About Me

Here's a little about who I am




I've been writing since the age of nine, and I've been a train enthusiast for just as long. Somehow both these things just get in your blood. Growing up within sight and sound of the railway line in Gosford north of Sydney, Australia, I now call south east Queensland home. Since those boyhood days of railway fascination, I've had the opportunity to travel down many long forgotten lines in Australia. It seems that from a young age, I've been blessed with an uncanny sense of noticing when the everyday things around us are about to disappear for good, and the gift to express this approaching sentiment in words. I guess this is the path I was always destined to walk.

On the way to becoming the author of four novels, I never lost my love for anything that runs on rails. When a publishing deal came to an end for me in 2012 that could easily have spelled the end of my writing career, I slid my novels across to Smashwords, and started writing about trains instead. The four Train Tripping eBooks that followed saw me nominated for a 2015 Global eBook Award, and become a Number 1 Bestselling Travel-Reference book on Kobo. In 2016 I went one step further, by writing and producing my first full-colour book, a photographic memoir of a railway enthusiast titled 30 Years Chasing Trains. To my childhood friends this would have come as no surprise. I was doing the same thing when I was 14.

"Phillip (FIL-ip) of English and originally Greek origin (philippos), meaning Lover of Horses."


Well, umm, if you substitute horses for horsepower, you'll understand where my passion for trains comes from. Maybe it has more to do with the fact that my mother worked for the New South Wales Railways on the dining cars of some of the most prestigious trains during the golden age of train travel. Or it could be on account of my uncle who had a 35 year career with the New South Wales Railways, but my parents did meet on-board a train, so railways are in my blood somehow.

For now, mixing a lifetime of railway photography, a love of writing and a pastime of poetry has given me a unique platform to base my future releases upon. I've always done things my way, and releasing my upcoming books independently suits me just fine. Eliminating all the distributors and middle-men helps keep my end product affordable to all, and allows gift shops, tourist railways and bookstores alike to be able to stock my books at the same price as online. At the end of the day, I do what I do solely because I love it. By putting my work out there for all to see, I hope you'll come to love it too.

Until we meet somewhere down the track,
Phill O.

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My own model railway website



This started out as a small blog to document the construction of a model railway I had started building, and has grown to become a model railway reference website all of its own with a growing following. As a writer, this bookshelf-style model train layout stands over my desk, and was built to provide me with inspiration for my next series of novels. However, constructing all the buildings and scenery myself has also proven to be a massive distraction from writing, unless you count all the how-to articles and product reviews that appear over at Philden Model Railway.

That's my own handiwork that sits above my writer's desk. Inspiration or distraction? I'll let you be the judge.