A very interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal concerning itself with model railroading and the lack of interest and sales. Most of the guys interviewed are over 60, (some well over), and they talk about how there's little to no interest in the hobby from Kids & Grandchildren. Goes on to tell how a set will be bought to put around the tree at Christmas then disappears for a year. It also spoke about how many hands on abilities are being lost concerning building a model RR. Electrical, painting, wood working and plain old simple imagination. The photo is of my last effort in the hobby. It's an N gauge setup in a coffee table. The "lay out" measures about 2' X 3' and includes an entire town. There's even 2 T's in there. I've had repeated offers from potential buyers over the years but no one has ever asked how it was done or if they could do it themselves. Apparently if they can't hold it in their hands and press buttons it's not interesting enough.
I confess that my HO layout has been parked behind a bookcase for 30 years or so. I would get it out for the grand kids but it would take up some Model T space. I did see a few Model Railroad Forums that look quite active. Model cars and airplanes have gone by the wayside too. I'm afraid that if the electronic games and computers had been around 50 years ago I would not have pursued the old car hobby. I only hope folks are having as much fun with the things they are doing.
It's a changing world Mr. Van Winkle.
I don't know about "dying". There's a big model railroading show and convention in the Twin Cities this weekend that gets lots of interest and is well attended.
I still have all of our American Flyer trains and stuff, they have been put away for over sixty years they are two rail, I have not tried to do anything with them, everything is wrapped and in boxes.
IT's a great hobby like model T's but sadly most younger adults don't have extra income to partake in many hobbies
I can say cars/bikes in any form and computers are the the two hobbies that youngster are mainly into
I just boxed up the Marx track and trains because needed the space. My layout board was only 4 X 6. never got the track mounted and only ran the train once or twice a year. Looking on ebay, value for what I have is almost nothing. Sold all my new HO track and switches on ebay I think I got about 1/3 what I payed for all of it and it wasn't a small amount of track. Just because the shows are well attended does not translate into sales. Maybe lots of the boxed starter sets are sold but that about as far as it gets. People don't have the room and unless they have a familiarity with model trains they tend not to get involved.
Not sure how much $ has to do with it. It's certainly doable in very small incriments but it takes time & talent and that seems lacking. My first set was Flyer also. Seemed everybody else had Lionel. The story concerned Lionel mostly.
The dollars relate to it about like the Model T hobby. If you have the money you can buy a pretty nice car. Yet lots of folks can find some parts reasonably and spend a lot of hours building something nice without it being expensive. I see people on the Smokstak site building scale models of engines and tractors and such. 100's of hours with a few dollars in material.
I grew up watching my older brothers build wonderful scooters, wagons, stagecoaches and battleships out of wooden crates dad would bring home from the grocery store. Before television we had time to learn to use our imaginations and our hands.
On the other hand, television and now the computer give us access to things we wouldn't otherwise see. You certainly couldn't watch a 1907 Model K Ford drive in the snow on your old tube radio. I have hope that the seed is being planted in young impressionable minds of what can be fun and is possible with some persistence.
A few people have the skill and creative mix to imagine and do some things. Most people just do not and it has nothing to do with what year it is, it's just the way they are.
Heck how many Shop-Smiths were sold, the buyers planning these grand project that the company sold them on, then sat for years in the basement unused till the kin sold later after the owner passed? Even in the height of the train craze, how many people bought stuff to build their empire and how many built it? Yes I was one of the HO empire dreamers, but the reality is, NO ROOM! So it sat in boxs.
Over the years I have noticed that Lionel owners seem and still are in a higher income bracket. (not a bad thing just an observation)
We watched a lot of TV growing up but seemed to build the fort, stage coaches etc. living on a farm there just more room to do some things.
My cousin did this to his attic. It takes a few people to operate it.
A few more pictures. This is all HO:
+++ jpeg +++ 615647 +++
I have a friend that has an extensive train setup that he's had for years. He tells me that in this area the train hobby comes and goes.
