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Importance of this Forum

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JPD
  • Member since
    July 2008
  • From: Holt, MI
  • 203 posts
Importance of this Forum
Posted by JPD on Saturday, November 20, 2021 10:46 AM

Like I suspect many of you, I watch way too many model railroad videos on YouTube. I am always impressed when I see a nicely done layout and the owner proudly states that he finished most of it in just a few years thanks to his friends and their help. 

I have been working on my layout since 2017 and now have all the benchwork done (except for the stagging area), the track work is 90 percent done, most of the wiring is done, and I am now building structures and planning for the installation of my turntable and roundhouse. I still have to do the scenery and the control panels. I am making progress, slowly, but I am doing this all on my own. 

I have no friends helping me. That is why this forum is so important to me. I post a question which I think is difficult, and I get back some amazing and helpful answers. I really appreciate all the help I have received. It is my hope to eventually be able to answer the questions of others as I become more experienced.

I should add that I did belong to a wonderful club, the South Oakland County Model Railroad Club, near Detroit. However, I now live in a different area and the nearby clubs do not impress me as much as the club I once belonged to. I was spoiled by a well-run and well-designed layout that inspires me to this day. I am still in contact with members of the club, but I cannot expect any of them to drive out to help me.

Just wanted to say thank you and express how valuable I find this forum. I assume others do as well. And yes, I also find great value in YouTube and Trains.com videos.

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, November 20, 2021 11:09 AM

This forum is very important. It has provided me with answers to specific and unique situations that the printed press could never cover.

It is an excellent compliment to Kalmbach Media's traditional offerings.

I hope Kalmbach Media finds a way to gain from the importance of this forum, and get more involved with 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 dknelson on Saturday, November 20, 2021 11:50 AM

I second the motion (if there has been a motion) or I vote "aye" if the motion has already been seconded.

I will say that these Forums will be much the poorer if, as they have warned might happen from time to time, photo hosting issues prevent Dr. Wayne and others from contributing so many article length (and publication worthy) postings and examples of fine modeling, or even worse make prior postings devoid of content.  Dr. Wayne in particular could have pocketed a nice amount of coin had he submitted his postings to MR or other magazines  for publication instead of posting them for free for us.  

The photo hosting issue has always been and remains the Kalmbach Forums' biggest area of vulnerability. 

Irritating but not fatal is the way the system deletes the identity of a posting person who has dropped their account.  Sometimes one can guess who "anonymous" is but not always.  Perhaps there are systems issues which mandate it but it somehow just seems a little petty and peevish to me.  It can also complicate searching for an old posting that you know exists, and remember who posted it, but cannot recall the title of the posting.  

Dave Nelson

 

   

 

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Posted by BATMAN on Saturday, November 20, 2021 12:12 PM

September 30, 2007. I was a happy man getting started but knew it would be a slow process between work and all the hours at the Hockey rink with the kids through the week and all day Saturdays.

 

Here is where I am now 14 years later, I am not bothered by the slow progress and I am happy to be where I am. If not for the good people on this forum through my journey I would not have gotten this far. I always had quick answers to my questions that allowed me to get on with things I would get stumped on. I will never be in the same league as most here But I am having fun with little frustration because of the great people here.

 

The video version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwUK51KKyno&ab_channel=BATTRAIN1 

 

 

Brent

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

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1/videos 


  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, November 20, 2021 12:31 PM

It's been an inspiration to me.  Weekend Photo Fun shows me that us Lone Wolves in our individual basements and attics can learn to do great things.  That one series of threads has pushed me to be a better modeler and not settle for "almost good enough."   I now know how good a job any of us can do if we take the time.

Also, it has helped over the years to know I'm not alone.  The friendships with modelers around the world is encouraging.

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

  • Member since
    April 2016
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Posted by Lazers on Saturday, November 20, 2021 1:37 PM

I'd like to echo these sentiments.

I am Home Alone in the UK working on my 2nd version of the CSS & NICTD which remains my first attempt at modelling a USA Railroad.

