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Union Switch and Signal Components

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Mike Burgett not only builds and operates model trains, but he also works for the Canadian National Railway. He is able to combine his professional work experience with the model-railroading hobby to obtain a deeper understanding of railroad operations. Mike describes railroading as something he thinks about when he is lying in bed at night and he designs signal systems in his head. He devotes the majority of his time and efforts to railroading and his passion is inspirational for all model railroaders involved in the craft.

Q&A with Mike Burgett

In part six of the 11-part Chesapeake & Ohio series, Allen Keller and Mike Burgett sit down for a Q&A style discussion regarding union switch and signal components. Allen asks Mike a total of four questions pertaining to signaling systems to dig deeper into his mind. First, Allen asks Mike to elaborate on the CTC machine he built himself. Mike explains how he was able to acquire and restore nearly 100% of the original 1950’s hardware from real railroads. Next, Allen asks Mike how he became an authority on CTC at such a young age. Mike describes how his interest and fascination for CTC developed and how he eventually became head of the department as signal supervisor for the Detroit Service Zone.

In the second half of the interview, we learn that Mike spends a large amount of time with trains during a full time career in the business as well as with his model layouts. The third question Allen asks Mike is if he sees any danger in his consistent involvement with trains and wonders if he ever sees himself getting burned out with railroading. To wrap up the Q&A session, Allen jumps into the technical side model railroading and asks Mike how he uses the signals in an operating session. Mike explains how the Chesapeake & Ohio team operates under full CTC rules just like the prototype would and they aim to operate as close as they can to the real railroad.

Follow along for more as the Chesapeake & Ohio series continues. Mike Burgett has much more knowledge and motivation to share with the model railroading community. With the amount of dedication Mike invests into signal system designs, it is reasonable to say you will surely sharpen your knowledge of model railroad operations.

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