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No Trains

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 7:08 PM

NittanyLion

 

 
riogrande5761

 

 
NittanyLion
 
Eilif

Complaining about "Those darn kids and their _______" is the refuge of the defeated and wasn't true when your parents said it about you.  

Especially because the whole thing isn't any different than any other time since the Industrial Revolution.  The smartphone, the sports section, cards, whatever.  All the same.  

 

I don't know.  The smart phone (especially) seems to be a much bigger addiction than the sports section, cards or whatever.  It's a paradigm shift orderes of magnitude higher. 

 

 

 

 

History vigorously disagrees with this.  Every single complaint people make about smartphones were being made on the same scale in the same phrasing about the same issues for the last 150s years.

 
Over simplication.  That big difference here is the vastness in age and demographic that smartphones now cover and like Visa, they go everywhere you go.  Few are without them, even the homeless in Manassas my wife worked with, by golly they all had them.  They are in people's hands at work, in cars (and responsible for increased rates of distracted driver accidents), in homes.  As noted earlier in this topic, kids can't put them down.   They would get the Delerium Tremors if you took their precious away for very long I kid you not.   No, history hasnt seen anything quite like this.

Perhaps we'll have to agree to "vigerously" disagree.Indifferent

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Posted by Bubbytrains on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 8:26 PM

All I can add to this topic (and it’s slightly off-topic) is that, over the years, I’ve had many various service professionals (furnace maintenance; internet technician; plumber; electrician; appliance delivery) come into the basement of my house and go by my layout, and never once did any of them mention or even seem to take note of my trains. I wondered if they just felt they should remain professional at all times? It didn’t bother me, it just surprised me. Other than one female furnace technician, the rest were all men as far as I can remember.

Alan

Bubbytrains

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Posted by Autonerd on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 1:06 AM

My kids (late teens/early 20s) have no interest in trains, but that doesn't bother me. As a kid I was into trains, cars, computers and photography, things my father wasn't into, and we still got along fine. Happily I had a friend, my father's age, who was into cars, and happened to have no kids. He mentored me in the old-car hobby and we kind of filled those roles for each other.

I think expecting your kids to share your interests is a recipe for disappointment.

One of the nice things about being part of a club is that we can share the hobby with kids, even if they aren't our own. We have a few young members, and none of their parents are into trains. I like mentoring them in the hobby, and with one in particular (who I believe to be mildly autistic; one of my sons is "on the spectrum") my parenting skills come in handy. Another member ran a bunch of classes for the kids, and they proved popular with adults as well.

Not all of the members participate with the kids -- some just want to play with trains with other like-minded adults -- but for me it's one of the more fulfilling aspects of the hobby, and, I suppose, a kind of responsibity. Trains may play a lesser role in our lives today, but they're still magic. :)

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 4:59 AM

Howard Zane
There is so much talk these days about kids in the hobby. I've tried for over 30 years to bring kids to our huge show in Timonium, MD.....free admission, prizes, etc. Sometimes kids came...some with parents, and some teenagers by themselves....but not in the last decade.

Howard, Modelers like my oldest Grandson don't bother going to train shows when they know they can buy what they need on line cheaper.. All they need is their smart phone and wait 3-4  days for their shippment.

Heck,you can grocery shop on line,pay the amount due then  go to your local Krogers and pick up your order at curb side..

Its a laptop/smart phone world we live in.

 

Larry

SSRy

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 5:28 AM

BRAKIE
  

Heck,you can grocery shop on line,pay the amount due then  go to your local Krogers and pick up your order at curb side..

Its a laptop/smart phone world we live in. 

Yep, and you can do the same thing at Target.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Howard Zane on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 7:48 AM

BRAKIE
not in the last decade. Howard, Modelers like my oldest Grandson don't bother going to train shows when they know they can buy what they need on line cheaper.. All they need is their smart phone and wait 3-4 days for their shippment. Heck,you can grocery shop on line,pay the amount due then go to your local Krogers and pick up your order at curb side.. Its a laptop/smart phone world we live in.

