It wasn't my first choice, as ever since I was a child I have really liked the Burlington Northern’s paint scheme of green and black with white stripes. It looked really sharp, and the initials "B" and "N" were two-thirds of my name. However, growing up in Rochester, NY, I rarely saw BN trains, though I did see a lot of lease units which started off as BN motive power.
I joined the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Model Railroad Club ("RITMRC") (http://www.ritmrc.org/) in college and between classes helped work on their layout. I remember around 2002 when the club voted to switch to DCC and I was one of two members who voted against it... I think because we had the largest roster of older Athearn engines to convert! Technology caught up with even me and I started having my engines chipped.
Then, I graduated college and moved to Albany, NY. Here, I discovered there was no local HO club to join and I drifted in my modeling focus. I built an N scale layout based on BN/UP’s "Camas Prairie" line in Idaho which hauled a lot of lumber and grain using first-generation Geeps and F-units. I liked the idea of researching towns along the line (albeit via the internet and books, not on field trips) and trying to mimic track arrangements. But, converting N scale engines to DCC is no fun (nor is working with tiny Micro-trains couplers) and switching in N scale wasn’t enjoyable for me. I still have that layout, partially finished, but a train hasn’t run on it in eight years.
There are definitely more scenic D&H locations to model than the 10 miles between Kenwood Yard and Cohoes that I choose, but I like urban scenery. I like scratchbuilding structures, and having trains snake between buildings, and switching operations. This area, mile for mile, offered a ton of modeling potential. And, it runs through the heart of my new adopted hometown.