National Model Railroad Month
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 nation’s history. The local hobby shop has done a disappearing act as well over the past 20 years, and it’s 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, it’s 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 (Mike’s Train House), Life Like or Bachmann. And for others with a basement, den or room, indulging in model train “play” 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, we’re 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. It’s all possible with model railroading. It doesn’t 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 W 11th Street, Anderson IN