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!

The Genchi Genbutsu Show!

The Model Railway Show

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In this episode…

Lance Mindheim, author.

Don Goodman-Wilson, modeler.



How to Operate a Modern Era Switching Layout


Genchi Genbutsu is a Japanese saying that means “Go and See”, and that could have been the subtitle for the latest book on modeling contemporary railroading from author Lance Mindheim.


Lance’s two HO scale modern-era CSX layouts have been well documented in the hobby press as well as on his website, and when working on the layouts he enjoys being able to “Go and See” his prototypes: It’s as easy as hopping on a plane to Miami. That’s also an advantage when it comes to designing operating sessions, as he describes in his new book.


Lance joins Trevor to explain how he learned about modern operations and how this has influenced his own layouts. He also explains how observing and replicating prototype operations can actually simplify layout design, with a corresponding reduction in construction and maintenance time and cost.


(This is a lesson Trevor is applying to his current model railway, and one that layout builders discussed in the most recent issue (44) of the Layout Design Journal – the quarterly publication from the Layout Design Special Interest Group.)


Listeners can learn more about Lance’s books in the bookstore section of his site, including viewing sample pages from How to Operate a Modern Era Switching Layout.



Japanese modeling in North America


Don Goodman-Wilson lives in Colorado, but models Japanese railroading. It’s very different from what we’re used to in North America, with an emphasis on high-speed passenger and commuter trains. But as Don tells Jim, it’s a rewarding switch for North Americans looking for something different. And there are a surprising number of North Americans who model Japanese railroads.


And Don should know: He’s the moderator of the Japanese Modeling and Japan Rail Enthusiasts Forum.


Don notes that North American organizations are not numerous – the Japan Rail Modelers of Washington DC being one of the few with an active online presence – but enthusiasts are quite dedicated.


The Japanese-North American ties are strong in the hobby, with many products flowing east across the Pacific. But this year, North Americans are giving back, through a charity called Omocha Express that is delivering toys to children affected by the March, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor incident in Japan.


Those interested in modeling Japanese prototypes are extremely well served by manufacturers including Kato, Tomix* and Micro Ace*. Japan has also been at the vanguard of innovative answers to modeling in small spaces, including the creation of T Scale (1:450), the T-TRAK N scale modular standard and the Bandai B-Train Shorties* – possibly the only model railway product line that should be called “cute”.


(*Websites marked with an asterisk are only available in Japanese, but may be viewed in English (or French, or Spanish) by pasting their URLs into Google Translate.)