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Time spent

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Time spent
Posted by Soupy on Monday, May 3, 2021 9:41 AM

This may have been discussed before, but I don't recall seeing it.

In reviewing various posts, particularly WPF, I continue to be impressed with the work you do and the detail of your projects/layouts.  How much time do you typically spend in a week model railroading?

 

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Posted by mobilman44 on Monday, May 3, 2021 10:03 AM

Your question is certainly valid, but it sounds like you are NOT a model railroader and looking in from the outside........

How will the answers affect you?  

That said, I'm sure the answers from the Forum folks will range from minimal to a lot, and that would vary from week to week and month to month.  And, of course some are retired with no other hobbies, some work and have a family, some have schoolwork, some play with trains only in the non-summer months, some have the ability to endulge in the hobby hour after hour, some are handicapped, and some can only handle a short time sporadically.

With all that, I'll answer your question...... I fit each and everyone of those answers during the almost 7 decades of being an MR.

 

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, formerly modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, May 3, 2021 10:15 AM

Soupy
How much time do you typically spend in a week model railroading?

Well... before I started the house remodel project, I used to spend 15-20 hours a week on Model Railroading.

This was in the evening, mostly when I was travelling for work. I actually had a full workbench set-up in my "dorm room"I had in Tampa for work.

I am looking forward to getting back to the trains... big time... 60-80 hours per week.

-Kevin

 

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by dknelson on Monday, May 3, 2021 10:26 AM

What makes this an interesting question is the imponderable aspect that fifteen minutes of doing this does not necessarily equal fifteen minutes of doing that.  The content -- what has been done -- is really important.  I think we all know the sensation of working on a legitimately challenging and interesting project or kit -- either inherently challenging or just a material or technique that is new to us -- and then being shocked to realize how quickly the time, maybe even a couple of hours, has passed.  The other side of the coin is doing something that has to be done but which is not particularly enjoyable -- let's say, soldering feeder wires -- one can feel like one has been at this for a long time but the clock says otherwise.

An hour spent reading the latest Model Railroader (or these Forums) does not equate well with an hour of actual building, or weathering, or decaling, or "organizing the sock drawer"  -- that being our supplies, kits, workbench, or clearing stuff off the top of the layout.

I know I am not the most productive or efficient of model railroaders.  I knew a modeler who was an airline pilot, so his work schedule was work for several days, time off for several days, and what he got done in those days off was just astounding.  Benchwork, wiring, super detailing diesels, installing Tortoise switch motors, building kits.  The intensity was impressive.

When I retired I thought maybe I could be like that.  Not so.  It isn't the available hours in the day, I have come to realize, but the kind of person you are.

Dave Nelson

 

 

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Posted by NorthBrit on Monday, May 3, 2021 10:51 AM

Interesting answers, so far.

Personally, I cannot give a specific time.

I have a number of hobbies and interests all of which require time.  Before that comes family commitments.

When I do get time on the layout, it can vary from quarter of an hour in a week  to a couple of hours daily.

 

David

 

 

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by snjroy on Monday, May 3, 2021 11:29 AM

My layout is not that advanced, so I assume you are asking the question to others who post on WPF. And I can't really say how much I spend on my layout - it varies from a few  minutes to several hours a week, depending on what's going on at work and in my household.

That being said, I'm curious why you are asking the question. Curiousity? Are you feeling overwhelmed?

I actually have a rather small layout (7X11 room, around the wall shelf layout with one yard). Benchwork and trackage is done. I'm guessing I'll have scenery finished in about 3 years (I'm starting this summer). It's the only space I had in our house, and although I thought it was a small space, I'm realizing now that it's perfect for me. I'm actually pretty certain that I WILL finish it. Any spare time will be dedicated to our local club after my layout is complete (although there is always something to improve on a layout).

So one of the underlying questions here is: are people managing their time right? Are they taking on something that is too large? There are ways to rough things out, such as doing the benchwork, mainline track and using background pictures as a first step, and fill in later. 

