As a child, Bob Walz read every book available on railroads and was soon identifying the steam locomotives by wheel arrangement.  Like kids his age he had a Lionel train set that he eventually outgrew. 

He attended the University of South Dakota, from which he received his BA and MA degrees.  In 1966, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the US Army and spent the next 26 years in a variety of military jobs.  While serving at Fort Sill in 1971, he renewed his interest in trains and picked up a Tyco train set.  He soon started a layout on a 4 x 8 ft. plywood table.  Since his first train set was lettered Santa Fe, he chose to model the Santa Fe and joined the Santa Fe Modeler’s Organization in 1984.  He is now a Regular Life Member of the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society and is a past member of the Board of Directors.

As his interest in the Santa Fe grew, he found that he was interested in all eras. Rather than narrow his focus, he began collecting locomotives and equipment across the eras. As a result, his current layout, set in Western Kansas, is a time machine for the years 1925 – 1995.          

Modeling the Santa Fe in western Kansas spurred him to begin researching the Santa Fe’s Colorado Division, which resulted in his first book for the Society, Santa Fe’s Colorado Division Speedway.  He has since had sixteen additional books on various aspects of the Santa Fe published, and there are a few more in various stages of production.  Based on the research done for his model railroad and books, he has been in demand as a speaker.  He joined the NMRA in 2018 and gave his first NMRA clinic at the Kansas City convention.