South Shasta Lines – ‘A visit in 1960’

You may never know the lasting impression you have on someone.

As a child, I have this most vivid memory of going down into a farmhouse basement. What awaited made a lasting impression that would effect my life, and indirectly, yours.

We lived in Chico, California, and I was in kindergarten. My parents drove my brother, my grandma, and me to the Southern Pacific station in Gerber where she boarded the Shasta Daylight for her return trip to Portland. The only photos we have of the event were in View-Master, and as such, are difficult to copy. Right now, they are hard for me to find, as well.

I think it was that trip that we visited the Humann Farm and the annual Open House of the South Shasta Lines, an O Scale railroad that was being built by Godfrey Humann. The story of his South Shasta Lines is told in several issues of Model RailRoader and at least one in Rail Model Craftsman.  (Godfrey Humann, a farmer from the small town of Gerber just south of Red Bluff.

The big model trains ran from town-to-town over bridges and through tunnels. As a five-year old, it was like a dream. I think that was the day I fell in love with trains. I have never been the same.

What if that open house had never been? What if Mom and Dad did not make the effort to go and see? That lasting forever memory is still with me. What impact will you have on a young life? You won’t know unless you try.

Burned into my mind, in the evening light, is the red-tail light of the ‘Shasta Daylight’. It’s gyrations telling this five-year old good-bye from his grandma. I remember the tears.

See the 2023 Concept Car, South Shasta Lines, here.

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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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Thanks for all the great trains – it’s nice to have such wonderful rolling stock on the layout.

K. Lyons

I want to be like you when I grow up!

Jim and Jo Ann K.

Every aspect of the trip was professionally done.  You and Barbara were on top of every change and your matter-of-fact assurances speak highly of your professionalism.  Jo Ann is a retired chef  and we know what good food is, and the meals provided on the CZ trip were stellar! BRAVO to you and Barbara for…


I really am enjoying what you are producing, Lowell! Thanks for doing it. Jerry

Linda and Pete B.

Just wanted to thank you again for the opportunity to be with you and the many other happy folks who experienced the Feather River Canyon trip.  I know you put a lot of work into making this special trip a reality and it all came together extremely well!


“You seem to be the shining light in an industry that’s seen a lot of change since the early 2000’s when I was last in the hobby”.


I am looking forward to many more releases in the new year. I stayed up really late on Christmas to talk to Santa when he came by our house. I asked him for an n-scale SP&S 700, and he said that was out of his league and I’d better call you.

Jerry E.

Received GN A10 today. Absolutely stunning! I am very pleased. Thank You all.

R. LeBrun

Thank you for all that you do for the N Scale community. Your products by far, in my opinion, are the top of the line when it comes to N Scale Trains and I am always on the lookout for them when they come up for auction.

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.