​​​​John Allen, No family relation.  A professional photographer and pioneer in the hobby. His articles and photos were featured in many of the hobby periodicals and certainly help shape and direct my interests in model railroading as I was growing up. His model railroad, the Gorre and Daphetid, featured floor to ceiling scenery that dramatically portrayed the mountainous region that his railroad operated.  His understanding of color and composition enhanced his ability to tell a story with his layout and imagery.  The engine facility at Great Divide on the G&D was part of the inspiration for Storm King.   

Mark Allen collection: Images 1 and 2, Model Railroadingwith John Allen © Kalmbach Publications; Image 3, Railroad Model Craftsman December 1970; Images 4,6 and 7, Railroad Model Craftsman January 1972:  Image 5, Railroad Model Craftsman June 1970 © Carstens Publication..

Mark Allen collection: Images 1 to 8, Railroad Model Craftsman © Carstens Publication; Images 9 to 15 Model Railroader © Kalmbach Publications.

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Mark Allen collection: Images 1,2,3 and 5, Railroad Model Craftsman October 1977 © Carstens Publication; Images 4 and 6 Model Railroader September and December 1976 © Kalmbach Publications.

Mark Allen collection © Carstens Publications 

Mark Allen collection © Michael Broggie 

Thatcher's Inlet by Bob Hayden and Dave Frary.  This HOn30 module was described in a 4 part series featured in Railroad Model Craftsman beginning with the February 1972 issue.  This module grabbed my attention as it featured narrow gauge in a small port environment, combining my interest in trains, narrow gauge and ships. The conversion of N scale mechanisims into diminutive HO scale locomotives was also an intriguing process for me, allowing my imagination to leap far from the standard gauge rails.  My North Cascade Coastal Railway ended up the "standard" narrow gauge of HOn3; however, it did have a small port community called Siegert's Inlet that also had a lighthouse that was built from the Thatcher's Inlet plans.

​​Richard B. Allen, Dad, a Lutheran Minister, Navy Chaplain,  and model railroader.  He shared the hobby with me, continuing to develop the interest that Grandfather had started.  During one of the moves with the Navy  I shared my bedroom with the layout.  The routine moves were tough on keeping a layout in tact and operational so eventually Dad built a full scale caboose on a mobile home trailer frame so the train room would travel complete to the new location.  Dad started in HO and then moved to HOn3, ensuring that I would become "narrow minded" as well.  We have enjoyed many of the National Narrow Gauge Conventions together and he encouraged to me to continue modeling at I time I thought I would no longer be physically capable of participating in the hobby.  Thank you Dad!    

John Olson.   John was a Disney Imagineer and his modeling was featured in many of  the model railroad magazines.  His work has the appearance and feeling of John Allen's work and has also had a strong influence to my development in the hobby. His module "Stop Gap Falls" was featured in Railroad Model Craftsman as a two part series in the January and February 1975 issues.  The article "A Day at Mule Shoe Meadows" in the May 1976 Model Railroader was very inspirational in the development of "Storm King".

Walt Disney.  While on active duty, Dad was assigned to a destroyer squadron based in Long Beach.  We lived in Garden Grove, not far from Disneyland and visited Magic Kingdom fairly frequently.   I recall being very impressed with the Main Street Station and the Disney Railway.  It was my first ride on a steam train, and a narrow gauge train at that!  The bright livery and brass trim of the locomotives and coaches certainly made their impression on a 5 to 7 year old boy.  It seemed to me that wandering around Disneyland was like getting the opportunity to explore a very fine model railroad.  I thought that being an “Imagineer” for Disney would be the ultimate job.  My career path did not take me that direction, but I really appreciate the term “ Imagineer” and I think that building one’s own model railway empire is basically creating your own personal “Magic Kingdom”.  One of the Disney concepts I routinely use is the 7/8 scale.  The buildings on Main Street USA there in Disneyland are 7/8s of the original size.  I use that to scale down my structures to further enhance the diminutive size of the narrow gauge.  

Wilmer H. Siegert, my maternal Grandfather a life-long Scouter, educator, railway historian and model railroader.  He introduced my father and me to model railroading. His train room was in a building that held his work shop as well as the Scout room where the Boy Scouts of Troop 340 would meet. The layout room was about 24 feet by 20 feet.  The layout itself was a HO scale, mountain railroad, approximately 14 feet by 20 feet with the bench work complete, track laid and the ability to operate 2 trains at a time.   He also had a collection of model railroad and railroading magazines that dated back to the 1930s.  I would often go down to the train room  and look at the potential of the model empire and pour through the vintage magazines.    

There is a host of other model railroaders that have inspired me by generously sharing their talents, techniques and art through the magazines, conventions, shows, clinics, layout tours and general fellowship.  It is a wonderful pursuit with many outstanding people to share and enjoy the hobby.  Thank you all! 

Bob Hegge's Crooked Mountain Lines.  Bob, like John Allen, was a photographer and the images of the Crooked

Mountain Lines graced the pages of many of the magazines.  While I am not interested in traction railroads, but there was something about Bob's railroad that grabbed my interest. There  was the theme of a mountain railway and the looks of the motive power reminded me of my Grandfather's interest in Spokane's interurban railways.  I have built several gas electrics for the GNR&N

that have the look of both Bob's electric locomotives  and my Grandfather's interurbans.