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!

Overheads and Ironing Boards

The Model Railway Show

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In this episode…

Tom Piccirillo, President of Micro-Mark and O scale traction modeller.

Paul Allen, builder of Ingleton Sidings.



I Sing The Layout Electric


While some use live steam locomotives and people have experimented with live diesel models, the majority of model railway enthusiasts use electricity to power their trains. For a few of us, that’s perfectly prototypical – and that authenticity is one of the things that attracts people to interurban and trolley modeling.


Tom Piccirillo has certainly heard the hum of traction motors. He’s an NMRA Master Model Railroader best-known as the president of tool specialist Micro-Mark. And his basement is home to the Somerset County Traction System – an O scale traction empire.


Tom joins Trevor to talk about why he loves to work under wire, and how his traction empire helps develop new products for the Micro-Mark catalog.


(Tom is not the only well-known traction modeler. Others include Bob Hegge, Bill Clouser, Walt Olsen and Roger Chrysler. Companies such as The Car Works and MTS Imports have helped fill car barns with beautiful traction models. Enthusiasts such as Dan D. Sparks blog about traction modeling. And in addition to many fine home layouts, organizations including the Cambridge Model Railroad Club, the East Penn Traction Club and the Southern California Traction Club have spread the word about traction modeling at shows, with sectional or modular layouts.)



Pressing Matters


We all like to see the big display layouts at train shows, but those efforts require a crew, multiple vehicles or trailers, and quite a bit of money to build, maintain, transport, set up and operate. Is there another way?


Of course there is. How about an exhibition layout that fits into a single vehicle, can be set up quickly, and yet can entertain the crowds?


UK modeler Paul Allen has accomplished this and more with Ingleton Sidings – a layout based on the popular Inglenook design and built on an ironing board. In addition to being popular at shows, Ingleton Sidings was recently featured in the UK magazine Model Rail.


Paul talks to Jim about how he adds presence to a small layout, including the use of closed circuit television and digital photo frames. He also discusses the UK practice of covering the expenses for traveling layout exhibitors. (Yes, in the UK people get paid to offset the cost of exhibiting their layouts at shows!)