Whats surprising is that his 2 grown boys that grew up with it don't have much of an interest in it. He also has an extensive sign collection that is of no interest to them.
Maybe its the differences in generations but I do hope that the guys in their 30's and 40 retain an interest in 'older' things.
This is the throwaway generation that didn't grow up with repairable things they could be proud of maintaining.
To each his own I guess.
I liked the idea as a kid, but it didn't take long to tire of the nerds who make up the majority
of the model railroad fans. I gravitated to full scale restoration projects, but that crew also suffered
badly from arrested development and I ultimately turned to cars when it became obvious that
I could put these back into actual service and enjoy them that way.
I still hold great respect for those who scratch build incredibly realistic models and layouts,
but alas, I have taken on WAY too many real life projects to have the time and space for what
I consider a "proper" layout.
I think kids with an interest in old stuff have always been a small minority. I sure was. We always lived in town because of Dad's work, but fortunately when I was nine my folks bought a place in Lomita. At that time Lomita hadn't become the urbanized thing it is today. Our place was a full acre, with room for kids to use their imaginations.
After being exposed to Knotts, and a visit to Calico, my little brother and I built our own ghost town behind the barn.
Of course we had our own Boot Hill, too.
We were enormously lucky. I feel sorry for kids who are stuck in cities and suburbs with no place to act on their imagination.
The Amherst MA Model Railroading Club held their annual show Jan 30 & 31 filling four buildings at the Eastern States Exhibition grounds and traffic was backed up for miles. It's not dying there!
Let me help you out, just put those American Flyer boxes in a well padded shipping box and mail them to ME!! I will give them a good home!
As one who has been in the toy trains longer than the old cars (but, OK, only by a few years, did trains when I was about 4 and on, cars from 14 on) I am very aware of the hobby's shrinking interest rate--in spite of those long lines at shows. Part of it is the change in technology, young folks play with computers, not with toy models, etc. Part of it the changes in jobs & transportation; when I was very young, lots of people worked for the railroad doing jobs that are no longer there (boilerworkers,etc.);everyone had at least an Uncle or Cousin who worked for a railroad. More folks traveled by train than they do today; so railroads are no longer that big in most people's lives.
I was talking to a manager of one of the main west-coast mail-order train houses, and he gives his business about 15 years left. I hope he's wrong, but by then I probably won't be doing much either. I know I really don't need to buy any more trains; I really have enough American Flyer here to keep me busy for a long time!
Mark, MarX used to be the step-child of any toy train group, but folks are realizing they did some pretty fantastic lithographics on their tinplate equipment, and most of us begrudgingly admit that with a few drops of oil and some wheel cleaning, almost any MarX engine will start running. Can't knock them for reliability! So, MarX values seem to be on the rise a bit. All of the toytrain values are mostly based on cosmetic condition though; the "mint" stuff seems to hold it's value, while the "operator quality" stuff goes up and down depending on ??? --economy, interest level--price of eggs in Bancock???
Kinda like the Model T market, I suspect!
Steve J, That ghost town of yours looks a lot like the four room fort I built when I was a kid. I also had a two room tree house on the other side of our yard. I built them both.
Nice memories. Thank you for sharing the photos.
PS. I too, learned my basic electrical knowledge & carpentry playing with my trains. The modelling though was from putting together car models!
Steve, looks like you had great fun; hard to believe Lomita was that rural!
Charlie, that's a great coffee table set up!
Hal!! I have to see your cousin's layout--that is the Dunsmuir Station and roundhouse!! Looks like he's done a great model of it. I can still remember when it looked like that, although I was probably only about 6 or 7 when most of it went away. The Station & backshops stayed until I was in 8th grade, the turntable is still there. I remember hearing JFK speak from a train car platform while I was under that pedestrian bridge. We were excused from school that morning to hear him speak (campaign whistle-stop). The concrete wall on the right side of the parking lot is still there.