BRAKIE
 
Howard Zane
There is so much talk these days about kids in the hobby. I've tried for over 30 years to bring kids to our huge show in Timonium, MD.....free admission, prizes, etc. Sometimes kids came...some with parents, and some teenagers by themselves....but not in the last decade.

 

Howard, Modelers like my oldest Grandson don't bother going to train shows when they know they can buy what they need on line cheaper.. All they need is their smart phone and wait 3-4  days for their shippment.

Heck,you can grocery shop on line,pay the amount due then  go to your local Krogers and pick up your order at curb side..

Its a laptop/smart phone world we live in.

 

Brakie

 A good train show is more than just looking for prices. How about clinics, display layouts, meeting friends in the hobby, and just spending a day with model trains. At our show..of course there were literaly hundreds of tables of vendors offering new plastic at competitive prices, but in addition to a 15 table consignment area, there were a serious mess of folks with tables of no longer needed trains for sale at way low prices. Then came the many estate sales........or how about seeing first hand what is new? I don't buy the get it on line bit as I feel this is what is hurting our hobby...and for several reasons which is a topic by itself.

I'm 80 now and I still attend some shows.....not for more trains, but for the day with trains bit and seeing many friends. I just no longer arrive early to be the first in the hall.

HZ

 

Howard Zane
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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 8:42 AM

Howard Zane
A good train show is more than just looking for prices. How about clinics, display layouts, meeting friends in the hobby, and just spending a day with model trains. At our show..of course there were literaly hundreds of tables of vendors offering new plastic at competitive prices, but in addition to a 15 table consignment area, there were a serious mess of folks with tables of no longer needed trains for sale at way low prices. Then came the many estate sales........or how about seeing first hand what is new? I don't buy the get it on line bit as I feel this is what is hurting our hobby...and for several reasons which is a topic by itself.

Howard,I couldn't agree more.

I really  don't understand my Grandson and his generation of modelers they seem to careless about the social side of the hobby as far as train shows and clubs and on the other hand they are well inform and know the mintute details of cars and locomotives.

I fear the day of the end of small train shows may be on the horizon.

Of course I can remember when train shows was exactly that..Modelers gathered to display their models and sell their unwanted models and junk.

Larry

SSRy

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Posted by Eilif on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 9:27 AM

Howard Zane

For the hobby, I feel the future is among the newly retired. They now will have time for a hobby, have funds, know about trains, and most likely have some sort of an affinity for them. 

As much as I feel the "kids the days" argument is much overblown, I do think there is some truth to this.  Maybe not only to the newly retired, but- the current cost of the train hobby as well as it's space requirements does shift it more towards those with not-inconsiderable disposable income, free time and home ownership.  That population simply skews older. 

Now of course  the hobby can certainly be enjoyed in a smaller space and on a budget, but the hobby that you'll find in MR and most of your local train clubs is not generally a low-budget, apartment-friendly , short-time-commitment hobby. 

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 9:43 AM

Eilif
Now of course the hobby can certainly be enjoyed in a smaller space and on a budget, but the hobby that you'll find in MR and most of your local train clubs is not generally a low-budget, apartment-friendly , short-time-commitment hobby.

I have notice the growth of highly detailed switching layouts with higher end cars and DCC/Sound locomotives.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by Howard Zane on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 10:04 AM

BRAKIE
 
Howard Zane
A good train show is more than just looking for prices. How about clinics, display layouts, meeting friends in the hobby, and just spending a day with model trains. At our show..of course there were literaly hundreds of tables of vendors offering new plastic at competitive prices, but in addition to a 15 table consignment area, there were a serious mess of folks with tables of no longer needed trains for sale at way low prices. Then came the many estate sales........or how about seeing first hand what is new? I don't buy the get it on line bit as I feel this is what is hurting our hobby...and for several reasons which is a topic by itself.

 

Howard,I couldn't agree more.

I really  don't understand my Grandson and his generation of modelers they seem to careless about the social side of the hobby as far as train shows and clubs and on the other hand they are well inform and know the mintute details of cars and locomotives.

I fear the day of the end of small train shows may be on the horizon.

Of course I can remember when train shows was exactly that..Modelers gathered to display their models and sell their unwanted models and junk.

