“The RAILFANatic” Tells the Tale of a Teenage Trainspotter

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Michael R.S. Ledingham’s new novel portrays young railway hobbyist’s coming of age.

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The railfan sub-culture exists discreetly throughout the strata of American society, regardless of age or social status. The spirit of the trainspotter exists in the hearts of all those enamored with the sight and sound of the locomotive, that massive steel machine rolling along at an implacable pace on tracks that spread like metal arteries across America’s physical and cultural landscape. Author Michael R.S. Ledingham is amongst these enthusiasts, and from his experiences in volunteering for train museum restoration projects and studying railroad history’s pivotal role in the nation’s development, he gives us all a glimpse into this subject with the fictionalized life of a railroad hobbyist in The RAILFANatic.

The story focuses on Scott Brooks, an average high school student who, one day, wanders into the Prairie Valley Railway Museum and discovers a haven of preserved antique trains. The sight of these venerable machines enraptures him and, before he quite realizes it, he signs up to join the ranks of the volunteers. With them, he takes part in the staffing, maintenance and restoration of historic trains, undertaking a great adventure wherein he learns new skills and new things about railroad history and mechanics.

Along the way, he finds not only trains, but adventure, excitement and meets the most eclectic and interesting group of people ever in his fellow volunteers. Unfortunately, his new hobby does not sit well with everyone. His girlfriend feels neglected and his parents think he is being irresponsible. He also seems to rub some of the volunteers the wrong way, namely museum president Larry Chadwicke, who has gone beyond the point of a railfan to being a railfanatic.

As Scott continues his adventure in railway preservation, he tries to balance his volunteering with schoolwork, his romantic life, and his friends. Eventually, he begins to suspect that Chadwicke is causing the museum a lot of trouble, and as ulterior motives are revealed, he is drawn into a struggle. Even those who have never even ridden a train can get caught up in the head-to-head conflict with none other than The RAILFANatic.

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About the Author
Michael R. S. Ledingham was born on September 18, 1981 in Seattle. Although a lifelong Seattleite, he spent most weekends of his childhood at the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie. This gave him a deep understanding and appreciation of trains, as well as the people who volunteer to preserve them. He studied Fine Art at North Seattle Community College, and began taking guitar lessons around this time, developing a new hobby of indulging himself in his love of folk music. Nonetheless, his first love has always been historic trains, and he has been volunteering his spare time at the Northwest Railway Museum. His activities have been all-encompassing, including train crew, track maintenance, and rolling stock restoration. He has also contributed articles to “The Sounder,” the museum’s monthly newsletter, as well as text to the museum’s official website. These experiences were part of what inspired him to write this, his first novel.

The RAILFANatic * by Michael R. S. Ledingham
Publiucation Date: May 10, 2013
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 268 pages; 978-1-4797-8819-4
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 268 pages; 978-1-4797-8820-0
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4797-8821-7

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit http://www.Xlibris.com. To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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