Between laser cutting, 3D printing, modern photography and social networking, a hobby like model railroading could probably have a renaissance easily enough if the right dedicated people got involved.
David, when we moved out there we had chickens and geese. Two families in town sold fryers and eggs. Now you could probably be arrested for having a chicken in Lomita. The family across the street, with five kids, kept a milk cow. I could ride my bike to Shank's Hardware, about a mile away, without having to use streets a lot of the way because I could cut across vacant lots. Now just about every square inch is filled with houses and apartment buildings. It wasn't a bad place to live, but when you cram in eight million people it's not so nice any more and I'm out of there.
I was lucky, in that my mind was poisoned early with some trips to the Gold Country in N. California
in my very early years, and later moving to a farm where the pursuit of old and cool was as easy as
walking up our road. It's been a deep and horrible addiction ever since ! Forts, large dams and ponds,
endless barns and fencelines to explore. I had a great childhood in many ways.
We used to play baseball in the pasture with cowpies for bases. The freshness of the pie determined if you slid onto the base or not.
I have n scale trains, but no layout. I just keep an oval under the piano for rainy days.
My boys grew up riding horses, driving equipment, shooting guns and bows, and fishing. They came home dirty when they were kids, and they still do as adults.
When you're old everything reminds you of something else. "They came home dirty..." reminds me of something Mom told me. She said when I was a toddler I hated to get dirty. But a couple of years later I came in the house filthy one day and she commented that I was really dirty. I told her, "You can't have any fun without getting a little dirty." Seventy years later I still think that's a valid observation.
Gale and Steve, . Dave
I've had this layout on CL for six months, there have been a few callers, but nothing to write home about. I bought a 12x60 house trailer for my trains, but it seems to always house a different project.
I was into model trains real big, and up until they were old enough to drive/start their own families both of my boys were keen on HO layout building.
At one time we had a 15 x 15 with just about everything on the platform being scratch built. There were even scale models of the houses we and other family had lived in. We had a freight yard that ran 8 legs, a roundhouse, and about 3x the rolling stock the platform could handle so that each of us could set up a 'consist of the week' from the cabinet.
The boys learned how to think through a CONCEPT into REALITY such as making scale chain link fence out of other leftovers, or culverts out of straws, and that quick-plaster and acrylic paint can let you mimic almost anything.
All of that has been disassembled and put into maybe a dozen Rubber-maid large tubs, the platform bones trashed...for no other reason that they were done with it and had moved on with interest. One says maybe one day, but his son is already 9...
I also have a 1936 issue Lionel O Passenger set that was my fathers...and 2 Lionel 1932 issue Freight sets that were my Father-in-Laws.
Someday maybe one of the grandkids or even their kids will find the boxes and curiosity generate a spark. (sigh)
For Christmas last year, the oldest son took my own fathers' first Mantua Metal Products kit built HO engine and caboose from maybe 1950 or so, and had it mounted on a walnut base and 'under glass' and it now sits on the mantel. Reminds me of many happy times of my own childhood each time I see it.
a friend of mine gave me this book a couple weeks ago and told me if I ever found someone that wanted to build 1 to give it to them.
These size trains were common around here in 70's. Used to be 1 at the local fish house, and there may still be the rusted remains of a diesel version down near Waxhaw NC that was shown on tv a few times when I was a kid. I used to ride by it when I was working in that area and wonder how the family could just let it sit there and rust.
My Ho scale train that was bought for me for Christmas in 68 is in the storage room. I dug it out a couple years back when someone here discussed them and I found the pot metal on the "engine" had decayed, making it in operable.
The cars and track and controller are still in their factory boxes as It was only ran 1 time and put away. My mother never let me play with toys of that type. My large yellow Tonka trucks from 68,a wrecker,a clamshell bucket crane,and dump truck, are in mint condition except for dust from being under the basement steps since they were given to me. When i built my shop I pulled them out of the basement and set them up on a high shelf so they could at least be seen.Don't know a good way to clean them without damaging the paint.
