OK all you young railroaders out there, let me share a bit of my past with you's too.....I was first introduced to the train world even before I was born, about 6 to 8 months before.
It so happened that I already had a big brother, 2 years my senior, and my father had already purchased him the Lionel 2343 series Warbonnets and about a dozen freight cars, almost 3 years before I was coming into the scene.....So now what was my dad to do since another son was on the way??? Well why not get the passenger train now, so he purchased me the 2353 series Warbonnets and 5 streamliner cars.
That was the begining for my brother and I.
While I was in middle/junior high school about the 7th or 8th grade my english teacher decided to have show and tell days. By this time my father had actually given each of the trains to my brother and I, at the ages of 9 and 7 respectively. So what did I do for show and tell, I was quite adept at repairing and modifying my trains by than and I carried my A-Unit to school and showed everyone how to disassemble and do maintanance on it. That was quite an enjoyable experience, I might say, and everyone in class seemed to really enjoy it.
Well I dropped away from the hobby for about 15 years as my family came along, from about 1975 to 1991. I was introduced to a friend who was retired from the NYC Subway System, he was avidly into trains, and I to jumped back in along with him.
Now even though some may think we are an odd bunch, truth is, many people really do like trains, to some extent, and if given the opportunity to "PLAY"/Operate them, they really do enjoy them.
I can say that from personal experience, just this past weekend in Orlando, FL.
I am a member of the Florida Garden RR Society and we set up at the Train show there. I ran a set of Dash-9's with Loco-linc R/C pulling 40 cars, also an MTH NYC Hudson steamer pulling 5 streamliners and I couldn't keep the transmitters from everyone, big-small, boys-girls, teens and oldsters and all races and creeds too. Everyone immensly enjoyed themselves.
So don't despair, you will find those who enjoy this as much as you do, and no you're not wierd, about as normal as nornal could be.
I a Drama and Chorus kid (i was on the wrestling tem too, but I won't be this coming year. I almost starved trying to make weight during the season, and thats bad, because I like to eat), so I have the actors gift of being able to do stuff in front of people that most could not, so really, I don't care what people say. In fact, I'm dead set against being normal. In my opinion, being normal is extremely overrated.
Well on the flipside, if you do come "out of the closet" about trains ("out of the enginehouse"??) you might find some other kids who are modellers. At your age I had a good friend who also had an HO layout and we used to run stuff on each other's layout (well, I ran stuff on his layout since it was much nicer than mine). After a few years I switched to O three-rail and found that another guy in the neighborhood, Jim Norlander, was from a family of Lionel collectors. Last I heard he was still into Lionel and I eventually switched back to HO.
As you get older, it might become easier too. I'm an alumni member of my old University's model RR club, they have quite a few members and are having a great time working together on a layout in the basement of one of the U buildings.
If anyone makes fun of you...Tell them Rod stewart has a layout, he really does...see December 07 Model railroader. I have a couple other hobbies so as long as you can distract them with those your fine. Like me it is cars, and Guitar(not so much a hobbie as a life style). I have my computer area dedicated to teh late great pennsy. Other people as i have seen have it dedicate to halo, or something like that. Today's trends will disapear, Railroading will go on forever
I can sympathize with your situation.
My mother and grandmother abosulutely hated trains, mainly because of having to wait at crossings. My grandfather loved trains and that was one of the things that rubbed off on me. But, for about 4 years or so, my mother would literally beat me for mentioning trains. She destroyed the only train set that I had, and would tell me to "grow up" when she noticed me watching trains when we were out and about.
Grandpa was extremely henpecked about his Lionel train set (mid 70's Silver Star set). He would often call me over to do some "painting" or work on his car, and give grandma some money to go shopping, and we wold play with that train for hours, or we would dissapear to the local railyard to watch trains, or even on occasion, get a tour.
Like everthing else, my mother finally gave up, and "allowed" me to indulge myself in trains. She even bought me a HO scale train set with the hopes that I would "grow out of it".
Grandpa left me his train set in his will, but grandma still wanted me to "grow up", so she gave it to my bratty nephew, who prompty destroyed it.
I since then have gotten myself a Silver Star set, and the same train that I had for many years until my mother, in one of her drunken rages, destroyed. (A 0-6-0 battery powered train with a tender, B+M Gondola, and a ATSF caboose. I was misty eyed when I found that at a train show.)
Even when you get older, people, especially the stupid ones, will give you a hard time about being a railfan. I had postcards of trains taped on the wall of my rack on my old ship, the USS Annapolis (SSN-760). I was made fun of by quite a few people for my being content to spend time in France just watching the TGVs go by.
I even brought the shell to my Lionel 221 with me underway one time, and I spent a fair chunk of my spare time sitting in the torpedo room with a wire brush and a dental pick cleaning out the salt and rust off of it.
Giving up on something that you love, just because people want to be immature, is wrong. If the taunting is bad enough, seek help. I am pretty sure that not all of the people that you encounter think that playing with trains is a bad thing, you may find some like minded people and start a club.
Quite a few sailors have asked to come over to my house to see all of the trains that I have. My train collection is rumored to be the largest in the area.
