The story of the Golden~Blackhawk and Central City begins in 1982 when Dave George walked into a hobby store in Colorado and walked out with Z-scale ‘starter set’. What he started way back then has turned into a massive z scale model train layout that has entertained thousands of people all over the United States.
In 1998 Dave retired from Pennzoil after a long and distinguished career spanning 37 years. It was time to turn his attention to the little trains that intrigued him so much back in 1982. About the same time a little 3 year old neighbor boy named Tristen took a keen interest in Dave and his trains and he began calling his train neighbor-friend “Mister Dave”. Dave jokes he made an attempt to be a golfer in retirement – but failed miserably and decided to turn his attention to building big layouts with little z-scale trains. The only thing Dave might like as much as Z-scale is skiing, which he has done all over the world.
Dave attended a train show at George Brown convention center in the Fall of 1998 where he met members of the newly formed Northwest Crossing Train Club. This club like many others encouraged their members to build interlocking model train modules that could be linked together at train shows to form a very large display. Dave was hooked. He joined Northwest Crossing and began building modules.
Dave spent the years 1999 and 2000 building small modules with Northwest Crossing Train Club but after awhile he dreamed of building a truly large stand alone module. It would be built around a central mountain and could be seen and enjoyed from all sides by the audience. Dave built two of these “mountain modules”. The second of these was to become module #1 of what grew into the Golden~Blackhawk and Central City (G~B&CC) model railroad.
Starting in 2001, Dave and his wife Judi gathered a group of friends and family and made their first appearance at the annual National Train Show (NTS) sponsored every year by the National Model Railroad Association. Each year Dave added another module and/or made improvements to the existing modules. The G~B&CC was born and went on to appear at various train shows including the NTS for the next 17 years.
Here’s a quick list of all 17 NTS shows 2001 – 2017;
2001 NTS – St Louis, MO
2002 NTS – Ft Lauderdale, FL
2003 NTS – Toronto, Canada (cancelled due to SARS epidemic)
2004 NTS – Seattle, WA
2005 NTS – Cincinnati, OH
2006 NTS – Philadelphia, PA
2007 NTS – Detroit, MI
2008 NTS – Anaheim, CA
2009 NTS – Hartford, CN
2010 NTS – Milwaukee, WI
2011 NTS – Sacramento, CA
2012 NTS – Grand Rapids, MI
2013 NTS – Atlanta, GA
2014 NTS – Cleveland, OH
2015 NTS – Portland, OR
2016 NTS – Indianapolis, IN
2017 NTS – Orlando, FL
Dave and his “crew” of friends traveled everywhere to set up and take down the ever growing Golden~Blackhawk & Central City model railroad – with a few fun filled days at the show running Dave’s z scale trains in between the travel and setup activity. There are many funny stories and good memories of these 17 years ‘on the road’ with the G~B&CC.
But in 2018 the city of Tomball, Texas offered a permanent home to the G~B&CC in it’s restored 1907 Train Depot and Dave made the difficult decision to setup the layout one last time in it’s present home. Dave’s friends John and Kathryne Buckley were proud members of the G~B&CC Crew for many years and they joined Dave and Judi in creating a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation to own and operate the model train layout for years to come at Tomball.