Without the help, guidance, advice and answers to questions (for others as well as myself) by contributors to this Forum - I cannot envisage how far my Model RR would have progressed - without it.

I do not know of any other Model RR's in my locality of the Scottish Boarders and have no one to liaise with. I feel lucky to have MR magazine and vids and Kalmbach books as well.

In addition to all of these, I would like to say thank you to all the Rail Fans, who take time and trouble (and brave the elements) to film, edit and post vids on Youtube. These insights into USA Railroads are fantastic, especially the Short-lines and provide proof that I can still legitimately run my Roundhouse 'Southern Pacific' Hydra-Cushion 50' Flat Roof Boxcars. Paul

"It's the South Shore Line, Jim - but not as we know it".

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    January 2009
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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, November 20, 2021 1:50 PM

I have always been a Lone Wolf and this Forum has been a great inspiration for me seeing pictures of other model railroader’s skills.  It may have some technical problems now and then but never the less to me it is the best model railroad forum on the Internet.

I feel closer to many of you guys which helps me get through bummer days as I grow older.  Its not fun getting old and without the Forum it would be much worse.BowBowBow  

Mel


 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
Turned 84 in July, aging is definitely not for wimps.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Southeast Texas
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Posted by mobilman44 on Saturday, November 20, 2021 3:00 PM

"Amen" to all of the above!

My first posts to this forum, some 18 or so years ago, concerned the MRC Controlmaster 20 power packs.  Thanks to forum members honest evaluation, I bought two of them.  And that was the beginning of my attachment to this forum.

To be very honest and open, if it wasn't for this forum I never would have built the second layout (2008-2020) and successfully installed DCC.

There have been a lot of terrific people come and go over the years (and a few kooks as well), and its been a godsend having them to draw from.

Thank you to Kalmbach and the administrators for putting up with me!

ENJOY,

Mobilman44

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

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

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    August 2020
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Posted by Southgate 2 on Saturday, November 20, 2021 4:07 PM

Yup. As a "lone wolf" I work on my layout alone. As I think I mentioned in a recent thread, this is the only place I interact with fellow model RRers. WPF is always a nice little shot in the arm. So, for all the reasons others have stated I appreciate the hosts of this forum making it available too. Dan

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
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Posted by York1 on Saturday, November 20, 2021 4:08 PM

Southgate 2
Yup. As a "lone wolf" I work on my layout alone. As I think I mentioned in a recent thread, this is the only place I interact with fellow model RRers. WPF is always a nice little shot in the arm. So, for all the reasons others have stated I appreciate the hosts of this forum making it available too. Dan

 

This post accurately represents me, too.

Thanks, Kalmbach.

My kids say they want a cat for Christmas.  Normally I do a turkey but hey, if it'll make 'em happy ...

York1 John       

  • Member since
    October 2020
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Posted by NorthBrit on Saturday, November 20, 2021 4:27 PM

I agree with everyone here.

It has to be said that any Forum is only as good as its  host & contributors.

Thank you Kalmbach.

Thanks go to all the contributors for making a welcoming Forum.

 

David

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

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

  • Member since
    February 2021
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Posted by crossthedog on Saturday, November 20, 2021 5:00 PM

I would still be trying to figure out how to lay cork in turnouts without the help of people on this forum. And I would be building a layout that would not be as satisfying to look at and operate as the one I'm now builidng. My thanks tae ye, lads!

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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  • From: Central Vermont
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Posted by cowman on Saturday, November 20, 2021 7:42 PM

I too have gained a great deal of knowledge from these forums, for which I am greatful.    I also hope that some of the comments I have made to others questions have been helpful to them.

Currently I am at a bump in the road.  My old layout is headed out the door and a new around the walls layout shall rise out of the dust.  Ii should have dug in at the staart of the pandemic, but I didn't.  Hopefully when the walls are painted and the drop ceiling is in, I'll get myself in gear and have a layout where I can run trains again.

These forums have provided me with a daily place to check up on the hobby and they keep reminding me of the fun (and challenges) I'm missing.

