I have had a passion for real and model railroading since my first American Flyer Santa Fe passenger set appeared under our Christmas tree back in the early 1950's. At the same time, I noticed with excitement the short line switcher's puffs of smoke rising above the tree line behind our house. That was cool. I remember even hearing the chuff! The train bug really caught on when my grandfather arranged to have my younger brother and I ride a steam-driven train on one of its last runs near our home. The next addition to the model railroad was the Lionel #681 Turbine freight set complete with a large oval track and a mighty ZW transformer. Various rolling stock and accessories were added in the following years as the empire grew. College and marriage came. My wife had to acknowledge that trains were much more important now than the inconvenient traffic delays she had experience earlier in life. With the addition of two sons into our family, I cultivated and grew my interest with Lionel trains and built and operated several layouts over the years.
Photography was always an interest and I began to photograph model trains for the family and friends Christmas cards. I soon became a fan of O. Winston Link and had the opportunity of meeting him and attending one of his special presentations. I soon realized that as much as I wanted the Lionel trains to look real, they were not scale. Things just didn't look right. And...that 3 rail track just had to go. So as my interests matured, I sold off all of the 3-rail collection and transitioned several years ago to scale 2-rail modeling. This was especially true after attending several scale shows like Chicago, Indianapolis, and the O Scale Nationals. My model railroad photography improved with the scale models and my images won several Kalmbach photo contests. I have been honored to have several customers with my model building enterprise. I recently received the first place award in the M.T.H. building kit bashing contest.
I presently work on and operate our "Sam Hill Junction Railroad" which is a fantasy hybrid layout comprised of both Pennsy and Norfolk & Western scenery and O scale equipment. In addition to model railroading, I have a real passion for steam trains and proudly support and promote steam restoration, and have several memberships with historical societies. My wife and I have participated and enjoyed several excursions including chasing N&W #611 and #1218, several trips to Cass, WV, riding behind MILW #261 with the New River Autumn Special, NKP #765 Horseshoe Curve Spectacular, riding with SR #630 and SR #4501 in Chattanooga, TN, and the recent restoration and excursions with N&W J#611 in Spencer, NC and Roanoke, VA.
I have worked in the model railroad hobby for several years including several advertising positions, custom model building for clients, ultra-realistic model railroad photography, and several cottage industries including Get Real Productions, Proto-Locos and JT's Mega-Steam. Some of my images have been published in Model Railroader, Classic Toy Trains, and O Scale Trains magazines. My reputation for attention to detail, quick follow up, and quality customer service makes for a great contribution to our team. As I always say,"It is very simple: Without customers, we don't have a job!"