Sunday, November 27, 2005


I met an interesting guy today. He's big on trains, real big on trains. He lives with his wife and trains in the cellar of his son's home.

The cellar has only three rooms. One room houses 350 feet of train tracks. I've never seen anything like this before. He's got 27 engines, a water tower, log unloader/loader, cars, trucks and busses that light up, and the trains make their own steam. Truly an amazing set up.

The trains come from several external rooms and there are holes cut into the walls to allow egress. He's even building track out into the backyard.

The engines make the sounds of the actual machines. A computer runs the whole setup. He can record the routes and sounds of two trains running simultaneously. The engines have 80 sounds including, heavy chuffing for uphill simulations, regular steam sounds for flat track, and easy engine sounds for downhill express.

A yellow school bus sits in the middle of town blinking red and yellow lights wired from underneath the waist high platform. There is about a mile of wire under the tracks.

Richard has made several of the cars himself and has created movies of riding around his railroad with an engine or caboose view.

Of course, he has a web site. (Thought you'd never ask.) You can take a look at some of the engines he's collected. He's also got a few movies to watch.

Very cool.

It's alright to have a train of thought, as long as you have a terminal.