Childhood train influence?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, Sep 19, 2008.


How did childhood memories influence your interest in trains?

  1. Main Reason

    27 vote(s)
  2. Partly The Reason

    12 vote(s)
  3. Not The Reason

    3 vote(s)
  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    One of the reasons -- perhaps the main reason -- why I like model trains and real trains so much is because of fond childhood memories of rail-fanning with my Dad and operating his layout. Had my Dad not been such a huge railway fan, I may not have had an interest in trains at all today.

    Watching real trains, as well as seeing layouts, brings back all of these memories. And now that I have two young sons (and the youngest one, in particular, is crazy about trains), I might be seeing the same thing happening all over again.

    So I thought I'd toss this question out here -- it will be interesting to see the results. As I was recently thinking about this, I began to realize I have a number of friends who are very similar to me (same age, background, etc.), yet they are not at all interested in trains.

    Here are my questions for this poll:

    -- Main Reason: I got interested in trains as a kid and it's probably the main reason why I'm a rail enthusiast today

    -- Partly the Reason: childhood memories are only one of the reasons why I like trains. There are several others as well -- i.e. similar hobbies or friends influenced me ...

    -- Not the Reason: childhood memories played no part at all -- I totally became interested in trains as an adult.
  2. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I hope this isn't a silly or goofy question, I'm just curious ... MRR or train-related stuff is definitely a nostalgic thing for me, bringing back all sorts of good memories -- my avatar even suggests this!
  3. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I had Marklins as a kid, and a Lionel set later, but military life with it's constant moving precluded ever doing much about it.
  4. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Saw a Gorgeous Lionel layout and I grew up between the Northeast Corridor and the Mighty B & O in PA
  5. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    My father set-up the first Lionel Christmas layout under the tree when I was 5 years old. A few years later an HO layout went up in the basement.

    I grew up 500 feet from the B&O Philadelphia Subdivison (not far from Mikey). Iuesd to watch the trains roll by from my kitchen window.

    BTW, the Lionel set's locomotive last ran around a Christmas tree in 2007. It is scheduled to make a reappearance in a couple of months. My son has been the engineer the last few years. Three generations have operated that locomotive.
  6. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Wow -- that's impressive! It's neat to have that continuity. I just realized that I have at least two locos, that belonged to my Dad, that I remember running with him when I was a kid. And both my sons and I have run & used these, so I guess we've reached the third-generation mark as well! :mrgreen:
  7. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I also just realized that this may be an "unnecessary or circular" question -- I think most of us train folks are kids at heart! :mrgreen:
  8. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    I had Lionel and other trains as a kid. Watched Shining Time Station on PBS, used to live close to railroad tracks. I had literally a million train related influences in my childhood. Plus I love history and the historical side of railroads.
  9. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I can pretty much relate to this and agree. Instead of Lionel, etc., I had some Hornby-Dublo -- which is sort of the British equivalent although it is similar to HO scale. Railroads certainly featured prominently in my childhood.

    I also really enjoy history and the historical side of railroads.
  10. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    For me its partly the reason. When i was little my grandma used to baby sit me. She lived near the BNSF Main Line and i remember seeing a train go by at the crossings almost everyday. I loved sitting there watching the loud clankady clank of the trains wheels go by, and seeing all the different types of train cars go by.

    Another reason i got into MRR is that i LOVE trucks lol. Trucks and trains have amazed me since i was a little boy. My grandma would used to take me on drives to try and make me take a nap, but whenever i saw or heard a train or saw some trucks or construction, i wouldnt fall asleep lol. It didnt take very long for my grandma to realize that the afternoon drives werent working for my afternoon naps. These afternoon drives became a regular thing, to go out and drive around and watch the trains go by and stop by construction sites to watch them work.

