Mike Schafer hails from Rockford, Illinois, where he recalls his earliest train-watching experiences on the Illinois Central, Milwaukee Road, Burlington Route, and Chicago & North Western. He vividly can recall his first train rides, circa 1952, on IC\u2019s Hawkeye and Land O\u2019 Corn between Rockford and Chicago. Eventually he would declare the latter — America\u2019s railroad hub — his \u201chonorary hometown. Mike and his little dog Archie reside in a house (which includes a 1,600-square-foot model railroad) next to BNSF\u2019s busy Twin Cities mainline in a small town outside Chicago where he also serves as village trustee and occasionally mayor pro tem.
Joe Welsh is a regular contributor to Trains and Classic Trains magazines and has appeared on the History Channel. He is the author of 12 books including the critically acclaimed Travel by Pullman, co-authored with William F. Howes, Jr. He resides in Auburn, Washington.