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Discussion Starter #1
seems, that i got my philosophical five minutes.
the title of another thread made me think. (Lack of progress excuse!)
i asked myself, why the writer asked for being excused. or didn't he?

well - logical, or not, next question was "why do i modell trains?"
the answer i could give myself was so unclear, such a mixture of different aspects, that i got curious, what makes other persons play with trains. (pardon, to modell trains!)
collecting coins or postage stamps would be so much easyer - so what is holding us to the trains?

anybody wants to lighten me up?

korm
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Good question. Collecting coins & stamps is a lot like collecting pet rocks. P.S. I have a coin collection. How exciting is that? A hobby is meant to challenge and usually represents an intense form of study. Having four seasons does not stop us from enjoying the hobby. The internet allows us to communicate with others around the world. A hobby should also be rewarding and give a person a sense of accomplishment. By communicating with others we can be a source of help and inspiration. No downside. Regards, Dennis.
 

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I have been fascinated with trains since I was a small boy. My interest in all things mechanical led me to take things apart just so I could see how

they worked. Joshua Lionel Cowan did boys of the twentieth century an enormous service when he started his famous train company. The fact that

trains basically built our country also had a deep impression on last centuries youth. It was absorbed unwittingly into our minds, the fact that

railroads played a huge roll in our history. Men of my age split off into two groups in the 60s, trains and cars. Both playing major

rolls in everyday life. But to model a car is to model a car. Modelling trains is to model trains, cars, scenery, mechanical and electrical work,

carpentry, etc, etc, etc. Not to mention, for myself anyway, that I have always marveled at the sheer size of the trains we find so interesting, and

the ability they have in overcomming huge obstacles and transporting goods and people vast distances, while remaining almost part of the natural

landscape, unoticed for the most part. Like most guys, I put the hobby aside for awhile when girls, marriage and raising young families was a

priority. But found that the time separation did nothing to diminish our interest in trains when at some moment somthing rekindled that interest.
 
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We all need something to mess with, for a while it was Motorcycles, then I was gifted with Children-sold all the bikes...I always wanted a train layout as a child...it gives us something to do together.
 

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'cause I can't afford to play with the real ones:D
 

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I have a lot of "reasons" if you will...family history, memories of my youth among them. But I think one of the BIG reasons that I have gotten so deeply involved over the last few years is my work life..

I have been employed in the Outdoor retail industry most of my life. For the last 13 years I have worked for the same company. We sell bicycles, camping supplies, climbing gear, skiing/snowboarding equipment, all the hard and soft goods one needs to have a nice weekend outing or mount a major expedition.

Now, when a "normal" person leaves work on Friday and goes out to play and get away from the office, he'll go biking, hiking, camping, etc.. I still do those things, but that doesn't "Get me away from the office" so to speak.

Garden railroading has absoutely NOTHING to do whith what I do for work. It's one hobby that completely absorbs my interest that has no affiliation with what I do for a living..

It keeps me sane.
 

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For me its because of the enormous variety given by modelling railways. First there is the history, absolutely fascinating and as said previously an enormous part in the devlopment of both our countries, (I live in the UK but am addicted to Colorado narrow gauge). This is then followed the research of perhaps a particular railway and making plans for a layout. Then comes the modelling started by researching into locomotives, rolling stock, buildings, permanent way, signals etc.We then start making things which can involve metal work, wood work, scenic modelling, painting, electronics, kit assembly etc, etc. After that comes another huge piece of fun, actually running the trains. They are not static models sitting on a shelf or hanging from a ceiling, they actually work and can be run remotely and prototypically. For me getting oily fingers playing with live steam models is the 'icing on the cake'although I must admit to a few electrically powered models. What more could anyone want from a hobby? Just some good friends to share it with and the model train hobby is in my experience full of really nice people. I must also mention that a very supportive wife who doesn't moan too much as another large parcel arrives also makes a massive contribution.

Tim
 

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For me it's that I love being outdoors and love building things. I'm not sure why but both make me feel really good. I guess it's the fresh air for outdoors and being able to look at something I built and admire it. This hobby is ideal as I can get my fix of both!
 

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To quote the comedian Tim Allen. "Men can't make babies, so we spend our time building other things." or words to that effect.

What that means to me is that men (no slam against women here) feel this need to create spectacular pieces of machinery to do their work for them. Some examples: Locomotives (of course), airplanes, combines, helicopters, the aircraft carrier, the space shuttle. Even the machinery we use to make machinery, we build it in a complex fashion: CNC lathes, plasma cutters, and mills and the computers we use to control them.

I think the sheer brute force of you average modern locomotive, it's ability to pull thousands of tons of cargo for hundreds or even thousands of miles, is awesome. It shakes the ground beneath your feet when it passes by, causes you to be late for important meetings as it rambles past the very street you planned on using as a shortcut to get to work. It's something that, in many parts of the world, you can still walk up to and physically touch without having to go through government screening. Around where I live there are many businesses that have a siding and it's nothing to be hiking along the rails and come upon a stretch of cars that are parked.

That's what I think of when I watch my trains run around the track. I sometimes wish I had twenty acres (and a schlitzload of money) so that I could create majestic countrysides or major urban cityscapes for the train to travel through.

Perhaps when the Lord calls me home. :)

Mark
 

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When I was 3-1/2 yrs old, a Steam Locomotive "jumped out from behind a building" blowing its whistle and venting steam under the car I was in (the cylinder cocks were open, I assume). It scared me completely airborne... I landed on GrandDad's lap screaming: "mmMOMMY!!!"

