Roadside Attractions

Overdrive Staff | January 05, 2011

1. San Diego

2. San Jose, Calif.

3. Charlotte, N.C.

4. Phoenix

5. Columbus, Ohio

6. Indianapolis

7. Los Angeles

8. San Francisco

9. Austin, Texas

10. Jacksonville, Fla

Devoted to diesel

Leonard Roberson says he loves the smell of diesel engines. He loves their power. He loves the machines they power.

A yard for trucks and other heavy-duty equipment is part of the landscape surrounding the model train tracks where owner-operator Leonard Roberson practices his hobby.

“For me, trucks and trains run hand in hand,” says Roberson, an owner-operator leased to Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based Barnett Transportation, “Both of them have that power and that torque, and they both run on diesel engines.”

He’s been driving for nine years, three of them as an owner-operator, but his true love is model trains. Roberson’s parents gave him a train set as a child, and he expanded his hobby until he was in his teens. In 1994, after losing his collection to a house fire, he “just sort of let it go.”

When he moved to Northport, Ala., in 2006, Roberson says he resumed collecting when he discovered the Northport Train Depot. That’s where he and about 25 others in the Black Warrior Model Railroad Society build and maintain an elaborate model train track and village in the converted building. Roberson has gathered more than 40 train engines and more than 200 cars from hobby shops and the Internet.

“As I got older, I wanted to get back into it,” he says. “So that’s what I ended up doing.”

James Jaillet

Better health


Your body needs a lot of water to perform its daily functions, and drinking plenty of it can make you feel more energetic. Keep water with you at all times.


Make your night’s rest more effective by developing a routine of relaxing activities. Taking a warm shower or reading a book should help your mind and body wind down.


If you have extended downtime in a strange city, go for a walk. Local tourism agencies often have information on walking tours. Many urban trails can be found at or


When choosing physical activity, set yourself up for long-term success by doing something you enjoy. Mix activities for variety and more comprehensive conditioning.

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