Mike Broadway grew up in Mobile, Alabama and started model railroading as a child. His interest continued through college and he graduated from Georgia Tech in 1983 with a BA in Mechanical Engineering. After college, Mike moved to Birmingham, Alabama and worked for Southern Company. On a trip to Europe in 1988, he was riding the trains through Germany and that sparked a more serious interest in model railroading. Upon returning to Birmingham, Mike was browsing through Homewood Hobby Shop and asked the clerk how he could get involved in a model railroad club. The clerk gave him the name of Larry Smith who is a Master Model Railroader with the Wrecking Crew. Mike called Larry and was invited to his first Wrecking Crew meeting at Bob Beaty’s house where they were judging structures. The Wrecking Crew had just been formed and Mike was hooked.
In 1989, Mike joined the Wrecking Crew and became very involved in model railroading. Mike has served as President of the Wrecking Crew for 2 years, Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent of the Steel City Division of the South Eastern Region of the NMRA and assisted in Train Shows and Conventions. Mike has achieved certificates from the NMRA for Volunteer, Author and Dispatcher.
Mike started his own basement layout in 1996. It’s a 30’x30’ HO scale layout depicting The Gulf of Mobile and Ohio Railroad in the Mobile, Alabama area. The layout features The Port of Mobile on a 6’x24’ portion which is 90% complete and the remainder of the layout is approximately 50% complete. The layout room has a lay-in acoustical ceiling with dimming fluorescent lights. Code 83 track was used and the layout operates on a Digitrax DCC System. There is a computer interface to operate the turnouts.
After several operating sessions, Mike realized that several of the isle locations were too narrow and created bottlenecks for the operators. So Mike has dismantled a large part of the unfinished portions of his layout and he is now rebuilding it with wider isles for easier operation.
This is an outstanding layout and has been published in Model Railroading Magazine in a seven part article between November, 1998 and May, 1999 entitled Modeling the Port of Mobile authored by Bob Beaty and Mike Broadway. There was also an article on the layout in the April, 1999 issue of Alabama Seaport, a publication of the Alabama State Docks.
Click here to see photos of Mike’s GM&O Layout