How long have you been Model Railroading?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by shamus, Sep 21, 2001.

  1. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    For myself, I started at the age of 7 (Now 65) I started with an 0 gauge wind-up BING (Wish I still had it) then a little later in life came 00 british followed N-scale then came the HO American which has stayed with me.
    I don't know what it is with model railroading but whether it's the building of a model railroad, or the excitement , or maybe the challenge, or just the sheer magic of creating a dream come true. To me, I think it is like the little boy seeing Disney Land for the first time. Was it the exhilaration, the wonder of it all, or the enjoyment, which stays with him for ever so likewise will model railroading for me.


  2. Cactus

    Cactus Member

    Since July.

  3. How long? Which time? :)

    As Shamus, I first got in about 7 or 8 with a Marx tinplate keywind O gauge. Then a Marx tinplate electric. When I was 14, I saw HO for the first time and that stuck with me. My neighbor had a bedroom full of HO. It was Plywood Central, but impressive. He took me to several different hobby shops as he repaired equipment for them. Then came 16, cars and on to the Navy and work and marriage and kids.

    I returned to the hobby in 1971 when I built a 4x8 layout for 3 of my boys and later two others for 3 other boys. (We have 9 children, all grown.) After that, I suddenly realized that model rring wasn't THEIR hobby but mine and I have been building and rebuilding my HO railroad since 1980.

    I'm 62.


    Roger Hensley -
    == ==
    == East Central Indiana HO Scale Railroad ==
  4. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    What? Not until next week? HOW long?!

    I've always liked trains, of course, but my dad bought a layout someone else had built (based on Atlas' HO-32, Apex and Hypotenuse) and rebuilt it. There was very little scenery--the idea of making a realistic landscape never even occurred to me then. And I had no concept of operations, switching and so forth. But I still had a lot of fun playing with it. By the time I was a teenager, though, I had pretty much lost interest.

    Then about a year ago this past February I picked up a copy of Model Railroad Planning 2000, and was instantly hooked! My son had already taken an interest in trains, so he just fueled the fire for me. I experimented with some small layout designs in N-scale, and this past June I started construction on my current layout (based on Atlas' N-11, Unhinged and Horizontal). Funds for the hobby are scarce, so progress is slow; but I sure have had a lot of fun with it!

  5. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    My TOOT track

    "Stuff it!" I said. Call it growing up or what ever. "I'm gunna build me a trainset!" I said. Past Chrissie presents I have bought myself have been a new car, a new house, a new stereo, a big TV, a swimming pool, a plane ticket and all that kinda stuff you always wanted. All sorts a stuff. This year it was a train set! Needed something to keep me at home and outa the pub! I tried when I was 16 or so, but other things of youth got in the way. I went to the train shop and bought myself a bita track and a loco. Wizzed it up and down the bench and said "Uh Oh"... Looks like I'm gunna have to build on this! Garahbara has grown from there. About 9 months now. (gestation period??)

    It's not really the childhood dream realised, but more of an individuallity thing. An interest and determination that says "i dont' care how daggy YOU think this is, It's want I wanna do"

    Now they all think it's fabululous and want a piece of the action! Pity that wasn't the case in my youth! ( or was it????) It was so long ago.
  6. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    Been in it since I was 14 or 15 (1948-49) and don't really recall exactly how I got started. Probably it was the hobby shop in the small town in Oregon, near which I then lived, which had what seemed like a monster figure-8 layout (probably about 5x12 feet.) My first loco was an HO Mantua Belle of the Eighties, 4-4-0, simply because that's what the hobby shop had in stock at the time. That got me interested in pre-1900 railroads, and I've stayed with that ever since. (Wish I hadn't sold the Belle. It wasn't very well proportioned, but now that I've reached old-farthood, I sure remember it fondly.)

