Are you sorry that you chose ModelRailroading? is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


I thought that maybe a few topics opened up for discussion and opinions might be a good way to share with one another and help encourage more posts on the forum. Please everyone, open up your heart and express yourself openly.

My story:
When I retired, I knew that there had to be a hobby in my life or I would go stark raving mad. I thought for several months about it and realized that it had to be a hobby that I wouldn't get burnt out in after I became proficient in it. I happened to remember that I had tried HO modelrailroading back in the late 60's and not only loved it, but saw all the many different facets of it. This had to be the hobby of my choice.

Since I (re)started three years ago in MR I have loved it. I must admit that there have been a few times that I questioned my sanity to have started not only such an expensive hobby, but also one that takes many painstaking hours to do some of the most simplest of tasks. There have been moments that the financial accounting part of my brain has had catastrophic crashes when my thoughts have wondered into the expenditure columns. Then there was the times of unexplained depression that set in that caused a walkout and the Depot door remained shut for many days. How about the guilt I felt when I realized that as an avid fisherman, my boat hasn't been in the water since I started Modelrailroading.

Ah, but all joy of having your own little world to make it as you want: to rekindle old memories, to sculpt places you love, and to place your dreams in a three dimensional scene. And boy! How about designing and operating your own railroad. No, I do not regret choosing Modelrailroading as a hobby. I only regret not starting years sooner. Thank you.:)


Lazy Daydreamer
Excellent topic Rex!

No I don't regret coming back to MRR, my regrets always have more to do with my own failure to match my expectations to reality. I'll put so much emotional energy into a project that once I finish it, I suffer a big letdown. Then there are the times I unconsciously turn the hobby into an olympic sport, a competition against fellow modelers where the winner's proverbial "gold medal" is to get his layout published in Model Railroader.

Some of my happiest hobby-related memories are of my late-teen days, when I didn't even have my own layout. But I belonged to a club (the BSME) and was able to run my growing collection of locos on the club layout. Best of all, I had regular contact with fellow modelers with whom I could enjoy railfanning and "pilgrimages" to world-class hobbyshops [such as Tommy Gilbert's in Gettysburg]. Life was so much simpler for me back then. It was memories such as these that led me back into MRR 15 years later.
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Not even for one heartbeat.Been going at it full tilt ever since late 1978.


Good idea, we could use a few more discussion/opinion topics.

I wouldn't say I'm sorry I chose model railroading as a hobby, on the contrary, I'd say I'm sorry I don't have more time to spend playing with trains. I've had a lot of different hobbies throughout the years, RC gliders, model rockets, military models, video games, Lego's. But the only one that kept me coming back for more was model railroading. A few years ago, I pretty much decided that if I ever wanted to get anything done, I needed to focus on what interested me most, so here I am.

grove den

naturally natural trees
Tsja, what do I have to say about that? I tink I am a mix of the comment from Jonathann(catt) Edwards and KenL....Some times it looks like real "hard labour" ;) (in the eyes of a outstander!)
I am practising" this hobby since I was 5. My older brother had a small TRIX EXPRESS layout. I was just that tall/small that my nose reached the upper edge of the layout so for me it was litarel eye contact:D and many eye-(finger:eek: )catchers:D It was so beautiful;) :) From that time I was INFECTED...
Now, this hobby united many of my interests, like drawing, painting, history(steamengines!)my interest how something is built and that's because I want to draw it in the right way!:)
So in short:I cannot think a life without it(MODELRAILROADING:) )



Avid People Watcher
Excellent thread Rex,

For me, I have had a love affair with trains since I got my first Lionel set in 1965. And, like any love affair, it's had its ups and downs. While the Lionel set was a start, I needed a layout to fuel my imagination. At the age of 12 I decided I wanted HO scale as it looked more realistic to me.

In order to justify buying the HO stuff, I had to divorce my O27 trains. It was a bad break up and one I regret to this day. But my new love, HO scale, helped fill the void and repair my somewhat broken heart.

As I grew older, no one told me that the brain does funny things. I went to work for the real railroad and for some unknown reason switched back to, first, Lionel O27 trains and then to N scale. Yeh, I was goofy alright. But it dawned on me that I wasn't happy with trains anymore and it was because it had become a job. Sure I liked running the real thing, but the world of prototype railroading meant I couldn't place people, buildings or scenery where I thought they should be. I guess I'm a dictator at heart.

Everything happens for a reason, and I no longer run the real deal. But a unique benefit was the result, I'm in love with trains again. And HO has been my lady of choice. Regrets? Only that I didn't get to keep the early Lionels and that I wish I would have documented the model stuff more along the way. But I believe that most of us wish that.

