Sunday, March 29, 2009

You Wanna Make Somethin' of it?

Okay. Everyone needs a hobby, right? A way to kill spare time, display your creativity, build new skills, etc. I have many.

For one, I am a model railroader. Yes, that's right, I play with trains. I also play with guns, cars, motorcycles and all that other manly bullshit, but I have a train layout my boys and I love to run. Go ahead and laugh if that's what you feel like. I'm sure I just lost the respect of a few readers, but oh well. There is a point to my bringing this up.

When it comes to many things, I find that I am a picky sonuvabitch. If I am looking at someone's collision diagram and they have forgotten that the streets are offset or that they cross at an angle or somesuch, I will ask them to fix it. If I ask for something a certain way, I will usually return it if it doesen't come as I asked. So it is with model railroads.

One specific thing that irks me, and the thing that specifically sparked the idea for this post while I was watching a YouTube video earlier, is when someone goes to all the trouble of building, detailing and adding scenery to their layout in an attempt to make it as realistic as possible, then they turn around and run their trains as fast as the power supply will let them.

Like this:



This train, were this real life, would be traveling in excess of 200 MPH! No freight train can travel that fast, for reasons of physics that I will not detail here.

Moose, Snake and I, and most of the better operators I've seen tend to operate our trains at a more prototypical speed, like this:



Picky? Maybe...

12 comments:

Ry Jones said...

Agreed. It probably comes from wanting people at the convention/display (sounds like they're both in public venues) to see 'something'; the reality is, if operated like they really are, the tracks would be idle almost all the time. That makes for a nice static display of model-building prowess, but doesn't sell casual interest in trains to the budding railfan.

Socialism Sucks said...

One of the best things about having kids is you get an excuse to play with stuff like this. My boy has quite a few toys I'm 'minding' for him until he's older, mostly model cars of a quality that we couldn't afford when I was his age.

Joe Allen said...

Camera positioned to pick up edge of table = C-
Horn sounded at crossing = B+
Train run at realistic speed = A
N-scale "Port-a-potty" = THE WIN!

*Goddess* said...

If it pulls into the depot about an hour behind schedule, you know you're running it at exactly the right speed:)

My father loved Lionel trains and every Christmas he'd have two or three big displays and we'd all sit and watch. Don't ask me why, they just keep going the same direction on the same track, but we LOVED IT, esp when he'd blow the whistle and smoke would come out of the train:) No one was permitted to run them, but Dad.

Sometimes the train would stop at a station and take on a load of wooden barrels. That never failed to get an "ooooo!" out of us...lol.
Gawd we were so easy to entertain....

Officer "Smith" said...

HA! Thanks Joe! I hadn't even noticed the Porta-John 'til you said something!

Leslie said...

My dad used to build model train sets when I was a kid. I always enjoyed helping.

powdergirl said...

I think its great to have hobbies that your kids can enjoy with you! And I know lots of big boys who still enjoy their train sets.
Nice post.

Mad Jack said...

Model trains!!!! Yes! I love watching model RR layouts. I've seen a few incredible displays of train yards and stuff. My only complaint is that I don't have the space for a model RR setup, nor the talent to build a good one. So, I'm forced to live vicariously.

It isn't likely, but if you are ever in Eau Claire, WI there is a train store downtown run by several retired men who enjoy the hobby. I think they must sell enough stuff to pay the rent. The layout they have is great!

Officer "Smith" said...

Next time I come up for Oshkosh...

Joe Allen said...

Just discovered this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN_oDdGmKyA&feature=player_embedded

Holy Moses!

Officer "Smith" said...

WOW!

I guess I have to take the boys to Hamburg now...

quba said...

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Patricia

http://lioneltrains.info