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How did you get into (model) trains?

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railsquid

Martijn,

 

I bet your dad had your mom put her belly up against the layout when you were in utero so you could be lulled by the clickety clack of the trains! Explains a lot!

 

Jeff

 

Now that's what I call an excellent idea, especially as my current in-utero project should now be at the stage when he can react to external stimuli.

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marknewton

I think it would work. When my wife was pregnant she was listening to a lot of classic Australian rock bands - all of which my son, who is now eight, loves. I'm sure his early exposure had a lot to do with that!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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ozman2009

A very hard question to answer, in that the desire to have model trains always seems to have been there. My father wasn't an influence.

 

When I was in short pants I had a few Hornby clockwork trains, and then about 30 years ago some US prototype N scale gear, but it never went anywhere (pun not intended). Six years or so ago, with an empty nest and a paid-off mortgage, I decided it was time and made the decision to go with the German scene (including Swiss and Austrian) in Z scale. After two failed attempts, I am now in the process of building a layout. Third time lucky...

 

The interest in Japanese Z scale dates back only about six months. Their trains are different, but rational in their own way.

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beakaboy

Ozman, you would have been foaming at a recent Model Railway show in Hamilton , New Zealand. A friend from Auckland had 2 big plastic bins of Marklin Z gauge at really good prices. He sold a few items , but Couldn't get rid of the rest. It was the early stuff, but from a deceased estate where the chap had collected and displayed it, but barely run it.In fact some of it looked like brand new. Electric double bogie locos for NZ$50.

John

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Martijn Meerts

Martijn,

 

I bet your dad had your mom put her belly up against the layout when you were in utero so you could be lulled by the clickety clack of the trains! Explains a lot!

 

Jeff

 

I wouldn't have heard the clickety clack, but rather the insane motor noise.. We couldn't afford anything other than cheap Lima H0 stuff, which was very noisy, and very plastic. The cheap plastic only served to further enhance the motor noise too ..

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railsquid

I wouldn't have heard the clickety clack, but rather the insane motor noise.. We couldn't afford anything other than cheap Lima H0 stuff, which was very noisy, and very plastic. The cheap plastic only served to further enhance the motor noise too ..

 

I still remember the growl of my Lima HO BR class 33 (which I still have, albeit no way of running it). I'm pretty sure it used to cause sparks as well.

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ozman2009

Ozman, you would have been foaming at a recent Model Railway show in Hamilton , New Zealand. A friend from Auckland had 2 big plastic bins of Marklin Z gauge at really good prices. He sold a few items , but Couldn't get rid of the rest. It was the early stuff, but from a deceased estate where the chap had collected and displayed it, but barely run it.In fact some of it looked like brand new. Electric double bogie locos for NZ$50.

John

 

Hi John and thanks for the thought. When I started buying Z it was Era 3, when steam locos , diesels and electrics roamed the rails. A couple of years ago I changed my mind about the period, to Era 4/5, and have been selling off my earlier period trains.

 

Gary

Edited by ozman2009

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railsquid

As a matter of interest (and hopefully not too OT), what's the attraction of Z over say N?

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JRDude205

It was a Family influence at first, but grew rapidly into what it is today. I didn't get seriously into model railroading until I was 12-13. Then My love for Japan and it's railways got the best of me at 16, haha.

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ozman2009

As a matter of interest (and hopefully not too OT), what's the attraction of Z over say N?

 

Sorry RailSquid, I've only just noticed your post. In my case it was living in an apartment. The spare bedroom isn't really small, but it is needed for a guest a few times every year, so that limited the amount of space I had available.

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spacecadet

Wow, this is my first post here in quite a while - good thread to jump back in with, I guess.

 

Like a couple others here, my dad bought me a Lionel train set when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I actually still have it, almost 40 years later. (No box, track, power pack or other parts, but I have the engine and cars.) That was my first model train, but I also grew up traveling by train so I always loved them. I was a kid during the formation of Amtrak and I loved that period in their history, when walking through one of their trains was like walking through a railroad museum. You could be in a Santa Fe coach complete with original Native American-inspired artwork between the windows, then walk to the next car and be in a New York Central sleeping car, then walk to the next and be in a Southern Railways dome car. I loved all the differences in all the different equipment, and it was actually kind of a weird paradise for trainspotters, which I guess I was one of when I was young. You could follow individual cars around. There was always this sense of excitement when I stumbled into a "rare" car, or just a new type of car I'd never experienced.

 

I started trying to build model trains (in HO since it was the most common) based on trains I'd actually ridden. I'd note down the specific types of power and rolling stock I'd seen on my trains and try to buy those specific cars and engines in the right color schemes. I don't think I ever fully completed a full train doing that, but it was always fun trying and that's sort of how I kept the hobby going even though I didn't really have room to run a layout as I got older. I'd just collect cars, and I'd buy a new one every month or so.

 

After my first trip to Japan, I was smitten with the rail system there and realized there was this whole gigantic N-gauge world out there that would actually let me run trains in the space I have, and that still had a huge amount of variety in new products. I don't like how US modeling has become so stagnant; there's not a lot of new blood, and most modelers are still modeling the pre-Amtrak days, usually freight. I loved that Japanese modelers always had to have the latest trains, and they mostly model passenger trains. I know some people feel the exact opposite because of the operations possible, but I find freight trains boring. Trains to me are about traveling, not operations.

 

I don't have a very big Japanese collection (the yen price kind of kicked me out of it for a while and now I'm coming back), but I still have it in my mind to model stuff I've actually ridden, even if putting it together doesn't make logical sense. For me a lot of model railroading has always been about preserving actual memories I have.

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railsquid

I don't have a very big Japanese collection (the yen price kind of kicked me out of it for a while and now I'm coming back), but I still have it in my mind to model stuff I've actually ridden, even if putting it together doesn't make logical sense. For me a lot of model railroading has always been about preserving actual memories I have.

 

The yen is going in the right direction for you then :)

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spacecadet

The yen is going in the right direction for you then :)

 

Yeah, that's why I'm starting to get back into it. When it was 78 to the dollar I'd about given up after buying three trains (0 series Shinkansen, Joban line E531, Twilight Express). Now that it's 114 to the dollar, buying Japanese trains makes a lot more sense.

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