Frolin's  first  layout

in Del Rio, Texas in the early 1970s









Everyone has a story about how they started with model trains and mine is about like many.  My dad luv’d trains too and he built me an HO layout on a 4x8ft sheet of plywood in late 1969 or early 1970.  While I got an N scale and Lionel train sets later on, they never got my attention like this HO layout and never got played with much.


My dad ran his own Automotive Repair shop for many years, and in the waiting area he had a pool table.  And on that table is where my layout sat most days of the week.  And customers were ‘entertained’ by this little boy running his trains and talking about them (or so I have been told).  The layout was moved off the pool table many Fridays afternoon for the Friday and Saturday night pool games.


The layout featured a large oval mainline, with a long passing siding, a circle loop siding and a long spur.  Trains were powered by an MRC Dual-Master throttle, ran on Atlas brass track and electric snap switches.  My dad actually ran copper wire through over-sized telephone type poles, up and over the layout to the DC track blocks and to the switches.  There was no under table wiring, the high-line wires were real and used!


People ask why I like  COKE.  Just look at the first couple pictures.  I grew up with a bottle Coke machine and even a Coke clock.


The date stamp on the first four pictures says April 1970.  The next two say January 1973 and shows green surface, ballasted track and many Plasticville buildings.  These are square because they are from the old 110 camera.  The last picture was from a new Polaroid in January 1977, with the layout moved to the house.  One photo shows me in the middle and my dad, Jerry Marek.  He passed away in 1982 when I was 16 years old.  My son Jerry was born in 1994 and named after him.


If you would like to see the photos in a ‘slideshow’ just click  <here>

( slideshow photos are smaller than the picture links above )


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Page created on  2/26/2011