How did you get started? Here's my story...and I am sticking to it! It should be titled, "My History of Model Railroading" but that would be a boring start. Earlier this morning I was surfing the TB archives and found a post discussing the reasons why some of us switched to N Scale. I hope you won't mind my adding to this discussion...I can't seem to find the original posting. I know it's there...Oh...I found it but that was a few years ago. The original poster said it wasn't just about room or space...and I would agree. Here's my thoughts on the subject. As you will discover by reading the following it had more to do with my unhappiness and dissatisfaction with HO. At first, I thought the answer was simple...more room to work thus more railroad! The more I pondered the question...I realized there is more to this story then I can tell here. My first model train was an American Flyer, S scale. Simply no room to operate it. Then a HO scale Revell SP SW7 freight set that I set-up on the living room rug. Not a good idea. My first awareness of N scale was when I noticed N or Treble (only if it's music) Triple OOO, put out by a European manufacturer, published in the model railroad wig wags of the time. It caught my interest. Arnold and Rapido, soon followed with various products although toy looking. There is another thread on line recalling N scale history...you might want to check it out. I did note, Rapido campaigned for and convinced other manufacturers to standardize using their coupler. Gosh, it was ugly...but practical...sort of. At the age of 12 continuing through to 18, during the the 60's to early 70's, saw the start of my serious model railroading. At the age of 14 I built a HO pike on a 4x8. At the age of 15 I had just expanded the original 4x8 layout to a 6X8. Later adding a 3x12 and 4x4. I had a large room in an old high ceiling house that would accommodate the layout. For the first time, I ventured into the world of gradients and a dual leveled layout and first experimented with Atlas's new flex (or flexless) track. Cutting the rail with a hand saw, until I figured out how to set-up my jig saw with a metal blade to cut the track. I've never been a fan of the rail nippers, they squeeze the metal and leave a burr when you nip the track, requiring me to reshape the rail and file off the burr. Availability of products: During the early years, the products available on hobby shop shelves consisted of Atlas, Tyco, Athearn and Revell or the high priced Brass. Oh, and some Tru-scale...not much else. Slim pickings. Most model railroad periodicals emphasized do it yourself or better said "Scratch Building". Yep, I did some of that even tried hand laying track. Most items on the market lacked details and required that you either purchase brass parts or hand machine your own. Kadee styled knuckle couplers although... experimental... were still a thing in the future and NMRA had set the standard with a...well...ugly horn hook coupler. Little to no authentic prototypical realism. RP 25 was introduced but didn't work well the result of a amateurs efforts, with track laying. I wasn't real happy with HO or it's performance. You couldn't back-up a train without a minor derailment and those tight radius curves...what were we thinking? From the late 60's through the 80's: As I watched N scale, Atlas came out with a number of locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars and track. Still not satisfied I continued with HO. In 1969 I got married and most of my model railroad building came to a screeching halt. My hobby was put on hold for almost 20 years. No room in the inn for a layout...time out for babies and the wonders that go with it. I "Wonder", when I will be able to build my layout? Lucky for me I had kids that showed a distinct interest in railroading...in any scale. I did manage to get a N scale layout built for my son who then gave it to his grandpa (my dad). My son received another layout from his grade school teacher...nice job...too. Moving forward to the 90's. N Scale was now a viable commodity with plenty of variety available and the price of N scale was the same as HO. Yes, the need for a room and plenty of space to build the layout was a factor. However, detailing and precise or precision models replicating the real prototype's, came closer then ever. The toy look was diminishing. For HO fans Kadee was now producing a prototypical or correct version of a knuckle coupler. And, they were talking about doing the same for N Scale. Micro-trains, formed up out of the Kadee ranks. Low and behold all of our hollering paid off, flywheels showed up on the horizon. Now they came with just about every locomotive and "Times they were a changing". In 1992 I made a determined effort to switch to N scale as my primary hobby interest. My HO collection was split three ways. I kept certain items and split the rest between my two kids. Which remains with them to this day. My N scale collection is manageable and something I can live with...as a single....in a single wide mobile home. Today, you can buy, just about, whatever suits you with knuckle couplers that actually work. Kato, Atlas, Intermountain and others have improved the performance of HO and N scale equipment. Now you can buy Kato switches with the solenoid hidden in the road bed. No more awkward switch machines sitting next to the switches or under the table installments. My current N scale layout fits into a 10 x 10 foot space. Multi-leveled, 4 track wide triple helix, staging yard, coal operation with what I hope to be the latest in technology - DCC (if they don't price me out). A work in progress... coming along just fine. This is the layout I built for my son and he gave to his grandpa (my dad). It is undergoing a metamorphosis. You can still recognize the former layout as portions of the mainline and roundhouse, haven't changed. Dad, well...He's moved on to the great railroads in the sky. I often think I can hear him saying, "You can't do that"...as I prove him wrong. Me thinks he was just goading me on. And, then I hear him say, "You don't know anything about railroading, but I do", he would brag... and he did. So do I, but let that be our secret...ok? The last time we discussed the layout and my efforts to remodel it he said, "You do know model railroading and I am sure you'll do a fine job". He then went on to indicate changes he would've liked to seen. Those changes are a part of the current re-modeling. I won't forget what he taught me. What fun we had!! Eventually, as per agreement, this layout will be handed off to my son and his little rail fan. That's my story and how I arrived at N scale. A longer epistle then I intended. AND lot's of editing...sorry about that. I'm done editing and there again maybe not. If you want to jump in with your story, don't keep me waiting. There must be as many stories out there... as there is "US"...to enjoy the hobby. Don't leave me hanging...like a hanging chad or cling-on... with the only story submitted. The only question I have is: What took the model manufacturers so long to finally provide the kind of quality and variety...we have today? How much longer can some of us wait for future improvements? (Last Edit...Not...Grin!) Thanks for the read.