My name is Dave Vanderwal. I'll be 66 years old this year, and literally cannot recall when I started modeling transportation subjects with a particular interest in cars and rail subjects. I was the founder (35 years ago) and owner of a company called R & D Unique for almost 30 years that specialized in casting white metal components for model cars and resin kits for same. I sold that company as I approached retirement six years ago and have again started up my long-latent interest in model railroading. I've always specialized in 1/24 scale, both as a model maker and manufacturer, and have been collecting more stuff than I'll ever use for many years.
I've started building my railroad, which will be a free-lanced traction and interurban layout based vaguely on the Puget Sound Electric Railway, with as many liberties as I want to take! I'm at the fairly early bench and track work stage, and am GREATLY interested in the Dead Rail concept, as it will save me hours of crawling around under the bench work working on wiring, and many hours of rail cleaning, short chasing, etc. At my age, I'm burning up daylight, and intend to spend it doing things I enjoy!
My wife and I also enjoy boating on our 50-foot powerboat, so you probably will not see a lot of me in the summer!
Some time ago I was into garden railways and using both electric and live steam locomotives. Back in those days radio control equipment for cars and airplanes was all there was and it was expensive and bulky. But using this, I equipped several LGB and Aristo locos.
Eventually, I dabbled with running trains without R/C and used just a three way toggle switch and off the shelf rechargeable batteries. This made it simple to install, simple to operate, and saved money.
Today the R/C stuff is much smaller and easier to work with, and you could use the trolley pole as an antenna!