The Roundhouse Podcast

Episode 004: Model Railroading Documentary with Sara Kelly

Pennsylvania Landscapes at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.  Photo by Sara Kelly.

Pennsylvania Landscapes at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Photo by Sara Kelly.

What is it like for someone outside of the hobby of model railroading to explore it, capture it on film, and create a feature-length documentary about it?  Filmmaker Sara Kelly shares with us her experience working on “Model Citizens” over the past couple of years and her unique perspective on model railroading.


I will be attending the Greenberg Train Show in Monroeville PA on February 15, 2015.  If you will be there, say hello to me (I will probably be wearing a Canadian Pacific engineer’s hat, red jacket, and carrying a microphone).  I will be covering the show for next week’s episode of The Roundhouse.

Sara Kelly Interview (2:09)
Having discovered the world of model railroading in San Diego, Sara Kelly became interested in the people behind the elaborate layouts she saw.  Her background in journalism enabled her to begin Model Citizens, fund the campaign using the Kickstarter platform, and approach this entirely new world with an open mind and native curiosity.

Being that she is an “outsider” who has spent extensive time understanding the world of model railroading, Sara offers a unique perspective.  She talks about why the hobby is “cool”, how she approaches filming a train layout, why there are not as many women in the hobby as men, and covers the overall goals of the film.  You can see clips from the movie and learn more at

Question of the Day (48:44)

I read some responses from the questions I asked in Episode 003 and provide you with a new one:  If you have a train layout, what are you modeling?  If not, what would you like to model?  Let me know and I will select answers to share on the next episode which will be released Saturday the 21st at 9 AM EST.  Subscribe on iTunes, and be sure to share this episode with at least one person today!

4 thoughts on “Episode 004: Model Railroading Documentary with Sara Kelly

  1. Sam Brodersen

    I have a small 4X8 foot UP layout. Very soon though, I will be expanding to make a very large new UP route with DCC

  2. Gary

    Congratulations • On your new podcast channel. Model Citizen, sounds like a excellent movie. She has a great back round in journalism. The will be able to tell the model train story.
    Cheers from The Detroit & Mackinac Railway

  3. Vince Whiteley

    Great Episode Nick and I want to thank Sara for showing her interests and willing to share our hobby and community to the public and I wish her well with her project along with everyone else within the model railroad community and railroading in general.

    My answer for the QotD is really I don’t have a layout because I really don’t have the space for it being that I stay in Army barracks. However, I do have a module I plan to build, given if I had the tools and time to build it. Eventually when I have my own house with space available to do a project, I plan on doing an 80-90 era of the Southern Pacific and the AT&SF in what was really the golden era of the modern diesel in the vast mountain ranges of California. I do collect engines and rolling stock of HO scale with SP, DRGW, and SSW with an Southern Pacific AC-11 Cab Forward. It’s growing slowly but it’s getting to there.

    As always thank you for the show Nick and I look forward to the next one.

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