The Cinci Central Columbus Division 2016 and Beyond

The Cinci Central Columbus Division

A Retrospective and Vision of Model Railroads and Life

By Giles KennedyDowntown Columbus 2016 Phase One 004 Downtown Columbus 2016 Phase One 003 Downtown Columbus 2016 Phase One 002 March Madness at Central Ohio N Trak 2014 021 Busy Mid January CCRY 2013 009 April Weekend on the Division 2013 027 April Weekend on the Division 2013 016 April Weekend on the Division 2013 015

Pictures of Update from January 2013

Pictures of Update from January 2013

Founder The Ohio Railroader Website

Chief Editor and Founder  The Ohio Valley Railroad Gang


To say my model railroad intertwines with my life and family, it is a big understatement.

From the time of construction to now; it has been part of cancer therapy, family gatherings and much more.


Here is an overview of the time I met my loving and understanding wife, Tanya; my darling train loving daughter Hannah’s birth and much more.


June 2007-April 2010

I married my wife Tanya in late June. Shortly after we got married; I renewed a long time relationship with friends at Central Ohio N-Trak. I had helped at several events the past 15 years. But, I had never become a full time member. January 2008 changed that.

Tanya knew I was a railfan, model railroader and historian. But, she and I had other interests. Our love of history, sci-fi, sports, and the outdoors was part of our equal attraction.

But, when I asked to set up a” temporary” layout in our den; she knew it would be something more.

By placing some of my trains on a couple 6 foot tables; I was able to run a basic layout.

In the summer of 2009; an old friend, Bill Botkin offered his dad’s old layout.

It was a 5 x12 benchwork layout. The track was beyond reusing. However; I had a lot of Bachmann E-Z Track in storage. It was going to be a long process to build the benchwork to use.

My friend, Craig Murphy; helped haul the soon to be rail empire to our home.




Prior to my wife and me heading to Boston for our vacation; I found out she was pregnant with Hannah.

We had traveled to Boston on the Lake Shore Limited. It gave me a lot of ideas for rail operation while traveling on the train.

I saw a lot of trans load yards, old freight yards and modern passenger stations.

Prep works begin on the layout. This included a very pregnant Tanya helping me lift up benchwork tables upright. She offered to help because she was bored.

When starting my tenure with NAPA in April 2010; I was diagnosed with B-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, stage 3. This was found out shortly after Hannah was born in March. The spring of 2010 was a rough one. Tanya lost her job with her longtime employer.

In the midst of this, I started work on the now present layout. It was mental therapy while going through chemo.


May 2010-January 2012

We thought we had beaten the Lymphoma. All signs where there while finishing up chemo.

The doctors even mention with support from family and friends, the hobby helped get my mind off of things.

Late July, we planned a celebration vacation in Altoona and Central Pennsylvania.  I started to have headaches like the initial diagnose.

When back from vacation, the tests I had before leaving confirmed it. Stage 4 relapse; and recommended more chemo. They also recommended a Bone Marrow Stem Cell transplant.

Prior to going into the James Cancer Center for the transplant, I went through several rounds of chemo.

I had more confidence in my faith in God, my family and friends, and the doctors overseeing the process.

I visited my dear friends at Central Ohio N-Trak a week before going into the hospital.

Dave Lindsey; our club president, asked me to test a SD45 they did not sell at the Marion Train Show in early December.

After a couple hours, I was heading home.

The next statement floored me.

“Hey, Giles, you like that engine….why don’t you take that home?” Dave stated to me while packing up.

He explained the club appreciated all the things I had done and knew I was going through a lot. The club officers and members thought it was be a kind gesture.

This was a Bachmann Spectrum DCC Ready SD45 Erie Lackawanna engine. It retailed for about $120. I was overwhelmed by the kindness.

I went through the transplant. Originally 3-4 weeks, I was in and out in 2 and ½ weeks.

Soon as I was out; I was on short term disability. That gave me a lot of time to work on the layout.

I was also giving by the model railroad club a 2×6 piece of benchwork. This would eventually be part of my downtown section.


I had acquired many structures and former rolling stock from friends who had heard about my 2 bouts with cancer.

Some sold me their stuff at reduced prices. Others simply said, “This needs a good home.”

Will Carter, a long time model railroader; sold or gave me some his structures throughout the time of the updates of the CCRY Columbus Division.

Brian Rife, a longtime Central Ohio N-Trak member; gave me a lot of rolling stock that has been refurbished.

Central Ohio N-Trak members and longtime friends Dave White and John Stuber also sold me for reduced prices structures and rolling stock.

More recently, a budding friend with a couple professional railroaders has also gained “real estate” on my layout.

Allen Whitaker; a CSX engineer; has sold me several structures that have found a new home.

Jerod Burton, a recent Norfolk Southern hire; has placed on “permanent loan” a NS employee’s special train set that has been running locals on the layout.

The list goes on and on. Even long time friend Roger Bishop of HyperSounds Entertainment has added track, cars and such.

Many visitors from Dan Baughman (President of 104.9 the River/Columbus), Robbie Yeager (local caterer), many local business people and friends have visited the home layout.

I have greatly appreciated all those who have supported my family in the past.


If in the area; please see the contacts on the Ohio Railroader website or like us on Facebook. I would be more than welcome to share the layout that helped many people see; model railroading can be a great tool to tell a story.


Filed Under: News

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.