Simon

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Posted by BATMAN on Monday, May 3, 2021 11:45 AM

When I go to the trainroom I tend to go at it for a few hours. However, life gets in the way and if there have been long stretches where I have not been able to get in there for an all-dayer, I make myself go in and do something every day even if it is gluing one more piece on a new kit and walking away, this always takes away the feeling of having abandoned the hobby.

The longest journey begins with a single step, I have taken on some pretty big projects in life knowing the finish line is years away. I keep plugging away on the layout and when I look at photos from ten years ago I realize how far I have come with it and more importantly how much I have learned. 

It's the journey, not the destination. 

Brent

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

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, May 3, 2021 12:14 PM

It depends on how much my wife will let me.  Almost no time for the past month what with house work and other higher priority things.  I often marvel with envy much of what people here manage to do.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Monday, May 3, 2021 2:19 PM

However long it is, never enough.

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, May 3, 2021 2:43 PM

I do a different calculation.  I find that it takes me about a month to complete a square foot of layout.  That's everything, from cutting lumber to build benchwork, staining it, wiring, subroadbed up to the static grass and little people.  It's also building and weathering rolling stock.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by TheFlyingScotsman on Monday, May 3, 2021 3:14 PM

This week maybe 3 hours working.

Looking at them many many more.

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Posted by selector on Monday, May 3, 2021 3:26 PM

My first three layouts were completed quickly, inside of months. I retired prior to joining the hobby, so my time was my own.  However, it's not that simple.  Two daughters returned home, and my wife began to ail.  We were on a seaside property that needed a lot of work outdoors. 

While the first three took about 6 months to build, averaging maybe an hour each day (some were 10 hours), my current build has taken 70 months, and I still haven't completed the yard.  I have quite literally gone months without so much as a glance at the trains, and I walk past them at least twice each day.

If you're looking for a ballpark figure, you're going to get soccer pitch numbers, baseball numbers, and tennis court numbers, depending on the person answering.  Our circumstances vary widely, as do our motivation, resources, commitments, etc.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, May 3, 2021 4:25 PM

For me, a lot depends on the project.  I'm currently working on a "Challenge" on another Forum, and it was one of those pick-your-own-project types.  One of mine is to modify some tenders into MoW cars, and the other is to modify or scratchbuild some passenger and head-end cars.

Of the latter, I have three done, two almost done, and one yet to do.  After those, I have seven to more-or-less scratchbuild, and another six to severely modify.  I will definitely not be anywhere near finished when the Challenge ends on June 1st, as there are tasks waiting outdoors.

Several years ago, I began modifying an older brass locomotive for a friend...

I'd barely started on it when we decided to buy a fixer-up house on a 3 acre lot.  The project took several months before it was ready for re-sale, and in that time, I had not worked on the locomotive at all.

One day, feeling bad about ignoring the locomotive project, I went down to my workshop and decided to at least make an effort to get something done. 

Sixteen hours later, I got up to get a drink of water, and from that day on, worked on the locomotive 12 to 15 hours every day, until it was finally ready to return to its owner....I am a slow worker, but I try to be thorough, and once I'm "into" a project, not much else matters....

...although nowadays, it's sometimes difficult just to get started.

Wayne

 

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Posted by peahrens on Monday, May 3, 2021 4:54 PM

I got back to model railroading after retiring around 2006.  After a few years, I considered actually building a layout in one of three locations, and played with layout designs with XTrackCad over a year, while reading about DCC, effective track laying, etc.  In 2012 construction began and the framing, track installation, wiring, some test setups, control panel, took a good portion of time when not in other pursuits (e.g., golf).  The next year I added rough scenery: hills, rocks, etc.  Along the way the first years I added structures periodically.   

In intervening years the amount of time varied greatly.  When I got into building my UP loco fleet I spent lots of time acquiring DC locos and converting to DCC and sound.  I like to build most of my freight cars from kits, add flat car loads, etc.  And got into adding some simple signals and lighting in structures.  Odd projects along the way included setting up a modest vented paint booth and learning to use the airbrush.  My time would vary from 10 - 30 hours per week. 

