Author Topic: National Model Railroad Month  (Read 449 times)

rogerhensley

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National Model Railroad Month
« on: November 09, 2018, 06:25:15 AM »
National Model Railroad Month
Roger Hensley

When I was growing up in the 1950s, it seemed as if the railroads were a part of daily life in the U.S. Trains were everywhere. In those days it was hard not to become interested in modeling them as a hobby.

Things are different today. In large parts of the country the railroads never receive the attention of the public in the way they did for most of the nationís history. The local hobby shop has done a disappearing act as well over the past 20 years, and itís very possible that the non-model railroading public could go through most of their daily existence without ever being exposed to railroads.

It is time to show the interested public what a great hobby we have. More and more, itís up to us to give others the opportunity to see trains in action. For some people, this is setting up train tracks around the Christmas tree and hooking up engines, boxcars, and cabooses manufactured by Lionel, MTH (Mikeís Train House), Life Like or Bachmann. And for others with a basement, den or room, indulging in model train ďplayĒ is serious business all year round. It is such a huge pastime, that November has been designated National Model Railroad Month. Specialist stores, hobby clubs and magazines are devoted to this passion.

Obviously, weíre not talking about cheap plastic kid toys here, but true-to-scale models with lights, whistles, steam, and detailed scenery. There are several model Railroads in and around Anderson, and the Indianapolis area is full of them. They come in all sizes from very modest sized layouts to large expansive ones that have taken years to build. The Scenery can be astounding.  There could be railroad workers going about their business. There could be a cat in the rubbish, or a woman watering plants in a top floor window box, or maybe a wedding at the church, parking meters, and even drunks on the street. Itís all possible with model railroading. It doesnít have to be an expensive hobby. I have been at it for more than 30 years and I have assembled a number of cars and locomotives without spending my kids inheritance (as if I had one).

After having been exposed to model railroading, the allure may be the trains or the scenery or both. Finding or creating the true-to-life trees, mountains, rivers, tunnels, people, stations, etcetera to surround a train track can be irresistible. In addition to our model railroads at home, we have built several model railroads at the Museum of Madison County History (the History Center) for our Christmas Exhibit. So, it you are interested, you may stop in and look them over on and M-W-F.

C U There!

15 West 11th Street, Anderson IN
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 08:54:47 AM by rogerhensley »
Roger Hensley

Railroads of Madison County - (NYC and More) - http://madisonrails.railfan.net/
East Central Indiana HO RR - http://madisonrails.railfan.net/eci/eci_new.html

wabash2800

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Re: National Model Railroad Month
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2018, 07:19:53 PM »
That's a nice post Roger. When I was a kid I was interested in all kinds of transportation:  trains, big boats and ships, and aircraft. I wanted to be an airline pilot, but my dad told me that the only way I would be able to do it was to join the Air Force and then become an airline pilot. But he said to forget it because I had corrected vision and the Air Force wouldn't take me as a pilot.

Along came my cousins and uncle in Indiana that had a bunch of model trains and Lionel. (We would visit them in the summers.)I was hooked. I wanted a train set so bad I couldn't get one until I was ten because mom was afraid I would get electrocuted...LOL

And growing up, being a Army Brat, we moved a lot and the money and space were not there. When we lived in Massachusetts I drooled a lot in front of  the glass display case at Woolworths in Leominster filled with AHM and Tyco products. (That would be considered junk now.)
 
Fast forward to today and I am a grown up "playing with trains", mostly scratch-building now. I prefer that over the real trains with their graffiti and sterile environment. Surprisingly, I donít model the era I remember but rather the early 1950s with steam and diesel.

Victor A. Baird
http://www.erstwhilepublications.com

rogerhensley

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Re: National Model Railroad Month
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2018, 06:18:24 AM »
Yeesss! And there are all kinds of ways we get interested!
Roger Hensley

Railroads of Madison County - (NYC and More) - http://madisonrails.railfan.net/
East Central Indiana HO RR - http://madisonrails.railfan.net/eci/eci_new.html

trainmaster53

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Re: National Model Railroad Month
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2018, 07:26:55 AM »
When I was growing up. My Dad had Lionel. He changed over to HO Gauge later in years and then to N Scale  because of space and in later years to G Scale and was in a G Scale club. I myself at one time had American Flyer, then HO, where at one time had over 600 Locomotives in Santa Fe and Southern Pacific. Today I'm in N Scale and have a little over 100 Locomotives in Steam and Diesel.