    It wasn't always easy: My father thought I was too old to "play with toy trains," amd didn't mind telling me so. When I was about 15, I took a model structure I'd scratch-built from card stock to school for some sort of "show and tell" and got into big trouble as the teacher refused to believe I had made it by myself --- called me a liar! Then there were girls, and cars, and girls, and 4 years in the Air Force, and girls, and college, and girls, and boats, and a broken neck, and women.....

    .....So I had a number of long periods when I wasn't active in the hobby, but always retained the interest, and always went back to it sooner or later. I've had several layouts, but have not had one now for a number of years. Getting ready to start the final one in about a year --- when I finish a major house remodel. It won't be large, but should be the best I've had, and should keep me busy for a good twenty years or so, by which time my eyesight will probably be bad, my fingers won't work so well, and I'll be drooling or something, so they'll be hauling me away to "the home." So a twenty-year project is probably just about right.
  7. jimnrose

    jimnrose Member

    Three years ago, at the ripe ago of 60,I got interested and was
    immediately hooked not only with the modeling detail but the excitement shared by the hobbiests of all ages. I've been working on my HO layout as well as participating in two clubs and loving every little detail.
  8. Catt

    Catt Guest

    This time around? Since 1978.Actually on again off again since I was 6 years old:eek: My first set was a Marx electric set ,then on to Lionel followed by American Flyer S gauge.Got into HO about 1958.Went back to Flyer in 1961.then found girls were softer,cars were faster.Got back into it full tilt in 1978 and haven't slowed down yet.:D :D
  9. jimmybeersa

    jimmybeersa Member

    How Long

    When Steam was King and I was a kid the bug bit,Grew up whilst WWII was raging so no toys or train sets were available, After a spell in the Navy. Met a girl got married and guess what my first layout (HO) was on a board under our double bed (much to my new wifes disgust,still am married to her after 49years) Have had a few layouts since then HO and N , glad that I have kept most of the rolling stock I purhased for each layout, Got a tinplate Marklinn centre stud purchased in the fiftties still in the boxes, wonder what its worth? No layout now just a live steam loco in 5", but thinking very seriously about buildng an automated Quarry Diorama, my Grandsons think it will be fun to do it electronicly,must say I will try with their guidance, at 70 I have not reached my "Sell by " date yet, my daughter-in-law tells me I am the worlds oldest teenager
  10. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Well, I'm a VERY short - timer (compared to most of you) !

    Started about 10 months ago.

    Well, I had a train set when I was about 10 - but that was 40 + years ago!

    First I rode the Southwest Chief on a return trip from Kansas to Iowa (well, Galesburg, IL).... then thought that modeling the Chief would be fun ... then got interested in ROCK ISLAND history, locos and rolling stock....and of course HAD to have our local IMRL #202 when it came out....

    eh....I tend to go "nuts" (read "go broke!") when starting a new hobby - but they say I'm much better now! ;)

    Anyhoo, I'm now trying to make a nice "home" for my fleet - any ideas about how to put the MISSISSIPPI into a layout ?

    Wish me luck !
  11. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Lets seeeeeeee. :) I started seriously modeling in 1984. With HO, then sold it to buy N Gauge (hence my moniker). Then built random "shelf pikes" out of N & HO. a Z gauge "Briefcase layout". and also a 9 X 12 G Scale 3 level layout. In 2000, after 16 years I have 6 "places" to run trains. 3 shelfs, 1 in my office at work, 1 in the living room, and 1 that goes around near the ceiling in my Dining Room...The G platform, and the Z gauge, and an N gauge in my coffee table.
  12. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    First train...........

    Shamus and others:

    My first train set I recieved was at the age of 5. However, modelling was only in the last couple of years.

  13. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    N Gauger, you are my HERO!!! hehehehe Between my son and me, my poor wife doesn't stand a chance! She's slowly being inundated in trains!