Keep posting your success and failures, questions and answers and remember we are like one family, each a little different, but all enjoying model trains  on some level, be it a loop on the floor or a jewel that in photos can't be distinguished from the prototype.

Thank you all for your participation,

Richard

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 13,404 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, November 20, 2021 8:44 PM

I visit the forums every day. Rarely is there a day when there is nothing to spark my interest.

I have asked too many questions to remember, and I have always received valuable and useful answers to those questions. I think these forums played as important a role as any member of my old club did when it came to building the new club layout. Likewise with my current under construction layout.

Thank you Kalmbach and the Moderators!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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    February 2008
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Posted by kasskaboose on Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:16 PM

Having an avenue to get answers/validate what's found elsewhere, and just being a community of support are three of many reasons to stay here.  I appreciate all of you. 

Throwing down this gauntlet: not having a forum post go un-answered.  Even if the answer is merely that you don't know, at least you give the OP the warm fuzzy that you took the time to read his/her post.

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    March 2021
  • From: Vermont
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Posted by Ablebakercharlie on Sunday, November 21, 2021 9:54 AM

As a newcomer to this forum I am happy to offer the opinion that it has been a tremendous resource of information with the planning and construction of my new layout.  

All the above thoughts on this forum I completely agree with.

Long Live the MRR Forum!

(if they could only make the posting of pictures easier)Wink

JPD
  • Member since
    July 2008
  • From: Holt, MI
  • 203 posts
Posted by JPD on Sunday, November 21, 2021 4:49 PM

I wonder how many lone-wolf model railroaders live nearby and we just never meet except online? There is a huge turnout at the train show in Lansing, MI, every year. There must be hundreds of railroaders in Ingham county with layouts near me. Once my layout is more advanced, I would love to have an open house to show it.

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Posted by crossthedog on Sunday, November 21, 2021 8:38 PM

 

JPD
There must be hundreds of railroaders in Ingham county with layouts near me.
I know there must be many modelers in Washington State, judging from the two swap meets I've been to this year, but nobody I've met on this forum so far is close enough to visit regularly. I was invited by someone here to visit the Whatcom and Skagit club northaway about two hours (in zero traffic, which doesn't often happen) and a friendly guy from a historical society forum lives about an hour and a half in the same direction, and he has invited me to stop by sometime. But I don't know of anyone closer, like in the city here, and none of my friends are interested. But maybe the forum will turn up someone for me to knock elbows with in person someday.

 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, November 22, 2021 9:23 AM

What is important about this forum is the help you get when you have a problem you have not encountered before. Helped a few times when moving from DC to DCC or forgot some simple task that has to be done in an exact order.

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    August 2015
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Posted by Sparky Rail on Monday, November 22, 2021 10:20 PM

JPD
There must be hundreds of railroaders in Ingham county with layouts near me

I'd also like to use this thread to thank Kalmbach for hosting this forum. While I don't have a layout yet, I will be starting something, in some form, right after the holidays, and am looking forward to applying things I have read about here over the last few years. And hey, JPD, I live in Holt!

 

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  • From: Miles City, Montana
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Posted by FRRYKid on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 2:26 AM

Given that I model in a bit of a desert when it comes to both model railroaders and hobby shops (closest shops are about 40 miles one direction and about 145 the other direction), the Forums are my best way of getting both prototype and modeling help. There are many items on my layout that wouldn't be there without the Forums. (Edit: 1800 posts as of this one so go from there.)

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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    September 2011
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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, November 26, 2021 9:44 PM

I read the Trains Magazine and Classic Trains forums daily, but rarely left time for reading the Model RR forum.  I have been mostly an armchair modler, but that all changed when I found myself the leader of a youth model railroad club.  It was a lifesaver to read about how other modelers did things, and to get questions answered on things I had no clue about.  Also the Trains Mag forum seems to hit upon lots of controversial topics, so it's nice to come to the more relaxed tone of the MR forum.  I hope the forum continues for a long time.

