This page isn't finished yet. I'm putting a bunch of random things here about playing with the trains, and some of the people who've enjoyed them.


The photos of my 1999 Living Room layout were taken by Frank Schifano and Donna Cheung with my assistance. Frank and Donna had to work pretty hard, and Frank wants me to point out how tough it was dancing around the layout to get these shots. Frank and Donna got really stretched out taking these pictures, including laying down on the floor, cramming themselves into tight corners, and bending over or standing in weird positions for long periods of time. I thank them both deeply, not only for the pictures but also for not stepping on anything.

The Living Room Layout
Here's a list of the equipment they used:


  • Nikon F2 and Nikon FM2n


  • 2 Vivitar 285HV flash units with diffusers

Lenses (all Nikkor):

  • 20mm f/3.5
  • 24mm f/2.8
  • 28mm f/2.8
  • 35mm f/2
  • 50mm f1.4
  • 105mm f/2.5
  • +1 and +2 closeup lenses
Most of the other photographs were made with whatever camera was handy, which usually wasn't up to the job. Cite Dale Schultz' page on Digital Photography.

Playing With Trains

Eric And Max Rocrail The Layout

Coffee Table Z Gauge

I want to run the train!

Happy Mom

Movie -- Robert Rowe's Express

It Doesn't Always Work

Sometimes, even the simplest plans on your railroad go awry. Sometimes, just when you have someone else watching, and you say "Look at This!" your creation can fail and get you. Bent track, dry wheels, old springs, even the cat can conspire against you to make that moment of magic turn into a moment of simulated disaster.

Which is usually followed by a lot of laughing, and talk of Gomez Adams And His Train Set. This example of Märklin Gone Awry is dedicated to Robert Rowe. He's known me since before I got my first trainset, and he's always seen the worst disasters. It makes him laugh. I hope he enjoys this movie, and you do too. Note the Fat Blue Spark coming off the pickup shoes near the end...

One good thing about the old tin plate trains is they take this kind of abuse fairly well.

To Come: