Take A Train To Work on Nov. 22

Posted by Steve Sweeney
on Friday, November 15, 2019

Now, you can interpret that headline at least two ways. 

If you can, I hope you choose to both, A.) Take a commuter train into the office (a cab ride if you are a qualified railroader) and B.) Take one of your model trains, toy trains, or old lanterns, switch locks, or pocket watches to work.

Why? Because Kalmbach Media is making a holiday out of it by re-starting Take A Train To Work Day.

The holiday started back in the early 2000s with our friends at Model Railroader, who chose a day in mid-November for Take A Train To Work Day. And it's probably the best way to show off our hobby to the people we'll spend as much time with in a given week as our own families at home.

My first Take A Train To Work Day was in 2005 or 2006. And it was fun. The boss gave permission to use a table and didn't make me account for my time spent setting up, so I set up a simple circle of track in HO scale and ran a kit-bashed "thing" of a two-axle end cab switcher and the bob-tail end of a ConCor observation car. One co-worker brought in his 3-rail New York Central equipment, if I recall correctly, and another — Jim R. — brought in some of his Burlington Northern HO equipment.

Then, we did the nerdy thing and told all our co-workers where the "layout" or "display" was. I don't think anyone said we were nuts, or silly for our hobby — they were too good natured for that.

Years went by, and I don't think anyone we talked to became a die-hard railfan or modeler, but they appreciated us a bit more, I think.

As much fun as we had, it was one of the last times I palled around much with Jim. We were 20 or 30 years apart in age, he in the prime of his career, me at the beginning — and I soon moved on to other places and other jobs and grew my family. We both loved trains, just of different eras and were at different stages in life.

We weren't in touch much for the next six or seven years. When I signed on to Kalmbach we exchanged one last email. He congratulated me on my job and I wished him well with cancer treatments.

There's not much I was going to do or could have done even if I had been in the same town to ease Jim's passing, but I have good memory — from Take A Train To Work Day — of Jim and another modeler, friends.

Those were good times.


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