I model the freelance Genesee Terminal Railroad, which is located on a bay off the US side of Lake Ontario. We interchange with CSX and NS. I've also created an additional Shared Use Area for Conrail, so big blue lives on in our area. The GTR is HO, with reasonably realistic operations and believable level of detail. GTR hosts a local commuter line, the Loon Bay Transit Authority, with two routes. Amtrak runs through some Empire Service trains. We have online intermodal and transloading facilities. How's that for a mix of services?
We also have a smaller N scale based on the CP/D&H, which I'm building with my grandson. Under the big road is a four-by-eight hosting the family Lionel.
I'm not quite old enough to remember steam (in the US east) - but grew up with the New York Central. I'm a fan of the NS and LIRR, as we have a family history of folks working for them. I like the Pennsy... but haven't quite forgiven them for sabotaging the PC.
My other interests include bicycle touring and the history of transportation, especially canals. I'm a software quality engineer by trade.