The Model Train Project



I've been a model railroad fan since childhood. It probably started with a Lionel set that appeared on Christmas Day when I was 6 years old, then went critical when I was 11 and received an HO gauge 'Casey Jones' package. I read avidly all of the model railroading magazines published at the time and became extremely frustrating with my inability to work the wonders that I could see on the printed page. I knew what I wanted to do but had neither the skill, time, nor especially the dexterity to do it. In retrospect, it was probably a good learning experience.

After close to 50 years of trying, I can tell you that I still don't have the skills to do what I'd like to, but the frustration has passed.

During adolescence and early adulthood, admitting to playing with toy trains was not the seemly thing to do, and I became a 'closet' model railroader. It's been interesting to watch in recent years as many of my acquaintances admit that they too are avid modelers, or at least find the hobby worthwhile.

Far from being a symbol of the ultimate geekyness, model railroading has become an acceptable hobby, and nothing to be ashamed of... I hope.

The hobby has drifted from foreground to background as time has passed, partly tracking what was 'cool' or 'totally uncool'. In later years available time, for any hobby, became the limiting factor.

As is the case with many other of my projects, it's received only intermittent attention over the years, and there's not that much to show for the time passed. The few attached photographs really depict the current, very unfinished, state of the project. But my interest level and available time are improving now, and I hope to make a lot of progress during the next year.

I've been encouraged in this effort by several people. Bette was more than tolerant of the activity, Robert is an active supporter, and Judy Van Inwegen has always pushed me to do more on the project. My thanks to all of them.






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