Bruce M. Arbo

About Me or What I Like Most About T-Trak

Hello all!
My name is Bruce Arbo, of Daphne, Alabama (the coast of Alabama, on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay).
My interest in N scale started in my hometown of New Orleans, back in 1969, with the gift of an Atlas Santa Fe passenger set, which included a beautifully painted Santa Fe E8 unit and 3 heavyweight passenger cars. I flirted, on and off, with model railroad layouts, in the various places we were blessed to travel, including Southern California, then overseas, until moving back to the states (Texas) to enter University. Raising a family in Houston prevented any serious modeling, until moving to the Austin area in 1989, and my son attending high school. I was fortunate to be introduced to the charter members of AustNtrak, who introduced me, to not only what can be done in 'modern day' N scale, but to railfanning, and every thing else having to do with the love and appreciation of railroading in America.
My main interest in N scale definitely leans to the modeling aspect. I love to super detail locomotives and rolling stock; creating fine scale models of the real thing, to the best of my ability. (I firmly believe in N scale as a modeler's scale) I carry this detail over to trackage, scenery, and other aspects of the layout-(my current small layout at home features code 55 track)- and would love to attempt to form a 'freemo' N scale group in this area to produce a modular finescale N scale layout that can really showcase N scale as a modeler's scale.
That being said, I'm a firm believer in contributing to the hobby, in general, and, especially, N scale-I was VERY active in the AustNtrak group, and built a few Ntrak modules which, proudly enough, are still active in the group! In fact, this previous June (2014) I had the great pleasure to contribute and donate a 6' Ntrak module to the group in Austin, as my way of saying 'thanks' for all of their help, assistance, and friendships during my time there.
While attending the Regional NMRA show, where the module was debuted, I was able to see what the AustNtrak group had done in the way of a T-Trak division, and was THOROUGHLY impressed with, not only the concept of T-Trak, but with the modeling that was exhibited! (being somewhat of a scale 'snob', I had been prepared to be 'underwhelmed' by T-Trak)
I quickly realized the brilliance of the concept, making it relatively easy for just about anyone to participate in N scale model railroading!
Upon my son's graduation from Baylor University in 2003, I determined to move back to the New Orleans area; ostensibly to be closer to my aging parents-they retired to Pass Christian, MS, a half hour from our family's New Orleans roots, and our de-facto 'summer' alternate home. Katrina changed everything, when all of us lost everything (save our lives!), when it hit the Mississippi coast dead on during that August 29th.
We've all settled here, on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, just an hour further east (our family has a history in Mobile-my sister was born here when I was very young). I've been able to continue my N scale modeling anew, but had yet to actively meet local modelers until very recently.
My model Railroading interest is the ATSF, specifically the year 1957-the last full year that saw the new-equipment El Capitan run as a separate train, and, interestingly enough, the year that saw the last run of ATSF revenue steam (in helper service on the Clovis sub-from Belen up to Mountainair). Apart from detailing those beautiful warbonnet F, E, PAs, Blue and yellow Freight Fs, and zebra-striped switchers and road switchers, I'm most proud of my scratchbuilt 'Fast Mail' consist as it appeared during 1957-Nos 7&8 was a high priority train that was really unique in it's very non-uniform consist, yet is near impossible to portray in N scale as very few R-T-R pieces of prototypically accurate rolling stock exist.
Here's a link to a YouTube video featuring this train (more cars have been built since this video was made)
I'm also in the process of building a slightly-larger-than-door-sized layout in our office/hobby room. I'm modeling the Kingman Canyon area on the Santa Fe, where the two lines, eastbound and westbound are separated and on different levels; it's a challenge to model the unique basalt rock formations that immediately identify this piece of the great southwest.
I am very much involved and looking forward to growing T-Trak and reaching and educating all those interested in the great hobby of Model railroading!

My Modules

Currently, I own 18 actual modules, totaling 24' of T-Trak run, not including 2 endcaps, and 1 each inside and outside corner!

My Trains


part of the stable of Santa Fe passenger motive power. Kato F7s an classic L-A-B-C lashups.
Parts added consist of photoetched windshield wipers, mirrors, cut levers, stainless steel grills, stirrup ladders, plastic air hoses, and cab window shades.


Kato Alco PA detailed with roof mounted numberboard, photoetched stirrup ladders, windshield wipers, air and electrical hoses.


Kato F7 Santa Fe Freight scheme- detailed with photoetched windshield wipers, stirrup ladders, stainless steel grills, mirrors, plastic air hoses…renumbered.


"Arbonado"-the 6' Ntrak module I built here in Alabama and transported and donated to AustNtrak. It's meant to represent an area on the Santa Fe mainline west of Alberquerque

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