 

BRAKIE
 
Howard Zane
A good train show is more than just looking for prices. How about clinics, display layouts, meeting friends in the hobby, and just spending a day with model trains. At our show..of course there were literaly hundreds of tables of vendors offering new plastic at competitive prices, but in addition to a 15 table consignment area, there were a serious mess of folks with tables of no longer needed trains for sale at way low prices. Then came the many estate sales........or how about seeing first hand what is new? I don't buy the get it on line bit as I feel this is what is hurting our hobby...and for several reasons which is a topic by itself.

 

Howard,I couldn't agree more.

I really  don't understand my Grandson and his generation of modelers they seem to careless about the social side of the hobby as far as train shows and clubs and on the other hand they are well inform and know the mintute details of cars and locomotives.

I fear the day of the end of small train shows may be on the horizon.

Of course I can remember when train shows was exactly that..Modelers gathered to display their models and sell their unwanted models and junk.

 Brakie,
Yup, I miss those years when the many local fire house train shows were billed as "swap meets" and often, that is exactly what they were. Time and trends do change for younger folks, and there is almost nothing we can do about it except to get used to it. As mentioned before, the market is now the newly retired and train shows do a lot to introduce the hobby to these folks. I have know many of these now retired  who came to our show due to a newspaper ad and curiosity, or for the nastalgia bit, and left hooked as they kept coming back.
 
I do miss co-running the Timonium show as it was/is a major part of the hobby for me. I still attend as the show is it in fine hands and will most likely continue for decades more.
HZ

Howard Zane
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 10:12 AM

I miss the 1980s when Scale Rails of Southwest Florida put on a REAL train show every November.

.

The only things for sale were the consignment tables from club members. Everything else was just modeling skills on display. Other clubs brought layouts, there were clinics, it was really great.

.

The only thing that comes close that I know of are the train shows put on by The Villages, FL each year. Only problem is... you need to go to The Villages, yuck.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by Erie1951 on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 10:47 AM

BRAKIE
I have noticed the growth of highly detailed switching layouts with higher end cars and DCC/Sound locomotives.

I'm in the process of building one right now. I don't have the space, time, or funds to build anything grand, but I can build a small switching layout detailed in the best way that I can. Does anyone care? Not a bit. Over the holidays, when visiting the grand kids who live a five-minute drive away, they spent more time looking at small screens instead of joining in on conversations. I suppose once the layout's completed, they might want have a look. Hey, it's my hobby and my interest. Maybe when they ever do decide to stop by to visit us, I'll just go down to the basement and work on my layout instead of talking to them. That'll show 'em. Mischief

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 10:58 AM

Howard Zane
As mentioned before, the market is now the newly retired and train shows do a lot to introduce the hobby to these folks.

Howard,I see a lot of young faces in the hobby and my Grandson and generation is light years from being retired.

I do know a lot of those young chaps loves the idea of using their smart phones as DCC throttles by using JMRI and that's beyond my basic knowledge of DCC.

I also think DCC/Sound and Train Sim has help the hobby especially with the younger generation..

Larry

SSRy

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“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by Eilif on Thursday, January 10, 2019 10:22 AM

BRAKIE

 

 
Howard Zane
As mentioned before, the market is now the newly retired and train shows do a lot to introduce the hobby to these folks.

 

Howard,I see a lot of young faces in the hobby and my Grandson and generation is light years from being retired.

I do know a lot of those young chaps loves the idea of using their smart phones as DCC throttles by using JMRI and that's beyond my basic knowledge of DCC.

I also think DCC/Sound and Train Sim has help the hobby especially with the younger generation..

 

MR has had a couple of intresting and informative reviews of this type of equipment in recent issues.  I think that Model railroading has just about reached the tipping point where smart phones are utilized to their fullest in control systems.  Mobile phones have more processing power than any throttle (and the capability for much more intuitive control/programin) and as much as most computers that folks have used in their DCC'ing,  yet they are largely treated only as a minor peripheral throttle.

Still need to have easier programing from the phone with intuitive menus, a bit more plug-and-play,  and migrate a bit further away from proprietary control hardware (something companies are understandably reluctant to do) but we're very close.    I'm watching very closely for what the next couple years will bring.

