Jan 13, 2001
Your right Fitz, "Steam will Rise Again !!"
My families' 4x8 got it's start just before Christmas 1956. My older brother was just 9 and I was 6 (my little brother was only 2). Dad "worked" late putting the loop and siding together. Unfortunately (for him)late one night, the American Flyer Atlantic flew off the tracks and lay inert on the floor. Fortunately (for us), he still had time to buy one of those rubber-band drive diesels so we had a moving train on Christmas morning. After building many layouts in the basement, Dad traded that S gear for American Flyer HO in the early 60's. After several more trains "around the Christmas tree", cars, girls (and hormones) took over. After marrying, buying a house and doing some renovation (to same), leftover wood and free-ed up time led to a renewed interest in this hobby, resulting in a 5x11' HO layout in one end of our living room. Now my 11 year old is expressing some interest in having his own, so an annex is starting at the other end of the room with future connection possibilities.
Found a Pre-war American Flyer O guage Atlantic a few years back, and that's now the train under the tree -- especially enjoyed by my 6-year old. Love those operating accessories.
The 48 in rsn of my "handle" is the year I was born..lol. I was going to say I started out like everyone else, but that isn't true. My mother's father lived in Jasper Alberta where we would retreat to when my father (in Canadian Army) would be away for peace keeping, extend summer maneurvers, or foreign posting. I lived in Jasper (rocky mountain town) about 8 different times. My grandfather was an engineer along with his son - both for CN. So part of my life was living and playing around the railroad: this hook was in the mouth but hadn't been set - this wouldn't happen for years).
The first train I received was from my grandfather at around 4 years old, I don't remember what it was, but I can remember being dissappointed because it was wind up and not electrical. My second train was Lionel which I received at Christmas. I never did a layout, I was the kid who wanted to race engines, smash engines, and generally do what they weren't meant to do on the rug in our dining room.
It wasn't until my son (BCRailKing) was born that things began to develop. First my mother bought him a pull string train, then an engine with battery, then into brio, and this set the hook in him. He was into trains. Then for Christmas I got him two train sets and set up the proverbial "cork and plywood" layout in our study.
From there, he discovered BC Rail and began reading its history at about age 7. We railfanned the BC Rail station in North Vancouver all the time - this meant a couple of times a week for years. He fell in love with the Royal Hudson steamer and the Consolidation 3716. Then a hosting staff "discovered" Dane when he was 11 on one or our railfanning events watching the return of the Hudson excursion train. He was blown away by Dane's knowledge and invited him on the Hudson for some illegal guest appearances. The rest of the staff were impressed with him. The next year he was invited back to be their "technical reference" for harder questions passengers had, and to talk to rail fans on the excursion train.
A few years ago, I decided to volunteer at our local NMRA train show held in November, using some of the cadets I worked with to help with security at the show. I was invited to a thank you dinner where I met a man - John Green - who is very active with the NMRA and is modeling the Kettle Valley Railroad in HO. We were invited to his home, where I saw my first basement layout. We have been going ever since, helping and running and learning. I see it as serving an apprenticeship into model railroading.
Then I decided to get real with model railroading and do a "proper" layout. The only space available was our study. And after many months of "angst" sweating out what to do with it, I decided N scale was the way to go. I bought my first N scale set and when I set it up on plywood I thought how pathetic it looked. I was nervous about making the switch. After seeing an excellent NTrack layout in Lynden Washington at their annual show,I decided that N engines and cars needed to be on a nearly completed layout to come alive. When I realized this I felt great about my decision to switch over to N Scale.
Now the benchwork for the two levels is up and the mountainous area that I am using to gain elevation (not a helix - more like narrow gauge elevation) with a 2% grade is under construction. We are both anxious to get the track up and begin rolling.
Our "loaner layout", while the big one is growing is a 2 by 9 ft layout in N. We have purchased the Digitrax Chief for it and the new one.
That is a heart warming account rsn48! You are a great father, much the same as mine was. Lionel used to really promote the "Father and Son" aspect of our hobby. That togetherness kept me off the streets and out of trouble. I feel the same would be true if more fathers had the interest in their sons that we do. Go for it, and enjoy!
What many don't realize is that railfanning is so cheap...I would say free except for the restuarants we go to! I can't think of any other activity which is a much fun, brings father and son (or daughter) together with lots of great memories.
The sad part is that I know that this is a "golden" era in our relationship which my son probably won't realize until probably after I am gone. But the important thing is that it is the "golden era," just as the time with you and your dad was so precious.
I know one of his memories will be of us in the Fraser Canyon, waiting at the Cisco Bridges, yelling "train" when one of us thought one was coming.
