About the author

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Me on the wagon.
(Don’t fall off the wagon!)

Me firing
(Firing my live steam Isle of Man “Peveril”)

I’m a lifelong model railway enthusiast and I’ve always been keen on layout design issues. My understanding of layout design started with popular publications and continues to grow through many web-based resources. I’ve been lucky enough to learn first-hand from some of the most thoughtful layout designers on the planet, too.

I am not a professional layout designer.

I do not design layouts on commission. But I sometimes get ideas I want to explore on graph paper, or I suggest ideas to friends. Some of these ideas ended up on another blog I write – and when I realized I had a collection going, I decided they deserved their own blog. Hence, this home on the web.

I’m currently building an S scale model railway in my train room. I started planning for this layout in mid-2011 and construction began in October of that year:

Overview of Port Rowan.
(The Canadian National Railway’s branch to Port Rowan, Ontario in 1:64. If you’re new to that blog, check out “First Time Here?” for more information about what I’m modelling.)

I’m also interested in garden scale live steam and the Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto Railway.

I co-hosted The Model Railway Show, a podcast about the hobby. That podcast is now on indefinite hiatus, but you can still listen to all the shows online.

TMRS Podcast badge.

For a couple of years, I was a regular host and writer for TrainMasters TV, a subscription-based television show about the hobby.


I live in Toronto, Canada with my wife … and three Border Collies:

The pack.
(Outstanding in their field: Jack, Roy and Mocean take in the site of the former yard in Port Rowan – now a park. October 2016)

I spent eight years training the eldest to work sheep, which is the job for which Border Collies are bred. He’s getting a bit old to be running a large field and managing livestock, and my second eldest dog never really showed the instinct, so in early 2016 we adopted a puppy from a strong herding background. Turns out he was a disaster on sheep – he wanted to run them into fences, and I just can’t trust him around livestock. So now I am the ringmaster of an underemployed circus. At least I don’t have to give them as many baths…

Did he say
(“Did he say, ‘BATH’?”)

Mocean doing a perfect fetch in winter.

It's Roy by a nose!

Around the time I retired from herding sheep, a couple of friends re-introduced me to tabletop gaming. After a 30-year hiatus, I’m now regularly playing or GM-ing roleplaying games (my current favourite is “Coriolis: The Third Horizon“).

GM-ing Coriolis at BunkerCon
(Me – at left – running “Coriolis” for friends at BunkerCon)

I also play miniature combat games (including “Test of Honour” and “Battlestar Galactica: Starship Battles“).

Hiroji's Scouts - Test of Honour

Unlikely Allies - Test of Honour

Galactica - Moebius Models

Tokugawa Clan Warband - Test of Honour

BSG: Starship Battles

I don’t – yet – have a website about gaming…

– Trevor

How to reach me…

There are several ways.

If you have a question about something specific on the blog, I recommend that you comment on the relevant post. You can do this on any of the blogs I write. I check the blogs at least once per day and I read every comment – promise!

A couple of notes on this. First, your comment may end up being moderated – especially if you’re new to my blog. That’s not me – that’s an automatic thing. Second, your comment will become public under the relevant post. I tend to not edit these – although I will correct spelling or capitalization mistakes and I will often replace raw URLs with a linked piece of text, if appropriate.

For general inquiries, you can use this contact form. This is new to my blog and if it generates too much spam for me, I’ll trash it. But we’ll give it a whirl…

4 thoughts on “About the author

  1. Trevor,
    I stumbled upon your blog and what a find! Very nicely done. I’m modeling a 13 mile portion of the NYC “Old Road” in Lenawee County Michigan, with 4 small communities being modeled. I really enjoy the whole “achievable” concept! Take care- TJ Stratton

  2. Although it probably is way out of date your discussion of the merits and detriments of that ol’ standby — the 4 X 8 layout — is only intelligent debate I have ever read or heard on that subject.

    • Thanks Robert – I’m glad you found the discussion useful. It was one of the most active topics on this blog.
      Obviously, I’m convinced there’s a better approach to crafting a beginner’s layout – one that encourages new hobbyists to build skills and learn about things like prototype operations (which, I think, makes a layout more interesting and therefore is more likely to engage the new hobbyist and turn them into a life-long enthusiast). I also think alternatives to the 4×8 fit better into our living spaces, so the physical layout becomes less of an intrusion into our lives. (I wonder how many 4x8s get torn down because they’re in the way?)
      Equally obviously, others feel differently about the 4×8. Many people embrace it – even long after others, who started with a 4×8, have abandoned the sacred sheet in favour of other configurations. But I’d prefer to see people embrace it for reasons more carefully considered than “it’s the default size for sheet goods at the lumber yard”…

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