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, January 10, 2019 10:44 AM

I don´t think that the type of control and/or throttle has anything to do with the dwindling of interest in model trains among the younger generation. DCC has been around for nearly 30 years now and complex and intriguing computer control based on DCC is also around for not only a few years.

Most people younger than 60 have no relation to trains, because trains are not a part of their daily life. Why develop an interest in something you have never experienced, with the added disadvantage of having to invest blood, sweat and tears before you can enjoy it?

 

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:04 AM

Tinplate Toddler
ost people younger than 60 have no relation to trains, because trains are not a part of their daily life. Why develop an interest in something you have never experienced, with the added disadvantage of having to invest blood, sweat and tears before you can enjoy it.

Have you seen all the young faces trackside or their videos on you tube?

When you was in high school did you talk about your hobby or was you like the majority of us and kept your love for train secrete? How about now? How many people besides family knows about your hobby or are you in the silent majority like me? 

How may modelers live on your street or in your neighborhood? That my friend is a $64,000 question I can not answer.

I can't help but wonder how many teens and other young modelers are on this forum?

Larry

SSRy

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:19 AM

Larry,

where I live, trains are still very much a part of every day life and the number of model railroaders may even exceed the number in your country. Nevertheless, recruiting the next generation is becoming more and more challenging - aside from "devices", there are other pastimes rapidly gaining ground, like war gaming, role playing etc.

Yes, all of my friends and neighbors know I am into "playing with tiny trains" and I never had to hide my interest. Social acceptance of grown men playing with trains seems to be greater in Europe and Japan than at your end of the Big Pond.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, January 10, 2019 12:54 PM

Tinplate Toddler
Social acceptance of grown men playing with trains seems to be greater in Europe and Japan than at your end of the Big Pond.

And that is the sad part that I will never understand. Why is it ok for grown men to fly model airplanes or race R/C cars but,not cool to be interested in model trains? 

However.

During the week of the County fair I heard a lot of questions about the hobby from teens to adults.

Here's the two main questions:

1. How much does the hobby cost?

My answer: How much you want to spend? You can buy a engine or two,some cars and join the club or you can build a 4x8' layout add some switches for industries and a small town area and some screney and you're good to go.

2: Mostly from teens..Can you explain how DCC works?

A: I explain the basic concept and the meaning of CVs and their use  without going over their heads.

Larry

SSRy

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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, January 10, 2019 1:53 PM

Howard Zane

For the hobby, I feel the future is among the newly retired. They now will have time for a hobby, have funds, know about trains, and most likely have some sort of an affinity for them. 

 

I think you are correct there Howard.

BTW I'm living in St Augustine FL now, and missing that Timonium Train Show SO MUCH.

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, January 10, 2019 1:53 PM

BRAKIE
And that is the sad part that I will never understand. Why is it ok for grown men to fly model airplanes or race R/C cars but,not cool to be interested in model trains?

Escapes my understanding as well! I still remember the time nearly all boys wanted to become engineer. Being an engineer was a highly reputed profession, although not well paid. A few years later, most boys wanted to be pilots, but that has also changed in the meantime and was replaced by jobs like computer game designer and what not.

That development is maybe mirrored in our hobby.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by BATMAN on Thursday, January 10, 2019 3:04 PM

I could care less if people in my orbit don't have an interest in model railroading. I don't have an interest in what they do.

I am 62 and have enough MRR stuff (products) to keep me rolling until I croak. There are plenty of clubs around as well as well attended train shows. I can have all the social interaction my soul can handle if I choose to do so. 

The hobby is thriving as evidenced by companies like Rapido and Bachmann China.

http://www.chinesemodeltrains.com/ 

Rapido seems to be really starting to roll over in Europe as well as here in North America and let's not forget the long-established companies.

