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Thread: Model railroads

  1. #1
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    Model railroads

    Over in the Lego thread, model railroading came up. I thought I'd see about who's interested in this hobby, why, and what you model.

    For myself, I was always fascinated by trains and got my first set when I was young. It didn't become a serious hobby until in my late teens after seeing a few magazines. I like the multidisciplinary nature of the hobby, wiring and electricity, art (sculpting, painting) and just watching a train go by. 8)

    I model the CN (Canadian National) in HO scale. Canadian railroads often present a challenge to model as models are promarily made for the US market, and Canadian railroads have many unique charateristics to their locomotives requiring sometimes extensive modifications (but its getting better).

  2. #2
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    I model the North Eastern railway in the early 1920s before it was grouped into the LNER in the Teesside and North Yorkshire area.

    Most of my stock is built from whitemetal and etched brass kits although I have some detailed Ready to Run from outside my time period, just locos that I have taken a fancy to including a few US diesels, I like the Dash 7s and SD40s.

    I don't have a layout I go up to the Cleveland Model Railway Club on a Tuesday night and run there, we have a huge fixed layout set in a 'generic' time period and a coupe of portable exhibition layouts, one set in modern era based on a generic Northern industrial area and countryside and one set in 1942 based on the Middlesbrough to Whitby branch.
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  3. #3
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    I've been interested in trains since I was a very little kid. Growing up in New York City I was particularly interested in the subway, but also went to lots of fan railroads across the Eastern United States. I modeled in HO from about the age of 8 to about 18 or 20. I then dropped it for a long time.

    About 5 or 6 years ago (I'm now 46), I decided to get back into it. I model an imaginary branchline of the B&O in Ohio (similar to the line that went to Fairport Harbor, if that means anything to anyone). I model the mid 1950s, a very popular time period, because you can model both steam and diesel.

    I work in HO and have a 4 x 8 foot layout that models the Lake Erie port at one end of the line. I've been working slowly on it for years, track is done, I have most of my buildings done, and about half done on scenery. Buildings and scenery are my favorite parts; most of the buildings are from better quality kits that I've modified and improved.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  4. #4
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    I've got a rather large collection of Lima HO. Mainly french and german railroads from the 70's-80's (that is waht they model, most are built in the 80's). I've got both cargo and pax, mainly cargo. I also own some decor elements. I've never had space to do a serious layout (I've got lots of tracks, and I'd like to use them). So if I ever have the space, I'll build myself a serious layout with the material I've had for years already.

    I've also got a Märklin HO set of a last-age steam locomotive, 3 double "Mannesmann" gas pipe transport wagons (metal gas pipes 8) ) and a lighted closing wagon. Unfortunately, that set isn't compatible with my railroad. So if anyone's interested... :P It's still in the box.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas
    I've got a rather large collection of Lima HO. Mainly french and german railroads from the 70's-80's (that is waht they model, most are built in the 80's). I've got both cargo and pax, mainly cargo. I also own some decor elements. I've never had space to do a serious layout (I've got lots of tracks, and I'd like to use them). So if I ever have the space, I'll build myself a serious layout with the material I've had for years already.

    I've also got a Märklin HO set of a last-age steam locomotive, 3 double "Mannesmann" gas pipe transport wagons (metal gas pipes 8) ) and a lighted closing wagon. Unfortunately, that set isn't compatible with my railroad. So if anyone's interested... :P It's still in the box.
    Originally when I got back into it, I was originally planning to model Dutch NS railroads (Dutch background). I had a few passenger cars and locomotives, but then realized I really like the North American stuff better.

  6. #6
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    I've got no Dutch trains (I see them more than enough in reality and I think the majority of them is just plain ugly ). I have one AMerican locomotive with boxcars (Santa Fe style loc). But I don't like that theme, I don't know it just doesn't interest me. Rural/industrial combinations for those german railroads (combined with french, italian, swiss) are my preference.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  7. #7
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    I started out doing N scale. Had grand plans of an around-the-walls layout in a future basement. I had started on a 4x8 island for awhile. Then I got involved in 12 inches to the foot scale. And it's cheaper for me too!

