How did you get into the hobby?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by 65GASSER, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    Any of you remember what got you into model railroading? I mean away from the oval sets from christmas and into the grand scale of it all. Not that christmas ovals are bad!!! :thumb:

    My first taste of model RRing was when I was about 8 our Mailman (back when mailmen walked the neighborhood delivering to your door :D ) saw that I had a oval setup in the living room. The next day he brought me my OWN issue of Model RailRoader!!! Since Wal-Mart didn't carry it then, this was a big deal! I was hooked worse than I could ever imagine! I remember the main layout pictorial. It was a diesel era C&NW setup. Thats when I made my first N scale layout. A double oval with crossovers and a small yard in the middle. Was pretty good for a 8 to 9 year old. Ran C&NW. :D
    What about you guys?
  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    My folks got us a Lionel set for Christmas back in '74 or '75 can't remember for sure which. We started out on just the loop but about every other week my dad would find stuff at garage sales or on sale somewhere and brought home tons of stuff. We had enough track to cover half the basement floor although we usually set it up on the big pool table for easier access.

    Time moved on and my folks got divorced in '80. My dad kept the trainset and we would run it on weekends when we were at his place. In '85 he moved down to Georgia for a job and the train went into storage in my aunt's basement. There it sat more or less forgotten for 20 years until I rescued it this past Thanksgiving.

    Now I'm getting into everything trains and driving my wife nuts. I've got plans worked up for our original O27 set, one for the HO set I bought my daughter for Christmas and even planing for an N gauge set later down the line. I'm probably going to sell off most of my music gear to start financing more train stuff. I'm fustrated with music and bands anyway. With model trains, I don't have to worry whether or not the drummer is going to show up. :D
  3. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    My grandfather worked 40 years for the Norfolk & Western Ry, then 'retired' to a little theme park called Tweetsie RR in NC ( He made for me a wooden train from scratch in 1976 (when I was 1) which I will pass on to my son (2 yr old) when he is ready. He plays with it now, but the hook & eye couplers don't stay together well on carpet and he wants to push the train from the rear instead of pull the loco...perhaps he'll work for a commuter line someday? The little wooden trains with magnetic coupling and slotted track work best for him for now. Wish I had had something like that way back when. But I digress...

    Got my first cab ride when I was three on one of the 3' gauge engines down at Tweetsie. Been a steam buff (and interested in narrow gauge) ever since. It's a wonder I haven't gotten into On30 yet. Pulled that whistle cord many times, even shoveled some coal.

    But my first model railroad was an HO scale loop. Eventually Dad put it on a board of some sort. Then the rolling stock and loco acquisition began as I got older. Dabbled in N scale for a while with a small layout in my bedroom.

    The HO layout that I really cut my teeth on was the Atlas 'super pretzel'. That got expanded and revised a few times until after college when it was given to a fellow modeler. He has since revised it again...although it long since ceased to resemble the super pretzel in any way after a major revision in the benchwork, so what he's working with is the basic shape of my benchwork and a totally new track plan.

    A subscription to Model Railroader in '89 really got me going and began the shift from 'playing with trains' to model railroading. (Still room for both in this hobby...but from many of the posts I've read here and elsewhere there are folks who still haven't figured out which they are yet, and that's okay too as long as they're aware of it. Modeling Identity confusion can lead to much frustration.)

  4. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    My wife said I needed a hobby. A buddy was building a layout and gave me an old steamer as an incentive.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    My father was confined to a wheelchair, so I got him a trainset to give him something to do. He wasn't to interested in it, but I sure was. That was twenty-five years ago.
  6. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    As a young boy, I used to run model trains with my Dad on his layout. My Dad, who passed away in 1999, was an avid RR fan and loved model trains. I inherited his collection but put them into storage.

    I lost interest in trains until just a few years ago. My wife and I now have two young sons (ages 3 & 6) and we started taking them to heritage railways and model railway shows as something to do. Then, just for fun, I started to unpack my Dad's model railway items which had been in storage for years.

    Now, "the rest is history." I really got bitten by the bug and have now bought several new locos and stock, and am working on a layout. My youngest son in particular shows quite an interest in trains and model railways, so maybe the same thing will happen with him? And my eldest one likes to help me with the scenery on the layout.

    So it was a combination of positive happy railway memories with my Dad, plus having two boys, and having so many railway items already at hand that got me back into the hobby!

