Our Team

Joshua Baakko

I was born in Upper Michigan, and my parents say the first time I saw a train, I was scared of it. At the end of the 1980’s I received an HO scale Tyco Santa Fe 72 set. A couple of years later, after finding a Hobby Shop in Iron Mountain Michigan, my dad bought a Life-Like set, and we proceeded to build a layout on a 4’x8′ layout in HO scale.

I’ve been a life long modeler since, and really developed my modeling skills in the early 2000’s and have been wholly invested in the hobby since 2005, with no other major hobbies.

Although I primarily model HO scale, I’ve modeled anywhere from Z all the way up to G. I prefer current day operations of BNSF on Cajon pass, and hang on to 2 Athearn BNSF locomotives I bought at the close of the millennium, when I first discovered BNSF (then Burlington Northern Santa Fe). I prefer to weather my trains to make them look like scaled down from the real car. 

You can also find Josh Baakko on Instagram @modelrrtips.

Jim Burke

I was one of the original 7 that built the depot layout and ended up being the lead electrician on the project

My passion for trains came from living within two blocks of the Santa Fe Main Line near Los Angeles and I received my first electric train Lionel of course when I was 10.

The unique thing I bring to the layout is my knowledge of how it was built and how the operating systems work.

I am now 80 and still enjoy running trains and taking on some of challenges of keeping the layout running.