SANTA FE – The New Mexico Rail Runner Express (NMRX) is a commuter rail system serving the metropolitan areas of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Over the weekend a model train enthusiast named Clive Johannsen was arrested for setting up an N-scale model replica of the NMRX, and surrounding desert, without a permit.
Authorities stated they found Johannsen next to the commuter rail tracks early Saturday, wiring up his model as gleeful children looked on.
“He had a completely realistic scene set up,” said one arresting officer. “It was an exact version of the surroundings. It ran and everything. He even staged a man getting arrested. It was like he knew he was going to get caught.”
One witness was unapologetically satisfied to see Johannnsen pinned to the ground and cuffed. “It’s practically graffiti, and he should be punished. His little toy was obstructing people with something better to do than to play with toys.”
Nearby, a father of two children, and his two children, were inconsolable. “I used to have trains when I was a kid and I would have loved to learn from this guy. Needless to say, he’s a criminal now so I wouldn’t associate with him. It’s sad on so many levels. But his modeling was a work of art. Truly original stuff.”
Johannsen had apparently worked for months to design his models, create the casting molds, paint them, and incorporate the desert surroundings, all to perfect scale.
Gloria Gertrude, a close friend and model tree foliage expert said, “His eye for the smallest nuance was impeccable. He could bring any diorama alive with that rare artist touch.”
The miniature scene was quickly dismantled and carried away in a shoe box to avoid obstructing additional commuters. Johannsen will be formally charged for defacing public property and bringing a bit of unexpected joy to passersby.
Gertrude commented, “I never expected this kind of rogue behavior from Clive. He was always a model to the rest of the model train modelers. I guess he just wasn’t seeing the big picture on this one.”