My dad had HO back in Brooklyn was I was young, then my folks got divorced when I was 8 and my mom & I moved to Detroit. For my 14th birthday (1961) I used my birthday money & bought a Varney train set. Although I don't have any of the original stuff, I've been at it ever since becoming an active railfan also in 1975 (prior to then I took the occasional shot). Today I have a good size operating HO layout and an outdoor G scale setup, my son (now 12) has been actively invovled with me the last 5 yrs, taking overnite Amtrak trips during Easter break and overnite weekend trips to Chicago in the summer. He has put away his HO Amtrak equipment and has started his own G-Scale layout in the basement underneath my HO pike. Can't tell you how good it feels to have my son invovled with me in my railroading hobby, he has also gone with me on Garden RR conventions & open house tours= the torch HAS been passed !
I bet you have a closer relationship with your son than most father's today. I know in 6 months I have done more with my son than my father did in his lifetime. This isn't meant a slam against my dad, they just didn't get it in those days; and unfortunately, today also.
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rsn48:
I bet you have a closer relationship with your son than most father's today. I know in 6 months I have done more with my son than my father did in his lifetime. This isn't meant a slam against my dad, they just didn't get it in those days; and unfortunately, today also.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Don't feel bad- my dad didn't understand my passion for railroads, outside of gettimg me that big box of used Marx trains. But, fortunately he didn't try to squash it, either. He and I did do a lot of fishing together, and when I got a little older I was unpaid labor on his construction projects.
I've got one son who, besides being named Kyle and having the initials MKT, couldn't care less about trains. The younger son is
interested in Dad's layout, so I hope to get him more involved. I do have two locomotives painted for Kyle RR (a real line in Kansas) for Kyle's amusement if he wants to run trains.
Ship IT on the Frisco!
Member # 362
I must admit, I'm not sure what got me started in this hobby, but I've been doing this as long as I can remember. I turn 37 the end of this January, have no kids of my own (at least for now) to pass the torch onto , but share my hobby with my family and friends as much as they will allow me to.
I Railfan when and were I can, Model Railroad on N-Trak Modules and just can't get enough of any of it. The "sharing" part is great! I take my Mother Railfanning with me sometimes. She likes to travel "out in the sticks" and I like the luck she brings me. I sometimes take my roommate, and although he's not a railfan, he now talks the "jarrgon" of railroading with the best of them. "Hey, check out the WIDE CAB on that drag!" "That Amtrak train was flying on the rails with three GENISIS Loco's!" "RED BOARD on that HOME SIGNAL." "PUMKINS, WE HAVE PUMPKINS!"
This past weekend, I spent my time with over THIRTY N-Trakers at my N-Trak Club's Annual "FUN-RUN" in Bloomington, IL. We ran trains till 3:30 AM Sunday Morning before calling it a night so we could start again at 9:00 AM. Everyone finally headed home at 3:00 PM Sunday, a great time indead!
My girlfriend had never seen my model trains before, even when we first dated back in 1984, (Hey, it seems we all put the trains up on the shelf for awhile during our teens.) but after hanging out around the layout for about 30 min. this weekend, she finally understood why I do this and like it so much. She thought it was a really neat hobby with lots of different areas of interest. "I see now that it's more than just playing with toy trains..." was one of the comments she made. "...and I also see that these aren't "TOYS"." she concluded. I think I may have a "keeper" folks!
My brother likes to "scout" photo spots for me when I go for a visit to him and his wife. We'll head out for a day of golf and the next day, RAILFANNING in the Upper Mississippi Valley! I hope to get up there again this October, my Sister is getting wed that month and the festivites are up that way in the Twin-Cities. I think I can get in a few holes and take a few "snaps" before and after the wedding!
Brent Tidaback, Member #234
BNSF Railfan-to-the Max and a N-Scaler to boot!
Ship it on the Route of The Roadrunners! The Aransas Odessa & Western, a division of the BNSF
[This message has been edited by Maxwell Plant (edited 15 January 2001).]
I'm 28 years old. I got my first train set when I was 8 years old. I forgot who made it(I'm thinking it was Tyco) but it was the HO scale "Chatanooga Cho-Cho". What really got me into trains was when my grandfather took me to visit Conrails huge Conway yard when I was 9 years old, which is near Pittsburgh,PA. It is a double hump yard with 50 or so tracks each and has a large turntable still in operation. As a child, it was one of the "wonders of the world".
I've built a couple of small HO scale layouts as a child. After I left the military I started to build a 12 by 10 foot around the walls HO scale layout but got frusterated because I couldn't get what I wanted in that space(long modern trains, broad curves, a decent mainline run,and some operations) so I then took the leap of faith toward N scale. At first, N scale didn't really impress me at all. It just seemed TOO small for me as my eyes were "adjusted" to HO scale. So I raised the layout close to eye level and the more I scenicked, the "larger" it became. Although far from complete, the basic benchwork is built, the mainline tracks are layed so I can at least run the trains around the layout(I still have yet to lay out the staging yard, the "on-scene" yard, the branch line and sidings), and started to scenic the mountain area. One advise I can give is, don't do everything in order if you don't want too. Make it a hobby, not a chore. Instead of doing ALL of the benchwork, then ALL of the trackwork, ALL of the wiring, and so on, do what the mood sets in.