  14. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I guess I was about 5 when my Dad got me a Marx set. He nailed the track to a piece of plywood, & I played with that for a while in the attic of our house. I guess I was about 8 when I saw an HO display layout in a dept. store window at Christmas. Well, guess what I asked Santa for that year! Well, Santa came through, & Dad once again set it up for me, this time on an old ping-pong table in the basement. I remember it was one of those Tyco sets, with the automatic log dumper.
    Then those adolecent hormones struck, & everything was eclipsed by girls, cars, & rock & roll! (usually in that order)
    Then came graduation, girls, cars, & rock &roll, a stint in the Army, girls, cars, & rock & roll, college, girls, cars, & rock & roll, & then...BAM! Marriage, career, & babies.
    One year at Christmas, when my oldest two kids were still little, I remembered that Christmas train I had seen all those years before. I decided I was going to put a train under our Christmas tree. I bought a cheap little HO set, & also picked up a magazine at the hobby shop that had a feature in it about George Sellios' Franklin & South Manchester. Well, to make a long story short, I went nuts over that, & I've been there ever since!
  15. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    roryglasgow, That's where I got my Sig quote, I have a VerrrrrY Understanding Wife. :) She says she doesn't care where I put the trains, just so they don't go in her "office" (a converted bedroom).
    Hope you & your Son have a Great time modeling. My 2 step-daughters aren't really into modeling they just like to watch 'em run.... lol

    Seee Ya!!!!
  16. michael l

    michael l Member

    let see,

    i received my first real lionel train set when i was about 10.. Northfolk and Western J with the 6 car passenger train...

    i am 33 now.. so... say 20 years.. there was about 3 years of getting away from the hobby period...

    loved every minute of it!

  17. JeffGerow

    JeffGerow Member

    My dad broke the train he was going to give us a couple of days before Christmas. I think it was 1956 when we got that working American Flyer diesel and the broken steamer. My brothers and I had some fun with that for several years before all that adolescence stuff set in.

    ...then it was 1985, I had just finished a hot tub room addition on my house and had some 1x3 and 1/4" plywood left over ... which became the Winthrop and Rangeley Lakes Railroad (the 1/4" ply should've stayed in the scrap bin, it proved to be a lot of work to keep flat). It's only 5x11' but it gets a spot at one end of our living room (not the den where we actually "live"). I put plexiglas panels on the front for the arrival of our first child in 1989... And my now 12 yr old is interested in changing the former O guage American Flyer table at the other end of the room to HO and connecting it. I guess it's really a "train room" now.
  18. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    how long

    Back in the late '30s I wanted trains, and that being a rough time, I got the $0.98 wind-ups. I always wanted one that would back up. Those electric cost $3.98 and up, so I never got one.
    About 16 years ago I found a couple at yard sales. I had so much fun that my wife gave me an Atlas RS-11 for Christmas that year. I was hooked.

  19. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Like several others, I started early, being fascinated with my older brothers Lionel trains. At age 9, they became mine when he went into the service. I started in HO at that time also. After high school, model railroading went into hibernation for quite some time. In the early 80's, I came back, and have been working on my current layout for almost 4 years. The quality and accuracy (of models available ready to run) achieved in the last 5 years is just amazing. A great time to be a model railroader!

  20. justind

    justind Member

    Not long...

    Got a lionel O-gauge steam when I was about 9, and an HO diesel setup at a garage sale for $5 when I was about 14, then it got garaged at about 16 when work and girls got in the way...not many girls, mostly just work (guess that makes me a nerd...and a computer programmer too, man I am on a roll...anyway)...after being married a year I told my wife I like the trains, and low-and-behold I got some life-like loco and track for my anniversary. Haven't spent much money on it since (not a good programmer I guess, how sad) but it is enough to keep the hobby alive. I am in an apartment and doomed to move within 2 years to pursue work, and with kids and the rest of the married business I am sure I will fall out of the hobby when the first little ones come. Look forward to actually having a layout when my life settles down some dad has been fighting to have one his whole life, but collecting and making guns has kept him from pursuing it. Anyway, that is more of a life story than an answer, sorry (7 years...just not back-to-back)

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