Keith was the Superintendent of the Easton and Potomac. His railroad was the leader in the Richmond area for prototype, TT&TO operations.
I met Keith now over 10 years ago via the local hobby shop. Keith's name and email address was given to me from the gentlemen at Chesterfield Hobbies as one of the local "train guys" that was very active in the hobby.
I had been living in town about a year or so and had started finishing the
basement in the previous house for the construction of a railroad. (Richmond Terminal version 1). It seemed like a good idea to make contact with other modelers, so I sent him an email.
I didn't know it then, but that was a turning point in my approach to the hobby. Keith was the person that introduced me to true operation of model railroads. Up until that point, I would certainly "play train" but it didn't occur to me that there was a way to approach the play with an amount of rigor that made the challenge have excellent replay value.
Keith attended the first work session on version 1, and pointed out a design mistake during our work. I had a S curve that was spaced poorly and he mentioned checking out the John Armstrong book for options on fixing that sort of track arrangement.
That was the beginning, but certainly not the end of the mentoring. I would see what he had done with the E&P and then sought to figure out how I could do that on my own layout since he had solved a novel problem or I could learn from his experience.
Keith dispatched the RTRRv1 a couple of times as well as filling other slots. He approached operations seriously, but didn't let that take the humor out of the situation. He never let a good opportunity to make fun of us "train nuts" and himself, by extension, go to waste. He set the standard for documenting a railroad, even with his frequent complaint that model railroaders can't read.
We lost a craftsman, an author and a contributor to the progress of the hobby with his passing. I am indebted to Keith more than I can put into a couple of paragraphs and I expect that I'm not alone in reflecting on his impact.
|Keith dispatching V1 before I moved the DS office under the stairs.|