God's Wonderful Railway?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. Gixergs

    Gixergs Well-Known Member

    Hi sorry to intrude from the paper forum but I was just wondering if you realised the title Gods Wonderful Railway was what the workers on the Great Western Railway in the UK use to say GWR stood for and with regards to the musician link Rod Stewart recently revealed his love of trains and had published pictures of his layout.
  2. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks! Yes, I did realize that the British often said that GWR stood for "God's Wonderful Railway." There were also a few less flattering versions as well -- i.e., "Good Workers Redundant" or something to that effect! :eek:

    At any rate, the GWR is arguably the most popular and possibly the most modeled of British railways.

    There was also an article on Rod Stewart's layout in a fairly recent Model Railroader -- I think it was the Nov. 2007 issue. As soon as I heard about this, I made a point of getting that issue. I think there are several other musicians and entertainers who are into trains as well.

    Cheers, Rob
  3. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    To provoke a sense of awe.

    Whether it's mountian majesty or man made machines; they can both inspire us.

    Not to mention the modeller's role of playing god as (s)he creates and manipulates h(is)(er) little world.

    I'm an agnostic humanist who can be moved by nature's beauty and human achievement.
  4. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    That's one of the reasons, that I've read elsewhere, which may explain this connection. The railway modeler is in control & in charge of his/her own little world. Cheers, Rob
  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Saw the magazine article, and admired his work. Since we are on trivia, did you know that Frank Sinatra invited the Rat Pack to his home to admire his own extensive model railroad? Turns out old Blue Eyes was also an ardent modeler.

    There was also a bit on the documentary about saving trains in which the noted English rock recording mogul revealed that the great names of rock and roll who came to his office never wanted to talk deals or music - they wanted to talk about hist trains and try to get invited to ride his real railroad.

    I guess there is more than a little bit of child left in all of us.
  6. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    But why would the modeler be "playing God"? Do we punish the locomotive that derails by consigning it to an eternity of damnation? Do we require the rolling stock to gather in the switchyard on Sundays and hum in adoration? Is plugging in the electricity truly "bequeathing the spark of life"? Is the dispatcher giving out the Ten Commandments? Is switching a turnout a command to "go and sin no more?" If the modeler trips and falls onto his layout, is he enacting Armageddon, or just playing out Soddom and Gemorrah, the little switching line on the other side of the view barrier?

    This sort of thing is exactly why I am an agnostic. It's a model railroad, not a universe.
  7. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    When we first moved to Kelso, I tried to get involved with the Chehalis Centralia Railroad, about 45 miles north of here. I managed to volunteer a few days, take the GCOR and pass, certifying me to train as a brakeman, conductor. But that summer got busy with funerals & weddings and other weekend committments.

    The following summer the other pastor I work with had 5-way bypass surgery in May, followed by a month of recovery then vacation in June/July. That summer had already been shot to hell (yes, preachers can use that word!) and it had barely started! So I got up to Chehalis once this summer, and that was just dropping by on the way home from a conference, long enough to poke my head in the cab and say hello.

    Turns out the fireman that day attended a Lutheran church where a previous pastor of the church I'm now serving had served. That pastor had been in town to do a funeral at my church that very day! The fireman and his family were good friends with that pastor and his family. It is a small world, afterall!

    Right now I'm getting to the workbench occasionally...but shingles AND a kidney stone are keeping me down. The pain/itching is not so bad, it's the medicine I have to take that makes me nauseus. So workbench time is at a premium, with a 4-year old for me to watch (he's already been chicken-pox vaccinated) and my wife is busy with the 5-week old, isolated in our bedroom. She's already had chicken pox but the tiny one has not. I miss holding my newborn a whole lot more than I miss the trains!
  8. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Interesting! Did you say he has a real railroad? Just curious! Maybe he's involved with one of the UK's heritage lines? I know he has a huge layout in the U.S. and I think also a British layout in England. Rob
  9. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    My sympathies and best wishes for your speedy recovery.
  10. Gixergs

    Gixergs Well-Known Member

    Pete Waterman the music producer owns several diesel locos and did co own The Flying Scotsman he was a fireman on his local railway before he become a music mogul.I believe he also has a model train company.
  11. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    If memory serves, he owns eleven miles of real track and takes his trains out for a spin as often as possible. He owned the flying Scotsman for about three years, but became disillusioned by all the hate mail when he restored it to its original colors - not "British Green". He owns the "tilting train" prototype and a number of other trains, and employs a full-time crew of experts to maintain and restore them, besides doing a lot of work himself. From the brief bio they gave, he went to work for British Rail at age sixteen himself.

