The Images that Draw Us

In the silent auction of Ken Chivers’s estate almost forty years ago, I won the book, Fairy Tale Railroad, the story of the Mohawk and Malone Railroad in upper New York State. As my modelling interests matured, the danger of modelling New York dissipated and the book was a candidate to re-home. It was nearly […]

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Art, Canada and 1905

I’ve just returned from a family vacation to Montreal, in which I was resoundingly and unsurprisingly outvoted in my application to get to the Canadian Railway Museum in St Constant. Fortunately, The Girl suggested we Hop-Off the Hop-On Hop-Off Tour for a visit to the excellent Musée des Beaux Arts. I had no idea Montreal […]

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In pursuit of one great model

Over on Model Airplane Maker, there is a beautiful post recollecting an old friend and hobby store owner who offered that everyone has one great model in them. It’s a well-written post with lots of photos of beautiful models; you should read it then come back here. In a model railroading context, the idea of […]

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Best layout tour ever!

I’ve just finished reading Pete Warren’s article, Morehampstead in 2mm Finescale, which appeared in Model Railway Journal (MRJ) 285. If you hurry you might get to McNews on Lonsdale before John or Brian pick up the last copies. It is worth elbowing your way past my friends to secure your copy, even if you have […]

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Breaking Inertia

Ever since the birth of The Girl, the month of November has been swamped with domestic activity. I’ve kept a journal since The Boy was born (something I recommend to every parent, by the way), but when The Girl joined our family, I started transcribing my journal into a photo book, which I print using […]

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Crawl space nighthawks

While I enjoy the occasional model railway magazine, unlike most other modellers, I’ve never had space to keep them. For years, I have captured significant articles in binders, and this enabled me to save many feet of shelf space in ads alone. However, my idea of significance has grown narrower with each passing year. The […]

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The wisdom of Kiff Holland

As I’ve finished the remaining bookshelves in the train room, I’ve been going through the boxes of books that first moved out to the garage when I started renovating the basement in 2012. What a treat to find so many old friends waiting patiently for me after all these years! Sadly there isn’t room for […]

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Why do we do the things we do?

Nearly ten years ago, Ron Keith collared me at the local train show. What a wonderful gentleman he was, with his grey handlebar moustache and his enigmatic smile. I was happy to bask in his genial company once again. However, this time Ron had no time for small talk: “Rene, I’ve been looking all over […]

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