A Time To Build

“For everything there is a season… A time to tear down and a time to build up.”  Ecclesiastes 3:3 (NLT).  ‘A Time To Build’…. This recent title on the issue of Cowcatcher magazine really caught me.  If we take just that part of the scripture, it sure rings true right now.  It really is a ’time to build’.

As a railroad modeler myself, I have been very focused on shipping the many production runs that have been arriving since April, and specifically working earnestly to complete the American Freedom Train’s final release of the Tool Car.  Once that is done, I will finally start working on my railroad, and there will be more about that in another blog story down the road.

I am encouraged right now (and that’s a good thing for me and for you, too) to hear the stories, and see on the internet, the progress that many are making on their model railroads.  I am also hearing that other manufacturers report they are doing well, or certainly much better than expected during the Covid situation.  Shops that have an ‘online’ presence have been pressed to keep up.

Are you making progress on your railroad?  It sure is a different season of life, and I am so thankful that this is a hobby that thrives when we are home to work on it.  The missing part, however, can be the time we spend with others.  Sharing our passion for model railroading whether at a train show, a club gathering, or a friend’s layout is certainly one of the most rewarding parts of our hobby.  I encourage you to reach out to your railroad buddies and engage.

I am a life-long railroad modeler.  One thing I found out many years ago is I don’t need another photo of a train, but would rather have the picture of my ‘friend’ that’s operating the train!  The train may last forever, but friends will not, and recent passing of several rail buddies brings that home.  Reach out, stay connected, and encourage someone, because he/she may need it more than you know.

Please, Stay Well

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Lowell Smith

A native of Portland, Oregon, Lowell Smith married his church choir sweetheart Barb in 1978. After a lifetime of rail-fanning, Lowell and Barb ventured out in 1992 to launch a new business in Portland, Oregon. Read more

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What They Say:

M. Magliaro

I received my #99 business card in the mail today. It looks superb. Thank you for another wonderful job. You are really filling a niche.

Gordon and Dorothy

I have never been treated as graciously and in a manner more suited to a VIP in my life, as I was on our train trip.  It’s obvious how you’ve made your life a success story.  Looking around the train and seeing your friends I’m pretty sure they  were all made to feel very special by you, and your…


You know I’m always looking forward to the next release and its arrival with great anticipation. I treasure my Lowell Smith Signature collection.


Thanks, Lowell, for another awesome addition to an already incredible train.

R. K.

You are in my book one of the very best.


I am speechless!  The AFT Showcase car is everything I hoped it would be; and more.


AFT is a real dream come true for me. Thanks for all your hard work!


Thank you ever so much for being such an integral part of the model railroading hobby!

George H.

Blunt End Observation is a GRAND SLAM! I’ve wanted this car for ages but never figured out a good way to kitbash it.


Lowell, thanks to you and your company SP&S modelers (myself included) are having a much easier time modeling the North Bank Road. Thank you for your hard work!