Volume 25, Number 11 November 2022 

My introduction of myself to the CAGRS club as your new newsletter editor.

My name is Fred W. Neitzke. I use the “W” to differentiate myself from my father, grandfather and great-grandfather all of whom were named Fred Neitzke but none of which shared middle names.

I grew up in Roselle, Illinois. Every home that I have lived in has been earshot of railroad tracks. In Roselle it was one railroad track that I could hear from our house, the Milwaukee Road.

My wife Leiann and I bought a home in Bartlett, Illinois in 1986 where we raised our children. After 29 years of living in that house we moved to Streamwood, Illinois.

In Bartlett there were train tracks on 3 sides of the town, the Milwaukee Road, the Illinois Central and the Elgin Joliet line. In Steamwood there is one railroad track nearby, the Elgin Joliet line currently the Canadian National. In the distance is the Milwaukee Road line that runs through downtown Elgin.

I have always liked the clicking, clacking and horn sounding of trains. The train sound that I get to enjoy the most these days is the deep grumbling sound of the CN diesel engines pulling out of the siding of the old Elgin Joliet line that runs beneath I-90. When Leiann and I are together in our back yard and we hear these diesel engines, I almost always say to her, “do you hear that low sound of that train? That is the sound of a train coming out of the siding.” I am certain that she does not need me to point out that sound to her at this point in our lives. I am certain that she knows what the sound means.

Trains have always been a sound in the background of my life. The other sound that has been in most of my life is the roar of jet engines. The sounds that planes make are in my opinion a nuisance, the sounds of trains is like comforting yet exciting music. I have never lived so close to train tracks for trains to be a disruption to my life. People living too close to train tracks might take exception to my love of the sound of trains.

My favorite train past time is taking pictures of trains. Like many of us, I have them saved electronically but have not printed many of them on paper.

My model railroad scale of choice is N gauge. Its smaller size requires less space than larger model railroad scales. My N gauge layout has been sitting idle for too long now. I need to return to it.

What brought me to garden railroading was Leiann. While in Denver, one summer with her aunt, she saw a garden railroad layout at a botanical garden. That garden railroad layout made her think that my love of trains and her flower gardening passion would be a good mix that could produce for us many hours of enjoyment while creating a work of art for others to enjoy.

My favorite hobby is vegetable and flower gardening. I grow at least 10 different vegetables, 4 or 5 spices, and 2 or 3 varieties of flowers.

(Continued on page 6)

Fred Neitzke