Who is this "Bill" fellow anyway
- To all:
Let me introduce myself.
I'm a native of Houston, Texas, but I can tell you where the good hotels are
on four continents and most of the USA. I'm a hardware/software guy that
turned systems designer/project manager over the years, and that causes you
to travel a lot. I turned 54 years old (or rather young) today.
I spent 6 years in N scale before I discovered Z quite by accident. I bought
a couple of Z scale cars in a N scale deal with a hobbiest in Portland, and
the passion, rather, hobby started there. That was just over two years ago.
A trip to Berlin sealed my fate in Z.
Thanks to the wisdom and patience of the Stiska's in Florida and Larry Hoff
in Portland, I stumbled throught that first year in Z. I did O and HO in my
own youth, many years ago.
My wife's father and grandfather worked for the Erie railroad, and she's into
trains too. My two teenagers are caught up in it as well. Yes, we have G
scale outside, and I still collect N scale, but have no layout or even the
space for one (no basements here).
I am a member of the North West Crossing model railroad club here. It is a
multi-scale traveling layout group (HO, N and Z). It was that relationship
that caused the four z-scalers in that group to develop the Z-Bend Track
modules we use at home, and on the road. The club sets up somewhere in Texas
every month for a weekend, or a week. We try to take the Z modules to as
many of these events that we can. Since everything in Texas seems to be a
four hour drive, not all four of us can make every event. The modular design
we use satifies the need of partial setups in strange shaped display areas.
Yes, a web page is in the works.
We have bought 600 feet (about 200 meters) of Peco track so far, and if we
ever get all these modules finished, we will have about 100 feet (about 33
meters) of modules to play with, when we all get together. I own 6 of the
modules, 4 of which are 5 feet long. Two are just for shows, four are for
home use. My modules tend to match aerial photographs of actual scenes
somewhere in the USA.
I model USA only. In Z scale, that's tough. But I have no problem in
repainting and modifying Marklin locos and cars to USA prototypes (I'm a
collector's worst nightmare). I use under-table actuators for turnouts, and
cut off the trackside mechanisms. Everything has been converted to MT
couplers. I'm up to 21 locos and 110 cars. I told you it was a passion, not
a hobby (smile).
The years in N scale have been a real asset to this scale, by transfering the
huge amount of common knowledge/experiences available from that community to
Z. List groups are absolutely the way to learn about Z. I've still got a
lot of learning to do, so please post frequently, so I can get smarter.
Bill Kronenberger (and wife Sue)
Houston, Texas USA