Dave has a VERY GOOD POINT here fellows. Especially if you have been "thinking-planning" a layout, or are new to this hobby, or are starting to change scales. Your 'mind' sees the finished "I want all this", but your 'eyes' see only a pile of wood, supplies, and some boxes of rolling stock that isn't rolling!
My dad and I always built the whole thing all at once, THEN put an engine on and tried to run it. ONCE, many years later, by accident, I had to build a layout in stages as Dave suggested. It was more like building a module. The diorama was for display, and I acquired it after the show as part payment.
In adding to it, I discovered the interest level was kept up as the additions were progressing because I had something running from the get go. This new layout I am building, has a huge roundhouse for most of my engines, (because that is where my interest has settled into), yet the over-all layout is not all that large. It is modular, so it can be moved out when I die, so I am building sections at a time, starting with the engine complex. If the rest never gets built or running, I will have at least finally got the roundhouse I have always wanted, and can see my really big engines run. That brings back the happiest years of my life and satisfies my hobby interest.
You should want to see your hobby progress into your REAL interest, what ever that is.
Hi all! I'm 42 and got my first train set when I was 8. ( TYCO Santa Fe Warbonnet freight ). After the frustrations of set up and tear down got to him my dad tacked it down on a piece of plywood and it ran miles going anywhere my mind sent it. Later after school, sports, females (Still got that one....lol), The Army, I looked at an empty room in the house and saw an HO layout was a doable thing. The choice was a no-brainer. I grew up mostly in Oroville and my Dad worked for the Contractor that built the Dam. So it was WP, Oro-Dam constructors, Feather River Railway (Georgia Pacific) In the mid late sixties. I started collecting appropriate cars and loco's, Pictures, Info , and even though it's in it's third iteration it just regathers itself and starts again. What a great thing. Love, Bobby .
Watash, why don't the two photos on your first post in this thread show up? I looked at your source code and they should. I'd sure like to see them.
Member No. 508
Well... Good question...
Alhough I'm retired, i don't feel too old to do model railroading. In addition, I think I have never been so creative than now and I'm pretty sure that I would never have done what I did recently, when I was younger. Maybe it's because I have now more time, or because I can more quietly look or think at things.
The only problem with age is crawling under the layout for electrical works. But with a good mattress and a good pillow, it remains feasible. For how long ?
visit traiN'ternet: http://www.trainternet.org/
Fitz both photos are up now. I thought I might post some of my present layout I was going to sell, or scrap out, but it seems to be such a hassle, I'll maybe do it later.
Jean-Louis, at 70, I now use a mechanic's "creeper" with a headrest. I set the lowest table height at 30", same as a desk, to serve two purposes: [1.] It is about right to sit in my office chair to operate, and [2.] It is easy to reach up from the creeper to fish wires out to a central junction panel where all wiring is routed to controls. I use a foot stool to sit on for photos. My old knees are too boney to crawl around on my hands and knees. It works for me! (Try it, you might take a nap under there, like I have in the afternoon.
[This message has been edited by watash (edited 17 January 2001).]
Max,Ive got a couple of grandbabies extra, if you want to adopt(spoiled rotten).
seriously thou is going to a club that will use it and take care of it.When I go to that
roundhouse in the sky.And Watash,steam is gonna come back if fuel prices keep going up!!!!
Watash--great stuff. Three rail. Sure brings back memories. I think you guys are gonna make me model again.
Member No. 508
Time to add my story...
I grew up beside the rail lines here in Sydney, though I can't recall being drawn overly to them.
My first 'train set' was a Bachmann N Scale set with a Santa Fe GP40, a Millers reefer, Shell tanker, something else that slips my memory, and a SF Cab, plus the obligatory oval of track all in a plastic case for transport.
I was 11 at the time and saw it in the hobby shop window and had to have it. I was doing paper rounds and had saved enough for it. I added a couple of lengths of Peco flex amd a left and right hand point (switch), and a power pack ove rthe following month and my railroad empire was on the way. This thing travelled everywhere with me being set up on any flat surface vailable.
My Dad chimed in with a Minitrix 2-6-0 German steamer and a couple of cars. My younger brother wanted someof the action and was outfitted with Australian outline HO by Lima so we had 2 'pikes' going. I eventually went onto the 6'x4' 'chipboard' Plywood Pacific until school, then work, then motorcycles, then women started eating into my hobby.
Got back into it when I started shift work (gotta have something to do when it's quiet on standby!) and really took the reigns about 10 years back and haven't looked back.
Now I'm 38, the women and m'cycles are still coming and going but work and trains are still there.
Gary A. Rose
The Unofficial TC&W page
TrainBoard Moderator and Member No.377
N to the Nth degree!