In 2020, before COVID, I set out to finally add ballast and complete the scenery by adding ground foam, bushes, etc.  That took some concentrated effort, and I added a stream project at one corner.  That was the last major effort, so in 2021 I have spent minimal effort.   I did take some time to "learn" EBay selling, where I made a pile of items I had bought but never used.  It was an un-model railroading project but I wanted to get the learning experience under my belt in case I ever totally downsize. 

I prefer creating to operating, having a small run-around layout, so the trains get run more when grandkids visit than otherwise.  I'm at a new stage...doing random projects (a new car kit, etc.) occasionally but averaging less than 5 hours per week.

IF we move in upcoming years, I will have the dismantling project, saving just turnouts, signals, structures, electronics.  I hope there will eventually be another layout, starting with planning... 

BTW, Soupy.  Soupy Sales was a favorite TV spot when I was in H.S.  Crazy and hilarious.  I will, hopefully, be 76 in two years..."that's the spirit!".

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by TheFlyingScotsman on Monday, May 3, 2021 5:28 PM

This week maybe 3 hours working.

Looking at them many many more.

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Posted by Pantherphil on Monday, May 3, 2021 8:25 PM

December to April is train season and I usually spend an hour or so every day on model railroad activities.   This past winter due to semi retirement and COVID 19, I made a big push to drive the golden spike on my North Penn and New England layout and put in more time than usual on trains.  May to November I spend more time umpiring youth baseball and playing Over 60 baseball, golfing, fishing and spending time in the North Woods of Maine.  Still putter around the layout for a few minutes every evening.

 

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 11:41 AM

doctorwayne
I had not worked on the locomotive at all. One day, feeling bad about ignoring the locomotive project, I went down to my workshop and decided to at least make an effort to get something done.  Sixteen hours later, I got up to get a drink of water, and from that day on ....

Dr Wayne you are more amazing than even I suspected.  I have assumed from other postings of yours that you are roughly my age.  Sixteen hours later and you got up -- to get a drink of water??   I would have had to get up several times during that sixteen hours.  Not to get a drink of water but to address the consequences of prior drinks of water.  

Bow

Dave Nelson

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Posted by PM Railfan on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 1:08 PM

"How much time do i spend a week on the hobby?"

Thinking about it - constantly. Physically doing something about it - no where near what id like.

Cant wait until retirement where every morning when i awake, i can lean up, martini in the left hand..... throttle in the right.... now, where was i?? 

 

PMR

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 6:13 PM

Thanks for your kind comment, Dave.  I've usually had an all or nothing attitude to doing things and have found that once I'm "into" something, I'm totally in.

Nowadays, I spend more time getting rid of the "water", even if I may not be drinking much water.

Wayne

 

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 6:26 PM

"It Depends."

Some weeks, none.

Today? 1 hour - Painting some railcars. (Final coat on 2 started yesterday, first "patch coat" on 1.)

Last weekend? Enough to paint 2 railcars, assemble 3 kits, and prep 3 railcars for painting that I painted between yesterday and today.

Tomorrow? Might get another kit project prepped for paint, might not...

Should add decals on some that are ready sometime late this week or coming weekend.

Once the remodel project is complete and I can build the next layout? All the time I can.

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 6:27 PM

Several people have mentioned a difference between actual 'physical' work and work involving planning, reading, etc.

Some weeks I may spend very little time in actual 'physical' work on the layout.

On the other hand, I spend many hours thinking and worrying over how something will be done.  Just recently, I spent many, many hours taking online Youtube lessons on programming an Arduino project (I'm a slow learner). 

Sometimes I will be ready to start something new on the layout, but I will spend hours thinking about it before I actually do any work.

York1 John       

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 7:23 AM

How does one measure time spent on a layout?  I tend do work about 45 min nightly (except weekends) physically on the layout. I'd like to devote more but gotta balance a family with three young kids and a demanding full-time job outside the house. 

