As you will note from our background we like hostas. We also like trains, quilts and Bichons. We moved into our new home in 1998. The new home met several requirements, a room where my wife could do her quilting, a basement where I could build the train layout that I had dreamed about and a "bare canvas" yard where we could garden. Within the first year we had started all three projects.
I have retired from a civil engineering consulting firm where I was project manager on various railroad design projects for Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation. My wife retired from the Information Technology field of over 32 years. Some 12 years ago we added two lovable Bichons to our family, Mitzi and Abbie. We became involved in Bichon Rescue for 12 years and have saved and found good homes for many dogs. Over the last 20 years the train layout has been completed so check out my passion.
My wife's quilting soon outgrew the one room and expanded to a third floor level. She likes to attend many quilt shows and in 2013 one quilt was accepted in the Houston International Quilt Show, in 2014 a different quilt was accepted into the AQS show in Grand Rapids, MI and in 2016 a third quilt was accepted into the AQS Chattanooga, TN quilt show. She is also involved in her local quilt group, Illini Country Stitchers, and on the finance committee. She also dapples in flower arranging in her spare time and is a member of the Ikebana Society of America, Champaign Chapter.
But most of all when spring arrives we head outside to our yard for our passion in gardening. We have both completed the Master Gardener program through our local extension office and volunteer in various activities each year. In 2004 we organized and helped found the Illinois Prairie Hosta Society. We are both involved in the American Hosta Society as well as the Midwest Regional Hosta Society. The yard has become a collection of some 650 plus plants including over 400 hostas. We still have a few grass areas.
So as we say in the railroad world, welcome on board, and check out our photos and if you have questions about quilts, railroads, Bichons or hostas please contact us.
Danville and Western Railroad
The Danville and Western Railroad started prior to 1960 as a Lionel layout while I was still in high school. Living in East Central Illinois I decided to keep the name for the new HO railroad but move the location to a West Virginia type terrain, after all, if you live in flat Illinois you begin to like mountains. The D&W RR is a free lanced bridge line between the Norfolk and Western Railroad and the Louisville and Nashville Railroad that saw construction start in January.
With the help of friends Bob, Fred and Doug the layout was constructed on frame work using spline roadbed with homosote for mounting track. By late that year a portion was in operation and some trains were run plus one switching area called Pikeville had been established. The N&W and L&N use the D&W as a bridge route between the two railroads and enter the railroad from hidden stating yards. Digitrax was the chosen DCC system and as the layout progressed additional track was added with the Grape Creek Branch being created. Within a year some scenery, my favorite part of a model railroad, was started. By 2004 we started minimal operating sessions to determine any “bugs” on the layout and modify some track locations to make better operations. As always, a model railroad continues to change. In 2011 Bob and I decided to move the L&N staging to above the N&W hidden yard, which was also extended and opened up for access. The former L&N yard became a branch of the C&O and thus another railroad was involved. Today the mainline is some 150 feet between the two main staging yards with Danville Yard in the center. The C&O branch through Pikeville is operated by the D&W and a switcher is stationed at Pikeville. With the help and electronic knowledge of Doug we installed CTC on the D&W portion of the railroad outside of the yard limits. This is segment controlled by computer from the adjacent work room using the CATS program with JMRI used for dispatching. The Grape Creek branch is Track Warrant territory and ABS is used on the C&O portion.
Operating sessions generally require 8- 10 operators for normal 3-hour session moving some 14+ trains via sequence (no fast clock is used). Besides the dispatcher there are the three N&W/L&N through trains in each direction. Other trains are the Grape Creek and Bradley Turns; a Brewery and Pikeville switchers; a Yard Master and Yard Switcher round out the D&W. The C&O runs a turn from Ashland to Danville through Pikeville and a C&O coal train may operate during the session to or from the mine in Grape Creek. The layout scenery is 100% complete and now the progress is adding detail and more trees to the layout. Operating sessions usually occur from October to the end of April as we both are Master Gardeners and very active in the local group plus our hosta society – when spring comes outside the house into the garden is the destination.
If you are member of the NMRA OPSIG group my layout is listed in the member’s only section on the web site so contact me if you will be in the area and would like to visit, or maybe a quick operating session.
My wife's quilting soon outgrew the one room and expanded to a third floor level. She likes to attend many quilt shows and in 2013 one quilt was accepted in the Houston International Quilt Show, in 2014 a different quilt was accepted into the AQS show in Grand Rapids, MI and in 2016 a third quilt was accepted into the AQS Chattanooga, TN quilt show. She is also involved in her local quilt group, Illini Country Stitchers, and on the finance committee. Quilting since 1990 has allowed her to make many, many quilts that have been given to nieces and nephews, friends and sold. The hobby has taken many turns and currently I am more into the modern quilts. I quilted by long arm for many years and have now moved back to my home machine because of space issues. I hope you enjoy seeing a few of my creations.
In addition to quilting she enjoys flower arranging and painting.