Lou Sanchez -- He was one of my best friends who let me play with his layout when I was 9. He also convinced my parents to get Märklin rather than anything American when my Mom decided I should have a train set. He totally hooked me, and I miss him. Haven't seen him since he moved back to Argentina when he was 12.
Mom -- She loved these trains as much or more than I did. Every time I was playing with them, she was happy. She's gone now, but I think of her every time I run trains, and let others run them.
Robert Rowe -- Another one of my best friends who played with my trains when we were kids. Bob always enjoyed the accidents as much as successful operations of the trains, see the It Doesn't Always Work on the Misc page for an example of his kind of train fun.
Frank Schifano -- Frank is a great friend these days, and also a great photographer. He first got a taste of the trains at Christmas, when he was helping us trim a tree at my annual party. He loves playing with the trains, and shooting them on 35mm film. Most of the better pics on this site are his work.
Harold Van Aalderen -- Harold is my best buddy from The Netherlands, a true computer geek, yet (surprisingly!) not a train set guy. But, over the last several years, I've exposed him to Märklin, first by asking him to take me to toy stores in Amsterdam to find parts when I was there, and then starting to buy me rolling stock as christmas presents. I think by the time I have true ATC running on a digital layout controlled by a laptop, I'll have hooked him like Lou did me.
Dale Schultz -- A master modeler with an incredible layout. He's the kind of guy who scans pix of of real stations, then reworks them on the computer to finally print them in 1:87 scale for use in his buildings. And he writes his own software, he has a complete knowledge of low-level Digital concepts.
J.J. McVeigh -- Watchdog of the group, and a sharp Digital Electronics expert. He pointed out all of my inaccuracies in posts about electrical issues, and completely understands how digital communications and analog track power combine in a modern computer layout.
Paul Delacour -- Maintainer of Paul Delcour's Märklin H0 train connections! which is perhaps the most comprehensive single link page as of 2006. Also, his website documenting his play with trains is really nice, particularly the Temporary Layouts which includes the Piano Layout.
Here's a shot of model 3002, a Swiss version from 1958 that was just on auction on eBay. Its going for $174.50 in 2006, and it probably cost about $10 when it was first released:
Here is a short list of credits for some of the seller's I've bought from, I would buy from them again:
Rene and Karin Gommers (eBay ID rene-gommers) These guys sold me the beautiful SNCF engine and silver cars for it. As a kid, I wanted those cars because they were the closest thing to a NYC Subway Car I could find in the Märklin Catalog.By the way, for my eBay sellers, I think you're all wonderful, and I don't think any of you ever overcharged me, I just think this hobby gets expensive! :)
Dirk van der Marel (eBay ID eapoecistron) Very nice guy who sold me odd lots of small track, the kind of pieces you need to make the bridge connect to the switch after you've built it to curve across the other tracks.
Ed Goodnight (eBay ID maerklin) Ed actually runs one of the better dealer sites on the net, check him out at http://www.modellbahn.com/.
Carsten Ramcke (eBay ID carstenr) Carsten has a wonderful layout with pictures up on his website: Gateway To Carsten Ramcke´s Wild Ride