Thanks for rekindling some thing I hadn't thought of in years, Rex.



S.L.O.&W. Trainman
I have never been the kind of person who can just sit around and be entertained. Even as a child I would much rather go out and kick a ball around the back yard than sit and watch a game on TV. I would still rather perform than go to a concert, drive rather than be chauffeured, cook than eat out, and do sound for a play rather than sit in the audience. Model railroading is a hobby that gives me a wonderful, creative, and productive outlet for my energies. I always have a sense of accomplishment when some new item or feature is complete.

I started the hobby as a 6 or 7 year old kid when "Santa" gave me a Lionel set. Kept with it off and on right through High School. After college and after getting married, I was brought back into the hobby after seeing a friends HO layout in Waverly, NY when I was a teacher there. Most evenings at home, my wife would sit and watch TV and knit/crochet while I was building a pike in the basement. When she died, I put the hobby away for about 15 years and got involved with a lot of community service activities. I went with my Boy Scout Troop to Steamtown about 4 years ago and got the bug again. I will very probably stay with the hobby the rest of my life.

I don't think the hobby is too expensive. I just wish I had more money....:D BTW, I still can't stand to sit and watch the Idiot Box. It is on an average of a hour a week in my house. I can only take so much stupid advertising! ;) :rolleyes: :D ( the average hour long show today is 40 minutes of ads and 20 minutes of show.)

Good thread Rex!


L.A.P.T. Fan
well since I'm a newbie here, I don't think I that I have ever regreated getting in this hobby I started about 5 years ago and still don't have a piece of benchwork but I have spent over $600 on equipment and i totally ruined 3 of my locos trying to paint them (how do you remove 5-6 layers of paint anyway) I still have not regreted it on bit


Maytag "Danged Agitator"
I got stareted in the hobby about 15 years ago. My first train was in the 50's and it was the 027 variety. I was working part tiem in a computer store and both the owner and repair tech were MRRers. I went to a hobby shop with Roger(computer tech guy) and it was interesting but not overwhelming. In the same strip center was the N Scale Train Shop. Roger told me later that when I walked in the door he knew imediately what scale I would be modeling. At teh N shop I ran into a lady who had to sell her N scale stuff because she was going blind. Norm (Computer shop owner) took me to her house and I spent over $250 on a lot of used equipment and buldings. Even today I am amazed at how much I toted home that day to the amount of money spent. I still have almost all of it although my recent pruchases of engines has displaced all of the Bachmann and Model Power locos. Thankgoodness for that. There were some pretty decent models in that collection but they sure were not runners like the LL, Atlas, Kato and Key brass that I know have. Wood working is still my foirst love but the trains have been a very welcome 2nd hobby. My wife told me no more hobbies because I like the expensive ones to much. Dang I guess me getting a hot rod/classic car are out.


Lake Shore Lines
I know i haven't been sorry about getting into the hobby. I started as a kid, and tinkered with it only slightly, until i got married. Then thinking that my first born was going to be a boy, I used it as a good excuse to get back into the hobby. Even though the first was a girl, that didn't change things and I have been active in the hobby since that time. Some 35+ years.:eek:
Also, through the hobby, I have made some really good friends, and have visited many layouts. I have definitely spent more money than I would care to count, " my wife would probably have a fit":D but i really do enjoy it. I just wish I had more time for it.:rolleyes:

Bob A.

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Well, I understand the ups and downs you're talking about, Rex. I haven't been to motivated lately myself, but that's changing, it runs in cycles.

As for the hobby itself, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. LGM and I have spent many a quality hour together planning, building and running trains. It's been great fun, we've learned a lot, and had a chance to get in touch with our creative sides. I believe the hobby has greatly benefited LGM's development since we started when he was 5 years old. There's so much that can be learned from modeling.

I've controlled costs by buying decent quality models (P2K, Stewart, etc) at shows and on ebay and avoiding the $1000 brass... We ended up with a complete (but small) layout this way instead of having a small collection of expensive models with no layout to run them on. I envy the folks that can afford the expensive models AND the layout...:D We're just now beginning to slowly get into sound...

Right now we're in the talking stages (one step from all out construction :D ) of doing a 25'x10' shelf extension. It would be built to a different standard than the rest of the layout (large radius curves, detected blocks, etc) with the thought that it could eventually be part of a new layout if we ever rebuild the original section. Problem is, we're having to dang much fun running trains on that original section, lol.

Another great part of our hobby that I've enjoyed is the friendships made along the way, both in person and online. I'm still blown away with the internet and having online friends who enjoy model railroading around the world!

