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Harry Heil wrote to the IBLS, November 2021:
- I found my original IBLS membership card issued by Ralph Tucker in May of 1992, building engines started in fall of 1970. It’s been a long time. Like I said with family, work, church, and restoring old John Deere tractors along with fishing in Gunnison, Colorado for 45 years where I was a professor at Western State University my life had detours like making a living. The first engines started and never completed were a Tich and a small 1/4 scale American. They are under my workbench in a box. The American I sent a photo took me 38 years to complete and the last engine after retirement took 3 years. So I guess I am hooked on trains. It’s been a wonderful hobby and I have learned so much. My main teacher was 50 years or more of Live Steam Magazine.
- I do not belong to any club, I guess I am that loan wolf. KSL news ran a short on my hobby a while back, it can be seen on a rerun called Nephi Man Backyard Railroad. I won an international competition with my engine I got a beautiful welder as my prize. I just finished my third engine last week (November 2021). I truly enjoy the build. When it comes to the hobby I enjoy without interference and I have never lived close to anyone else that has the hobby. When I lived in Colorado I had help from several people like John at Mammoth Locomotive Works. He is a friend and several others to answer my many questions. I have been interested because I saw Walt Disney’s train back in the 1950's. I remember the days of steam.
- Nephi, Utah
Harry completed work on a beautiful wooden model of the Casey Jones. Harry wrote:
- The wood is cherry, maple, rose wood, and walnut. It is made from drawings made in Silverton, Colorado a long time ago. The car stood on the west side of the court house with a sketch book and tape measure. It’s not perfect but close enough for my railroad. Everything making the car was scrap from my shop, bought a motor and castings for the wheels. The original car was built by the Sunny Side Mine in 1918 used all around the area to take miners and the injured to Silverton, Colorado. My drawings are right from the car. I got dirty that day with my family helping me.
See also "Casey Jones Rail Auto".