Proper definitions for what the Classic Era ought to be

2334 views
44 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,751 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, July 26, 2019 8:33 PM

Becky, "Classic TOY Trains" was certainly a perfect compromise.  We O and S gaugers don't agonize over our trains, we PLAY with 'em!

Yep, I'll sit there with a cuppa coffee and a smoke and watch 'em go 'round and round.  Remember getting down on the floor under the Christmas tree and watching 'em come right-at-cha?  I still do it!  Although it's harder to get up now, for some damn reason...

What can I say?  I'm easily amused.

Wayne

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 4,625 posts
Posted by Miningman on Friday, July 26, 2019 10:07 PM

Heck we all do that! I think. Sometimes I even put on my very authentic CPR conductor blazer and the cap. Now to get up, and this applies to being under a module as well to fix something, you put out one arm and grab something solid, like a chair. Then the other hand the same but different, maybe the edge of table. Then move one leg out bent at the knee. Take deep breath. Wait at least one minute and think positive. Haul yourself up. Take a 5 minute break. If this fails then go to "help I've fallen and get get up mode" which involves waiting a long time. Oh by the way keep the smokes and lighter nearby, maybe shirt pocket, very important. 

If any of this applies to you then you are Classic Era. If not then that's the dividing line. Simple

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 846 posts
Posted by PRR8259 on Friday, July 26, 2019 10:54 PM

Wayne--

I've been an HO guy most of my life but I fail to understand why they are genereally so picky and in utter denial that they are in fact playing with toys.

I'm playing with brass Alco/MLW Century and M-series units, but I freely admit they are just toys and yes, I do actually play with them on the layout.  They earn their keep just like anything else.  In fact, I'm told that properly tuned and cared for brass diesels will actually outlast the plastic ones!

They are all just toys, though, and reflect the minor compromises necessary to scale things down.  "Model" is just a fancy name for "toy". 

John

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,751 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, July 27, 2019 10:56 AM

PRR, I like your attitude!

You see, every once in a great while I look in on the "Model Railroader" Forum, and let me tell you some of those guys take this stuff WAY too seriously!

For example, on one occasion there was a guy agonizing over where to prototypically put the air conditioning vents on top of a passenger car of an obscure railroad!  Cryin' out loud man, who cares?  

If it gets to be a burden, it ain't fun, unless you're a masochist!

Some of them seem to be working overtime reenforcing the popular public perception of model railroaders as social misfits, but that's another story.

Anyway, I found this neat short video, plenty of "Classics" in it from several eras, enough to keep everyone happy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DhzACiHwfA  

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • 569 posts
Posted by Backshop on Saturday, July 27, 2019 11:30 AM

My take, as an outsider, is that toy trains are those like Lionel that don't even look close to being modeled after a real prototype while model railroads are those whose equipment looks (sorta) like real equipment, just shrunk down.  So, if you have a Lionel train on the floor with 3 rail track and no scenery, it's a toy train.  If you have a fully landscaped HO set with accurately numbered and detailed locomotives, it's a model railroad.

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • 569 posts
Posted by Backshop on Saturday, July 27, 2019 11:31 AM

Another take on the definition of the "classic era"...it's whatever period each individual looks back fondly on as better and nicer.  It's usually the time before we got caught up in real life and responsibilities.

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,751 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, July 27, 2019 1:43 PM

Backshop

My take, as an outsider, is that toy trains are those like Lionel that don't even look close to being modeled after a real prototype while model railroads are those whose equipment looks (sorta) like real equipment, just shrunk down.  So, if you have a Lionel train on the floor with 3 rail track and no scenery, it's a toy train.  If you have a fully landscaped HO set with accurately numbered and detailed locomotives, it's a model railroad.

 

Good points Backshop, and well put.

But if you think Lionels ain't prototypical you haven't looked at 'em for a while.  Take a look at this...

http://www.lionel.com 

Have a look at MTH too...

https://www.mthtrains.com  

Mind you, the prices on some of these things hardly qualifies them as "toys,"  unless you look at the starter sets, but some of them are pretty darn authentic.

Welcome to the 21st Century world of "O" and "S" gauge! 

PS:  Don't worry if you feel heart palpitations looking at the prices of the "high-end" articles, I get palpitations too!   

