Arthur (Marty) Quaas; Born in Glendale California not far from the SP's Tailor Yard. Then at an very early age moved to Riverside where I lived most of my adult life. My first recollections of trains were of UP steamers rolling through town at Magnolia Tower (a crossing of the UP and PE tracks) and watching the side rods as they went by. Then my father got "me" a train for Christmas, however by the time I can remember it, it was worn out. For the next many years, my interests were directed toward an education, Ham Radio and girls. It wasn't until I was in my early 20's and as a diversion from electronics and work, that I again took an interest in railroading. Starting around 1960, several hoge-poge layouts were built, based on the California Southern (early Santa Fe operations in California). These layouts were mostly built with poor, often reused track, which resulted in many derailments and a lot of frustration.
Then about 1965, a 11 by 17 foot HO scale layout was built in the garage with sturdy bench work, good sub roadbed and the best track wasn't good enough. This mostly steam railroad became a joy to operate and was called the NOT Line (Never On Time). I had an operation by a loyal following every Saturday night for about 10 years. Over this period, I hosted many Open Houses which were visited by many Southern California modelers. During this time I also became interested in-inch-and-a-half out door modeling which resulted in memberships with Riverside Live Steamers and Los Angeles Live Steamers and a track around the house.
By the 70's, I had made several trips around the country and driven many miles over abandon Colorado narrow gauge lines, which resulted in an interest in narrow gauge. Around 1975, the standard gauge was abandoned for narrow gauge. A 17 by 21 HOn3 narrow gauge railroad, the Paradice and Red Mountain (P&RM) operated between the towns Paradice and Red Mountain with a 36 inch high mountain in-between. The railroad required about 15 minutes to run a train from one end to the other and gave a real feeling of going from one place to another, over 4% mountain grades. It also featured hand laid track, many stub switches and tall trestles. It was great to watch the little steamers fight the steep mountain grades.
In October of 1981, I married Agnes and by the late 1980's, we were starting to think about retiring and what we wanted to do after retirement. Agnes and I had decided that we wanted to move out of Southern California, to Alaska. About that time we started working on plans for a log home, and I started thinking what I wanted for my "Retirement Railroad". After a 33 year career with Rockwell International as a Senior Metrologist, responsible for RF, Microwave, Time and Frequency Measurements and Automation at the Anaheim complex, I retired in 1993. The first two years in Alaska were spent building our Alaska Log home, then in September of 1995, the present 30 by 40 foot standard gauge HO railroad was started in the basement. This is based on a imaginary 1985 consolidation of Southern California operations of the Santa Fe and Union Pacific, and is called the Consolidated South Western Railroad (CSWRR). The railroad is intended to capture the flavor of the area but is not intended to be an exact reproduction.
Starting in the early 1960's, I started railfaning and visiting Cajon Pass on a regular basis and by the mid 1970's to early 90's I was spending every other weekend on the pass. Over the years I have traveled over most of the US, railfaning, taking pictures of trains, following old rights of way and meeting many interesting people. Trains have led me to some very interesting and beautiful places. I believe that Railroading is a wonderful hobby and would not trade these experiences for anything in the world.