Since then if I get anywhere near a Steam Locomotive (even cold, stuffed and mounted in a park) I get an adrenaline rush like some people describe Skydiving or Bungee Jumping provides.

After a lifetime of computer programming where I got the blame for all errors (thus in my profile here my Occupation is listed as "Professional scapegoat, retired") I found I could HAVE a REAL "Live Steam" Locomotive that would run on track I could fit in my yard. I have 2 Aster Mikes and 150-ft of elevated track in two 17-ft dia. loopbacks.

To express my "softer side", I also collect porcelain, one-of-a-kind, Victorian (new but modeling the Victorian era), Designer Dolls. The biggest ones are 1/4 to 1/2 scale so they don't mix well with my trains, but then, my trains are all oily and greasy and these lovelies are much too prim and proper for that.
 

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My early years were spent in a house which had a railway on a low embankment at the end of the backyard. It was in a rural area with a nearby city which meant that there were lots local trains, long distance ones and freight. I guess that instilled the love of 1:1 STEAM trains into me. Diesels have to appear visually nice for me to like them. ;)

I would have liked a model train as a youngster but for one or two reasons I never had one. I spent well over 30 years amassing an amount of OO/HO items, UK and some mainland European, but due to family needs (never any spare rooms) a layout was never built. I sold it all a few years ago.

I discovered that there was available reasonably priced American outline large scale; I then realized I could have a railroad - albeit outside in the garden.
The rest, as they say, is history.
/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif
 

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i too have loved trains since 1957-(born in 1955)

i love em all -european, american, orinetal and indian-theres a commonality

i can project into the photos in many of my train books-thinking of the times, and guess i do so with my trains as well-n scale and g scale-the latter indoors and out in the garden

i like the nostalgia/historical aspect-

i love the sheer size of trains, the industry and the pioneering aspect combined with the established service of large and small towns everywhere

and i love building things too-army plane ship and car and what not plastic and wood models as a kid-

now train things-and i love to paint and add details -not unlike those who love doll houses i suppose-its a cahallenge to try to be as good as the those who are museum quality-i finally have enough $$$ to not try to make do with poor tools, brushes, paints, etc.- i can come closer

i love that they run, and light and smoke and make sound-and that i know how to fix them more often than not

they take me to being a kid-they give me simple joy

i can passivley watch them run with a drink -as i will do when stressed or feeling introverted-or i can actively work and pass time with great focus

and i know ive pissed away a lot of money enjoying myslef in a hobby that continues to become more technically advanced and far beyond toys
 

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I can only remember about a decade from my life where trains were not a part of it, and that was when I was a University student and for a few years after that. One of the first things I did once I had a home of my own was to start a model RR. My father got my started in the 1940s with an American Flyer S-gauge layout and helped me switch to HO soon after that.



So, model RRing has been part of most of my life. I was never a skilled modeller and so playing with trains, including operations-oriented running, was always a major attraction. While growing up, one of the attractions of going into the city was watching the Pennsy's Sunnyside Yards from a LIRR train going into Manhattan and then seeing all the activity inside Penn Station. When I became a commuter, during the twilight years of Penn Station, it was still a pleasure to see the many passenger cars in Sunnyside yard and to watch the activity in the station. I used to walk around inside Penn Station and explored just about every corridor open to the public.



Mark
 

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Always liked trains. Had HO for over 40 years, been in Largescale for about 15 years, been employed by the railroad for 41 years, am an avid railfan as well. Can be a relaxing hobby, either "working" in the basement or out in the backyard, wife knows where to find me, relatives & friends know what to give me for Christmas & such.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
thanks for the answers.
i tried to condense all those different points of view, that unite us:

-- A hobby is meant to challenge ... and give a person a sense of accomplishment

I have always marveled at the sheer size of the trains we find so interesting

We all need something to mess with

'cause I can't afford to play with the real ones

Garden railroading has absoutely NOTHING to do whith what I do for work

the modelling started by researching into locomotives, rolling stock, buildings, permanent way, signals etc.

being able to look at something I built and admire it.

"Men can't make babies, so we spend our time building other things."

the sheer brute force of you average modern locomotive, ... That's what I think of when I watch my trains run around the track.

I could HAVE a REAL "Live Steam" Locomotive that would run on track I could fit in my yard.

I never had one ... I then realized I could have a railroad - albeit outside in the garden.

i love the sheer size of trains, the industry and the pioneering aspect combined with the established service of large and small towns everywhere

they take me to being a kid-they give me simple joy

My father got my started ... So, model RRing has been part of most of my life.

wife knows where to find me, relatives & friends know what to give me for Christmas & such. --



for me, it was the country music i adore.
with increasing understanding of the english songtexts, more and more i noted the role of trains in many songs.
eventually trains were added to my collections of toy-cowboys.
then came interest in northamerican history... trains played a big role there.
well, how to best "use" a lifetime - toy collection? on a layout!
firmly hooked, i have to agree to the words below:

-- Why not? --
 

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Nobody's mentioned the people you meet yet. I didn't start modeling trains to meet people, but the people I have met are an important part of what has kept me at it this long.
 

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WHY do we model - or play with - trains? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/unsure.gif

I dont know...when you find the answer let me know, I'll be out in the train room... /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif
 

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Well, when my daughter Grace was 5, I was looking for some hobby or something we could do together. We both agreed on trains.
.....and that's how the Rio Gracie was started.

Tommy:cool:
Rio Gracie
 
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