Jim Vail

Steve Hatch


Not sure if someone has mentioned it on this group, but other groups have stated that Jim Vail just passed away.


RIP Jim.


Bill B. 

Jeff Young

What a loss. RIP, Jim.

Craig Linn

Oh no!  RIP Jim.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Jim face to face, but spent some time talking with him over email.  Our hobby has lost another great one!

Art D3

Sad news indeed. I never met Jim in person, but I was truly inspired by his prolific modeling talents. I wish I could turn out models at half his speed.

Art D.

Steve Hatch

A new chat has been created:

Sure a shame to hear about Jim
  He was one of the early members of this group and one of the earliest HOn3 modelers.
I met Jim over 50 years ago. I've run on his RR so many times...
Sad news - Steve Hatch

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Such a loss, Jim got a C&S #74 from me several years ago.  I was always so happy to know he was enjoying it.  Great modeler, great guy, he will be missed.
Cameron - aka Rabbi



Steve Hatch

Re:  Jim Vail

  • Bicycleb
    Today at 5:13 PM
    Now that is sad news indeed.
    Happy rails to you Jim


I met Jim via this list in 1997 or 1998 I think? I was in Menlo Park doing Y2K. I called Jim to see if I could see his layout. He was a very gracious host. We corresonded and conversed and had common ground on most modeling stuff. He was a 'do it' kind of guy. He will be missed.

Dusty Burman

Kent Hinton

Was always gracious, whether as host or visitor.  His layout was a veritable museum.  

Mick Moignard

I met Jim at the NNGC in Pasadene, 2013, and had email conversations with him before and after that.  Lovely man and a prolific and skilled modeler.  I'll miss him, just as many others will. 


James Kendig

I Noticed that his column in the Gazette did not appear in the last issue, so I suspected that he was unwell.  His passing is very sad for us since in my case, his articles both in current issues and past were very informative, and exclusively in our scale.  God Bless Jim and may he rest in peace.
Jim Kendig
Monteagle, TN

Darryl Huffman

Bob Brown was letting friends of Jim Vail know about his surgeries and gave them a chance to sign a get well card to Jim during the convention in Denver.

I first got together with Jim in 1986.

His articles kept me enthused for decades.

My grandson and I visited him in 2003 and my grandson (10) was most impressed with Jim's red 1940s convertible.

Darryl Huffman


I found an obituary for Jim.  Here is the link:




Bruce Dunlevy


Virus-free. www.avast.com


Like others in the model railroad community, I am deeply saddened to hear of Jim Vail’s passing.

I was fortunate to meet Jim not long after I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and was immediately impressed by his wonderful modeling skills and hospitality.  I was lucky enough to be at Jim’s house on some of those Friday nights when he hosted the local group from the Santa Cruz area. There I met the modelers and builders that inspired me to build my own layout, but it was Jim’s comments that were the most valuable and memorable.


It seemed only natural that I would run into Jim and his friend Eric Bracher at a place like Cumbres Pass after I rode Goose No.5 up from Antonito.  Or that hitching a ride with Jim in one of his sports cars over the hill to Carson City to the V&T Symposium would be a day of stories, reflections and laughs.


Steam on Jim.   Mike Laine