"You have enough/too many trains."

karnydoc Dec 27, 2011

  1. karnydoc

    karnydoc TrainBoard Member

    Has anyone experienced family members (especially immediate family members) telling you that you have either "enough trains," or "too many," yet your collection isn't "huge" or "ginormous," but perhaps on the order of 200 cars and locomotives?

    My own mother has said this to me off and on (the most recent being this past Thanksgiving), in reference to my HO collection, but this this question is irrespective of scale.

    I'm curious because I wonder where these people - one's family members - get their "authority" to determine what is "enough" in terms of cars and locomotives one has.


    Dieter Zakas
    Not Enough, NJ
  2. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    You have too many trains when YOU decide you have too many trains. That's how I look at my collection. Sometimes I get the same message from the missus, but it's like the saying goes:

    For those who understand, no explanation is necessary.
    For those who don't, no explanation is possible.

    My story, and I'm sticking to it :)
  3. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Of course. It is a well known phenomena, and doesn't pertain just to trains. In the particular case, it usually is generated by noticing that you have cars that are sitting in boxes, shelves, etc, and NOT ON THE LAYOUT. Clearly, you have "too much". The fact that UPs CoLA only comes through your layout once a month, doesn't mean you don't NEED it, and that extra string of oil tankers might be needed if you ever get the oil field completed, and let's not forget the hoppers and that grain silo (sitting in the box under the layout). LOL
  4. HydroSqueegee

    HydroSqueegee TrainBoard Member

    ive been asked plenty of times "dont you have enough train stuff"... and yet i still continue to get more as gifts! you can never have "too much"
  5. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

    I would say that as long as your hobby and/or collection isn't causing an undue strain on the family in terms of either the space it takes up or the money it consumes, there is no such thing as too many trains... when you end up forcing the kids to eat on the floor because of stacks of cars on the dinner table, or if you miss your mortgage payment because you just HAD to have that brass steamer... you've got too many trains.

    Exactly where that line is drawn would be a cooperative negotiation between you and the rest of the household...
  6. Seated Viper

    Seated Viper TrainBoard Member

    So far as I'm concerned, you "have enough" when all the stock - locomotives, passenger and freight cars, even engineering machinery - will fit on the track and there's enough room to move them all. "Too many" is when you buy something else and it won't fit on the track unless you remove something else first.

    With the OO/HO tramway, I now have "too many", having been given another kit a few weeks ago. Placing it on the board will require removal of something else. I don't [yet!] have "enough" on the N railway, but I've only managed this by extending a board to provide a return loop, rather than having end to end. Another five 40ft boxcars should do it!!!


    Pete Davies
  7. COverton

    COverton TrainBoard Member

    I think they are just voicing an honest dismay over what they understand, or think they understand (no diff, really), about what they see. They think of the numbers, and they have a sensible approximation of the money outlay to get them, and then they look at the display. There is a disparity, unless you have oodles of space and several hundred feet of trackage, including storage tracks or huge yard that is effectively a storage track. What I mean is, if they know you have so many locos, and so many cars, and you have much or most of it put away in totes or on shelves, they would wonder if it isn't a lot about collecting, and not so much the playing and enjoyment.

    I am sensitive to this side of the hobby. I have a constant desire to acquire more stuff. But, it does add up, and I can't possibly put it on tracks and expect to do more than enjoy the sounds my decoders make. No train running if I have all I own out there. So, even though I swore I was going to keep a handle on my acquisitive nature, particularly with the more expensive locomotives, the fact is it is a losing battle. I have passed the 22 loco stage, and am managing to keep it to one or two a year. I know people who get two or more a month, and some of them spend $1000 a pop, often more! These are collectors.

    I am at the point where I seriously question my path. I have just purchased my first ever pure brass order, a Sunset CPR 2-10-4 Selkirk. It's a beaut, but I can't possibly afford another. So, now I have at least two, often three or more locomotives from my five (or is it six) favourite railroads of interest. Again, where am I going? I have 23 (or is it 24) locomotives, with only a pair of a kind, two Genesis Santa Fe Warbonnet SD75M's. Every one of the others is a single unit, so no big ready-track displays for me. Where am I going? I should figure it out, and soon. I should unload some things. I should narrow it down and do some more serious modelling....or not. Or not, because my excitement in the hobby is two-fold: identifying another must have engine, and that could be a SD70ACE or a Shark Nose Baldwin. If someone offered a $499 Yellowstone in plastic or diecast, I would be all over it. BLI is about to launch their Santa Fe 2-10-2 project, I hope, and the Santa Fe is a gotta-have road for me. Oh, and their Union Pacific 4-12-2 Union is back on the list for early 2013...another must have. Secondly, I really like photographing my models to derive realistic scenes. Sometimes a new engine inspires.

    I really should figure this out. Meanwile, I drag my feet as much as I can when it comes to buying new things. I don't feel good about squirreling expensive items away in totes.

