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Yep, I only have three live steam locomotives left. All the others are gone. All my rolling stock too, except three brass shorty passenger cars.

The why is that I haven't run any of them in over six years. I had some very nice stuff... my Catatonk Climax and Heisler, my Mason, my NCNG 4-4-0, my Accucraft 3-cylinder Shay, all in like-new condition... they deserve to be run, not to be shelf queens... and they weren't even that. They were packed in carrying cases or boxes in the garage overhead, never to be seen.

I'm 70 now. Before something happens to me, I'd rather sell (almost), everything and get the cash now, as opposed to leaving it to my wife to dispose of. Additionally, she said if the latter happened, she'd end up calling 1-800-JUNK to come pick it up and throw it away. LOL!!

Far better that someone who will appreciate everything and run everything owns them that for them to end up in a land fill. :)

I'm naturally a little sad, as I had great times at the old QM Steamups and the NSS, and local steamups as well. But those days are gone, at least for me.

Carry on, my brothers in steam!
 

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Dwight,
I applaud your courage in letting go of excess 'stuff'.
I'm 75 and still try to steam up most of my stuff during the summer, normally when friends come over, but often by myself to test and just when I feel like it.
Not too sure when I will recognize the time to sell off excess, or any, but I reckon as long as I don't need the money, and I am still enjoying steaming them, I will keep them.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dwight,
I applaud your courage in letting go of excess 'stuff'.
I'm 75 and still try to steam up most of my stuff during the summer, normally when friends come over, but often by myself to test and just when I feel like it.
Not too sure when I will recognize the time to sell off excess, or any, but I reckon as long as I don't need the money, and I am still enjoying steaming them, I will keep them.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
Thanks David. If I had my own backyard track, it might have been a different matter. :) But I still have my HO transfer line layout to work on, and all my HO equipment, and I don't have to travel any further than the downstairs extra bedroom. :D
 

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David, fully agree, also turned 75 and as you can see from my postings am doing more running than I have in years. Knowing that the years are adding up I'm taking video's so I can still enjoy them when I can't run any more.
Dwight, I am lucky as I still have the elevated track to run on, and YES you did have some real classics, the Mike Chaney's for instance. I can only image the heavy heart you felt parting with your trains. At 70 you still have many to look forward to. LiG
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
David, fully agree, also turned 75 and as you can see from my postings am doing more running than I have in years. Knowing that the years are adding up I'm taking video's so I can still enjoy them when I can't run any more.
Dwight, I am lucky as I still have the elevated track to run on, and YES you did have some real classics, the Mike Chaney's for instance. I can only image the heavy heart you felt parting with your trains. At 70 you still have many to look forward to. LiG
Hi Nick. I think, with each of us, age creeps up on us differently (as with most things). When I moved into this house 6 years ago and change, I was climbing 20' ladders to hang Christmas lights. 6 short years later, no frakking way. I used to love to drive... now, not at all (not to mention I stiffen up in less than two hours, and have to take multiple breaks). I do whatever I can to avoid freeways... not necessarily because can't drive like I used to, but rather because I'm out of practice driving like I used to, and freeway driving at 75+ mph makes me nervous now. It's simply no longer easy for me to drive 1 to1-1/2 hours to a steamup.

For the most part, I've never really been an "operator" anyway. My joy has always been in BUILDING things - not RUNNING things. Even my 7-1/2" ride on... I derived way more pleasure building her than I did running her.

I had a lot of plans for the stuff I sold when I originally acquired them. But many didn't pan out. So I've let those plans go, and passed them on to someone who may pull them off. More power to him. If he pulls them off, my original plans will be fulfilled. :)
 

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Dwight, agreee with many things you said, biggest one is stiffening up after sitting for even only half hour. I am lucky again, no where in Jersey is it legal to cruse at 75, and knowing my reaction time isn't what it used to be causes me to be more cautious than I used to. My job required me to drive many miles each day to different locations, so it isn't one of my favorite activities. And I enjoy the challenge of building and modifying as much as running. 7 1/2" ride on, THAT IS THE ULTIMATE in garden railroading. Do you have any pics you can share??
 

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Man, you guys are bumming me out! Having said that you do have a point. At a relatively healthy 70 I can still do everything I did decades ago only slower and in shorter segments. I am well aware that that can change in a heartbeat. I have no plans to condense my garden railway or sell off any equipment but at some point I know it may come to that. Let me say this. I have had to clean out both my parent's and in law's houses. Most of the stuff went into the dumpster. At the end of the "day", that's where most of our "stuff" will go. Enough of this crepe hanging. I am going out back to run some trains while I can. A little later a wee dram of single malt will do me just fine. Happy 4th!
 

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I have a pal in FL who is 84+ and has quite a collection of trains. When I urge him to downsize, he says he can't be bothered and I can help his wife dispose of it all. I think not.

Personally, like Dwight, I have no track so I rely on my friends generosity. The easy way to downsize, as I did with my collection of odds and ends, is to move into a smaller condo. I have no proper workbench or storage facility, just a few shelves, so when I finish building or fixing something, it has to go to make room for the next project.
 

