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Stephen Lowe, P.E., during his childhood, his parents resided in Chicago, my mother’s family were located in the Pacific Northwest. With railroads being the preferred means of long-distance travel, I was fortunate to experience numerous cross-country trips in the waning years of the streamliner era.  My parents had no favored route between the Midwest and the Northwest, so I was able to sample the trains of the Milwaukee Road, Northern Pacific, Great Northern and the Union Pacific.  These trips formed the basis of my fascination with trains.  Later my family relocated to San Jose, California.  Our home was a short bicycle trip to the Southern Pacific Passenger Station and the Newhall Yard.  Trips to visit family members during this period were experienced via the Shasta Daylight and the Cascade.  Proximity to the railroad and travel during my teenage years led to the adoption of the Southern Pacific as my favorite railroad.

College and career eventually imposed on my model railroad activities to the point of dormancy.  Many years later, I purchased a Lionel train set for my son.  I really savored the simple pleasure of watching a model train again.  Space was a bit limited at this time, so I built an N Scale layout which could be stored under a bed.  Of course, I was collecting models for the larger layout I was dreaming of.  Retirement from my career as a project manager in the heavy engineering business afforded me both the space for a large layout and the abundance of time for construction.  Today, I am modeling Southern Pacific’s route though Tehachapi Pass in N-scale.  I have selected the early diesel era as my time period so I can model the steamlined passenger trains and car-bodied diesel locomotives I recall from my youth.