Charles Vlk, career model railroader, dies at 78

Charles Vlk, career model railroader, dies at 78

By Bryson Sleppy | February 15, 2023

The lifelong modeler worked for multiple manufacturers.

Email Newsletter

Get the newest photos, videos, stories, and more from brands. Sign-up for email today!

Charles Vlk, career model railroader, dies at 78: Photo of a man on an observation car platform
Charles Vlk, career model railroader, dies at 78.

In Memoriam: Charles Vlk. Career model railroader Charles Robert Vlk of Mount Juliet, Tenn., died of cancer on February 6, 2023, at the age of 78. An influential model railroader, Charles was heavily involved in the model railroading hobby and industry. He held positions at Kato USA and Con-Cor, as well as Des Plaines Hobbies. As an avid Chicago, Burlington & Quincy modeler, he influenced several items produced by those companies, such as the Kato CB&Q business car.

While living in the Chicago area, Charlie helped start an NTrak model railroad club. After moving to Tennessee, he joined a live steam group. With an educational background in architecture, Charlie designed BraNch-Trak. This single track, Code 55 module system was similar to Ntrak but eliminated the quirks that his group of friends found frustrating. BraNch-Trak eventually led to the Modutrak N scale concept.

Friends remember Charlie, a self-acknowledged introvert, as friendly, witty, talented, and loveable as they come. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, children Jennifer and Michael (Lara), and three grandchildren.

You must login to submit a comment