Kelvin Sherson

Ruth (my wife) and I live in Whitby, near Wellington, New Zealand. We have three adult children and our first grandson.

Like many, my model railroading started with my Dad building a small HO layout. My interest in railroading operations was encouraged by visits to my grandparents at Paekakariki where I was able to watch northbound main trunk trains’ electric locomotives being changed over for steam locomotives providing motive power, and vice versa.

College, cars, surfing and surf lifesaving intervened; then railroading was rekindled once I started work. I choose North American railroading and then settled on the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad, or the Nickel Plate Road as it is more commonly known. There is something about those Berkshires and the railroad, while being small in the scheme of things, providing safe, fast and customer focussed transportation. They even turned a regular profit!

My HO scale NKP layout has survived four house moves and grown each time. It now resides in double deck form in a purpose built room downstairs. Other than Alco PAs for passenger service the layout is ‘all steam’. I use Digitrax Duplex DCC for control and RailOp to generate the operational switchlists. Locomotive sound is mostly provided by Soundtraxx Tsunamis. The layout can be run just by myself or with up to around 14 operators, although the room does get a bit crowded by then.

I also dabble with the NKP in O scale, helping run a friend’s O scale modular layout at public train shows.

I’ve been involved in the NMRA for a while and now I’m ‘semi-retired’ plan to work on further AP certificates. But AP paperwork always seems to be of a lower priority than working on the layout and running trains.

Both belonging to the NMRA and being a member of the NKP Historical and Technical Society has taken Ruth and me places and enabled us to meet folk and create lifelong friendships. Being able to reciprocate hospitality and run trains is a great combination.

While I take my railroading pretty seriously I strongly believe ‘Model Railroading is indeed fun’.

Kel Sherson