    Then in 6th grade, my teacher and her husband were into MRR and they had a layout at there house in there gargage. My teacher even came up with a project and tied it into our history leason. We spend an 30 mins everyday for almost a month building a layout in our classroom. It was so fun, and my teacher saw i was really into it and she invited me and my family to come over to run some trains on there layout. My grandparents and i went. I saw there layout and it really got me going and made me want to build my own layout. My grandparents took me to a hobby shop and bought me my first train set. From then on, i have been hooked. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  11. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    The Long Island Rail Road, ran a train out to Montauk, late afternoon, called "the Cannonball express". We had gone out to the cottage midweek, and my dad came out Friday evening, on the "Express". We met him at the Bridgehampton station. I was....maybe six, or seven.
    There was a steam loco on the head end, I believe a G5 4-6-0, but it could have been a Pennsy K4*. This behemoth comes screeching, thumping, hissing, hooting, bellringing, steam and smoke all around, scary as (fill in blank)!!!, into the station.
    Scared the ( :eek: ) out of me!
    I've loved steam locos ever since.
    It took about three more years for me to start in the hobby.....been there ever since, still like steam, it don't scare me any more. :mrgreen:

    * The K4 ran on the LIRR, but retained its Pennsy paint lettering,and heralds. The other hand-me-downs from the Pennsy, were repainted, and relettered for the LIRR.
  12. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Yes, there's NOTHING like a steam engine, with its hissing, spraying, whistle, chuffing, etc.
  13. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    I love the LIRR. Its a shame they don't have a steam excursion run out there once in a while. :cry:
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I used to watch trains in the Central Valley of California while riding with my dad in his 18 wheeler every summer when I was out of school. I had a Marx 0-27 train set as a kid. Then when I was in Jr high and high school in Fremont California, the Western Pacific mainline was just behind the back fence at my house. After high school I joined the Coast Guard, and then as life came along I lost interest in trains. After I got married, my wife and I had two girls. One day in the local Toys-R-Us I told my wife, "I'm tired of shopping for girls stuff, I'm going to go check out the boys section, et me know when you are finished shopping." I saw a John Bull set by Bachmann and it looked really neat. I bought it without having any idea what I would do with it. From there as they say the rest is history.
  15. Relic

    Relic Member

    My vote was for "A" The small village I'm from/live in now ,wouldn't be here if not for the railway,It's not much now but when I was a kid there was two sawmills and three stores and had been much larger before that also,my farher worked the section here for 20+ years.When the big station/freifgt shed was here the platform was the place to hang out{jumping our bikes off the loading dock,putting pennies on the track,swimming in the river under the "iron bridge,{when we got older{but not wizer]we would jump off said bridge.
    Now I'm 57 been arruond a bit {like every good Nova Scotian I've done my time "out west" and I'm back home with a layout I love and living about a hundred feet from the CN line.
    Life is good
    send money
  16. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I was influenced by the NYC West Shore line that ran close to my home between Kingston and Saugerties NY. Then Boy's Life magazine ran a series on how to build a 4X8 HO layout. I was hooked!
  17. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    One could rightfully say I was doom to become a railroad man or model railroader..Why is that?

    I come from a family of railroaders..Both Grandfathers,My Dad,all of his brothers,my mom-a clerk typist-all of her bothers and one Aunt-a secretary.
    Dad was a model railroader has well.Of course when I turn 18 I went railroading on the PRR then PC in '68 and later the C&O under Chessie and after '80 under CSX...

    In short...Railroadin' is in my blood.
  18. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I have been a railway fanatic/bore all my life. At the age of 2 we spent a summer with my Granny in Edinburgh and by the end of the summer I knew which tram to take to the museum where I could push a button to see the wheels on a locomotive go round. (I'm ashamed to say that I've forgotten now; the trams are gone and I don't know which museum it was!)
    I had my first electric train at the age of 4 or 5, lots of clockwork before that.
  19. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I'm not sure that it was so much a childhood influence, in that I was not around real trains during my childhood...but there was always a train around the house. Whether it was a tin toy wind up, which later "evolved" into an AF, and from there to HO's...I guess that got me hooked. Never looked back since....
  20. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I know I was attracted to trains from earliest youth, but I don't actaully remember those days. I lived in BC when I was young, and wish I could remember what I saw there.

    My serious interest in railroads doesn't come from real-life experiences at that age, though. I can trace it to some specific books and magazines that I've owned since before I can remember that defined my view of railroads and modelling for a long time.

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