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In memoriam: Model Railroader author John Pryke

By | December 23, 2013

John Pryke was a frequent contributor to Model Railroader magazine

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John Pryke working on the Union Freight RR that appeared as a four-part series in Model Railroader in the year 2000.
Long-time Model Railroader author and staff friend John Pryke died on Dec. 22, 2013, in Chatham, Mass.

John was introduced to readers in 1965 when photos of his prize-winning New Haven RR 0-8-0 locomotive were published. John wrote more than 40 stories for Model Railroader magazine and its special issues on a broad range of subjects, from weathering steam locomotives to modeling a salt-water harbor. All were related to the HO scale New Haven layouts that John built.

Among the staff favorites were his four-part series in 2000 on building the Union Freight city switching layout, which was incorporated into two of John’s layouts. The Union Freight layout was also the basis of the Kalmbach book Building City Scenery for Your Model Railroad.

13 thoughts on “In memoriam: Model Railroader author John Pryke

  1. What a shock! I so much loved his articles. I also liked his model railroad, both the present and previous one. I'll miss his byline in Model Railroader.

  2. His weathering articles are still the standard by which I judge all others. What a profound loss for the model railroading community. My condolences to his family.

  3. I am truly saddened by John's passing. His work was an inspiration to me, and I learned a great from John's articles. My sons and I spent many summer vacations on Cape Cod. John's New Haven layout brought back many good memories of those trips. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  4. John will be missed by many. I most recently had attended two clinics presented by John at two NER/NMRA conventions, one on weathering steam locomotives, and one on an ocean diorama with waves. Both were excellent. John was an excellent modeler, highly detail oriented, and very technically precise. Sincere condolences to John's family.

  5. I really enjoyed John's articles. They read smoothly and easily, and I devoured them all, regardless of topic. I would have enjoyed meeting him. My sympathies to his family.

  6. We’ll miss another great model railroader and sincere condolences to his family. I’m confused with the date he died: December 22, 2013?

  7. Is there an online archive of Pryke’s articles? Would love to see them. Or perhaps they can be ordered from back issues?

  8. Very sorry to hear belatedly of John’s passing. I was much inspired by his work on the Union Freight Railroad, a line my grandfather worked on in the 60’s. You were a master craftsman and inspiration to many!

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