Meet Steve Doyle: Managing Editor of Model Railroad Academy

steve-doyle As Managing Editor of Model Railroad Academy, let me extend a warm welcome to our community of enthusiasts through what we plan to be a dynamic and engaging new site for our favorite hobby. Doug Hodgdon, our Contributing Editor and resident railroad guru, previously mentioned in his introductory blog that we aim to produce fresh and timely videos, how-to articles, blogs and live webcasts, as well as feature exclusive online videos from our partner, Allen Keller – the dean of model railroad video production.

A Little About Me

A little about myself as a means of introduction: I grew up in LaGrange, IL along the Burlington Route’s triple racetrack west of Chicago. Most weekends – when I wasn’t playing baseball or on my paper route – would find me riding my bike down to Stone Avenue station to watch the last few years of steam and the transition to diesel along the Q.

My Dad rode the bi-level commuter cars to and from the Loop every day. In his youth spent in the important CB&Q Division point of Galesburg, IL, he was a “call boy” for engineers, firemen, and conductors to report to the roundhouse for daily assignments. I suppose my interest for railroading was “bred in the bone.”

My first layout was an American Flyer set with Plasticville structures. Though I took a 35-year hiatus from the hobby as I started my career – first as a U.S. Senate press secretary, then television anchorman and reporter, finally owning a corporate TV production company – I always yearned to return to the hobby of my youth. Sixteen years ago, with the extensive and tireless help from the Pines & Prairies S-Scale Workshop in the Twin Cities, I started to build my first “scale” layout, moving from Flyer to the fine scale side of our 1/64th gauge.

My Layout

My 19’ by 30’ layout features scenes along the Q from my childhood set in the late ‘50s to early ‘60s: a transfer yard in the shadows of the Chicago skyline, industrial canyons, inner suburbs laced with overhead “L” trackage, and downstate rolling Illinois farmland of rivers and covered bridges. Here are some photos:

steve-1 steve-2 steve-4 steve-5 steve-7

You may have seen some of my work featured in Great Model Railroads 2016, the 2015 NMRA calendar, the S-Scale “Dispatch”, several S Gaugian magazines, and S Resource Magazine.

While I model in S-scale, most of the techniques we’ll cover at Model Railroad Academy are adaptable and applicable to just about any scale. I hope you enjoy what you see in the photos and that you’ll be inspired to ask questions and discuss techniques you’ve found helpful. That’s what this blog is all about!

– Steve

Discussion
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18 Responses to “Meet Steve Doyle: Managing Editor of Model Railroad Academy”
  1. Ed Olszewski

    Why have you broken up the Allen Keller legacy layout videos into short clips? I find them difficult to watch. I prefer to watch the videos on a tv rather than a tablet and would rather enjoy the full length video rather than having to watch many shorter clips that don’t really flow together. If there is a way to watch the video in its original form please let me know how to do it. If not, please consider changing your approach for these layout tour videos.

    Thanks,
    Ed Olszewski
    New Premium Member

    Reply
    • Carl

      Ed I agree. It is difficult to watch the videos especially since the parts aren’t grouped together. Even that would be an improvement.

      Reply
      • Customer Service

        Hi, Carl. We would like to let you know that your feedback has been forwarded to the proper department. Your comments are important to us and help with the development of our online video streaming community.

        Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Ed. Thanks for your comment. We understand your concern. We’ll see what we can do about making them available in their original form as well.

      Reply
  2. Robert E. Lee

    I really like your scenery. I also am from Chicago, my Dad was a machinist for the Santa Fe at the 18th Roundhouse, of course I model ATSF.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, John. Please contact us at 1-855-208-7399; our Customer Service Team would be happy to assist you!

      Reply
  3. DENNIS MURPHEY

    So thrilled to see S Gauge. I had Flyer in the 50s and have got back to it. But the toys lacked the fun of digital control and sound. I have 20 engines all but a few are TMCC or PS2. God Bless 5 volt circuits. But my layout is so lame. I am ready to make it better. Want a Chicago to St Louis run growing up in Central Ill. Corn and cows and the ICRR. Great find for me. Glad to get started. Dennis

    Reply
  4. Roger

    I bought two sets of down loadable videos but my system is slow enough that it will not let me download them. Is there anything I can do to get the videos?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Roger. We are sorry to hear you are having trouble accessing the downloads. Please contact us at 1-855-208-7399; our Customer Service Team would be happy to assist you.

      Reply
  5. Sam Hosler

    Today I tried to use my new membership to Railroad Academy. However, I can only receive the short previews. Could you correct this and let me know how to log on to my premium membership?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Sam. You will need to be logged into your membership account in order to view the full video. Please contact us at 1-855-208-7399; our Customer Service Team would be happy to assist you.

      Reply
  6. Sam Kirchoff

    If there’s a Steve Doyle fan club, let me know, because I’d like to petition for the position of president.

    Reply
  7. Gene

    How close to miniature scale 1:35 is S scale? It would like to use some S scale paper craft buildings for a diorama I am building.
    Thanks,
    Gene

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Gene,

      S is 1/64th. That means that S is about half of the 1/35 miniature scale. The S buildings could be used as forced perspective to the rear of your 1/35 scale.

      Thanks,
      Douglas MRA Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      https://go.modelrailroadacademy.com/C10568

      Reply