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Dwight,
I applaud your courage in letting go of excess 'stuff'.
I'm 75 and still try to steam up most of my stuff during the summer, normally when friends come over, but often by myself to test and just when I feel like it.
Not too sure when I will recognize the time to sell off excess, or any, but I reckon as long as I don't need the money, and I am still enjoying steaming them, I will keep them.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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Hi Nick. I think, with each of us, age creeps up on us differently (as with most things). When I moved into this house 6 years ago and change, I was climbing 20' ladders to hang Christmas lights. 6 short years later, no frakking way. I used to love to drive... now, not at all (not to mention I stiffen up in less than two hours, and have to take multiple breaks). I do whatever I can to avoid freeways... not necessarily because can't drive like I used to, but rather because I'm out of practice driving like I used to, and freeway driving at 75+ mph makes me nervous now. It's simply no longer easy for me to drive 1 to1-1/2 hours to a steamup.

For the most part, I've never really been an "operator" anyway. My joy has always been in BUILDING things - not RUNNING things. Even my 7-1/2" ride on... I derived way more pleasure building her than I did running her.

I had a lot of plans for the stuff I sold when I originally acquired them. But many didn't pan out. So I've let those plans go, and passed them on to someone who may pull them off. More power to him. If he pulls them off, my original plans will be fulfilled. :)
I plan to make gifts of my engines and workshop. I do not want to give my wife or children any problems disposing of anything.
 

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Dwight, THAT IS ONE BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF EQUIPMENT. Bet people would see your smile even standing behind you. You mentioned you also built it yourself, I can see the satisfaction you must have firing it up. WOW, BEAUTIFUL.
 

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I just turned 80, and see no point in giving up...all my stuff goes to the group of friends that help maintain, and operate the railroad....FREE to do whatever they want to do with the equipment...AFTER I PASS AWAY.
Fred Mills
 

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Dwight, I've enjoyed your friendship & your mentorship through all those steamups and conventions, & have missed you these last several years! I'm curious about the three steamers you're keeping. I'm guessing the ride-on, the N.P.C. cab forward, and..?

Stay well, and have fun with your 'little stuff', friend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dwight, THAT IS ONE BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF EQUIPMENT. Bet people would see your smile even standing behind you. You mentioned you also built it yourself, I can see the satisfaction you must have firing it up. WOW, BEAUTIFUL.
Thanks Nick. I actually bought the running chassis (the hardest part), already machined, assembled, and running on air pressure. The welded steel boiler was built by a good friend of mine (I'm no welder). The rest I machined and built myself. Again, as with most things, I had way more fun building her than I did actually running her.

I made the boiler jacket from 0.010 blued spring steel I found on McMasters. You'll see a of of this nowadays, but so far as I know, I was the first person to employ this material for this purpose some 15+ years ago. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Dwight, I've enjoyed your friendship & your mentorship through all those steamups and conventions, & have missed you these last several years! I'm curious about the three steamers you're keeping. I'm guessing the ride-on, the N.P.C. cab forward, and..?

Stay well, and have fun with your 'little stuff', friend!
Thank you Gary - I also always enjoyed out times together (along with SWMTP). :D

Indeed, NPC #21 (the cab forward), is the first of the three. The second is my Accucraft SPC 4-4-0, and the third is my Accucraft Mich-Cal 2-cylinder Shay... my first REAL live steam loco (not counting an original "pocket rocket" Ruby). I kept her for sentimental reasons to remind me of the THRILL of my first WELL-RUNNING live steam locomotive!! :D

I still have the ride-on, but I plan to give her to a good friend as soon as such can be arranged.
 

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Yes as we age we all slow down. But, at the end of the day it's all about health. Of course we all have more aches and pains but if the Good Lord made us fortunate enough to were we have no catastrophic illness (And believe me, I know it can happen at any time) then I say keep going for it. I do understand that sizing down can make good sense though, but keep trying to do your hobbies as long as possible. My friend Art is 85 and walks up to my track carrying his Aster Challenger all the time. Try to eat a little better and get a little exercise, it makes a big difference when we are older. That being said anyone can kick the bucket at anytime so try to enjoy every minute.

What a great time if you are young and getting into this hobby. Tons of great stuff on the market going at great prices because of all of this. Sad fact is that most young people could care less about any of the hobbies we like. I know there are exceptions.

I guess I'm also trying to lighten up this thread a little. 🚂🙂🚂
 

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Hi Dwight,


What really blows me away is,
just how fast the years have simply zoomed by
since I first got into Large Scale Trains !!!

Since selling off my house, to be able to escape the Canadian Winters in Florida, I too have begun selling off my excess trains.

During the Heyday of Large Scale,
there were just so many temptations of things to buy,
especially with the later Super Blow Outs.

I think also that David Fletcher was the main driving force of Large Scale way back in the Day.


Norman
 

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A very wise decision, Dwight. I'm finding myself headed in that direction as well...

A good friend and I discuss this at length. There was a time when we thought 'having one of everything' was the way to go. Now I'm beginning to see the error of my ways. Even my large scale stuff is going to get pared down to one small tank engine that fits in my Toyota, a riding car, done. Btw, did you advertise on here?
 
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