I know of where you speak. My Uncle Walter Fluegge had a chicken ranch & orange grove on Nutwood, just off Katella in Anehiem. As the house went up around him, they made him shut down the Chicken farm because of the smell & noise--despite the fact that he was there first. Now the orange grove is all Condos. My cousins still do eggs down there.
I was interested in trains well before I was into cars. I've always had an appreciation for model making. British shows from the 60s up until the 90s were always the best. I've taken a recent interest in Thunderbirds, and always loved the early Thomas the Tank Engine and its sister show TUGS. I had (and still have) plans of building a prop replica of a ship or locomotive from either show someday. For a couple years, I was building an HO layout in my garage which mimicked a set that was in the early Thomas episodes.
With my family getting an extra car, my dad said the only way I could potentially get a T was to move the train layout. So, it is now in boxes in the garage in exchange for the possibility of a T some time in the future. A good trade off, if you ask me!
If I didn't have a Model T; I'd have a model train layout. If possible, one of those 7.5" gauge trains that are big enough for an adult to straddle and ride. At the very least, one of those setups they refer to as Garden Railroading. they aren't big enough to ride, but they make an "O" gauge look like an "S" gauge. When I was in elementary school and my ten year older brother was in college, he had I had an "HO" gauge layout that we made ourselves. I spent hours with it. Nowadays, kids are too occupied with computers and Iphones to care about something as boyish as a model train.
The train shows here in Milwaukee still get tons of parents (mom and dad) who bring their kids in. I do not hear any crying from the vendors, so there must be a lot of kids still playing with trains. Got to get them while they are young.
David Dewey - Something you said made me think of some "parallels" that toy trains/model railroading and the Model "T" hobby share:
Lionel vs. American Flyer
Ford vs. Chevrolet
What little I ever learned about electricity, I learned from Lionel trains when I was a kid.
The very basics of internal combustion engines and automotive mechanics in general, I learned from my pretty well worn out '28 Model A Ford coupe that I purchased with hard-earned money as a 14/15 year old kid.
David H. - I think Milwaukee is somewhat "unique" in the area of "railroad". Two things in particular come to mind ref. Milwaukee,....one is the now defunct "Milwaukee Road" (C.M.St P. & P.) and "Trains Magazine" & Kalmbach Publishing in Milwaukee. My humble opinion FWIW,.....harold
Well, there's some parallels in our lives. I played with American Flyer. Starting in 8th grade I started to put back together Ma Greens '30 model A that my brothers took apart. Was able to drive it to my high school graduation!. Granted, it sill looked like a jalopy at that point!
I put an N scale train on the table each Christmas.
I have an N scale layout in a 4x4 foot box that folds out to 4x8 ft that I haven't opened for 25 years.
I had an 8 by 6 foot HO layout with about 50 switches, 3 transformers with block control, two tunnels, a bunch of buildings and close to 100 cars. The layout is long gone and the cars and buildings are in a big box that was packed during a move about 35 years ago.
A few months ago I visited a train store to get a few parts. I mentioned that I was familiar with block control and owner showed me the newest electronic control system. Thing have changed.
Yes, the new Digital Command systems do stuff we only dreamed of, but they do come at a price! But then even the standard "traditional" electric trains are now coming with radio controls. The new American Flyer Polar Express set comes with a battery powered hand control that lets you walk around controlling speed, direction, bell, whistle and "cab talk"--in this case, mostly Tom Hank's voice announcing "THIS is the Polar Express!" and other conductor's lines from the movie.
My wife and I were talking about train collecting the other day. On a TV show about flipping cars, some guy was selling his collections and wanted to sell his car and his train collection for 100K. The car guy didn't know anything about trains and the seller told him the trains, most new in boxes were worth 50k. So the guy paid him the 100k and figured he get 50k for the trains and that would mean he got the car for 50k which was a good deal. (sorry, I don't remember the car)
The trains sold at auction for 20K. So he ended up paying 80k for the car.