Before the kids return home, I like to surf the net and think of what I want to do on the layout.  That way I can jump in when I get time.  Sometimes, I just walk around the layout and see what to do whenever I get time.  I'm far from the most efficient in time, but agree with those who say that it's a journey and not a deadline.

 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 7:44 AM

snjroy
I thought it was a small space, I'm realizing now that it's perfect for me.

That is how I felt when I started the small switching layout in the Master Bedroom. I thought it was too small, but it was perfect and enjoyable, and that layout lasted longer than any other.

TheFlyingScotsman
Looking at them many many more.

I wonder how many other people do this. I have been known to spend an entire day just looking at and admiring my creations. When I complete a model, there is always a period of admiriation where I just enjoy looking at it.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 1:53 PM

SeeYou190
...I wonder how many other people do this. I have been known to spend an entire day just looking at and admiring my creations. When I complete a model, there is always a period of admiriation where I just enjoy looking at it.

I enjoy looking at stuff I've created, too, but, of course, usually see something that I could (or should) have done better.

At that point, self-agrandizement has left the building, at least until the issue has been dealt with.

Wayne

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 3:19 PM

I actually spend quite some time just running some trains. With 30 plus locos, most very much different,I can get a lot of variety... It's a great procrastination strategy before engaging something difficult. And of course, while operating, some piece of rolling stock will create problems from time to time, so then I spend some time fixing it Sad

But who's counting, this is a hobby. I've been counting my time for the last 25 years at work. It's such a luxury to just relax and forget about time for a change...

Simon

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, May 6, 2021 11:45 AM

snjroy
With 30 plus locos, most very much different,I can get a lot of variety.

I am glad to hear you say this.

There is a notion that a locomotive fleet should have several of the same locomotives to have a certain look.

I have several USRA steamers, but only two of two types (Heavy Mikado, and 0-8-0), and I have a lot of EMD F units, but every set is painted differently.

Then I have all the one-offs, a Heisler, 2-6-2 logger, 2-6-6-2 logger, Trainmaster, SD-7, and so on and so on.

I am hoping the variety in the SGRR fleet keeps it interesting to play with.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Thursday, May 6, 2021 2:31 PM

Everyday I'm browsing around on Picclick and the internet looking to see what trains to model next/add to my collection.

I also write out different notes for all of my trains in my phone so I know what locomotives to use and what cars to get.

Two notes (one for decoders) (the other for replacement couplers) to use for each manufacturer and certain type of locomotive, freight, or passenger car also comes in handy.

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Posted by FRRYKid on Friday, May 7, 2021 2:35 AM

In my case it depends completely on the day. As I have my own house, I find there are times when I want to be working on the layout I can't because the house needs work. I also have a full-time job so that limits it a little. I try to spent Mondays and Tuesdays on the layout or projects related to the layout. Sometimes I'll find a few minutes to work on something. Just this evening I got the support "timbers" glued on the bridge I've been working on since before the pandemic. (For awhile it sat in a project box. For some time, I forgot where I put it. I found it hiding under a putty knife on the layout where I had been sizing the deck to fit the river.) I have a bunch of rolling stock projects sitting on the mantle waiting for some piece or another. i.e. an engine that needs paint that I needed to order and attach a coupler conversion, a boxcar that needs weathering, 3 cars that need decals ordered, 1 waiting for some 3-D printed parts, etc.

On the layout itself, I finally ended up making a catergorized list because of some many projects so that I can see what I need to do so I don't distract myself. (Easy to do when one is ADHD.)

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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Posted by ModelTrain on Friday, May 7, 2021 4:10 AM

I don't count the hours I spend at my workshop. Sometimes, I just spend one hour painting the roof of a building, gluing some walls ... Other days, I spend a few hours. Some other days, I don't do anything but read a book or articles on trains or model railroading.

I try to do baby steps every day.

Stef

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