Often referred to as simply “Legs” around AML world headquarters, Lionel has been a model railroader ever since coming down the stairs christmas morning at the tender age of five years old only to discover the train going around the tree had his name on it. Lionel rides his Harley all over North America and spends as much time as possible with his son Peter.
His railroad first appeared on the cover of Model Railroader in February 1994 edition.
Lionel is best known as the builder of the Allegheny and Lackawanna Southern, a 20’ X 30’ HO Scale layout. He also built two project railroads for Model Railroader Magazine: the Northwest Timber Company and the Appalachian Central. Lionel wrote the monthly column Workin’ on the Railroad for MR from July 1998 until May 2005, then continued to serve as a contributing editor for another six years after that.
Official Safety Officer of the AML Nation
and the modeler simply known as "Kelly" -
The original SuperFan and creator of the "Kelly Questions," Bruce has always been a slave to fashion.
After an illustrious 31 year career in Connecticut with the Westport Fire Department while specializing in the hazmat field he along with his wife Yonti moved to Medford, Oregon.
Bruce now works for Campbell Scale Models and Micro-Trains. He was recently elected to the board of directors of Division One for the Pacific Northwest Region of the NMRA.
Tom Jacobs - "the Queso Cowboy"
"Secret Agent #0013" is an International Man of Model Railroading Mystery.
When he's not out making the world safe for democracy, or working his cover job in the insurance industry, he can be found in his 36' x 20' barn in Robesonia, PA, working on his large multi-deck HO scale layout, representing the Reading Railroad's "Crossline" between Harrisburg and Allentown, PA in the 1970s.
While model railroading is his principal hobby, he also enjoys reading, podcasts, photography, and a good Costco hot dog topped with ketchup!
Kaylee Zheng -
The daughter of Chinese immigrants and is a practicing mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry. An active member in the model railroading community, Kaylee has given presentations at various conferences and conventions, and strives to be a role model for young girls interested in the hobby. Examples of her models have been published in the August 2013 edition of Railroad Model Craftsman. She has also appeared in many other forms of media such as the documentary “Model Citizens,” “New England Public Radio, ” and the e-magazine, “The Atlantic,” to promote the hobby of model railroading.
Her modeling focuses on the modern era with a soft spot for class III shortlines. The layout she is currently building in her home will be a proto-freelanced railroad based in Connecticut, and will feature elements from several prototype shortline railroads.
Kaylee is currently serving as Superintendent of the Nutmeg Division of the NMRA. She also a member of the New Haven Society of Model Engineers (NHSME) and Amherst Railway Society. When not at the clubs, Kaylee can also be found helping out at Tom’s Trains of Connecticut doing DCC decoder installs and other model railroad repair work.
In her spare time, and when she’s not single handedly building turbine engines and installing them on Airbus A320s, Kaylee enjoys photography, hiking, playing the guitar, and sleeping in.
Chris Atkins -
Like many, Chris had trains as a kid. His dad gave him his first train set when he was 5. During his teens, model railroading took a back seat to other things, but while attending the University of Idaho he discovered the Camas Prairie Railroad, a standard gauge mountain railroad with all the character of narrow gauge.
In the early 2000's Chris got to know Shane Murphy in a round robin of local modelers. In 2013 Shane decided to tear down his complete, double-decked, 85'x15' layout and move to East Texas. Chris acquired 2.5 acres in Argyle, TX with Shane’s 1895 T&P section house.
Chris was a NMRA Division Director for 12 years and the president of the North Texas Council of Railroad Clubs and a past president of the South Side Railroad Modelers.
Professionally, Chris is an electrical engineer and integrated circuit designer. Chris has a wife and four kids who could care less about his model railroad. He also won the AML's prestigious "Longest Bio Award" for submitting the longest bio.
Mike "the Spoon" Ostertag -
Mike has worked for the railroad since 1992. First as a conductor then as a locomotive engineer since 1996.
Originally hired out on the Green Bay and Western in 1992 as a brakeman, then with Wisconsin Central in 1993.
Currently working for Canadian national in Green Bay and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Modeling the Green Bay and Western in S scale.
Tony Cook -
is a life-long railroad enthusiast with interests in both prototypical railroad operations and history, as well as model trains. Interest in model railroading is focused on HO scale with an emphasis on the hobby’s history. In 2000, Tony launched the HO-Scale Trains Resource (www.ho-scaletrains.com) to document model railroad history.
Tony worked for a dozen years at Kansas City’s Union Station, after its late 1990s restoration and reopening. Since 2011, he's served as editor for Model Railroad News (www.modelrailroadnews.com) magazine. In 2014, White River Productions purchased Railroad Model Craftsman magazine and Tony began serving as its associate editor handling product announcements and reviews. In 2017, a new quarterly publication came from an interest in all things “vintage HO” shared by Tony Cook and good friend Tony Lucio called HO Collector. Tony also works as archivist for White River Productions (www.whitervierproductions.com) always growing collection of railroad photos and related materials. Tony lives in northwest Missouri between Kansas City and St. Joseph. In addition to trains, he enjoys Top 40 music from the mid-1950s to the 1980s, old TV shows, Ford and Lincoln autos.
"Uncle" Dave Abeles -
Dave Abeles is a guy that’s loved trains since before he knew what they were called. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s a civil engineer by training and joined that with the passion for railroading to become a manager and career railroader at NJ TRANSIT.
Music has been a big part of Dave’s life. He’s a child of the 70’s and is always whistling or humming something. Dave and his wife have traveled the nation and the world, and now are raising three young kids that love time with their parents and enjoy time trackside or in the basement with dad.
Dave’s Conrail Onondaga Cutoff layout has been on the cover of Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman, featured in both magazines. He authored a book on model railroad signaling and interlockings that is due for publication in the spring of 2021. Camaraderie is a compelling experience for Dave and operations is his favorite part of model railroading because of how much fun operation is to share.
Dave’s a guy that believes ‘the best is yet to come’ and he’s grateful for all of it.
Check out the Onondaga Cutoff page on this website.
Check out the Onondaga Cutoff blog page.
"Boston" Joe Cummings -
Hailing from the southern suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, Joe has had many fascinating careers during his lifetime: mechanic, truck driver, professional photographer, and computer programmer just to name a few.
Currently, his latest venture is as budding restaurateur, having opened a wildly successful chain of eating establishments called “Because I Love Sushi”, with locations in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and Busted Knuckle.
Despite a love of trains, and all things rail related, Joe’s exploits in model railroading did not begin in earnest until late in life, at the ripe old age of 45 - living proof that it’s never too late to have a happy childhood. He models New England roads as they existed during the transition era. As an avid fan of Boston sports – especially the Boston Bruins, Joe brings a unique quality of tension to the podcast.