Playing with Model Trains

Playing with Model Trains

By Roger Heid


Throughout the past decades, many folks had, and still have, some kind of electric train of many sorts available. One example could be an old Lionel train (O-Scale) that was set up for Christmas, to run around the tree. It may have served just as a form of ornament; it may have been a starter kit for the boy in the family which was frequently the case.

Quite often, however, the man, namely the head of the household, caught fire, expanded the lay-out; the kid wound up just watching, because Dad ruled, at first, maybe forever, thereafter. That kind of situation is certainly not unheard of, wouldn’t you know. In fact, there has been, still is, a great number of variations of this scenario.

Some folks keep their train in a closet and only run it once a year around the Christmas tree. On the other side of the spectrum, there are those who patiently and tediously construct huge lay-outs, utilizing all the latest technology available. All the infrastructure, buildings and landscapes are modeled to exacting standards, according to the chosen era and location. Some lose sleep over it, some don’t.

Then there is everyone else, falling somewhere in between the scheme of things. This is governed by individual goals, endeavors, and desires, available space and budgets, and so on.

In the midst of all this comes a choice of the scale of things. The biggest is the G-Scale; the smallest is the Z-Scale. This is purely dealer’s choice. Each to their own preference! Whatever flips your switch! There are no wrongs; there are no rights.

The primary objective is to have a lot of fun and to make this a truly enjoyable hobby, even to the point of outright fascination. From my own experience, I can tell you that this hobby can become outright addictive. Fortunately, this addiction does not impose health problems, nor does it get you into trouble with the law, unless you break into a hobby store and steal. I wonder if anyone ever did this.

Within this hobby, there is room for everybody, no matter what your individual goals and desires consist of; the sky is the limit, no matter how high or low your sky happens to be. If you are new at this hobby, it behooves you to learn things, in order to successfully reach your goals. If you don’t want to learn, you will wind up being quite frustrated. In order to really succeed, patience is of virtue, for real. There are no two ways about it.

By now, you noticed there are no pictures accompanying this blog. Some things need to be left up to your own imagination. If you want to see pictures, just scan through the Forum. There is an abundance of illustrations of what our forum members are doing or trying to do. It is mind-boggling, for sure. But do not become intimidated. You know, Rome was not built in one day.



One Response to Playing with Model Trains

  1. Gordon Preller says:

    I am relatively new to model railroading – as an adult – having only been into this for the last 2 1/2 years. I’ve been impressed with the variety of layouts and scales, and the changes in model railroading since I first had Marklin trains as a kid.

    Folks who try to accurately represent a specific era, or railroad, or section of line are amazing. Not my thing, but I can sure admire what others do, regardless of scale. I also like to see people getting the starter sets.

    Being an N-scaler, I am a bit envious of all the goodies that are made in HO that are not available in N – like the animated guys sitting at the table in the Bier Garten, toasting each other!


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