    I don't know that it answers your question, but they are being honest, and honestly fearful, for you. Maybe, if you can figure yourself out, you can explain to them that their fears for you are baseless.
  8. nscalerone

    nscalerone TrainBoard Member

    After about 15 or so years in "N" scale, and "accumulating" more than I REALLY did need!, I decided sometime back that anything I didn't use on a regular basis.......I did NOT need!!, and off to Ebay it went.
    I now get to enjoy what I have, not worry about what I don't have, and my layout area is much cleaner :)
    Also, as a result, I don't feel guilty about the money I do spend now, as I get only what I need & what fits my scheme.
  9. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones TrainBoard Supporter

    Well I've done it before, switched the same cars with the same road numbers over and over again. This, I decided, is not how it is in "real life" and since my layout is set during packing season, years 1957 - 67, how can I ever have too many FGEX reefers? Ditto any car you care to name.

    Look at a nearby industry. Does the same road name with the same number show up every time you switch the siding? Of course not. Operations on my layout is based on industrial demand for either certain products or empty car types. Typically the car shows up on my layout with a certain cargo, is unloaded and then removed from the layout. I further seperate my cars by location. A box car of lumber from St. Marys Lumber in St. Mary Idaho will almost certainly show up in a Milwaukee Road car although it is within reason for it to also be shipped in a GN, NP, or UP box car.

    Ditto a car of tinned fruit from Del Monte in San Francisco. Most likely an SP car, tho' it might also show up in a suitable AT&SF or WP car.

    Some of the larger industries have car pools dedicated to moving their product. The St.Louis brewery for Falstaff has such a pool (at least in my universe). Car loads of Falstaff beer can show up in MKT, Southern, or another roads insulated cars.

    Once used the car is returned to the nether reaches until it shows up again.

    Car service rules, especially from the 50s and 60s, can provide a lot of rationale for these and a few other little twists and turns. Hey, my wife buys it - works for me.
  10. karnydoc

    karnydoc TrainBoard Member

    I only touched upon one family member's view toward my hobby - that of my mother - and she has never appreciated my interest not respected it (She recently threw out some of my trains "because their boxes were falling apart" - without telling me. She what I mean by no respect?) Not only does she loathe my hobby interest, but she also expressed her disdain for my choice of career when I worked for CSX as a conductor for eight years.

    I realize the problems with my mother are well beyond the scope of this site, but I wanted to give you some perspective on what I face, even though family members' questioning attitudes towards our hobby is not confined to me alone.

    Dieter Zakas
  11. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

    Well from my own standpoint I don't much worry about others thoughts in reference to my Hobby collections. The Misses is alright with it and nothing goes without due to my Hobbies. But I have thought that I have too much of a collection; something someone said earlier about having to move pieces off of the layout to be able to have room to place others on. Well that is me and I'm sure my collection isn't as large as many on here. As soon as the economy picks up slightly I will be thinning things out some. And that is my thought on that. :tb-wink:
  12. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

    I think my g/f fell down and hit her head somewhere. She always says "We don't have enough." Yeah but I don't tend to spend much money to begin with.
  13. Mike Sheridan

    Mike Sheridan TrainBoard Member

    Enough is a subjective term which is only meaningful to the person using it.

    If you don't mind annoying these good folks just ask them at what point during the recent festivities they'd had "enough" to eat or drink?
    And then ask if they stopped at that point :)
    At least your trains won't be down the pan tomorrow :eek:
  14. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Well, it is in my estimation based purely upon their not having any understanding of the hobby. Too often you just cannot explain it so they'll comprehend. Any hobby being an aspect of personal happiness, whatever the limitations might be, is a bar only you the participant can set.
  15. SimRacin14

    SimRacin14 TrainBoard Member

    The way I see it, if they don't live with you, it's none of their business how much you have. If they do live with you, as long as the bills are paid and what you have is pretty well confined to one space(a train room), then it doesn't matter. I have N scale stuff, which is small enough that I can buy quite a few things and not be overwhelmed. No one's ever told me I have too much stuff though.
  16. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

    If we see you on Hoarders, THEN Maybe you have too many ...LOL
  17. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

    Actually most of my family does think that I only need one train the size of a starter set. But my g/f and I decided too many trains will be when I start collecting sets, Like Rapido's Canadian and I have no intention of modeling the CP. The one exception to the rule was the Pennsy Steamer Passenger I'm building as that pays homage to my family's history. Anything we do or add will be specifically to the area/era we model. No Amtrak Southwest Chief, only a Pre-P42 Empire Builder. It helps to make sure that I don't go on needless spending sprees. That way the collection we build will be specifically to what we're doing.
  18. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

    Mike C stole my thunder... It is indeed a misunderstanding of the hobby. As much as it may be a "misunderstanding" on our part of the need to have 97 pairs of shoes. That's about the size of it. So if someone (especially of the feminine gender) proclaims a surplus of trains, I bring up shoes. Or some other collectible items. That usually ends the debate right there.
  19. MisterBeasley

    MisterBeasley TrainBoard Supporter

    The answer to "You have too many trains" should be "No, I just don't have a big enough layout yet."
  20. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

    It's All In Perspective.

    Nobody else has said I've got enough trains, but by my own admission, there aren't many N-Scale items I'm looking for. I'm in the process of redesigning & rebuilding the layout room and the INDIANA RAILWAY. So about the only things I'm looking for are steam engines and code 55 trackwork. The Treasurer of the INDIANA RAILWAY, (Wife), has, as we are leaving various train show & swap meets, asked me several times " How come you didn't buy any more? Didn't you see anything you wanted?" I just usually reply " Saw a few things I wanted, but nothing I NEEDED" I'm at this stage right now, and until the layout gets finished, I'll just maintain the present inventory.

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