In 2003 in the month of March, the model railroading world lost a true master and genius. Charles Martin lived to be 87
and was still active with his "Interlake Vulcanian Railroad", a truly original masterpiece of model railroading. His work
had been published in Model Railroader and other mags. I personally do not know a lot about Mr. Martin. I first seen his layout
in 1997 and was awed by it then. Years later, I asked him some questions regarding paint schemes and lettering of a Milwaukee
Road combine car that resides in Mendota. I also visited him in the hospital a couple years back and he was nice enough to
answer some questions I had about the Milwaukee Railroad. He also gave me a book of drawings he drew for the Milwaukee Railroad.
I am happy that I had been acquainted with him.
Below I have posted some pictures of the last run of his Interlake Vulcanian Railroad shortly after his passing. The turnout
of people was great and most everyone had a camera in hand to photograph the masterpiece Mr. Martin had created. This would
be the last time one could have such an opportunity. Soon the creation would be taken down and the collection spread out through
the railfan community and Charlies family and friends. All I can say is wow! This layout is so impressive and has such great
depth. At every turn and every glimpse you find a new detailed scene, every inch of the way. I was inspired once again by
his work as I was in 1997 when I first met him. Charles was a member of the Mendota Railroad museum and has been kind enough
to donate items and money. We at the Mendota museum are very appreciative of that and honored to have him as part of our historical
Ray Tutaj Jr.