  7. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    After, the "Christmas Tree Oval" period, I had a fairly extensive Lionel layout in my parent's basement when I was growing up. Eventually, I went away to college and then into the Air Force, and my interest waned somewhat (although never really went away). After my military service, I settled here in Upstate New York, in the Finger Lakes and attended the local Railfair. That must have brought the bug back, because the next thing I knew I had joined the club and was put in charge of the Railfair! I then went on to become active in the NRHS, although I had first joined as a teenager and maintained my membership all through the years. I was elected National Director of the Cornell Chapter (the same outfit that puts on the Railfair) and started attending Board meetings. After a few years, I became the Northeast Regional Vice President for the NRHS, which position I still hold. My interest and activity seems to be more in the protptype area, although the Housatonic and Cayuga is in my mind to someday become an HO layout. I already have lots of rolling stock, but no layout to run it on.
  8. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    I'm in the same boat. :cry:
  9. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I started with a Marx trainset at the age of 8. Christmas of 1941. My brother had just returned from a trip to the Orient(he was a merchant seaman) and his ship arrived in port on the West coast on December 10th. He bought what may have been the last Marx trainset in town until the end of WWII.
    At the age of about 12, I noticed a hobby shop while in town one day and got bitten by the HO scale models of the time. Used to bum money (35 cents) from my mother to buy Model Railroader every month.
  10. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    I was quite lucky:thumb:, my dad started model RRing in 1964, that was one year before i was born, so i grew up with it:D. dad had a layout that took up the whole basement, and when i turned 9, we made MY FIRST layout, a 4'x8' that rolled under his huge layout:D.

    :D -Deano
  11. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I was surrounded by model trains my whole life, from Christmas gardens to at least 3 full model empires:thumb:
  12. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    My dad started with a Lionel set in 1937, when he was eight years old. Over the years, he added to it little by little. I remember it in our basement in Brooklyn back in the fifties, when I was younger. We moved south in 1961 (no basements) and his trains were only set up every two years at Christmas in the living room and eventually the dining room as well. I was always allowed to help set them up and run them. After moving out and going to college (1969), I was only able to run them once or twice every few years as our schedules didn't always overlap. Eventually he had eight intertwined loops with seperate trains, which required 2-ZW's and 2-KW's to run. Not sure how his electrical system held up, LOL. Finally around 1986 I had enough extra income to start my own HO layout in a room I built on the backside of my barn. I'm on my third layout (incomplete) in that room right now, but I am winding that one down as I plan on building a new dedicated model railroad building next spring. Need someplace large enough to hold all of the equipment I have acquired. I'm planning a 20' x 40' dual level layout. No helix, just a long graded run from lower to upper level. Two of my brothers got all of the Lionel stuff, darn, my third brother models HO also. The bug hit us all.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I had Marx o27 trains as a little kid, then my got my brother and I Marx ho in the late 1950's, and we tried to build a 4 x 8 layout, but my dad didn't know anything about electricity. We built an oval that worked fine but then put in a diagonal track accross the oval, and it never worked again. I since figured out that we had inadvertently created 2 reverse loops without any insulators! After I graduated from high school, I pretty much lost interest in trains until after I was married and had 2 daughters. After years of shopping at Toys-R-Us for dolls, doll houses, etc. for my daughters, at one trip to Toy-R-Us I rebelled and went to look at stuff for boys while the wife and girls were shopping. I saw the Bachmann John Bull set and bought it. I never got it to run, but we set it up as a static display every Christmas. I eventually bought some Athearn diesel engines painted in Santa Fe and started to model the Santa Fe.
  14. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I was drawn into the hobby by a series of articles in early 1970s issues of Boy's Life magazine (the Boy Scout publication). It was a step by step descripotion of how to build an HO 4 X 8. Nicely done. My parents were cool enough to let me set up a 4 X 8 in my small bedroom.
  15. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    I got my first Tyco set when I was 5 years old. My Dad had it mountained on a board. We moved to our second house in Moline, Illinois. The noard and train was put away. When I was 7, I got my Lionel trainset. Remember in the late 1970's when Lionel was pushing trainsets for Christmas?

    Modelroading got me into electronics. I got out of model trains and got into electronic kits. That led me to CB radio and finally Ham Radio. It's because of model trains and Ham Radio I got my degree in electronics.

    For many years, I was strickly into Ham Radio. I got fed of the politics. I got my son a Life Like trainset for hristmas in 1999. Well, Dad loved it more. So I've been back in model railroading since then!

  16. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Oh yeah...I'm pretty sure my first HO set was Tyco.

  17. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    My cousins house in 1983 he had a train set and a trc ho scale slot car setup. I loved the gears and all that other moivng stuff.

    Recently my dad bought my son a trainset and it rekindled the spark from soooo long ago :).
  18. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    Since I'm a truck driver I get the CB radios ( I just dropped $450 into my old Cobra 29.) But I don't understand ham radios. What is their use? I've never been around them so I'm blind to it. :wave:
  19. cedarcreekrr

    cedarcreekrr Member

    I was first exposed to it 1959 when my brother and I found our older brother's train set in a box and got it out. We played with it alot until we got in trouble for getting into his stuff that was being saved.
  20. rr9731's girl

    rr9731's girl New Member

    I never had much interest in trains until i met my fiancee', railroader9731. I just thought they were BIG noisy machines that kept me awake at night. Well, railroader9731 changed that once we go together, he was watching a movie on trains,and that's when i figured they were more than noisy machines. I found out this when i had the opportunity to stand about 10' away from the CSX tracks and got to experience the feeling of a freight train go by. WHAT A RUSH!!!!!! NOW he has me into model railroading, What an interesting Hobby.

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