Category Archives: Distractions

RPM Events


As we have entered October, we should remind readers of upcoming Railroad Prototype Modeler (RPM) events. The Naperville RPM conference is a couple weeks away on October 22 to October 24 in Lisle, IL. Check the website for more details on the presentation schedule, hotel, and other details.

This is the 22nd annual event in metro-Chicago, making it the longest running RPM meet in the country. This was originally started by my good friend, the late Martin Lofton of Sunshine Models. It is a tribute to Martin’s efforts that this RPM meet continues and that many other RPM meets have sprouted across the country.


If you are unable to attend the Naperville event, please consider one of these upcoming meets taking place in the next six months.
Garden State RPM in Scotch Plains, NJ – November 14 & 15
Prototype Rails in Cocoa Beach, FL – January 7 – 9, 2016
RPM-Valley Forge in Malvern, PA – March 18 – 20, 2016

Attending just one of these RPM events will energize your model building and understanding of the prototype.


Frank’s Distractions – 2


I visited the Monticello Railway Museum days with the family on a recent Sunday. What a great day to be around trains! We had 100% sunshine with a temperature in the mid 70’s.

The photo above features our oldest granddaughter Addie and Dale Jenkins of Illinois Terminal fame. Dale got Addie and I a cab ride in 1189. It was a blast!!!!!

As a railway engineering student at Illinois, professor Hay (who ran the program and literally wrote the book “Railway Engineering”) encouraged us to go out to the museum and lay track. I’m not sure if that was to teach us about track or to funnel free labor to the museum. We lived in Champaign for a while after school. Our first two sons were born there and we regularly went out to the museum to help. I even learned to fire a steam locomotive there, but that was over 35 years ago. This railway museum has been a part of my entire adult life which can now be shared with grandkids.

Nothing much changes though. The railway engineering students are still going out to the museum to lay track. It’s funny seeing a section with concrete ties and rail clips.