Enjoy retirement, Andy!

The September issue of Model Railroader magazine brings with it news that longtime staffer and current executive editor Andy Sperandeo is retiring.

Andy, who joined the MR team in 1979, is also founding editor of the Great Model Railroads annual and author of several books from Kalmbach.

I’ve enjoyed my conversations with Andy over the years at various events, and on Episode 3 of The Model Railway Show. And I’m astonished at the number of articles he has written that have had a profound and lasting effect on my own layout thinking. Two, in particular, come to mind:

First, there’s Andy’s ATSF San Jacinto District layout plan from the February 1980 Model Railroader. It was a modest plan – just 9 x 12 feet – but far ahead of the general thinking of the time, featuring as it did a hidden fiddle yard, point to point running, an uncomplicated track plan and realistic industries. It also introduced me to the concept of modeling seasonal operations. For these and other reasons, I was pleased to see this plan earn a well-deserved spot on Byron Henderson‘s list of inspirational layouts in 2008.

Second, there’s the Washita & Santa Fe project layout from the early 1980s. According to Andy, this layout was never completed and later dismantled to make room for other projects at the MR offices. For me it remains one of the best project layouts ever undertaken at the magazine.

(MR’s more recent Milwaukee Beer Line layout is another example of what a project layout can be: a step by step guide for beginners that also delivers useful information and plenty of inspiration for more experienced modellers.)

32 years. Well done, Andy: Enjoy your retirement!

– Trevor

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