"Hi"ghball from Minneapolis

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Well-Known Member
Greetings everyone,

Thought I'd take a moment to say hello and introduce myself. I've been watching these forums for some time, but finally decided to register recently.

I'm in the south suburbs of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, although I've only lived here for a few years. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, not too far from the NWP tracks, where I don't think I remember ever seeing a train. My interest in railroads goes quite a ways back to grade school, and I remember my parents taking me to places like the California State Railroad Museum, the Skunk Train in Fort Bragg, and the Castro Point Railway (anyone remember that one?). I was also an occasional visitor to the North Coast Model Railroad Society in Marin County years ago, although I understand that club isn't around anymore. (?)

I went to college in Illinois, and have been in the Midwest ever since. For several years, I lived within eye- and ear-shot of the Illinois Central main in Champaign.

Growing up, I had a small collection of HO trains, running on the typical plywood board setup and atlas snap-track. One of my prize locomotives I remember was an Athearn BB FP7 in phase I. However, my equipment budget was rather limited, so it ran the rare and mostly unknown consist of train #96B, a sole RPO. It was even stranger when I broke the rear coupler box one day, and unable to repair it, was forced to run in reverse with the RPO coupled to the nose.

Anyway, now that I've got a house with room for a layout, I'm trying to get back into things. I've been collecting HO equipment for some years now, with the intention of someday putting it to use. I'll be seeking advice on the Layout Planning board soon, once I do a little more tweaking on Xtrak, and figure out how to post some good images from it.

In the meantime, enjoy some of my (very amateur) photos from RP:


Thanks for having me here,


Well-Known Member
Hi Eric, Welcome to the forum,

I've lived at almost the Exact Dead Center of Calif for the past 45 years and familiar with many of the names you mentioned.

I remembered most of the lines you mentioned but wasn't sure about the NWP, Northwestern Pacific that was owned by the Southern Pacific that in 1984 sold of the norther section from Willits to Eureka

So, have you decided on a line to follow in your modeling, at least generally speaking?

Talk with you later,


Hello and welcome aboard. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well. You will find there are plenty of friendly people here who will help and/or answer any questions you may have. There is a wealth of knowledge here so feel free to ask or talk about any ideas, concers or questions you may have.

TwrOpr 87

Welcome aboard. Theres some good info here and a nice group of people. Good luck starting your new layout

- Sent from my phone


Well-Known Member
Hi Eric, Welcome to the forum,

So, have you decided on a line to follow in your modeling, at least generally speaking?

Talk with you later,

Thanks all for the welcome.

I haven't really decided on a theme or line yet for the layout. Since this will be my first true layout (versus tacking down snap-track on a big sheet of plywood), I am planning on using the experience more for learning and experimenting, teaching myself things like benchwork, wiring, DCC, and more. In other words, I'd like to make it look good, but I'm not out to model a particular historical period or prototype quite yet.

I am thinking of something along the lines of "generic modern." Most of my rolling stock would fit in the 80s-present time frame. However, I also have a penchant for streamline passenger equipment, so I'll try to not make it too out-of-place for say, a set of SP Sunset cars behind a pair of PA's to roll by once in a while. Granted, some things like an intermodal yard or modern signals can't be avoided, but I'm not too concerned. Or maybe we'll just say it's a railfan museum special going by, one that happens to look just like the Shasta Daylight.

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