Model Trains in Your Life

I cannot recall a thread where we offered some insight into how we involve ourself in model railroading.
For example, when I go fishing, it is always with others. My time spent
with the train hobby is often solitary. When I eventually build a layout [a house change or an addition must happen], I anticipate operating with my wife, my brother, and a friend or two. However, I expect to operate the layout w/ waybills and car cards, by myself, more often than not. It'll be similar to playing one of those electronic chess games against the computer. You just pick up where the last move ended whenever the next opportunity presents itself.
I have zero affiliation with the RR in my lifetime. I just got hooked by the equipment, and the many possibilities to add other interests to the venture [woodworking, wiring, building models, etc.]. It might be an addiction as much as it's a hobby. I seem to find a peaceful escape at the work bench when I am drawing train yard possibilities, building car kits, and/or building bridges.
The more I get invested, the more I see other ways to challenge myself with the equipment. Operations has become my latest obsession. It has me fully re-focused on all aspects of my involvement, yet I don't have a buddy group who will eventually operate with me. It's kind of strange, yet I plow onward with enthusiasm.
1. How many of you have scheduled operating sessions with other modelers using your home layout?
2. How many of you share the hobby with other family members in your household?
3. How many of you are lone modelers who simply escape into your model RR space and enjoy it entirely by yourself?
4. Do you buy strictly for the layout, do you buy merely for the enjoyment of displaying the items, or do you do a combination of both?
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On 26 Oct 2005 10:47:15 -0700, mc snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com purred

    None. I know no local modelers and my layout is really too small for multiple operator use.

    I'm the "last man standing" and have no living family (unless you count the cats and they are avid railfans who love to watch the trains go by)

    Sounds like me.

    The layout is the display so it could go either way.
cat
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The layout is not running yet but I will probably be the only one who runs it. Maybe my son will want too when he is a little older. He is in the Thomas stage right now. Still operations could accommodate 3 people and I hope that others will occasionally run the layout with me, but I doubt I will ever have and regular schedule for this.

Every now and then Nicholas who is almost five. But he is way too active and distracting to get much modeling done when he's around. When I am doing things he can truly participate in he loves to help.When I was installing the masonite backside to the valance he was a big help standing on the benchwork holding up one end of an eight foot strip while I fastened down the other end. He was delighted and proud of himself because he really did help build it and he knew it. He loves to make things with clay, paint, draw and color so I think making sceanry will be something that he is sure to join in on with me.

Most of the time that's me.

I don't display anything but not every train item I buy is strictly for the layout. I may put up a display case in the workshop one day so I can see my locomotives. Bruce
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mc snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

That's the way I got started, although I'm old enough to have ridden the trains many times - and still do when possible.

That's me, although my wife has been know to get intrigued for an hour or two by an Inglenook puzzle.
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I don't have a layout yet, so I should probably just shut up, but:
mc snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Somehow, I just can't see it. There's several round-robin groups in the area; I've been an occasional guest at other layouts...but the thought of putting together the paperwork and such for a formal ops session, enough to keep several people busy at once....I'm just not that organized. (Besides, who can see the reporting marks on N-scale cars? Assuming they weren't half duplicate road numbers anyway....)

My wife's into it as much as I am, except for the ops side. Too much like work.

I stand in one end of the rec room and say: "The yard will be over there...once we get this f$%^ing junk out of here!" Does that answer your question? ;-)

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Lt. Kizhe Catson wrote:

<snip>
A lot of paperwork is NOT needed. If you use a car-card and waybill system the movements largely generate themselves. It takes me perhaps ten to fifteen minutes to 'stage' the NEW movements for each operating session on my layout. The subsequent four movements are all done automatically by the card system. Thus I only need to even consider about 20% of the movements at any one session. No big deal at all.
If you decide to use timetables, printed waybills, and switch lists, the paperwork builds up rapidly. That's more prototypical (perhaps), if 'paperwork' is what you enjoy. There's nothing wrong with that, but I find it cumbersome. I use the card system to generate traffic, with minimal effort, and provide an excuse to run the trains.
Dan Mitchell ==========
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mc snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
<snip>

Once, with my younger brother, sort of. He isn't really a modeler, but he is interested in and has "played with" trains before. And, my layout isn't really ready for serious operations yet. But we kinda tried it out anyway. It was fun.

My wife greatly indulges me because she's the most wonderful babe ever. But that's about it. She really has no interest other than knowing it makes me happy. My teenage kids just moan whenever I say the word "train". I think it's a reflex, sort of like how the cat comes running when it hears the can opener.

If you mean my physical layout/shop space, then yes, that's the case with me. If you mean "model RR space" in more conceptual ways, then no, I'm not a lone modeler. I'm fairly active in my local NMRA Division, having served on the BOD for the past four years (stepped down due to those teenagers demanding more of my time). I can't say that I hang out at my LHS, but running in to grab something usually requires no less than 30 minutes. Maybe that's why my kids moan...

I already have probably 10 times as many cars and locos as will reasonably fit on my layout at any given time, but I don't really display anything, either. So I guess I buy as an obsession.
Stevert
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mc snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I do, more or less on a monthly basis. Usually I get from four to eight participants. My layout is set up for three crews, usually of two persons each. So, six is an ideal attendance. The layout is small (about 50 sq. ft.), so more than six operators (three man crews) makes for a crowd. Sometimes attendees just watch or 'shoot the bull'.

I'm a batchelor, so that's not applicable.

Not me. I do most of my own modeling alone, but I often have others over to assist them with their modelling problems, or go to their homes to operate or assist and troubleshoot. I'm also very active in the local model RR club.

Both.
Dan Mitchell ===========
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