    Sorry I can't remember his name at the moment, but I gather that he is CEO and top dog of the Britsh music industry - representing people like Rod Stewart, The Stones and many other big names, but railroading is his passion.
  12. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I can certainly relate to this. I'd love to be involved at a heritage railway -- keep thinking about it and possibly involving one of my sons. But being a father of a young family doesn't leave me with much free time, especially with so many jobs to do around the house, etc. I'm hoping, in a few years, that maybe we could volunteer one day a month or something like that.

    I can totally relate to your kidney stones -- I had that problem 5 years ago and will never forget it!! :eek::curse: I hope you will have a fast and good recovery!

  13. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks! It's all coming back now -- is his name Pete Waterman or something like that? I have read about 1-2 wealthy people (as you describe above) who have bought and own their own locos, restoring them, etc. I do remember hearing some controversy over the Flying Scotsman ... it's now owned by the National Railway Museum in York and is being restored (and costing MUCH more than expected). Cheers, Rob
  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    According to Gixergs above, that is the man. Lucky devil!

  15. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Yes, and I think there are a few rich folks as well. Actually, I seem to recall that most of the steam locos that run on the UK's heritage lines are privately-owned. Very few are owned by the various heritage railways themselves, but are usually owned by wealthy celebrities.
  16. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I guess they have both the money and the inclination. here in Colorado the Royal Gorge Scenic Railway is owned and operated by a private individual who bought up the abandoned UPS freight line through the Royal Gorge, purchased a few cars and a diesel loco and got it all up and running. since then he has started up moonlight tours through the Gorge, evening dinner trips and is restoring some old glass-domed observation cars. He is making a ton of money, the UP no longer has access to any alternate route westward - dummies - and he has turned the old depot in a nice restaurant for folks coming and going to train rides.

    I imagine the UP wishes they had thought of it first.

    All of the scenic railroads around here are owned privately, including the Cumbres and Toltec, the Georgetown Loop and the Durango and Silverton, and they are all cash cows. History and nostalgia are BIG business.
  17. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    No offense, but I don't think any modelers literally pretend that they are God and punish problematic locos, etc. That would be pretty sad if they did! :cry: All these articles are saying is that a model railway might remind someone of God and creation. There are simply some elements in the railroad world that seem to be similar to spiritual things. Rob
  18. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Hot button

    Hi Mountain Man,

    sign1 sign1 sign1

    Militant Agnostic = I don't know and you don't either!

    sign1 sign1 sign1

    You are confusing god with religion. I only mean that you are being a creator.

    As a (model railroad) god, I create. I don't hang around to watch my creations stoop and grovel before me. I'm more interested in moving on to bigger and better creations.

    Although, I'd be pretty damned impressed if all the rolling stock got together and hummed hossia! :mrgreen:

    I imagine that any real god would be more interested in creating than power tripping.
  19. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Extremely interesting thread.
    I am a christian, from a jewish family (that makes for fun holiday get togethers). I have no religious affiliation, ie Baptist, Lutheran, etc.
    My wife, kids and I attend a bible based fellowship church. The pastor has no interest in trains. He had even gone so far as to ask why I would want to spend my down time with trains. He did not offer any substitute, so he was not trying to get me to be a missionary or anything of that nature.
    I don't think that my faith has any direct connection to my love of trains.

    On a seperate note, Mountain Man, I lived in the Westminster/Thornton area for 7 years. I miss Colorado. That is one beautiful state. I have alot of bad memories from there too, but that is because I used to be a cop and saw things on an april morning that I would give anything to never have it play over and over in my head again.
    I would love to move back there, and if I were able, and my family willing, I would be packing instead of typing.

    Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.

  20. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I play God or Goddess depending on your take... I dress up like Aphrodite and prance around my layout while burning incense and throwing rose petals in the air. Nothing but love for my own little world and the people who inhabit it. Once in a while I play Zeus though and start chucking lightening bolts, however those episodes are few and far between.


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