As some of you may know, I got the model train bug around Christmas of 2003.  That's when my new grandfather-in-law gave me $100 for Christmas.  I wanted to get something that would keep me interested for a while, and not just something that would be forgotten about 3 months down the road.  While out shopping for Christmas, I had seen an Amtrak Acela train set.  I thought it looked pretty cool.  Since I had grown up with my father putting up his trains around Christmas every year (when we were younger), I knew I'd be interested.  I always loved putting together models too (I have a decent amount of Dale Earnhardt model cars, as well as some airplanes that I've built). 

Well, that Acela train running on a small oval has grown over the past couple of years.  Since buying my Acela train, I started going to train shows, and reading information online.  While at a train show in Fort Washington, PA, I saw another train and fell in love with the Line.  There was a diesel engine sitting on a vendor's table in the coolest colors.  It was a nice bright purple and silver Atlantic Coast Line E8/9.  I loved it.  Of course I didn't have the money for it at the time.  Since then, I've gone on eBay and purchased a lot of Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) freight cars.  I now have 3 ACL engines (an SW9/1200, and an E6A/B set) as well as a passenger train.

Below, I've posted some of the models that I've built, as well as some of the train engines and cars that I own. 

This is a Vollmer Cathedral.  I used a sponge paint technique to create a stonework look to it.  I still want to go back with some copper/antique copper (green) to do some accents, but I can't seem to find the right color green. This is the Walther's Cornerstone Union Station.  I used the same sponge stone technique but with a greenish stone color instead of a grey.  This is a City Classics Grant Street Iron Front building.  The sides are just a brick wall.  The front is highly painted with black columns, with green and yellow highlights.
This is the first Atlantic Coast Line engine that I purchased.  It is a Life Like P2K SW9/1200.  It has since been upgraded with a NCE-SW9SR decoder. This is the Acela engine, which was part of the first train set that I purchased.  This is actually the dummy engine, but the powered engine is now equipped with  a TCS DP5X decoder.  At some point I'd like to install decoders in all of the cars, to be able to control their lights.


This is my favorite engine.  It is a Life Like P2K E6A.  I also have the E6B.  I love the sloping front nose on the E6.  This engine also has the TCS DP5X decoder in it.  I use this engine to haul both my passenger cars, and my freight cars.
Here's one of my favorite freight cars.  It's a silver 40' ACL boxcar. I have a couple of other silver boxcars, but they are for Seaboard Air Line.  Seaboard Air Line (SAL) and Seaboard Coast Line (SCL) are two other lines that are historically tied to the ACL, so I model them as well. This is another of my box cars.  It's a Fruit Grower's Express 50' boxcar.  I have a couple of these cars. This is the Acela First Class car.  The Cafe, Business and End-Business cars are all similar to this one.  The windows, doors and paint job are slightly different on each car.
As you can see, I actually have a floor layout.  Since the layout changes periodically,  I haven't built any bench work yet, mainly because I can't decide how I want the layout! Here's one of my factories.  I found those two UP trucks in a box of stuff my dad gave me.  I really need to get those painted!!