A lesson about what model railroading is...

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#1
While operating my B&O Capitol Dome oddessy, I got into an "argument" with a close friend about model railroading and his fleet of BLI. I am a fan of bachmann locomotives (I mean the Quality since 2011 models haha) and my friend was not at all impressed with my B&O collection for all that came out of his mouth was "anything your bachmann can do my BLI can do better!" and oddly enough when I visited the local model railroading club most of the guys there just bragged about their protos and BLI's....

It seems a few of us have forgotten that model railroading isn't about Proto and Broadway, it's about just having fun enjoying your fleet. Personally I love the new Bachmann DCC and sound equipped locos, they are very easy to work on, and are fairly detailed these days, plus I love the fact that I can actually number and light up the number boards myself as well as add the missing details gives me the opportunity to really make the locomotive my own. And the best part is it doesn't cost me $400!!!!

I wonder how many people out there agree with me, that model railroading isn't about all of the fancy locos, while yet nice, they;re not what brings people together is just simply the trains themselves! :)
 
#2
I find that there are people who turn hobbies into purchasing competitions and that ruins the hobby for me. We should support each other in the enjoyment of miniature railroading and leave it at that.

Huzzah! Trains!
 

Trussrod

Active Member
#3
Hi Fly boy,
I'll agree that MRRing should be about having fun rather than having to meet a criteria to be accepted.

That always turned me off when individuals became critical of someone else's work work or the equipment he had.

Personally I say it's your RR and should be an extention of your thought and ideas. Individual can be overly critical at times of anothers layout but usually don't want anybody criticizing their work. That what happens many times in larger groups.
 
#4
I find that there are people who turn hobbies into purchasing competitions and that ruins the hobby for me. We should support each other in the enjoyment of miniature railroading and leave it at that.

Huzzah! Trains!
I also thought model RR clubs were for the reason of love of trains, but in reality if you don't have any "skills" or trains to offer to the club they could care less about letting you join, and most of the clubs you'll find nothing but BLI and few proto and other bragging locos. In the recent years Bachmann has come out with AFFORDABLE locomotives with sound DCC, and it has opened a door for so many people who can now enjoy a hobby because they no longer need to spend $400 bucks on a loco, including myself.

I wonder if it's possible to submit an artice about this too model RR or something?
 
#5
Just tell the guy being a jerk you heard a rumor Uncle Sam was tracking the purchasers of $400 locomotives to see who does not qualify for tax cut extensions!

I mean seriously, any smuck with a credit card can buy something hot from the factory. The hot rod skill and impressive feat is building something yourself that runs well.
 
#6
Every hobby has a group of "snobs" (sorry for the word choice) who are wrapped up in a brand or style or whatever and you only measure up if you fit into that mold. I've run into it in hunting and fishing and skiing and motorcycles and photography and stereo equipment.......and model trains.......just to name a few.. In some cases there might be a small difference between the hi-dollar and cheaper brands, but seldom does it REALLY matter. As you say, what matters is YOU are happy with your equipment. I deliberately buy cheap equipment to run at club events.....I have 2 ABC sets of LL c-liners that I've literally put hundreds of hours on, and I can still set them on the track and watch them roll off several more trouble free hours......in the meantime, another member is setting his 3 Katos on the track doing one circuit and having a derailment, another circuit and having an uncoupling, and a half circuit and the lead engine shorts on a switch....all the while he's telling me I should get rid of my LL crap and get some "good" engines like his Katos. I paid $45 for each of my ABC sets ($90 total for 6 powered units NIB) which is a little less than he paid for one loco. Unfortunately a high price tag doesn't neccesarilly equal a better product. If someone wants to spend twice the money to get a 10% better product, and that makes them happy that's great, but if someone else is happy with a $10 train set they got at the local flea market, that's also great.
 
#7
I wonder how many people out there agree with me, that model railroading isn't about all of the fancy locos, while yet nice, they;re not what brings people together is just simply the trains themselves!
I disagree. To those people that is might be what model railroading is. To someone else it is all about the track plans. To someone else it is recreation of a real railroad scene, and yet others it is operations whether it means running trains a break neck speeds or prototypical simulation operations.

I am guessing the question, "Model railroading is?" Will be answered differently by every single model railroader out there. And not one of the answers is "wrong".

