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What Do You Like Most About The Hobby?

Oakley Green at Wigan Model Railway Show5We’re all in this hobby because we enjoy it, but each of us probably enjoys different aspects of the hobby more than others. With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to get some feedback on what it is that readers most enjoy about model railroading. It will be interesting to see where the common ground is.

Post you thoughts using the COMMENTS link below.

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9 Responses to What Do You Like Most About The Hobby?

  • Robert says:

    I like operating my system as a real railway, end to end running, turning locos, shunting, running empties to a site and running full wagons from that site, not just watching the train go round and round.

  • Brian White says:

    Unlike a lot of model railway enthusiasts, especially in the USA, my layout does not mimic a particular prototype of any sort. My layout is completely self designed, self built and self operated. I was the first Instrument Engineer ever to be employed by Rustenburg Platinum Mines (North West Province, South Africa) way back in 1979, and naturally already had some experience with electronics, mechanics, computers and interfacing.
    I went for DCC from the beginning and enjoyed the task of fitting decoders into locos and then slowly started filling up the layout with mostly home-grown items such as a working funicular, a fairground with all working parts including a Big Wheel (Ferris Wheel), Swings, Carousels etc.
    Being an ex-mining type, I built a coal mine headgear and an underground diorama showing men in overalls with (hand painted) helmet lamps and strap-on batteries. I switched to ‘N’ scale for the underground locos, which in real life are normally the height of a man’s shoulder, and this worked well with HO men.
    I also started programming my locos to run by themselves using Javascript and JMRI software. One loco for example hitched to two Pullman dining and observation cars can leave the shuntyard and travel to 4 stations and back to the shuntyard by itself. At each station the loco stops (with appropriate brake sounds) waits for 10 seconds and sounds a guard whistle before moving off to the next station. Each movement of the loco is of course programmed to accommodate realistic speeds and, for example, slowed down to a crawling speed when entering the shuntyard etc.
    There’s much more that I enjoy but you can see some of it at my website, bew-model-railway.simplesite.com.

    Brian White

    • steven neely says:

      Nice short video , would love to see more

  • Paul says:

    Starting again at 76 I enjoy the challenge of making scenery and developing my layout trying to ensure I have a consistent story displayed. Sometimes I have to rework areas because they just don’t fit the layout as it grows. I am not developing any particular line or focus other than what I feel ” is right” for me. Obviously I am not running prototypic ally.
    I enjoy what I sometimes struggle with!

  • Kevin Ching says:

    Although i do operate my DCC railroad as if it was the actual full size railroad i really do prefer to make scenery and electronic gadgets to add to the scenery, like adding flashing lights to emergency vehicles and my latest having a model helicopter with the rear and main rotor running along with a flashing led in the tail hovering over a scene and a rescuer coming down on the winch. I also have a water tank fitted with a slow motion points motor to lower the water shute when the engine stops opposite it.

  • TONY LISIEWICZ says:

    i REALLY ENJOY DOING SCENERY.ILIKE WATCHING TRAINS RUN SINCE I AM A LOOP RUNNER.BUT LIKE I SAID I ENJOY THE MAKING OF SCENERY AND ADDIND THE DETAILS. I GUESS THAT COMES FROM WHEN I USED TO BUILD MODEL CARS, ADDING FUEL AND BRAKE LINES ETC.

  • Bobby Barrus says:

    Well here go, probably it detailing, but on the other hand ,it a learning a experience, also a teaching one too. I do like all aspect of trains. Thank God someone invented TRAIN, which
    gave us hours and hours of enjoy over that invention.

  • skip says:

    when I was a kid I tried to do it but because there r 4 of us I only got to put it up for CHRISTMAS. I started again in my 30’s that only lasted 5 yrs. we had to move. Both times it was HO.
    Now that im in 60’s im added again only in n scale, with DCC digitrax. I have always loved having trains, but never got to leave them up. NOW I CAN ALL THE KIDS OUT OF THE HOUSE IM DOING WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED.

  • chris leseberg says:

    As a 72 year old wanting to keep active and enjoy building things that are positive and to keep my mind active…. Model Railroading turned out to be the answer. I had done this as a kid with my father back in the 1950’s and. Early 1960’s. Then left home for the military and didn’t see the trains after. Until this last year. What a trip down memory lane. Have been working on this since October and even doing some building gas on the side from photographs.
    Thank you all for the stories and encouragement you give to everyone. I fully enjoy them. They give a lot of ideas and heart warming help even though you may not realize it.
    Blessings to all
    chris l.

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Rolling stock and scenic lighting effects, street lamp lighting, lighting up of structures, emergency vehicle flashing lights, replicating a campfire or arc welding, tall structure tower lighting, block occupancy detection, turnout operation, motors/servos, solenoid, infrared, right-of-way signal lighting, current sense, crossing gate & signal operation, semaphores, flashers, turntable control, gate arms, draw/lift bridge control, fast time clock, DCC testing, scenery sound control, wireless controls, and lighting fixture day to night control. Read more...

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Your rolling stock and locomotives might actually be the center of attention on your layout, but the scenic features that surround and envelop your layout is what's likely to make your train setup stand proud of the rest. Your selection of scenery and structures will add an element of customization that will make your railroad truly unique.



Scenery, structures, and fine detailing is a fundamental aspect of any good model railroad, particularly if it is intended to replicate a true-to-life railroading scene. How realistic or authentic you make your railroad is entirely up to you... and you alone.

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