From as far back as I can remember, I had a great fascination with trains. Whether they are prototype or model, something inside me begins to stir from the moment I hear the sounds, smell the smells or see the sights.

In my Railroad Page, I will offer a variety of my railroad interests, and hopefully enhance your knowledge and just maybe place a new spark of interest for this fascinating hobby in someone who has not yet experienced the thrill of railroading.

The railroad hobby is so diverse, that it has a little of something to offer to everyone. Whether, you like the sound and smells of a full size locomotive roaring by, or you like to enter your own little world in a model dream, the sky is the limit.

My interests were sparked by the well known and loved Lionel Trains. Mom and dad gave me a Lionel train on my very first Christmas. Almost every Christmas I can remember, I received something that had to do with trains.

Studying for and becoming a Priest did not extinguish the thrill of railroading. There is nothing I would rather do on my day off, (and on) than to be surrounded by something that smells of railroading. However, being a Priest, both time and space are very tight. There are very few rectories large enough (or pastors willing to endure) a full size O scale layout. So shortly after my ordination, I began to build a layout in N scale. This seems to be a practical size for anyone with very limited space. In fact, I am not the only Priest in the Diocese into the hobby. There are two others I know of that have full size layouts, one in N the other HO. However, I am now investing all my spare time and resources into Live Steam.

The dream of building my own live steam engine began in 1973, when I saw an advertisement which read, “Build your own back yard railroad”. Since than, I have built three live steam locomotives. My American took almost 5 1/2 years to build, with my little experience. The second, which I finished before the first, took roughly 60 hours. My Atlantic took about 3 years to complete. I built a riding car for the 1″ scale and have plans to build a Caboose and a Chapel Car (every Priest should have one). Railroads actually used chapel cars in the past. And somewhere down the road, I would like to plan and build a 1″ scale 2-6-0 early American style.

Keep a close watch at these pages, I plan on displaying some of my work in the live steam hobby. I am a member of the Waushakum Live Steamers in Holliston, MA. I hope to post pictures of the club and our new property and track as it progresses.

One great thing about this hobby is that it is more fun when you are with other people of similar interest. Find a local club and join. There is a great wealth of information to be found in fellow members of our hobby. My association to the Waushakum Live Steamers has been a source of great help, but most of all a source of wonderful friends.

November A.D. 2000

“Cover Photo: The venue for this month’s cover is Waushakum Live Steamers new track in Holliston, Massachusetts, which was complete enough this year to host an East Coast IBLS Meet for live steam railroaders in 3-1/2″, 4-3/4″ and 7-1/4″ gauge. The gentleman seated on the locomotive is Father Jay Finelli, a full-time Catholic priest and builder of locomotives, including the Little Engines 4-4-0 he was driving at the meet. Standing at left is the Father’s father, Jerry Finelli. Jerry is also an active member of the Waushakum club-as is Jay’s mother. For more details on Waushakum track and the meet, turn to page 8.”

Photo by G.R. Broad. (used with permission)


Father’s RR Story — 3 Comments

  1. Father Kevin at Our Lady Queen Of Peace in Middle River, Maryland is a\n avid model train enthusiast and builds a Christmas, Lionel O gauge layout each year for the church members and community to enjoy.

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