I created Notch 8 Media as an outlet for my love and interest for trains and the railroad industry, from my perspective. There are thousands of pages and websites out there, but they aren’t shown through my eyes.
My background in the hobby, and later the industry, started when I was about 8 years old. It was the typical setting back in 1984. Early in the morning, on Christmas day, I woke up to a shiny new Bachmann HO scale train set that my mom and dad got me. It was the chrome Santa Fe F unit and freight car set, so it was literally shiny! From that day forward, I was in the “secret society” for life. My dad used to take me to a few local hobby shops, and train shows, almost every weekend. Now, I currently model in N scale, and ironically, the set I bought to get back in model railroading is another Santa Fe freight set by Bachmann. But not as shiny. And now, I take my kids to the local shows every year as our own tradition, even more so now in memory of my dad, who passed away in July ‘18.
My history with the industry actually started when the B&O was created. My ancestors came over from Germany and Ireland and had their part in building the first American railroad system. Fast forward to the 50’s and 60’s and my grandfather was a clerk for the B&O and retired from the company in the mid 60’s. In 1998, I was hired on to Conrail as a brakeman/conductor, but my career there was short lived. I was young, dumb, had other “priorities” and I left after about 6 months, after I completed engineer school.
Today, I spend my work days driving a truck, hauling parts for a major auto manufacturer here in Ohio. I spent a few years on the road, so I was able to see the railroad in action in many interesting places. My favorite spots to photograph and film are out west in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. I hope to get back out there soon and shoot in places I could only drive by.