Model builder Ron Kuykendall has been in the railroading hobby for over 50 years. In his time modeling, he has witnessed many changes. Ron believes that all these changes for the most part have been excellent. Innovations in the mechanical and electrical category, signaling systems, wiring control systems, and more have changed the hobby. However, there are some things that have stayed true in the hobby throughout his 50 years.
The modeling basics need to be kept intact while other areas need to still be reinvented. The electric switch machine for turnouts is one area that desperately needs innovation. The electric switch machine is an elaborate little device the makes a pair of points switch just a few fragments of an inch on a horizontal line. In order to switch, three separate wires are needed to connect to a control device on the power panel. There is a need in the hobby for something much simpler, more durable, and more inexpensive than these current devices.
Ron used to watch real steam locomotives operate, a spectacle he pronounces as gorgeous. The personality of a steam locomotive Ron compares to that of a great sailing ship. This liveliness and humanness is unparalleled in Ron’s eyes. Steam used to be so common and fast, yet people are now blown away when they see them. Chronicling them is a great way to research for his models and research is an activity that he really enjoys. It is fun but also necessary to create accurate replicas.