Interviewing a Model Railroad Craftsman: Chuck Hitchcock

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One of our favorite parts of the model railroad community is getting to learn from each other, and especially the masters who have made this hobby their central passion for decades. We think it’s extremely important in bettering yourself in any hobby that you take notes from those who came before you and took steps to innovate said hobby.

In the model railroading world, Chuck Hitchcock is one of those innovators, so when host Allen Keller had a chance to visit the workshop of this expert model railroad craftsman for a tour of his greatest layout to date, he took the opportunity to ask a few questions. In this exclusive interview, a true model railroad craftsman talks about his experiences in all things railroad, and imparts some valuable insight about the past and future of the hobby.

Chuck on being a railfan and model railroad craftsman

Chuck Hitchcock’s HO scale layout of the Argentine Division of Santa Fe Railway is one of the most inspirational layouts ever created. His innovative use of urban landscaping and ultra-realistic depiction of Kansas City in 1953 opened up so many doors for what a modern-day model railroad craftsman can do on a layout. Several decades after beginning initial work on the Holliday portion of the Argentine, Chuck completed his vision, and operators everywhere are thankful for that.

Allen asks the model railroad craftsman how he got his start in the hobby, and discovers how a longtime railfan can still return to the workshop day after day to uncover new aspects of a layout. You’ll learn how this master model railroad craftsman learned to delegate certain components of his layout to other experts, and see how Chuck feels about building a layout by committee. At the end of the interview, Allen gets a rundown on the techniques the model railroad craftsman utilized in constructing this remarkable layout, including methods for scratch-building the urban structures that inspired generations of new modelers. Don’t miss this wonderful talk with a master model railroad craftsman about all things modeling, including motivation, philosophy and creativity!