P.S. To me a fancy locomotive is something like a brass W&R Northern Pacific Z6 (that I just used as an example in another thread). BLI steamers don't come close :rolleyes: Of course the price tags don't come close either. Now if I could just afford one of those fancy locomotives....
 
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zoegraf

Craftsman at heart
#8
It's a hobby and I think a hobby should be fun though at times it can be a headache if I try to take on things I just don't have the skills or know how to do yet. This hobby has taught me the value of patience though I had to learn the hard way.
I've had opportunities in my life to make what I love and excel at (photography, art, model railroading) into a profession, but opted to keep it as a hobby. However, I often do wonder what would have been if I had pursued one of these as a career.
I've been to a few model railway sessions and only enjoyed the ones where the members were immensely enjoying themselves and each others company while running trains. I personally get more of a kick out of watching the crew and the trains.
 
#9
Iron makes a good point that model railroading is different for everyone and that couldn't be farther from the truth. The only argument I'm saying is model railroading just shouldn't be about showing off a price tag to those who can't afford the pricy stuff and also those who don't realize that model railroading is about doing what YOU like to do, weather it's buying the locos with all the bells and whistles or if you like to put in all those details yourself, it just shouldn't be about the price tag
 

Y3a

Stuck in the 1930's
#10
I never bragged about ANY of my locomotives except maybe to brag about FINDING ONE SPECIFIC PIECE, but that still doesn't make 'that piece' the end-all.

I always thought just running your loco near its capacity on the club layout would make the snobs STFU. Of course I was running a Bowser Challenger with Rivarossi tender (weighted) and out pulled ALL OTHER ENGINES. I never announced what I had or anything, and just ran it.

As far as BLI is concerned, while their locos may look OK, they do NOT articulate correctly, and therefore look incredibly stupid going around curves. The N&W A and Y6b's all look STUPID on curves with the tender not even close to the engine cab. The manufacturers and engineers who designed the running mech failed to notice that BOTH Bowser and Oriental Ltd's "Powerhouse" series of articulated engined were done correctly, with out the look of stupid. perhaps those snob's aren't as discerning as they think?

I would rather just run 'em.
 
#11
I tend to think mrr is more about enjoying the hobby as a whole.

I also tend to run whatever works in a given situation. At a trainshow recently I ran an old Bowser myself that had around 30 cars behind it without a hitch.

In my home layout...brass doodlebugs of indeterminate make sometimes are running alongside Atlas RS2's and 3's...and I have an excuse, errrr...reason. It is called The Exceda Hysterical Society and Ice Cream Emporium ...owned by Fred 'Howdeedodat' Thompson...:eek:
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#12
Just run what you like. Most of my equipment is old, some over 15 years old. I am not into DCC being that I am a lone operator, but my locomotives operate flawlessly. I have them all custom painted for my own freelanced road, and I am very happy with how they look also.They do what I need. I'm not in a contest with anyone. It's your railroad, run what you like.
 
#13
I agree that model railroading is what YOU enjoy and NOT what others want YOU to enjoy.

Just as there will always be "mine is better than yours" in any hobby, beit vintage autos or fast boats, just shake them off and move on.

I used to operate on a John Armstrong designed prototypical layout and every building, car, engine, and darn near every tree that the proptype had, he had on his layout. A gross exageration, but you get the idea. And yes, people tripped over themselves to operate on it. I also had a buddy whose layout was basically a 4x8 and represented a large midwestern railroad. Do two laps to get to "X" and three laps to go to "Y". And you what, he had just as much fun as the guy with the Armstrong layout. Granted, he never got published, he didn't have a long list of extra board folks, waiting to "operate", but he did have fun! And that is what the hobby is all about.
 

MGWSY

Active Member
#14
I look at it as a hobby to enjoy and not get bent out of shape over it. Whether someone is running a train on a loop of track on the carpet or has a fully scaled prototype replica its still playing with toy trains. I have seen many snobs that think they are better then others because of what they have that others cant afford. Its like that with every hobby I am into so its not just MRR. My problem is the guys that will say this guy isn't a Model Railroader because (Fill in the Blank). Anyone playing with trains is a Model Railroader and in the end its a hobby that is to be enjoyed and no matter what you do its just playing with toy trains and that is how any non model railroader looks at it. Some guys get real defensive about that statement and I have been called a few names before for saying that, lol.

