Patrick Lawson MMR
My interest in model railways began with a train set under the Christmas tree. I remember my dad taking me to the rail yards in downtown Toronto to watch trains, and accompanying me to several model railway club shows. Those experiences laid the foundation for a lifelong interest in both railways, and model railways.
I’ve always liked building things. I built my first layout with scenery before I was twelve, and I’ve been building layouts and models ever since
I’ve ridden trains on five continents. Best known among these are the CNR & CPR lines in Canada, the Indian Pacific in Australia, the TGV in Europe, the Trans Mongolian and Trans Siberian Express in Asia, and Amtrak in the US.
During the 1980s, I was rail fanning the CP Mainline in BC and Alberta, taking thousands of photos for future reference. At the same time many of the models available were more like toys than scale models. I quickly became dissatisfied with those models and started kit-bashing models so they looked like the prototype. I sent away for prototype plans of Canadian Grain Cars and began to write articles and draft plans for model railway magazines. Several hundred articles later I’m still writing articles
I was contacted by Intermountain Railway Company, a plastic model manufacturer based in Colorado. They asked if I could send them copies of the prototype grain car plans. Since then I have worked for a number of model railway manufacturers drafting 2D and 3D plans of various cars and locomotives. The plans are sent to China, where they are used to make plastic models. The models are then shipped to the North American market.
I started attending model railway shows in the late 1980s. At that time Brian Pate, Doug Hole and Bob Gardner, to name a few, were displaying incredible models. Truly inspirational. It was here I met my good friend Russ Watson. I’d never heard of the MMR Program but Russ encouraged me to give it a try. Once I’d started, I wanted to complete it. I’m grateful for the awards I’ve received.
Yet the award that means the most to me is the Jack Work Memorial Trophy. His early articles had a huge impact on me, so when he visited my layout and liked what he saw it was truly a defining moment.
I no longer have my own layout but I enjoy building models for other people’s model railways, such as Scott Calvert’s incredible Boundary Sub layout. I helped build a harbour scene on Wayne Paulsen’s stunning O scale layout. I’ve also built models for the Revelstoke Railway Museum, the Revelstoke model railway layout (Doug Mayer has been particularly helpful), and the Maritime Museum of BC.
I have received no end of help and inspiration from friends and family, corporations, museums, railways, manufacturers, editors, and fellow modellers. Many thanks to all!