You play with CHOO CHOO TRAINS!!!

Tbone Feb 6, 2008

  1. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter


    Between comments like... "you play with choo choos (or toy trainss)" and some who have seen the 'model trains' and say "oh, they're cute"... I just don't even try to explain anything anymore.

    It's a hobby... no reason to go into great details as to why I do it or what's its purpose is. My wife has gotten into the habit of calling it my 2nd childhood... well if it keeps me young at heart... it can't be all bad.
  2. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    I explain if people show interest. For a number of years, we hosted Xmas parties for our respective companies or departments. If people are not interested, I'm just not going to bother. It's a bit like those who criticize my place of employment. I have a snappy response for that one, which shuts them off immediately.
  3. jagged ben

    jagged ben TrainBoard Member

    If someone asks me whether I "play with trains" I just say "yep", but if they refer to "choo choo" anywhere in there, I sock 'em in the face. ;-)
  4. J Long

    J Long E-Mail Bounces

    Just do what you like and move on. You owe them no explanation.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex TrainBoard Member

    I'm studying for an astrophysics degree, so I'm certainly used to repsonses of "Wow, what use is that?" I count railroads as just one of my interests, my other main ones being the space program and comic books. (If you don't realize why the Legion of Super-Heroes are great, you've missed something. If you've never heard of them, you've really missed something.) So I don't do much of anything that doesn't qualify me as "nerd". And so, I'm quite comfortable with that!
  6. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    :eh-geek: Wow!

    I have a degree in mathematics (heavy emphasis on theory) and another one in architecture. I also juggle. It doesn't really matter that much how big a "nerd" Iam because most of my friends would also be considered "nerds" or "geeks" or "uncool," too. My wife is a huge "nerd" due to her encyclopedic knowledge of many facts and due to her expertise in science fiction. My kids are shaping up to be "nerds" in their own ways, and they're only four years old.
  7. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

    I was a guest on a local radio show on Take Your Train To Work Day in 2004 and each time the host (who I already knew well, which is how I got onto the show in the first place) said "Toy Trains" in his question or comment, I used "Model Railroad" in my response. It was actually a pretty subtle exchange to the listeners (all three or four of them, I'd estimate).
  8. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Another anodote:
    I sit near the water cooler at work. It comes to pass I that Monday of this week chatted up one person who becomes very helpful in looking foir work. I mentioned today that I would like to work for AMTRAK or the MBTA(commuter rail) or CSX because trains are my hobby. Guess what?

    Yeip, her husband has filled her basement with trans.
    Ya just never know who else is interested.

    I change the picture on my destop regularly to display my layout or the prototype.
  9. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter


    Well this settles it... anyone that brings up 'playing with choo choos' will get a reply of

    "If its interesting enough for a rocket scientist... It's definately good enough for me!"
  10. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

    Wasn't it the MIT that used a model railroad to develop the first computer? Wasn't it Walt Disney who had a model railroad in his backyard? And Rod Steward, he has a large HO layout at home, doesn't he?
  11. Gats

    Gats TrainBoard Member

    Hmm, that beggars the question - Is 'playing with choo-choo trains' rocket science or not?

    Inquiring minds want to know! :D
  12. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

    You might be better off sticking with the "choo-choo trains." :tb-biggrin:

    Like others, in the rare instances when it comes up, the response is typically very positive. That's probably because I'm in my forties and most people my age or older recall toy trains (and the real ones) with fond memories. Our generation was followed by the slot-car generation, which was then followed by the video game generation. I much prefer the calm of working with my hands and watching a slow moving remnant of yesteryear circle the layout. :thumbs_up:
  13. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

    I would add Neil Young as a model railroader, and at one time (I believe) part owner of Lionel Trains. I think you're right about Rod Stewart. I believe at one time, someone on the board (George I.?) encountered Rod at a NYC area hobby shop.
  14. John G. Adney

    John G. Adney Passed away May 19, 2010 In Memoriam

    Only two people have ever looked low on my hobby of "playing with trains." When I mention I model in N scale, a lot of HO modelers look down their noses. One actually said I should "get real." I attempt to avoid "fighting words" after hearing comments like that; for the most part I ignore them. I was confronted by an HO'er who was looking for a fight at a show a couple years ago; I just smiled broadly (which irritated him) and said I was having a great time running real trains in real scenery. Why do many modelers, especially those in HO, believe they must knock others whom they believe are in the "wrong scale"? Good-natured ribbing is fine; being a bully is not.
  15. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    And Frank Sinatra, Tom Snyder, Michael Palin (of Monty Python fame).......heck,Palin even did an episode for "Great Railway Journeys of the World" entitled "Confessions of a Trainspotter".

    Sam Posey, a former race car driver, wrote a book titled "Playing With Trains". It's an interesting book- I have a copy, and recommend it to my fellow modelers and railfans.

    My coworkers know of my hobby by looking at the reading material I take to work to read on my meal breaks, and ask me questions about it- positive ones, actually. The hobby was a major therapy in my divorce in 1987, and helped me overcome loneliness and boredom when I was a traveling tech for two years. WHile I type this, a NASCAR race is on (Budweiser Shootout). I like watching racing, going to air shows, looking at old tractors, and can appreciate the time and money put into those machines. Still, I prefer trains, both real and model.

    If they have a problem with your hobby, it's them, not you.

    Just remember- for those who understand, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, no explanation is possible.
  16. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    Words of wisdom, right there. I think Friscobob just hit it.

    Much as some people don't "get" our hobby I bet we all look at certain other hobbies with puzzled bewilderment, too. I, for example, don't really "get" professional sports or the appeal of golf. If someone wants to talk football I nod my head and try to go along and not say something stupid like "I hope the Blazers beat the Cubs in the Superbowl this year!"
  17. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched


    As I once heard N - stands for NORMAL and HO - stands for HORRIBLY OVERSIZED
  18. Matthew Roberts

    Matthew Roberts TrainBoard Member

    I'd have to say I've never gotten this response, heck, I even found out that a friend of mine works at my LHS! But I've gotten a couple interested looks from several friends and family. :tb-nerd:

    So... would you like to know that I have a working 1950 Ford 8N at my house? :tb-biggrin: And I've got pictures, too! :tb-wink:
  19. davec

    davec TrainBoard Member

    N scale has really come a long way in the past 10 years or more. I have seen a lot of really nice railroads built in this scale. I tried it back in the late 70's But switched back to HO scale.Now I am wondering if I made the right choice when it comes to scenery options and space.. I find myself wandering through the N scale section at the hobby store. But have too much invested to switch. Maybe I should build a layout in N for the office?
  20. davec

    davec TrainBoard Member

    That's a very good point. I can certainly relate to that.

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