Here is an experience I had one day when I went to join a club, I went down to the club with a member and he told me to bring some locos so I brought a couple KATO Custom Painted SD40's. Well I got to meet the owner and first thing he tells me is that I should get rid of the crappy couplers on my locos and put some REAL couplers on them (Kadee #5's) , So I tell him they are Kadee #58's which shut him up as he never seen Kadee 58's before, lol. Then he proceeded to ask me how many locos and cars I have and started bragging how he has over 1000 locos and 6000 cars and how they are all his and blah blah blah. People that brag about everything like that just pi** me off. When I saw the layout I noticed that just about ever single track and yard were filled with the owners stuff so that kind of eliminated the whole club idea of room for everyones trains as this was more like a personal layout / display case for his trains. Then I got a lecture on yellow stripes on trains and what they are for along with how he is putting them on every car. I hate to burst his bubble but listening to his BS made me laugh as he didn't know much about real RR's one bit but I let him go on and on. Safe to say I didnt join as the initiation fees and dues were overkill for me along with the long drive. Point is you will always have those that think they are better then other because of what they have or what the know and I wouldn't get to worried about it and dont let them ruin your hobby.
 
#15
I can guarantee that my HO scale Bachmann Shays and Climax engines are vastly superior to any of BLI or Proto's offerings. :D

Don't worry about it, just find a new friend who isn't conceited.
 
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#18
I also thought model RR clubs were for the reason of love of trains, but in reality if you don't have any "skills" or trains to offer to the club they could care less about letting you join, and most of the clubs you'll find nothing but BLI and few proto and other bragging locos. In the recent years Bachmann has come out with AFFORDABLE locomotives with sound DCC, and it has opened a door for so many people who can now enjoy a hobby because they no longer need to spend $400 bucks on a loco, including myself.

I wonder if it's possible to submit an artice about this too model RR or something?
That is VERY different from my experience at the Columbia Gorge Model Railroad Club in Portland, Oregon. I have contributed no rolling stock and very little skills to the club. They just like having me around because of my pretty smile, light-hearted conversation, and annual dues :D
 
#19
That is VERY different from my experience at the Columbia Gorge Model Railroad Club in Portland, Oregon. I have contributed no rolling stock and very little skills to the club. They just like having me around because of my pretty smile, light-hearted conversation, and annual dues :D
It would be cool to find a club like that! However sadly there is only one club within decent driving distance :/
 

weekendrailroader

Guy with the Green Hat
#20
I recently joined the tycoforums, where most of the members enjoy collecting the vintage "toy-grade" equipment that was produced by Bachmann, Lionel, Tyco, Life-Like, as well as the vintage model kits like Ambroid and Mantua.

There's one guy on the forum who has the phrase "Heck with counting rivets, trains are for fun!" as his signature. I think that guy nailed it in the second half of his signature: trains are for fun. Think about it. As already stated, we all enjoy different aspects, parts, or even divisions of the hobby. Some people love prototypical operations. Some love scratchbuilding. Some enjoy collecting to-scale high-end equipment, while others love collecting the vintage equipment, "low-end" though it often is. The point is, we enjoy model railroading because, like the old Model Railroader slogan ran "Model Railroading is Fun".

There are always elitists in every hobby. Those people get their kicks from being what they perceive as "better" than other hobbyists. Don't allow those folks to bother you, and defintely don't become or be one; they're not good for the health of the hobby.

Enjoy model railroading the way you enjoy it. I personally like collecting and restoring the old cardstock cars from the earlier days of HO model railroading. But I enjoy the hobby most when I share it with others. That's why I volunteered at a Children's Museum taking care of the model railroad. I had the ability to keep the train running, and that train may be the first time a child sees model railroading in his or her lifetime. Plus, they get to operate the train! How exciting is that for them?! (Lemme tell you, I've talked to parents who have kids who don't want to leave the layout. :) )

I don't expect other hobbyists to enjoy the hobby in the same way I do, and they don't have to. As long as the trains are running and we're all having fun, we're model railroading the right way. ;)
 



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