We discuss this topic at our Military Vehicle Preservation club meetings as it is also another hobby that A) the average age of the enthusiast is getting older and older and B) the disposable income used on hobbys and collecting is being needed elsewhere.
No easy answers. But good talking points...
There is an interesting "Parallel" discussion on the AACA Forum if you don't get enough here:
Model Trains are alive and healthy here in the Denver area. I received a Lionel Train set for Christmas as a child and was hooked. I still have that set and as life progressed wanted to have a big layout. It also helps that one of the best Model Train store's is located here in Denver! Most houses here have basements and I bet there are more model train guys here than old car guys. I had a crude layout in my basement but am expanding it into a "working railroad". Digital Command Control has changed the hobby in a big way. From the set up I have I can control something like 99 trains from one hand held controller and the new trains have sound built into them! It would blow your mind to hear a steam engine chuff at precisely the proper time of the wheels turning regardless of speed and know that you can blow the whistle, turn on the train's head lights, ring the bell at crossings and so on. That comes with a price and a guy can only have so many costly hobbies so I quit hunting to be able to support Model T's and Model Trains? YMMV
(Message edited by paulmikeska on February 15, 2016)
By the way the DCC system I have supports many hand held controllers and 1 guy can run the main line and another can sort out trains in 1 of the many yards on the line and so on. Fun for all!
FWIIW in the new era of Model Trains you can build a working railroad set up that requires several people to run it. My system supports multiple controllers and 1 guy can run a train on 1 of the main lines and another can control setting up out bound trains in one of the yards on the set up and another can do so in another yard and so on.
I was the weird kid in our group in the 1950's because my father bought a Gilbert American Flyer train set. He didn't like the three-track look of Lionel, so he opted for the more "realistic" two-rail American Flyer design. The local model train store was always busy on Saturdays when kids were off school and wanted to spend their allowance on trains and accessories. I learned in that store for the first time in my life what it was like to be in the minority. 90% of the items for sale and on display were for Lionel. The pitifully few American Flyer engines, cars and accessories were just that - pitiful. Hardly anything at all comparable to the tons upon tons of Lionel accessories. I think the owner of the store must have had a bigger profit margin on Lionel than on American Flyer. It was depressing to try and find new Gilbert items to add to our train set-up, so it remained small and backwater, while my friends with Lionel set-ups flourished. But I stuck to my guns and remained a loyal Gilbert American Flyer fan, which probably explains why to this day I usually "pull" for the underdog. When the famous HO series debuted in the early 1960's, that leveled the playing field between boys and their trains. Only the diehards stuck with their Lionel and AF trains.
I still have my American Flyer and early 1960's train sets boxed up. When I cleaned out my things from my sister's basement 20 years ago, I was pleased to find my trains. I bought a price guide for American Flyer and looked up the value of what I thought my smoke-puffing early 1950's American Flyer locomotive should be, envisioning millions of dollars flowing into my coffer. Do you know how much it was worth? In 1st class condition = $25. TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS??? Flashbacks of being the odd American Flyer kid in the train store came rushing back to me. I was crushed again as an adult. My as-good-as-worthless trains went back into the box and have remained there since.
I wonder what a comparable Lionel steam locomotive was worth then? Most likely a heck of a lot more than my American Flyer!
champion of the underdog (and Gilbert American Flyer trains!)
P.S. I GAVE that smoke-puffing American Flyer early 1950's locomotive to an AF collector friend in Indiana rather than sell my childhood for a measly 25 bucks. It made HIS day.
I feel your pain Marshall. Experienced a lot of what you did. My (late 50's) engine finally gave up a few years ago and the repairs weren't worth the trouble. The parts were more $ than it was worth. Kind of T-ish in a way. Sold the rather small set on e-bay.