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 16,652 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, July 27, 2019 7:27 PM

Flintlock76
 
Backshop

My take, as an outsider, is that toy trains are those like Lionel that don't even look close to being modeled after a real prototype while model railroads are those whose equipment looks (sorta) like real equipment, just shrunk down.  So, if you have a Lionel train on the floor with 3 rail track and no scenery, it's a toy train.  If you have a fully landscaped HO set with accurately numbered and detailed locomotives, it's a model railroad. 

Good points Backshop, and well put.

But if you think Lionels ain't prototypical you haven't looked at 'em for a while.  Take a look at this...

http://www.lionel.com 

Have a look at MTH too...

https://www.mthtrains.com  

Mind you, the prices on some of these things hardly qualifies them as "toys,"  unless you look at the starter sets, but some of them are pretty darn authentic.

Welcome to the 21st Century world of "O" and "S" gauge! 

PS:  Don't worry if you feel heart palpitations looking at the prices of the "high-end" articles, I get palpitations too!  

Remember - the difference between men and boys is the price of the toys.  Added to that is the addage - If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it!

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
  • 2,869 posts
Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, July 27, 2019 7:56 PM

PRR8259
so picky and in utter denial that they are in fact playing with toys

If you take 5,280 and divide it by 87 you get 60.6896551724.  That means you need 60+ linear feet for one HO scale mile.  Most railroads don't run just one mile point to point and zero railroads run in a circle or oval.  Even a dogbone track arangement wouldn't be prototypical in less than 20 scale miles, or 1,213.79310344 feet.  I don't think I've ever seen a model railroad that ran 20 scale miles point to point in even the smallest of scales.  Who has that kind of room?  There are some very large structures on the market like defunct shopping malls but they'd be out of reach to most modelers.

No, I think that apparently some feel the need to justify their hobby by putting down those who choose to enjoy the larger and often VERY un-scale-like trains.  There are a lot of nick-names out there both flattering and derogatory that I try to stay away from.  Like the song says, "It's your thing, baby.  Do what you wanna do."  Whistling

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 846 posts
Posted by PRR8259 on Sunday, July 28, 2019 2:28 PM

Backshop

My take, as an outsider, is that toy trains are those like Lionel that don't even look close to being modeled after a real prototype while model railroads are those whose equipment looks (sorta) like real equipment, just shrunk down.  So, if you have a Lionel train on the floor with 3 rail track and no scenery, it's a toy train.  If you have a fully landscaped HO set with accurately numbered and detailed locomotives, it's a model railroad.

I have a model railroad by your definition--but I realize they are all just toys--it's just that my model trains may be more accurate models than some are.  So what. I'm still running them around a (folded dogbone) glorified circle of track.  Mine are just higher priced toys...

 

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • 195 posts
Posted by Erik_Mag on Sunday, July 28, 2019 5:38 PM

Most important thing is that you enjoy them.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 16,652 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 10:08 PM

Watching a PBS documentary on the Voyager space craft that were launced in 1977 with the missions to get gravity assists from Jupiter, Saturn and the other outer planets of the Solar System to speed the crafts exit from the Solar System (that has taken about 37 years or more).  The craft contain a 'golden record' that contains images and audio from what constitutes 'Earth People' as they existed at the time - one of the images is Amtrak's Turbo Train ... Ironic!

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,751 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, August 01, 2019 11:51 AM

It's a shame.  If and when the golden record is ever found there's going to be some disappointed alien steam freaks!  

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
  • 2,869 posts
Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, August 01, 2019 6:47 PM

BaltACD
Watching a PBS documentary on the Voyager space craft

That was a good one.  I especially like the story about how the last time the planets aligned perfectly for a mission like that, Thomas Jefferson was in the white house and "he blew it".  Laugh

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 4,220 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, August 01, 2019 9:51 PM

Penny Trains

 

 
BaltACD
Watching a PBS documentary on the Voyager space craft

 

That was a good one.  I especially like the story about how the last time the planets aligned perfectly for a mission like that, Thomas Jefferson was in the white house and "he blew it".  Laugh

 

I guess that sending Lewis & Clarke across the continent 2 centuries ago was about the equivalent of today's interplanetary mission.

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter