I am a model railroader

It all started when I saw a train set in the Simpson- Sears Christmas catalogue in, if I remember correctly, 1974. It was a Tyco set with an engine, two freight cars and a caboose. It came with the transformer and a circle of track. I wore out the catalogue studying it. Well, I did not see it under the tree Christmas morning, oh well.

The story could have stopped there but I kept on studying that page after Christmas and my parents decided that they better get it for me because it seemed like I would not be able to continue without it.

That is when my model railroading career started. Myself and some friends started small sets in our respective basements or attics. They usually consisted of a four by eight foot sheet of plywood. When that got too small another sheet would get added. We were fairly good at creating very basic scenes with minimal cash expenditure, our paper routes only brought in a certain amount of cash. The hobby shop became my favourite haunt. When we moved I started a new one in the next basement. It would, of course, be better designed than the previous. After I was married and we had a house with a basement it was time to start railroad number three. When it was time for a bigger house,railroad number four was not far away. My wife will tell you that when house hunting, the first place I would head was the basement. After all if the basement was no good neither was the rest of the house.

I am now continuing to build my fourth model railroad. I have been working on the current one for eight years and some would say that it looks complete but I know that there remains many years of adding the small details that really bring it to life. When building a scene I am careful to consider how it will photograph, making sure that all of the details are in place. It is nice to go to the basement and work on a project, I can let all of my other life’s concerns go away and just work on the hobby that I enjoy.

The little world in my basement consists of many diesel and steam engines, hundreds of freight and passenger cars, hills and valleys, towns and countryside. Thousands of trees and bushes, lots of people, automobiles, buildings, ponds, harbours and ships, the list is endless.

If you ever have a chance, visit a model railroad show or a model railroad in someone’s house, you will find it very interesting but be careful.....

You might become addicted like me........