Marshall - In reading your interesting post above, a thought occurred to me. (Oh oh,...) Perhaps there is another "parallel" that you have touched upon. This may not hold true nowadays, as it seems that everything is changing,....the model railroad/toy train hobby included. However, what "occurred" to me is the fact that HO, and for that matter, N gage trains were always considered "model railroading". However, Lionel and American Flyer were always considered, "toy trains". Again, not sure if that still holds true today. And the "parallel" I was talking about is that maybe to some lesser degree, there seems to be a similar "comparison" between the Model T/Model A hobby, and the "classic cars society" of the Clyde Cusler variety for example.....FWIW,.....harold
Toy trains versus model railroading.
That's as good as any distinction I've heard between Lionel/AF and the smaller gauge 1960's trains. It certainly separates them from each other. Probably guys, who are really into these things, can verify this terminology. 'Works for me!
"Everything is changing". I am lucky to know a lot of nice folks who change their clothes, change diapers, change directions and change their minds. Some even know how to make change.
However, I prefer the people here that can change tires, change bands, change cars and even change chains.
Richard Eagle -
That was a good post - for a CHANGE.
Here's a little ray of hope for generational interest in "toy" trains:
A couple of years ago my grandson (then aged 6) excitedly noticed the American Flyer consist on a short length of track in my display cabinet.
My wife told him, "That's the train that your Grandpa had when he was a little boy."
To which Max replied, "Well, I'm a little boy now."
OT: Yet Another "Dying" Hobby
I thought this was going to be about the Presbyterian Church.
Dick, that is a really sweet story, so, what's the follow up? Does your grandson play with your old train set now?
Marshal, Yep, us S gaugers have always been "the underdog." However, your AF steamer was/is probably worth about the same as a comparable Lionel Steamer. Both lines had a wide variety of locomotives, some were intended for "entry level" budget-minded people (entry level set in 1955 were $19.99, top-of the line sets were in the $69.99 range). Lionel just had more "stuff" and American Flyer did, and for us kids in small towns, the stores were mostly likely to carry MarX (the REAL underdog, cheap lithographed tinplate that is just now becoming appreciated)or Lionel; mostly because they could both run on the same tracks; us AF guys were stuck with our more realistic 2 rail T shaped rails track. Some of the accessories I had as kid were MarX and Lionel; they worked fine on AF.
Someone mentioned "toy trains" and "Model Railroading;" yes. . there is animosity between the two; one "plays with trains" the other "Realistically Operates miniature models." Bah, they're both playing with trains, IMHO! But, we used to have one group list, "S-trains" and after much gnashing of teeth, long angry threads, we split into two groups, "S-Trains" and "S-Scale." It is sacrilegious to mention American Flyer on the S-Scale list; some there think that American Flyer is why S scale isn't growing. I personally thing that if American Flyer had not gone to S after the war, there wouldn't be any interest in S scale.
As far as cost of repairing exceeding value of the train--well, it happens, but it also happens that the memories triggered by that particular train are priceless, so fixing is done! There is a parallel in Pianos. I have one here, dropped off on its way to the dump. Now I wish they hadn't stopped; I finally go it apart and just the parts to fix it will cost me $400 wholesale; which probably exceeds the value of the piano. Now I have to get rid of it myself. Piano playing may be a dying hobby too!
Robert B; Sadly, you may be right!
Max isn't playing with the train yet. He will be 9 late this year, so he's still a little young for being careful enough. I'm thinking he needs to be 10 before I set it up for him to run.
The set is in absolutely pristine condition, so I'm pretty cautious. So far he's the only grandchild who's shown any interest, so odds are he'll be the caretaker someday.
Ah, I don't think it's dying off as much as some think. I don't join clubs like the NMRA, although I am thinking of starting a modular layout group with some friends. I'm 33 and have been playing with trains (or operating, as it were!) literally for 30 years. There are many who don't join clubs now, so probably why numbers are down, albeit Model Railroaded is half the size it used to be, but their content has been lacking for a decade. There a several online free magazines that have excellent content that make up for the lack in MR. I'm a rubber gauger, I toy around from Z gauge to full scale. I model scale wise in 1:48 or quarter inch, and collect pretty WWII Lionel, Ives, American Flyer and other makes. Some pics below!
