No layout? What is your favorite part of hobby?

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I'm one of those guys who hasn't had a layout for many years, but that hasn't diminished my attraction to the hobby. My ranking of my favorite aspects lately would be:

Railfanning - I'm fortunate to live near a busy Norfolk Southern line and the wife & I railfan almost every weekend.
HO Collection - About 10 years ago I started collecting locomotives and rolling stock of railroads that operate, or did at one time, in western Pennsylvania. This became a little more expensive than I anticipated not knowing how many railroads that would encompass.
The work of others - I really enjoy photos and videos of the layouts others have created. I have spent countless hours admiring how creative and talented so many of you are.

By the way, although my main interest is in HO, I enjoy all scales.
Tom
 

Railrunner130

Well-Known Member
I have a long-term-temporary layout. I've got a 4X8 and a few 2X4 tables that I run track across. Every once in a while I tear it up (except where it runs across my workbench) and start over. Some day when the kids are done with all their toys I'll get the opportunity to build something more permanent. In the mean time, I do a lot of bouncing between building cars, working on engines, putting together craftsman style buildings and rarely, but occasionally putting together a diorama. Research is also often conducted when I'm too lazy to get my rear downstairs. Hopefully, I'm honing my skills for the big build. None of these activities are a particular favorite.

It mainly depends on my mood and what needs to be done next. I've had a 4-6-4T for example, that I purchased, replaced the motor on and stripped the paint. There are photos of it around here somewhere. I recently took it to get a final clean up done and some holes drilled for lights. I don't have a drill press or the necessary skills to work that issue myself. When I get it back I'll paint it and wire it for DCC and lights.
 

skyliner

Active Member
I guess my primary non-layout RR activity would be photography, although I don't do nearly as much as in years past. Prior to moving to Minnesota, I lived in central Illinois, within view of the IC/CN mainline, and I'd often drive out to the diamond at Tolono, or other lines in the area looking for good photo opportunities. With my current job, and life in general, I don't do much train chasing lately. Once in a while I'll think, "Hey it's a nice day, I should see if I can find a place around town for some good shots," and head out for an hour or so. I also travel constantly for work, and bring a camera along with me, so if I have some free time on the road, I may be looking for train photo opportunities all around the country.

I do have a handful of pictures online at places like railpictures.net, but one thing I started doing recently is using an online photo store to make my pictures into a train calendar each year. I'll then give them out to friends and family for the holidays. Here's a pic of this month's page (cell phone pic, sorry not great quality):

 

riogrande

Active Member
Which is? I can presume D&RGW or maybe your a D&RG person? I have yet to meet a RGW person.
Yes, D&RGW focusing on the late 1970's through early 1980's. During the very long period of 15 years I was without a layout I was building a roster that covered really a wide period from about 1965 - 1994. Like many, over time I began to narrow that down as it is too costly and impractical to cover too wide a period, so I cut the 1994 date back about 10 years and have sold off most of the equipment that fit the 84-94 time period and used the funds to buy rolling stock with greater fidelity fitting mainly the last 10 years of Rio Grande standard gauge caboose operations.
 

tomstockton

Tom Stockton
I don't have a layout, but I enjoy helping one of my best friend's with his layout. We've changed track plans countless times, and once he tore down the entire layout and had his brother (a carpenter) build benchwork all around the train room! Sometimes, we have trouble figuring out a wiring problem or getting track in its proper alignment, but when we've run trains over the entire layout, it's a blast!

As for myself (when I'm at home), I enjoy putting together freight car kits, upgrading to Kadee couplers and metal wheelsets, and doing some preliminary painting of the wheelsets, couplers, trucks and underframes, and getting the car weights up to NMRA standards. I also enjoy painting and decaling undecorated kits. I'm experimenting on weathering with chalks -- not getting the effect I want yet, but it's easy to clean the chalk off and start over.

I also enjoy putting together building kits. A good "change of pace"!

Regards,
Tom Stockton
 

railfan

junk collector
What if we DO have a layout? :confused::eek: With N scale, the trains can be almost realistically long. What's most fun for me is how similar the dynamics of a moving N scale train are to real trains. The couplers can only handle so many cars before they let go on tighter curves, so my limit is 50 cars, but I usually run about 30 to 40. My layout is old style DC power so there are no electronic sound effects. But some of my older well worn Atlas locomotives make the most amazing natural noises that rise and fall with speed variations, making an awesome substitute for DCC engine sounds. The roar and clickety-clack of a fast moving 30 car train sounds really nice. When a long fast train has a wreck it's pretty catastrophic and takes a while to clean up.....so I mostly avoid that since coming of age makes it not so fun bending over the layout....being the giant human crane.
 

djstrains

Well-Known Member
i guess my primary non-layout rr activity would be photography, although i don't do nearly as much as in years past. Prior to moving to minnesota, i lived in central illinois, within view of the ic/cn mainline, and i'd often drive out to the diamond at tolono, or other lines in the area looking for good photo opportunities. With my current job, and life in general, i don't do much train chasing lately. Once in a while i'll think, "hey it's a nice day, i should see if i can find a place around town for some good shots," and head out for an hour or so. I also travel constantly for work, and bring a camera along with me, so if i have some free time on the road, i may be looking for train photo opportunities all around the country.

I do have a handful of pictures online at places like railpictures.net, but one thing i started doing recently is using an online photo store to make my pictures into a train calendar each year. I'll then give them out to friends and family for the holidays. Here's a pic of this month's page (cell phone pic, sorry not great quality):

wow! That is a beautiful shot!!!
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
HO Collection - About 10 years ago I started collecting locomotives and rolling stock of railroads that operate, or did at one time, in western Pennsylvania. This became a little more expensive than I anticipated not knowing how many railroads that would encompass.
Yes, I can see how that could become a massive collection even with just 1 loco and 1 caboose for each road. How far back in history are you going and where do you draw the line for "western"? How many are you up to? Is the Western Maryland in Connellsville "western" enough to be on your list? I love those fireball paint scheme locos.
 

riogrande

Active Member
I am staring down the barrel of being back to no layout late summer or fall. Wife wants to sell our town house and look for stand alone house now that my daughter is almost finished with college and that financial burden will be lifted. Bad news is layout is coming down. Good news is hopefully a bigger space for something a little bigger after the dust settles. My 10x18' layout is a bit too small for running the trains I want to, but it's been good practice.
 

NateJ

Railfanning Redneck
I like model railroading because I can depict a long-gone railroad in a long-gone era (That railroad being the Milwaukee Road in Chehalis WA in the early 70s).
My layout is not built for intricate operations using waybills, track warrants, fast clocks, and so on (It's only 2x8 x 8x2), but I don't care because I built it to depict bygone times and to operationally display my locomotives and rolling stock.
 

blackz28

Well-Known Member
man I'm an addict!!!!
I love it all in fact I'm researching florida railways even thou I'm modeling union pacific steam lol
 




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