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Posted by Jetrock on Saturday, November 27, 2021 12:22 PM

Just checked and realized I've been posting on this forum for 18 years! While the older software means some limitations like max post length and no local hosting of photos, having that huge knowledge base still online means that answers to a lot of common questions turn up in Internet searches from posts here (which may also be why sometimes a post from 5 years ago gets bumped upward when a new user who discovered that post adds a response!) I joined the forum not long after I got back into the hobby (as is the common pattern, a lot of model railroaders get the bug in childhood and drop it as a teenager, since playing with trains isn't "cool," and then pick it back up in their mid-thirties when we realize we don't give a hoot about being "cool" anymore and want to play with trains, often with our kids!) and note that a lot of the users from that era are still posting. In some cases they entered the forum as newcomers without a lot of knowledge who asked good questions, sought out advice, and applied those lessons--now they're the ones giving advice!

 

Having a worldwide forum is a powerful tool for a hobby that's relatively little known (or misunderstood) by the general public; sometimes if modelers are relatively close to each other it's not hard to meet up in the real world (I think a couple forumers here have visited my layout during NMRA tours) but it's just as nice to have long-distance "pen pals." As I recall, MR and other hobby magazines used to have places to post contact information for model railroaders in remote places seeking pen pals and connections! This is just a higher tech version of the same tradition. Technology has added new ways to enjoy the hobby (2D and 3D printing, DCC and animation) as well as ways to enjoy the company of fellow hobbyists!

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Posted by Doughless on Saturday, November 27, 2021 12:41 PM

The forum is a very nice way to recreate and talk about the subject of trains and model trains, but as a source of information, typically there isn't much information presented here that's helpful to my interests.

I model modern times, about 2010.  And a shortline.  Virtually no one on the forum does that, or seems interested much.

If you want info about trains and model trains that depict 1970s and earlier, its a great source of information.  Lots of interest in steam era and transistion era trains and how to model them.

A lot of info about electronics and the complexities of designing and operating complex layouts.  Great source of info if complexity is your thing.  As someone who builds and operates a layout like a simple one loco shortline would operate it, and with no grades,  discussions about how to fix problems brought on by complexity simply doesn't add to my knowledge base in a material way.

Lots of topics about models and trackwork that address problems with pulling power, sharp curves, and resistance.  Again, as someone who runs 8 car trains, a lot of the information is simply moot primarily because my modeling style sort of nips those problems in the bud. 

But I like talking about model trains.  I like to contribute where I can, if only to offer a different perspective.  I like looking at pictures of these fantastic results I see from other modelers who are kind enough to share their work with us.  Is the forum important as a source of information given my interests and what I see as others' interests?  Kinda meh.

- Douglas

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    September 2002
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Posted by csxns on Saturday, November 27, 2021 12:52 PM

Doughless
I model modern times, about 2010.  And a shortline.  Virtually no one on the forum does that, or seems interested much.

I am interested and model modern times and I do like shortlines I have some older trains but don't run them much.

Russell

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    December 2008
  • From: Heart of Georgia
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Posted by Doughless on Saturday, November 27, 2021 1:20 PM

Yes, I recognize your moniker as someone who is interested in the modern era...and modern models.  There are a few others too, but their names escape me at the moment.

Most of the convo is about older models or older era.  I think the word "Varney" is still probably mentioned as much as the word "Genesis".  Its fine, but there simply isn't much information about older models that is important to me.  Love looking at the pics and I find the conversations interesting to read.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    September 2002
  • From: North Carolina
  • 1,836 posts
Posted by csxns on Saturday, November 27, 2021 1:55 PM

Doughless
older models

Talking about older models the ones MDC used to make that Athearn took over the FMC combo door,double door and offset door are just too wide and Athearn keeps making them wish Athearn will just scale them down.

Russell

  • Member since
    August 2010
  • From: Lancaster, NH
  • 37 posts
Posted by B Rutherford on Saturday, November 27, 2021 5:47 PM

I too really enjoy the forum. I love that answers also come very quickly!

I read every bit of info I can. Sometimes the info may not directly apply to me but there is also times when I find a gem I can use  

- Bill Rutherford Lancaster, NH

Central Vermont Railroad 

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