Meet the Artisans

Frank Palmer was born in New Jersey where his grandfather worked for the Erie RR as a switchman. At the age of thirteen he moved to Ft. Lauderdale where he lived near the Florida East Coast Railway tracks so trains were common place in his experience.

His started with his trusty Lionel 027 trains until migrating to HO and G-scale layouts. Frank built an HO layout in the garage of his home and a G-scale layout in the garden behind the home. In 2001 he and his wife moved to Hudson, FL where he joined the Tampa Bay Garden Railroad Club.

Frank is a founding member of the Sundance Central Modular Railroad and continues to be a contributing member to the railroad and the Suncoast Center for Fine Scale Modeling.
Richard Schmitt was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the age of 8 his dad bought him a Lionel 027 train set and he setup his first train layout. Later, he was introduced to large scale trains that could operate in the garden and joined the Tampa Bay Garden Railroad Club. There he met Jim Hopes, Gary Nichols, Keith Wolf, Frank Palmer and the late Dale Mackeown.

Richard became interested in building and kit-bashing, when Frank approached him about building a point-to-point layout that they could take to the various train shows. The idea of a point to point quickly turned into an offset oval layout with two main lines and the Sundance Central Modular Railroad was born in January 2004 for our first local train show in the area.

Richard has built numerous buildings that appear on the Sundance Central and he continues to contribute with additional buildings and details. He is presently working on an Ice House Facility for the yard area and he also builds dioramas for family members.