collection with the Lionel caboose and about 300 other pieces of Chessie, B&O, C&O, and WM locomotives and rolling stock.

Even though we are well into the CSX era, my love affair with the Chessie System continues, fueled by the great manufacturers like Atlas, Athearn, and Proto 2000 who still make models in the Chessie and C&O schemes; and great people like Ed Martin, who allowed me to operate every aspect of his Chessie Mountain Division Model Railroad from dispatching to yard master.

Since my first model railroad, the 4x6 Potomac & Chesapeake, I built the 12x12 Baltimore & Annapolis, operated at Edís, and happened into a club above Dennisonís Trackside Hobbies in Mt. Airy, MD.  I met Dan Rousseau at that club.  Dan is a world class modeler and has influenced my modeling more than any other single person (other than my dad, who bought me my first trains).  Dan is now one of my closest friends, he lives in Ft. Worth, TX now and I live in Northern Maryland.  We share phone calls once a week and talk about modeling constantly.  In January of 2004 the Baltimore & Annapolis was dismantled.  I still own the Potomac & Chesapeake and am refurbishing it with my 4 year old son and my father-in-law.

My next endeavor is the railroad that this site is about, the Modern Chessie System.  I have taken several liberties with equipment (I run what I like Steam or Diesel) and history.  I know all the nitpickers would have a field day but I donít care!  I take a page out of Ed Martinís diary and run everything, itís my world Iím building, full of heavy industry and urban railroading.  My layout will have some rural scenery, but the city scenes will predominate.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy my website.

 

This site was last updated 08/18/04