Playing with steam out in Lebanon, OH a few years back.
Another day out running my buddies B&O railroad speeder. In appropriate attire of course!
Some of my collection on display. The oldest is from 1910.
I have a thing for boxes and boxed sets!
I work with an S gauge 1:64 3/16" scale exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center. You flyer guys would love this! I see a lot of little guys very interested in the trains. And playing with the wooden Thomas trains in the back. All day long the little fellas sit there and stare at them. Many, the parents tell me, have a big passion for trains, even though their young age.
(Message edited by benji on February 17, 2016)
I'm one of the American Flyer guys !
That is an INCREDIBLE display! I probably spent an hour looking at it, and I didn't really have that much time to be at the Museum (which is housed in the magnificent art-deco train terminal--and also has a pipe organ! I think I remember a model T on display there too.
Steve, great room! Have you seen Dan Olsen's stuff? He has some AF prototypes, very interesting of what "might have been."
Thanks for sharing the photos. Benjamin and the others. Fear not. The hobby may die but I don't think this thread is going to.
I keep coming back.
My dad bought a simple Lionel layout for me in the early 1950s. On Christmas morning, it was running under the tree but not long after that, it moved to an old ping pong table in the basement. As he got interested in expanding the layout, he also discovered HO gauge. Within several years, the Beaverdale, Gunsmoke & Southern RR occupied a 7' x 14' layout in the basement and it was now his rather than mine. All that's left now is an album of photographs.
To Stanley Brown, I have attended that show and would have this year except for being 1,500 miles away in Florida. I would say that the model railroad hobby in the New England/New York area is doing well. We are buying five acres here in SW Florida, and hopefully I will be able to do something with my fairly extensive collection of G-scale stuff. I also have a small Lionel collection and a little bit of HO. I have loved trains since I was a kid, and have ridden in the cab of an operating steam locomotive (Boston & Albany #403 - an ALCO D1A) and have operated a GM GP-16.
Some years ago the bride and I went to Switzerland to ride The Glacier Express, among other things.
I too have gotten a ride in a steam locomotive. We were at Allair State Park here in N.J. about 18 years ago. I was pointing out some stuff on the engine to my young Son and the Engineer invited us into the cab. Never thought he'd take off with us in there but he did. Getting off after the trip I told him the bigger kid had more fun!
My layout is still under construction, but I run 6 trains at once and the little ones LOVE IT! I've been hooked on Lionel since I was six, and still have all my Dads equipment.
Let 'em push all the buttons!
All right. That's it! I'm selling my antique Fords and going back to my childhood to buy model trains! What a hoot and wonderful journey down memory lane this thread has been! Of course, my father's and my AF set-up wasn't nearly as good as the photos posted in this thread. Is there such a thing as "Train Envy" in the Freudian sense?
Wow Gary - hell of a layout !!!
The kids (me included) love to run the trains !
Thanks David and Richard! Those photos were from a few years ago, so there is some more crammed up there on the shelves, and more in boxes! I hope to get it all moved and displayed in my new place soon.
Steve, nice Flyer setup! I have a small collection of early S from 1946 to 1947. I'm jealous about the layout, no room yet for me, so I run on other friends layouts!
Gary, very impressive trackwork! I bet that's fun to operate! I have 2 rail O. My prewar O gauge would love to stretch there wheels on that!
I insisted that Santa Claus bring me American Flyer because I didn't like that bogus three-rail track Lionel used. I think the remains are in one of my brother's sheds. I'll have to take a look the next time I get out to California.
I like your early Erector sets! I also, have a few early sets, one being from 1927 last year for the Model T.
You know I actually expected the type and ammount of postings this thread has generated. Apparently a lot of T guys are into a hands on in-the-house winter hobby. It's a cobbler's thing for sure. I'm thinking the author didn't get a wide enough sample of hobbiests to declare model railroading dead.