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.
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.
I first experienced the excitement and artistry of Model Railroads after moving to San Diego from Seattle. I was quickly captivated by the art and engineering put on display in miniature and impressed by the dedication of this unique community. After working in several museums over the course of my professional life, I am excited to be working for the promotion and support of this time-honored tradition. Working for the Old Town Model Railroad Depot will bring an opportunity to use my experience working in museums and cultural institutions to continue its history as a mainstay attraction for tourists and locals alike.