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a ModelersLife

All modelers have a life but what do we know of it. This podcast is as much about the people in model railroading has it is about the hobby itself. I've met so many interesting people in the hobby over the years I decided it would be fun to share their back stories with everyone else. So come along with me, Lionel Strang as we discover just how many fascinating folks there are in this great hobby of ours.

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TomStock 2020 Update

It’s finally happening, our long AML Nation nightmare is finally coming to an end and TomStock 2020 is literally just weeks away. One of the greatest gatherings in AML history is about to take place with four days of peace, love and little trains !! It’s a jam pack festival with your fellow AMLer’s coming from all over the globe for this special event. Starting with dinner at the Shady Maple restaurant on Wednesday evening, a Budd Car ride on Thursday to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania via the Reading and Northern Railroad, a bus tour on Friday to Strasburg Railway, a hobby shop, Dairy Queen and Ken McCorry’s fabulous Conrail layout. Saturday is the sometimes-annual AML BBQ followed by an evening game of double “A’ baseball with the Reading Fightin’ Phils taking on the Portland Sea Dogs. This is gonna be an AML event to remember, so pack plenty of sunscreen, your favorite AML t-shirt and get ready for the time of your life !!

54mins

20 May 2022

Rank #1

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Episode 193: Lance Mindheim

Every once in a while, we meet a model railroader that brings more to the table than most and our next guest fits this description perfectly. With three personal layouts, several books, dozens of articles in the model railroad press and a successful private layout construction business, Lance Mindheim is a true asset to the hobby of model railroading. This is a great podcast about one individual’s dedication to a hobby that’s provided him with a lifetime of enjoyment and in recent years a steady source of income. Along with Tom Klimoski and William Sampson, Lance answers our questions, provides plenty of thoughtful commentary, lots to think about and most of all makes his enthusiasm for the hobby well known. Enjoy!!  

1hr 54mins

16 May 2022

Rank #2

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NERPM is Back !!

It’s back!! It’s back!! After a long and lonely absence, one of the best RPM meets in the country is alive and well. The New England or Northeast (honestly, it’s been so long they can’t remember the name exactly) Railroad Prototype Modelers Meet has been revitalized and is back for another great gathering with lots of fabulous models on display, dozens of clinics and as always, the best model railroad raffle east of Trout Run, Pennsylvania!! Dave Owens and the crew have found a new hotel in Springfield, Mass., enlisted the help of Amherst show director John Sacerdote and rounded up some of their favorite model railroad vendors. You can pay in advance online, $40 bucks, or $45 bucks at the door and this year there’s a one-day registration for just $25 bucks!! So toss those beautiful models in a box, gas up the Subaru and head on out to the next great NERPM (‘cuse me) meet !!

1hr 33mins

9 May 2022

Rank #3

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Episode 192: Lex Parker

What is it they say…?? All good things must come to an end, after years of work and enjoyment model railroads are most often subjected to the same fate, total destruction with hopefully structures, locomotives and cars being saved for a future layout. Our next guest has already experienced what it’s like to take down a beautifully crafted model railroad but in it’s place he built a newer and better version of the Denver & Rio Grande Western. The website can be found here: http://drgwrr.com and you can follow along on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/LexParkersModelRailroad There’s only one thing that could possibly make this story have a better ending; the layout has been sold in its complete form to a gentleman on the other side of the word in Tasmania. Lex’s layout will live on and continue to bring hours of enjoyment folks in the Southern Hemisphere.  It’s a great story, so get comfortable in your favorite chair, throw another shrimp on the Barbie, cuddle up with your favorite Tasmanian Devil and enjoy!!

1hr 44mins

2 May 2022

Rank #4

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Kelly Questions: Michelle Kempema

There are some people in this world that just can’t help but make you feel good about life and so it is with our next contestant under the tin foil helmet. She’s been spreading happiness and joy throughout the model railroading community for several years now, whether it’s flying all over the lower forty-eight checking out the latest in railroading, both model and prototype, or holding down the fort at one of the country’s top model railroad attractions. This was one of the toughest versions of the Kelly Questions to score and after several large pads of scrap paper, boxes full of erasers and enough pencils to outfit your local high school Bruce the Mailboy was able to finally establish a score. It’s a great episode, so grab yourself a big bowl of leaded pencil shavings, a tall cool glass of melted museum floor wax and enjoy!!

