Born in Torrance, California in 1960, I have lived in some part of Southern California all my life. I have lived with my wife of 31 years in Fullerton, California since 1988 in a house just a few hundred feet from the triple-tracked BNSF main line to Los Angeles. With 100 trains per day passing near my house, the Fullerton Depot just a couple miles away, plus several trains-only hobby shops and other train related attractions nearby (including Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm), I get to see a lot of trains. A model railroader, a musician, a woodworker, a (former) race car driver and mechanic in my spare time, I run my own acoustical consulting firm to pay the bills.
I have been modeling in HO scale since my father built me my first 4' by 6' layout when I was 6. Having built several layouts of various success through the years, I am finally working on my "dream'" layout. None of my previous layouts were based on any real plan or prototype which is probably why they did not survive. My current 10' by 19' double decked layout is the first to receive thorough track planning and a prototype (although set in a "what if?" 1950's scenario). My layout was started about ten years ago and is centered around a fallen flag short line known as the Santa Ana & Newport which ran from a commercial wharf in Newport Beach to a connection with the Santa Fe in nearby Santa Ana through most of the 1890's. Through the guidance of a former employer and model train collector, I discovered that this line, had it survived independent of its real life absorption into the Southern Pacific, could have interchanged with the Santa Fe, Southern Pacific and Pacific Electric systems. Thus, all of these lines are represented on the layout. Best of all, the prototype extensions of the original SA&N line to the Southern Pacific mainline created a prototypical loop of track around most of central and north Orange County - my own backyard. Though I still have a way to go, the layout will eventually feature portions of Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana and Costa Mesa. At this point, all of the track is complete, including over 50 hand built turnouts, with about 70% of the scenery complete.
With its ability to be run point-to-point and continuously at the same time, I've always intended to host operations on this layout someday. I've only recently started to participate in local operating sessions but I'm learning quickly. My modeling skills continue to improve so I continue to enjoy my layout and everything I am able to add to it.