Audio Episode

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Jim Martin: Jim's radio broadcasting career includes both the private sector and the CBC, Canada's national network. During his many years on air he was a reporter, announcer, news director, talk show and news magazine host, and his favorite part, interviewer. For many years he was also the book review and video review editor for Canadian Railway Modeller. More recently he has been writing articles for Railroad Model Craftsman. He also enjoys presenting backdrop painting clinics to local groups and train shows.

Trevor Marshall: Trevor cut his teeth in radio at Standard Broadcast News, a national radio newswire service in Canada. The radio news writing style has served him well in his current profession as a freelance writer for clients in the transportation, life sciences, and government sectors. Trevor's articles for the hobby press have appeared in Model Railroad Planning, Model Railroader, Railroad Model Craftsman and other publications and he regularly presents model and prototype railway clinics on a variety of topics. He finds everything about the hobby interesting, but is particularly interested in the process that goes into a well-thought-out, prototype-based layout.

Chris Abbott is our Technical Director. Jim and Trevor would still be talking to each other without his help.

Otto Vondrak is our Creative Director. That awesome badge and banner on the site? That's his doing.

David Woodhead is our Music Director. If you find yourself humming our theme song, well - you're not alone. Jim and Trevor have had it stuck in their heads for weeks now. Well done, David!

Tearing apart layouts

The Model Railway Show

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In this episode…


Allen McClelland, author and owner, Virginian & Ohio.

Doug Harding, author and owner, Iowa Central.



Life after the V&O


What do you do when it’s time to dismantle your layout for good? It’s a tough enough choice for most of us. But when the layout in question is the legendary Virginian & Ohio, the decision must’ve been daunting.


The V&O – a freelanced railroad designed and built by Allen McClelland – is arguably the most famous model rail transportation system in North America. It has its own Wikipedia entry, has been photographed by countless visitors (including this one), was featured in countless magazines (most recently in Model Railroad Planning 2009), and even has its own book, The V&O Story.


McClelland built two V&O layouts. The first was the subject of videos by Pentrex and Allen Keller, while Allen Keller has also covered the second V&O and included V&O footage in a compilation video covering famous “fallen flag” model railways.


The news of the V&O’s demise even jumped the barrier from the hobby world.


So what do you do if you’re Allen, and you decide it’s time to consign the V&O to history? Jim spoke to Allen to find out what he’s doing now.


Related Links…

Gerry Albers layout in Model Railroad Planning 2005.



Planning for moving


What do you do if your lifestyle dictates that you’ll be moving a lot? Many of us would adjust our hobby to suit our lifestyle. We would build micro-layouts, modules, or portable, exhibition-style layouts, or forego having a layout altogether in favor of becoming a railroad modeler.


Doug Harding likes the social interaction and operational challenges of a large, busy layout. His HO Iowa Central layout is closely based on the real Iowa Central, although he’s modeling it as if it had retained its identity into the mid 20th Century instead of becoming part of the Minneapolis and St. Louis.


But as the Reverend Douglas Harding, he has been forced to move some parts of his extensive layout 10 times. Along the way, he has developed some thoughts on large yet moveable home layouts, and he shares them with Trevor.


Related Links…

NMRA Modular Standards
Ntrak N scale modular standards