Stop worrying about what others are doing with their time and get a hobby unless that is your hobby. Personally, I like model railroading.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by garya on Friday, January 11, 2019 10:35 AM

Bubbytrains

All I can add to this topic (and it’s slightly off-topic) is that, over the years, I’ve had many various service professionals (furnace maintenance; internet technician; plumber; electrician; appliance delivery) come into the basement of my house and go by my layout, and never once did any of them mention or even seem to take note of my trains. I wondered if they just felt they should remain professional at all times? It didn’t bother me, it just surprised me. Other than one female furnace technician, the rest were all men as far as I can remember.

Alan

 

 

Funny, that's how I met the group I meet with 15 years ago.  The layout was around the furnace I was working on.

Gary
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Posted by garya on Friday, January 11, 2019 10:40 AM

NittanyLion

   Adults with deep pockets, compared to literal children, serve as a huge driver of the business that even the bottom end of the hobby caters to them.  The bottom end now is what the middle used to be on a variety of angles.

Rocketry fascinates me, both from the point of view of someone that literally works in the space industry and as someone that fondly remembers his own Estes Alpha III from fifth grade or so.  My mom has a cousin that got up into that "basically a surface-to-air missile" level of amateur rocketry too, and that always was like...holy cow to a kid.  It doesn't take a lot to react your maximum in regardes to altitude and range when you're younger and I think that causes some level of stall out in interest.  I had access to a farm, so everything came down on our property no matter how far down-range it could get.  My nephews, with far more limited areas to fly, could never get beyond the fairly small rockets and 1/2A and A engines.  Fittingly, they sorta lost interest once they couldn't "do more."

 

My club regularly helps build and launch with Scouts/Schools/4H groups.  They really seem to enjoy it, but I'm not sure how many stick with it.  Open spaces to launch is a problem for kids.  

Gary
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Posted by garya on Friday, January 11, 2019 10:42 AM

riogrande5761

Perhaps we'll have to agree to "vigerously" disagree.Indifferent

 

Whatever that means.

Gary
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Posted by Eilif on Friday, January 11, 2019 10:54 AM

Tinplate Toddler

I don´t think that the type of control and/or throttle has anything to do with the dwindling of interest in model trains among the younger generation. DCC has been around for nearly 30 years now and complex and intriguing computer control based on DCC is also around for not only a few years. 

I think you may be making my point for me.  The DCC of the past 30 years has never really been plug-n-play or even close to intuitive the way most people expect technology to be. 

Today's technology should enable us to meet the public's expectation of how easy interaction with technolgy should be.  

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Friday, January 11, 2019 11:06 AM

A smartphone is more difficult to operate than some DCC system, like Trix Mobile Station, which has a nice GUI and easy menu-driven setup. The best of it, it is one of the most inexpensive system around, albeit not cheap concerning the features it offers.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, January 12, 2019 7:32 PM

What most you seem to forget is trains take time and skill. When young you have no time or skill.

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Posted by Harrison on Saturday, January 12, 2019 7:47 PM

I try to get kids into trains as much as I can. I have two friends that are into it, most likly because of me. At train shows and events that we have the club layout at, I target little kids(3,4,5,6) because they are most likly to have interest and don't play video games. Never liked video games myself.

Harrison

Homeschooler living In upstate NY a.k.a Northern NY.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, January 13, 2019 5:02 AM

rrebell

What most you seem to forget is trains take time and skill. When young you have no time or skill.

 

That's a mghty wide paint brush you are using..There are many skilled  younger modelers doing excellent work of course they have little or no use for craftsman type kits.

Their expertise is in scenery and details.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, January 13, 2019 6:54 AM

BRAKIE

 

 
rrebell

What most you seem to forget is trains take time and skill. When young you have no time or skill.

 

 

 

That's a mghty wide paint brush you are using..There are many skilled  younger modelers doing excellent work of course they have little or no use for craftsman type kits.

Their expertise is in scenery and details.

 

I'm with Larry here. 

I'm not into this whole "save the hobby by recruiting young people" thing, but skill is not, and never was the problem.

I was building Silver Streak wood rolling stock and Mantua loco kits at age 14, many of which are still on my layout and hold up just fine against my newer work or modern RTR.

At the same time I learned to hand lay track, did some light scratch building, etc.

And I had plenty of time for trains.

It is all about interest - either you are or you are not.

Sheldon

    

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