Monday, April 20, 2015

10 Questions for Taylor Main

Railroad magazine used to have a regular feature highlighting an "Interesting Railfan". I thought I would run a similar series with some railfans who have agreed to participate. I'm asking each railfan 10 questions, some standard and some customized for the particular person. I hope you enjoy it. (See all in the series)

Taylor (with Chris Mears in the foreground). Photo by Lou McIntyre.
Taylor Main is a railfan and modeler who lives in Prince Edward Island. He's yet another railfan that I've never met but I admire his modeling work very much.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm a recent graduate with a BSc in Chemistry.  I am currently working as a technician in an analytical chemistry lab.  I've lived in North River, Prince Edward Island all my life, and had an interest in railroading, model building and the outdoors for as long as I can remember.

2. Why do you like trains?

My father is from a small railroad town called New Carlisle located on the Gaspe.  My grandfather, an engineer of 39 years, and about half a dozen other relatives of mine worked on that line over the years.  Growing up, I spent a couple weeks each year up there and a lot of time down in the rail yard and at the station.  My grandfather was the main influence in my fascination with railroading.  Luckily, I was able to catch the final stand of CN's MLW fleet, with him by my side.  At the time, they were still running the 2000's, 2100's, 2300's and 3500's in daily service, which lasted until roughly 2000.  I will always remember the sight, sound and smoke of those engines against the cold waters of the Bay of Chaleur and the setting sun to the west.
VIA #16 - the Chaleur - at New Carlisle, August 2008

3. Where’s your favourite place to railfan?

My favourite place to railfan would have to be the Gaspe Peninsula, in particular at Christie's Rock right along the Bay in New Carlisle or around Nouvelle, nestled amongst the Chic Chocs.

4. If you could railfan anywhere, anytime, where and when would it be?

It's hard to choose just one.  A good friend and I talk about this often, and I would have to say somewhere on the Quebec Cartier Mining system around 1989, the PEIR in the last ten years of its operation and of course, anywhere on the Gaspe back in the CN days.

5. What’s your favourite railway?

Canadian National.  I've been genetically predisposed to this decision.

6. What railfan, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Why?

This is a tough one, as I never really considered myself to be much of a railfan.  I would probably have to say David Morris.  When it comes to railfans on the Gaspe Peninsula, he is bar none and has been making yearly trips there for 30 years or more.  I'd love to sit down and pick his brain sometime!

7. What’s your favourite model railroad layout?

My favourite layout would have to be the Carleton Trail in Saint John, NB.  The layout is a double deck HO layout built by Steve McMullin, who I have become good friends with through my yearly operating tours of Saint John with the Half Nuts Model Railroaders of PEI.  His protofreelanced layout is set in 1968 and based on fictitious operations in Carleton County, NB, focusing primarily on agricultural traffic.
A model of an ex-CP RS18u kitbashed from an Atlas RS-11, by Taylor

8. What projects do you have on the go, or in planning?

Right now, my workbench looks like the shop floor of Point Sainte Charles.  I have several RSC-13's on the go, as well as half a dozen RS-18's and five C424's. In terms of layouts,  I recently completed a set of four UMG modules based on operations at Matapedia, PQ.  I am also in the process of building a small switching layout based on the interchange between Papier Gaspesia Limitee and CN in Chandler, QC, circa 1983.  I won't get into future projects at this point, as that could turn into paragraphs, but I'm mostly interested in CN's MLW fleet.

9. I know you like fishing and I’ve seen photos of the flies you make. What would you say that model making and fly tying have in common?

In terms of similarities, fly tying and model building are fundamentally different, however, both require a lot of practice to master and a lot of time and patience to get to that point.  I am far from a master of either hobby, but I have had some terrific help with both over the years.

Without going off on too much of a tangent, I find that one hobby compliments the other quite nicely.  They will only allow us to fish between April 15 and Nov 15 here on PEI, so in the summer I fly fish and in the off season I build models, for the most part.  This way, I don't get "burned out" on one thing.

10. If you could buy a model of anything you wanted, what would it be?

At this stage of the game, I am just as happy, if not happier, to kitbash a locomotive  as opposed to buying something new.  I've also taken a recent interest in unique freight cars.  If there's one thing I have right now its lots of time.  If I had to choose one though, I would say one of CN's twenty MF-32's - the HR-616.  I do have a build of one in the parts sourcing stage though so stay tuned!

To see more of Taylor, visit:

Thanks, Taylor! To see more of the series, follow this link.


Unknown said...

This has been a great series you have going here Steve.
Very interesting guests you have interviewed.
I followed the link over to Taylor Main's blog and was admiring his layout and the work he is doing. Hand laid track and turn
I'm getting inspired to start up model railroading again.

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Glen! I'm glad you are enjoying the series. Taylor's work is spectacular.

Eric said...

This series just keeps getting better and better. To see two Interesting Railfans in the same photo is a first! It really had nowhere to go but up. Up, up, and UMG!!
Thanks for sharing these posts!

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Eric!