Frank, Denis, Michael, and Andy visited my GNRR layout during their two week railfan trip to the United States from Germany.
The hobby of modeling United States railroads is an international one as I recently found out when I hosted four visitors from Germany. A few months prior I was contacted by Frank through my website and he requested if it was possible for him and a few of his friends to visit when they came to the United States in October. The group planned to tour the Southeast and Midwest US and do as much prototype railfanning as possible along with visiting some model railroad layouts. I informed him that I would enjoy hosting the group and looked forward to their visit.
On October 15th, 2019 the group arrived and I showed them the layout and answered their questions. We took a break for dinner, and everyone appreciated a delicious meal prepared by my wife. While dining we had a pleasant conversation about our countries, traveling, and of course railroading. After dinner, I held a brief ops session on my layout with the crew working the GNRR North Local using the ProtoThrottle. The guys had heard about the ProtoThrottle and were anxious to try it for themselves. They were very impressed with the throttle and how much realism it added to operating the locomotive. The ops session went well and the group commented on how much operations I could have on my small layout.
Denis operates the locomotive with the ProtoThrottle while Frank took the role of conductor and directs the switching moves for the local.
Frank, Denis, and Michael all model the United States on their layouts in Germany. Frank models prototype railroads in North Minneapolis, Michael models the UP in California, and Denis models York Rail and does amazing weathering on his rolling stock. They also belong to a modular club with a US theme for the layout. They told me modeling US railroads is very popular in Europe and that the modular club has many members. Each of them is a very talented modeler and are fascinated by the type of railroading they see in the US.
Frank sent me a few photos of his switching layout he has at home. The railroad has numerous industries, lots of dirt and grime, and looks very prototypical for the US. As you can see, Frank is a very talented modeler.
Through my YouTube channel and website I have met many friendly and incredible model railroaders from all over the world. No matter where they are from, they all share a common bond, the passion for model railroading, and it brings people together no matter what language they speak or country they are from. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the guys from Germany, making new friends, and hosting an operating session for them. Model railroading is truly an international hobby and one I enjoy sharing with others.