1hr 9mins

25 Apr 2022

Rank #5

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Episode 191: Greg Javonillo & Hurricane Ida

Ever wonder what it’s like to be the president of a model railroad club with a long and storied history in southern Louisiana after a hurricane?? Our next guest is that very person and after Hurricane Ida decide to cut a path of destruction through New Orleans it was time to inspect the damage. The Crescent City Model Railroad Club sustained serious damage after a neighbor’s roof came off his home causing multiple holes in the club’s permanent home, but the problems didn’t stop there. With insufficient insurance and a mountain of government regulations to overcome, Greg decided it was time to roll up his sleeves and do the best he could to save the club. It’s a great story of perseverance against what some might see as insurmountable odds. Enjoy.

1hr 31mins

18 Apr 2022

Rank #6

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Springfield Show Report #3

It’s time for another exciting edition of the Springfield show report with a few of the same characters and some folks who’ve never heard before on the podcast. After the big Geep-30 announcement from ScaleTrains we wandered back into their booth to talk with Bailey the human ball of energy, Todd Arnett a long-time contributor and Norfolk & Western devotee. We of course talk to the big cheese Shane Wilson and Jesse the winner of the paint scheme contest. Next up is a great interview with Jeff Springer of Custom Model railroads and Tom Jacobs the “Queso Cowboy.” Finally, two fellows who made their first ever appearance of the big show, Tom Schmieder and Ralph Heiss, regular operators on the Onondaga Cutoff. It was fun to talk with everyone but Ralph’s discussion about Uncle Dave’s ability to play the triangle is classic AML material. Sit back and relax with a big bowl of shredded OC bulletins, a tall cool glass of melted cheese and enjoy !!

1hr 55mins

11 Apr 2022

Rank #7

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Episode 190: the NMRA Goes Digital !!

For years we were told the possibility of having the NMRA’s monthly magazine going digital just wasn’t possible, it just didn’t pencil out, there just weren’t enough electrons in the universe for such a thing to even consider doable. It seemed as if all was lost and the vision of taking the NMRA into the digital age would be gone forever, until one day a stranger sitting tall in the saddle, rode into town with little more than a sack of dreams and a trusty sidekick named Riley. People came from far and wide as the stranger stood on a mountain of blue boxes telling them not to be afraid, he’d round up the electrons and soon, they’d be able to load it on their tablet, phone, laptop, or tabletop computer without fear of the apocalypse. It’s a great story, so warm up the Motorola and gather round for another exciting tale of life in model railroading’s wild west.

1hr 45mins

4 Apr 2022

Rank #8

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Springfield Report - Part One

Its back, it’s back, the Springfield, Big “E”, Amherst train show is back and we sent a crack team of reporters to find out what’s new in the world of model railroading. After closing down the show last year, John Sacerdote and his team decided it was full speed ahead, fighting mother nature as the snowstorm of century arrived just as the doors opened to the general public. Despite less than capacity crowds, several vendors missing in action, there was still plenty to see and do as folks from all over stopped by the ModelersLife booth to say hello and spend time in the hot seat answering questions. So grab yourself a big bowl of leftover week-old coleslaw, a tall cool glass of melted slush and enjoy!!!

1hr 46mins

28 Mar 2022

Rank #9

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Uncle Dave Goes Patreon

The AML Nation is pretty well acquainted with Dave Abeles and his model railroad. Turns out his 37-part Trilogy was just the beginning with big news from The Onondaga Cutoff.  "Uncle" Dave finally decided to go ahead with it, “OC” has started its very own Patreon page!   After creating his very popular Facebook Live 'Trackside on the Onondaga Cutoff' shows during the pandemic it felt like something was missing so Dave decided to produce a channel dedicated to the story behind what you've seen in those Live videos and numerous articles in both Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman.  So grab a seat and ride along through Central New York as we listen to how Dave is working to create videos that take you backstage to one of today's most popular model railroads.   Check it out here: https://www.patreon.com/onondagacutoff

38mins

25 Mar 2022

Rank #10