Springfield Twp. man turns tragedy into trains

Chet Tippin

There's a hotel and a bank just next door. Then there's a tram that offers one heck of a view. It's an entire train city and Chet Tippin is the Mayor.

I always wanted to run five trains simultaneously and that was my dream, said Tippin, a train enthusiast. Tippin built an elaborate set up this summer at his mothers home in Springfield Township and he controls everything from the deck. He's got an Amtrak train, a cargo train, and lots of other bells and whistles.

When Tippin is at the controls, his mind is on nothing else, and that's exactly how he wants it. [I do it] to keep my mind off of the things that happened in 2005, said Tippin.

You may remember that story. A man walked into a North Toledo gas station and shot and killed his estranged lover and another woman, 27 year old Shantel Hendrix, Chet Tippin's daughter.

This helped me get through the hard times because I could put my mind on this and not think of everything that was bad, said Tippin.

So, the retired roofer now spends most evenings at his train controls, trying to forget, and just like his trains, trying to chug along.