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About Us

One day I was looking at the coffee mug sitting on my desk, thinking about how uninteresting a lot of train mugs really are.  Most of the time they just have a herald slapped on one side, both sides if you're lucky.  In this case it was a Lehigh & New England mug with the "fried egg" logo placed off-center, too low, and crooked to boot.  As luck would have it, though, the shell of an Atlas O-scale F9 just happened to be sitting next to it.  I glanced back and forth and thought, "The nose of an EMD F-unit sure looks a lot like a coffee mug."  Very shortly thereafter, Railroad Mode was born.

Every mug is an original illustration, done start to finish by me personally.  I have 40 years of model railroading under my belt, so I'm a stickler for details.  For example, if you look at the Milwaukee Road Erie-Built design, the nose-door handle is hanging down slightly.  In every picture I could find of that engine, the handle is hanging the same way, and it was the only one of the 14 they owned that did that.  It may just be a coffee mug, but if you're a die-hard fan of a particular railroad, you tend to notice those details.  They're a small part of each locomotive's distinct appearance.

As for the operation, it's just myself and a couple of trusty volunteers keeping it all running from a spare room in sunny Arizona.

Thank you again for your interest. Have a look around, and please Contact Us if you have any questions.

- Allan at

That's me with the beautiful Santa Fe 4-8-4 on display in Kingman, AZ.