When I was in the 8th grade, my Literature Teacher had each of us do a report on our favourite hobby, and I did my report on model railroading. I brought in a few of my HO scale engines, and cars, and the gondola from my grandfather's set, and brought photos of my first layout.
Some idiots made fun of me for that, but at least the teacher paid attenton to that and failed them on their projects and sent them to the princpal. (Most had done their projects on videogames and such, some brought in pets, but out of the entire lot, I was the only one with a train.) (My future wife Nicholle did her report on her cat, Thread, who was happy to be part of my report as well. I met her in 8th grade.)
Just keep your head up, and remember, do what makes you happy (within reason of, course), not because it's the popular thing.
So many scales, so many trains, so little time.....
NSlover92 wrote:I dont really have the problem not to many people mess with a 6'0 160 pound wrestler, farmboy. I am doing a report on the Early GP 7-20. I am going to use some of my models as example. Mike
BTW:My report went awesome and I found somebody in my class that is a modeler and I didnt even know it, if anyone wants a copy of my 8 page report just send me a PM or email me, Mike
oscaletrains wrote:YOU GOTTA FIGHT, FOR YOUR RIGHT, TO RAILROAD!
Teens get made fun of for everything. There's no avoiding it. It's a phase in life. When I was little my parents got me into trains. I loved them up until about high school. My closest friends all had trains too and we all played with them. High school came along and suddenly interests changed as friends changed. My trains got put away around my sophomore year. I started liking music, cars, and even got more heavily involved in skateboarding although no one else was back then. I always still had that fascination with trains inside though.
Fast forward about 10 years after high school. I had met my soon to be wife. We took day trips together on many weekends. I wanted to go back up to the Texas State Railroad. I had fond memories of my parents taking me there as a kid. We went back twice. Each time a little bit more of my interest came back. I live only about 10 minutes away from a railyard and there is very easy road and viewing access of it. I found myself driving past it more and more often as I'd purposely take the alternate route past there. I'd go out of my way just to see the trains. There is also a train store in the same shopping center as my barber shop. I stopped in there out of curiosity one day and it brought back memories. Keep in mind all of this just kind of faded back in over a couple of years.
After our second trip to the Texas State Railroad, I went back into that train store just to see if I could get a set of passenger cars that looked like the ones at the TSRR and wondered about getting custom lettering done. I don't know why I was curious. My trains were put away. While there on that trip I saw a flyer for the fall layout tours. I remembered going to see some of these as a kid. I didn't realize anyone still built large layouts. I took one of these flyers home and looked at the dates. I looked at the locations around town. On a few of these weekends I took my fiance to a few of them since we just happened to have nothing else to do then. I told her that she'd enjoy the "crafting" aspect of them! Those layout tours did it for me. I wanted to try modeling. I built plane and car models as a kid but my trainset was nothing more than a piece of wood with a grass mat, some track, and some temporary buildings and accessories. Fun for a kid but lacking realism. I wanted another train set but one with more realism.
It didn't take long to get out some of the old trains, find some miscellaneous wood, and start playing. That evolved into a switching layout and ended up turning back into my main hobby. My fiance actually does love it for the "crafting" aspect. It worked! She helps too. Now we're planning to get married and have been talking about buying a house so we can have a dedicated train room! My friends have all gotten back into trains again as well but this time they have kids as an excuse to renew their interest. A few of us have even gotten into 1/8th scale (1.5") ridable "live steam".
If trains were something you started loving as a kid, it's something that will always be with you. It may go away for a while but it always seems to come back. The parents of my generation all seemed to have Lionel and still love to see them. My generation had more HO than anything else although I had N and still do. Now we get to pass on those memories to our kids and Lionel is even popping up more and more again. It all comes full circle.
When/if any of you are getting made fun of, just remember, what you find interesting and cool in high school, you probably won't find interesting and cool later on. Fads come and go and high school is a period where kids start figuring out who they are going to be. It's a tough time. You are being pressured to do good so you can go to College but you don't know what you want to do. You still aren't thinking of a career yet you're being told to. Get through this phase. It'll all work itself out. If your trains are intersting to you, keep doing it. There's nothing worse than someone quitting what they love just because someone else doesn't like it. That's life. There's always going to be someone who doesn't agree with you. Be thankful that in high school your biggest worry is who thinks what of you. Wait until you get a little older and get into politics. You haven't seen opinionated yet!
Keep it up. Do what you want and don't worry about the other kids. Look forward to going to high school reunions someday. The reason I say that is because the meanest kids were always the ones who messed their lives up and I got to see it later. It all comes back around!
If you hang with people who like trains as well, harassment is a lot less! It's not easy but if you love railroading that much, it may be the better option. Either that or try to not mention it as much around classmates, especially if they do not understand. There is usually some sort of common interests so work with those and keep the trains as your own thing. Good luck!
MilwaukeeRoad wrote:I am 13 (8th grade) and I guess I am extremely weird for modeling. I quit model railroading because I got made fun of it. I am planning a new model railroad right now but hesistating because I may get harrassed again.