You play with CHOO CHOO TRAINS!!!

Tbone Feb 6, 2008

  1. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched

    How many times have you told somebody what your hobby is and they replied "You play with choo choo trains?".I get so sick and tired of trying to explain to friends ,family, and co-workers that model railroading is my hobby and not some kids toys.Do you guys go through the same thing and if so how do you explain it?
  2. Lownen

    Lownen TrainBoard Member

    I just smile and say, "Yep".

    Trying to explain yourself or justify your personal interests to anyone who'd say "You play with choo choo trains" is a waste of time.

    If they're someone whose opinion is important to you, take a long-term approach. Invite them to your home without mentioning trains. When they visit, show them your layout. Nobody can resist watching model trains run. Then tell them a little about the history of the roads you're modeling. You won't look very childish.
  3. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    My favorite response is, 'Not Choo Choo Trains....I operate scale minitures of the real thing.' :)
  4. Tudor

    Tudor TrainBoard Member

    People do act like that, but it doesnt bother me. I just tell them there are worst habits. One guy looked at me with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth saying "railroading is stupid". I just laughed and replied, "and smoking is the smart hobby?"... got a few laughs with it anyway.. hehheh
  5. davidh

    davidh TrainBoard Member

    Oddly enough, in my 40+ years in the hobby, I have never had anyone say that to me. Most people are fascinated by the idea.

  6. 110agpumpkin

    110agpumpkin E-Mail Bounces

    I just smile and yes, but my other hobby is collecting old fishing lures - and when folks hear that - many times I see heads turn sideways - and eyes squint, as they ask 'Why?" Simply becuase - they are there and I like them... I reply. Some folks are pretty short sighted - others alittle wider in a perspective of life.
  7. Lownen

    Lownen TrainBoard Member

    I notice you're from Canada. I don't think your country has succumbed to the "dis people to look cool" mind-set that has sadly gripped the U.S. in recent years. I think Bart Simpson did a good job of indoctrinating our younger generation... and far too many older people too.

    Scene I saw on the Simpsons:

    Bart: "I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?"
    Adult: "I'm [forgot the name], and in my day we didn't talk to our elders that way."
    Bart: "Well this is my day and we do."
  8. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member


    Yep that's the way it is these days.
  9. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    I don't think Bart is wholly responsible for the situation. Flip through your cable channels and you'll find all sorts of behaviors and manners that you'd be shocked to see your kids mimic at a dinner party.

    Remember, Bart Simpson has a stamp collection, which came up in an episode where their house got hit by a burglar. Nelson Muntz called up at that very second and said, "Stamp collection! Ha haaa!"

    As to the original poster's question... well, let's put it this way. In high school, I lettered in mathematics, journalism, and band. If that didn't set me up for life as a "nerd/geek" I don't know what would. I don't worry much about what other people think.

    There's a guy down my street whose hobby is working on his car day and night while blaring music and wearing a tank top no matter the weather, and then he likes to drive too fast and "burn cookies" in the middle of the street. I am just glad he hasn't killed anyone, yet.

    I am not sure model railroading has ever killed anyone.

    It's also not totally obnoxious, like running a jetski in a secluded area where other people are trying to get AWAY from it all.

    So, when people exclaim that I "play with trains" I chuckle in half-agreement. Most people have hobbies that somebody out there would laugh at, so who cares?

  10. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    I have not run into any major negative comments of merit. Since I am dating a lot I tend to tell women it is a kinetic sculpture which on my layout is pretty accurate..
  11. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched

    Its not that I care what people think of me or my hobby but I just wish there was an easy way to explain the hobby.Then again if you think about it,model railroading is the only I can think of that starts out in your childhood that goes on to your golden years.
  12. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

    I look 'em straight in the eye and state "Yep, I sure do!!! And I'm having a a real good time too! Whats your hobby? I mean something besides sitting on your a** watching the BOOB TUBE?"
    And 9 times outta 10 they want to see the layout and see the trains run.
  13. TonyHammes

    TonyHammes TrainBoard Member

    I just tell them I have a Harley worth of trains and leave it at that.
  14. sp4009

    sp4009 TrainBoard Member

    All I do is show them one of my scratch built models. Usually knocks the "Choo Choo" out of them.
  15. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    Doesn't bother me in the least. I just say, "Yep, and I love it." Now, when they see my layout, that's when the fun starts. I've said, "Now let's start up choo-choo train no. 9610 . . ." Or, "Would you like to run choo-choo train 3001 up the mountain?"
  16. fcnrwy

    fcnrwy TrainBoard Member

    There have been many occasions that I have experienced these comments.
    Personally, I tend to avoid mentioning the hobby to people until I can determine their educational backgrounds. The less the education, the more a moronic comment. Those with more seem to ask how I got into it, how things operate and is it expensive.

    As a club member, we have appeared at many locations (shopping malls, special events) that brings us into contact with civilians. (That’s' what we call non-modelers)

    An event was held at our local museum some years ago, A woman of a higher pedigree stopped by our layout. After a few minutes of watching the trains. She asked, "What’s' the point!" One of our members tired for fifteen minutes to explain our hobby. After all that time, she walked away still shaking her head.
    You just have to do the best you can. Some people will get it, most will not.

    We still get a laugh out of that comment, when a heated group discussion ensues. Someone will suddenly shout out. "What’s the point". And we all break out in laughter...

    What does ire me, is the fact that this hobby is a good showing of personal achievement.
    Yet, around here (the land of "the frozen tundra") People are so into "hero worship - Brett Favre". They exist on every game and what he does in the off season. They have NO hobby, except to worry about what he is doing..
    These people need to get a life....

    Jerry G. (Model Railroader and Proud of IT!!) :thumbs_up:
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2008
  17. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I would! I would! :)
  18. Bernard

    Bernard TrainBoard Member

    Even tough Model railroading is for all ages, I find it more of an adult hobby. "You play with Choo-choo" sounds like it's a little kids toy but all you have to do is take a look at some of the layouts posted here and it's a form of art. What is the difference of someone who paints landscapes as a hobby and someone who does miniature railroads?
  19. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

    As model railroaders, we will never overcome the publics ignorance. So get used to it.

    Besides, from my own experience, I've seen more modelers use the terms "choo choo trains, train sets, toy trains, play with trains, ect." than non-modelers. So if between us we consider it an inside joke.. I think it kinda hypocritical to take insult when someone else says it.
  20. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

    See.. inside joke :p

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