Charlie W. Getz, IV, HLM (HO)

Prior Positions

Past President

Charlie was born in Japan and credits this for his lifelong love of rice and brass engines. His father, a member of the U.S. Occupation Forces, bought him his first Lionel train set in 1956, although the model railroading bug didn’t bite until five years later when he received a Mantua General train set, complete with a Life-Like grass mat, lichen, and assorted kits. A subscription to Model Trains magazine inspired his first oval layout on a ping pong table. Prophetically, his second layout, built in 1963, contained a section of HOn3 track. Equally as prophetically, the first model railroad he ever visited was John Allen’s Gorre & Daphetid.


He continued to model throughout college and became an associate member of the Slim Gauge Guild. After graduating from law school he began a 40-year career in Environmental Law with the California Attorney General’s Office in San Francisco. He retired in 2012.


Charlie served as Western Area VP on the Pacific Coast Region Board, as well as President, PCR Trustee, and At-Large North American Director. He chaired the Long Range Plan Committee and was the primary author of the new NMRA regulations. He’s received numerous President’s Awards and is an Honorary Life Member.


His current modeling plans include building two layouts in his California home (1948 Rio Grande Southern in HOn3 with parallel scenes in On3), and a freelanced HO/HOn3 layout in his Colorado summer home basement.


42 Madera Ave.
San Carlos, CA 94070