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    My grandfather spent his life working on the B&O, and I loved the trains. I could spend the entire day "visiting" grandma by running down to the tracks and hanging around.

    I love passenger trains roaring along, and though I have not had a layout in many years, I still have a closet full of rolling stock etc. My area of interest is the Potomac Valley from Washington DC to Harpers Ferry WVA. I read the magazines still and always am asking for railroad books at Xmas. My main interest is the early diesel era, 1950s.

  9. #9
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    I used to do that as a kid. The primary reason for not having a layout now is space. A little house means fewer hobbies. Take note when buying that first house. Anyway...

    The coolest thing I've even seen is a layout in a fish aquarium at a hobby shop. It had an oval track with two sections. A hill with a tunnel. There were fences, power lines and trees with tiny little birds sitting on them. Lots of detail. I've planned on making one myself ever since. One day...

  10. #10
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    If, like me, you don't have the space for a model RR, but you still want to play with trains, you might want to check out Railroad Tycoon 3. It's the next best thing and a lot of fun.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krevel
    If, like me, you don't have the space for a model RR, but you still want to play with trains, you might want to check out Railroad Tycoon 3. It's the next best thing and a lot of fun.
    I never could get into it. The scale distortion of the trains really bothered me. Felt like I was running a child's wooden train rather than a few hundred tons of iron. I preferred RT2's scale for that, although the economy in RT3 is a bit closer to real-world.

    Microsoft's Train Simulator is decent too.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  12. #12
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    I do have MSTS. Haven't fired it up in a long time.

  13. #13
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    I had several HO layouts as a kid - including mountains, tunnels and towns. I gradually added more and more, and at one time even had HO scale streetlights. My layouts changed in size, some large, some small depending on where we lived - (we moved around a lot.) Then my dad started bringing me home those Airfix model plane kits (back when they came in plastic bags.) As my interests in 1/72 scale model planes grew my runways for displaying various aircraft overtook the rail lines.

    Today we live near train tracks and can hear freight and Amtrack rumble by, and blow there horns every day. We catch the train to San Francisco once in a while. We also have a rapid transit station a block away. We have a huge and splendid RR Museum in Sacramento too, (which also has a model train display,) and I encourage all RR fans to visit it. :wink:

  14. #14
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    I see the real Thalys trains running 20 meters from my house every day 8)
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzp
    My grandfather spent his life working on the B&O, and I loved the trains. I could spend the entire day "visiting" grandma by running down to the tracks and hanging around.

    I love passenger trains roaring along, and though I have not had a layout in many years, I still have a closet full of rolling stock etc. My area of interest is the Potomac Valley from Washington DC to Harpers Ferry WVA. I read the magazines still and always am asking for railroad books at Xmas. My main interest is the early diesel era, 1950s.
    Enzp, you may be very interested in this group B&O RR Historical Society. I've been a member for a while and they have a very nice magazine.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  16. #16
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    Thanks Swift. I am familiar with the museum. I thnk they recently reopened after the fire damaged it severely. Yes?

    There also is a nifty small museum in Brunswick , MD centered around the B&O and its one time important yards and facilities. That is where my grandfather worked and lived.

    http://www.brrm.net

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Kidd
    I started out doing N scale. Had grand plans of an around-the-walls layout in a future basement. I had started on a 4x8 island for awhile. Then I got involved in 12 inches to the foot scale. And it's cheaper for me too!
    Living just a few miles from one of the UKs biggest preservation lines the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and a reasonable drive from the Keighly and Worth Valley and the Skipton and Embsay railways I have to agree with you there Captain.

    Plus the National Railway Museum is only an hours drive away in York, the biggest railway museum in the world and it's free. Just an hours drive the other way is the new National Museaum Annex at Shildon on the site of the old railway Waggon Works. It has it's own running tracks.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzp
    Thanks Swift. I am familiar with the museum. I thnk they recently reopened after the fire damaged it severely. Yes?

    There also is a nifty small museum in Brunswick , MD centered around the B&O and its one time important yards and facilities. That is where my grandfather worked and lived.

    http://www.brrm.net
    It's my understanding the museum reopened. I'm not sure, but I think this group is separate from the group that runs the museum. Obviously, they have common interests.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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