All in all, model railroading truly is the world's greatest hobby. :)


Diesel Detail Freak
well since I'm a newbie here, I don't think I that I have ever regreated getting in this hobby I started about 5 years ago and still don't have a piece of benchwork but I have spent over $600 on equipment and i totally ruined 3 of my locos trying to paint them (how do you remove 5-6 layers of paint anyway) I still have not regreted it on bit
Simple Green, undiluted should work.

Back on topic, sharing model RR'ing with photography isn't hard, despite when you can kill FIVE locomotive's budgets with one new camera. But then I get better pictures of trains! Then there's computers which allow me to talk to you all! Lastly my love of motorcycles, which I've managed to keep in wraps with a few dozen of so toys & collectibles so far. Selling off the Lego helped, as I could re-invest into lots of new units & the module sections.

Steve B

I had a train set in 1974 which got me into the swing of things, it grew to fill my grans spare bedroom untill i gave it up in about 1983,------------- in 2000 i started a new job at Leyland in the truck assembly plant and here i met my friend Mick who got me back on track so to stay, this time i went for American as apposed to British stuff after a look at Model Railroader magazine, i have never looked back except when the builders wrecked my layout, hopefully this one will last longer,,, unless i emigrate, then i'll strip everything salvageble and ship it off to my new home. Like Grande man says it's amazing how many people you get to know and what you can find out by visiting forum's like this, truly amazing.
Thanks everyone for the support


Running the MC & Buffalo
Hi read evryone's comments and here are a few of my own. I started model railroading just a couple of years ago. My daughter's ex- boyfriend got me into it and I don not regert it one bit . Unfortunately I'm on a fixed income so I have to do thinks very inexpensively but I try to do it with the best qaulity in mine. Years ago I had Lionel Trains which my ncle had given me but like some children got rid of them when I got olderalong with priceless baseball cards.Well your young and make dumb mistakes.But ever since then I kept trains in the back burner and fially got started again.Old 97 got me onto this forum and I'm glad taht it gave me a chance on how to do things and all the friends that I have met online. Thanks again and especially to ModelBob who put this fine forum together !!!!

BNSF dude

BNSF foamer
HECK NO! Sure I may not have as large of a wallet but its the only thing for a train loving 12 yr old mostly stuck in boredome ville (school) to do on his down time!


Stay off the tracks!
Oh, occasionally I've wondered, but then I realize that I do need a hobby (computers are a job, not a hobby) and this one at least has some durable results. And a lot of satisfaction as well.

Now to get back in the train room and lay some more track!


Master Mechanic
Well, Rex, you certainly started with a biggie! Real good discussion! There hasn't been one this active in a while! You had mentioned this yesterday when we were working but boy what a response!

My story is similar to others, I started with a MARX windup when I was 4. From that went to a MARX electric! But I didn't like that because the electric had three rails and my windup and more important, the real ones only had two rails.
At 6 I got an American Flyer from Santa. I slap wore it out by the time I was 8. At that point I discovered two things. MR magazine and HO. I started building kits, and except for my college years, have pretty much been in it ever since.

PS: I have at least put my boat in the water several times this year! :D


House Mother, Cheerleader
Am I sorry I got into Model Railroading? NO! My only regret is that I got into it so late in life! When I was a kid, it was either, "Girls don't play with trains." Or they were "too expensive" or "there isn't enough room for a layout in our house." It wasn't until after growing up, working, raising kids, running a business, and caring for aged or ailing parents that I finally got started in model railroading.

But now the ol' bod's giving out and I can't crawl around the layout so well anymore. So my next option is to indoctrinate the granddaughters to the hobby. The nine-year-old is too busy being a nine-year-old right now, but the three-year-old is definitely showing promise. When she comes to our house, the first toybox to come out is the one containing the Brios!

However. Being the optimist that I am, I recently bought 300 feet of used G-scale track from a new homeowner who wasn't "into" garden railroading. He wanted it out of his yard, and the price was VERY RIGHT. (These pieces are all approximately six feet long.)

So, who knows. The F&CGR may run again!


Coal Shoveler
Like many, I got a Lionel set as a kid, then set MR aside as I grew older and interests changed. I got back in it in 1999, I was looking for a long-term hobby that would be interesting (and less physically stressful) after retirement. Not to mention being able to afford it while still gainfully employed. At least now I have much of the initial high-dollar outlays out of the way.

Retirement is still some time away; my main worry is that I'll lose interest in MR somewhere down the road here, and I'll find myself in another hobby with that massive initial cash outlay when I can least afford it. And, like some have said, the MR interest comes and goes.

Still, it's long-term hobby; at least that's the plan!


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