Your never too young or too old............

moose Jan 13, 2001

  1. moose

    moose TrainBoard Member

    I was sitting around deep in thought and remembered the first trains my dad bought me. He took me to a hobby shop when I was about 6-7. We walked out with a red N scale Burlington GP30 (Atlas I believe) 4-5 freight cars and a caboose, a power pack, two pieces of flex track and enough snap curves to build an oval. (wish I still had that stuff).

    So here I am now, 35 years old, still into trains and a 3 /12 year old boy who is absoulutely crazy about em. Im glad I passed the torch [​IMG]

    Point is, how old are you guys (and gals) now and how old where you when you got involved in model trains?
  2. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    I was 8 years old and living in Wyoming. My folks knew how much I liked trains even then,
    since I would sneak down to the lumber mill and watch the Union Pacific switch out the mill with its Alco RSC2.
    On Christmas of that year, I came downstairs and found a circle of O27 track, with a steam
    train running on that circle! The next summer Dad came home with a big box full of Mark O27 trains, track & transformers. We set
    it up in the living room, and it stayed there for at least a month or so.
    Well, here I am at 44 years of age, and along 2 walls of my bedroom is an HO scale
    layout under construction. I have two sons, and the youngest can't wait for me to crack the throttle on the first run.

    Ship IT on the Frisco!
    Bob T.
    Member # 362
  3. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I will be 37 years old next month and first started modelling trains when I was 5 or so. My older brother had a board with a loop (triang-hornby stuff). When I was 12 my mother helped me build my first layout (HO) until I reached the age of 15 when I started working on the rail network. I soon lost interest in modelling when I realised girls were ok to play with lol.
    Approx 5 years ago after building a home and raising a family I started to get interested. Since then I have become very involved in the hobby. My kids come down and see what I'm doing but thats about it. My son is 13 and discovering music and my daughter who is 10 is more interested in reading but thats ok with me.
    My wife enjoys what I do andoften brings friends down to show them my layout. I will get some of my old pictures out and post a few of my first layout.

    Ok I scanned these pictures from old photos. This was my layot I built at the age of 12 with my mother. I still go to the hobby shop that my mother used to take me.

    Paul #1-Moderator & Member number 50
    [​IMG] SPAD Investigator #1
    ICQ 61198217

    [This message has been edited by Colonel (edited 13 January 2001).]
  4. Marylandrailfan

    Marylandrailfan TrainBoard Member

    Got my Varney Pennsylvania F7 train set when I turned 7 back in 1966. Still a Pennsy fan to this day and I still have that train and a lot of newer ones. My layout is big now, but I don't think anything could have made me happier than that 36" circle of track. Sniff.

    Trails to Rails!
  5. chessie

    chessie TrainBoard Supporter

    I guess you could say I grew up around trains... the (original) Norfolk Southern had a yard that was only 3 blocks from my house growing up... I can still remember the sounds of those engines switching the yard and hitting the crossings! I was fortunate enough to have a couple of good hobby shops in town to pique my interest in model trains... somewhere around the Christmas when I was 11, I received my first train set (HO). I enjoyed it (along with my Dad [​IMG] I had an insatiable interest in trains/models and was soon read everything I could. After reading Model Railroader magazine, I ended up becoming dissatisfied with my "unprototypical" Tyco trains. I sold my (mostly Tyco) trains and began to replace them with Athearn kits, that I would assemble. I ultimately had a great collection of them until about 10 years ago, I decided to switch to N scale, after seeing the new Micro-Trains 89' flatcar releases (which they said would negotiate a 7" radius reverse S curve; my HO 86 footeres need about 24"). I joined a local N scale club a few years ago, and after several moves, am poised to build a decent sized home layout. I have 3 small children (8,6,3 yrs.) and all like trains. In fact, I took the (not yet) 6 year old to our last club show and he ran the yard switcher job!


    Harold Hodnett
    Fan of NS, CSX, and their predecessors!
    Coming soon: The North Carolina Railfan Web Site
  6. BrianS

    BrianS E-Mail Bounces

    I started out, probably when I was six, with a Bachmann train set. I remember it had a Chessie F9, matching caboose, and two long-forgotten freight cars. I can also recall my dad getting a Life-Like Coca-Cola tanker and some brass Atlas Snap-Track to go with it.

    Later, when I started my first layout, I got a Tyco set (one of the last they made) with a high nosed, six-axle Alco in Santa Fe paint. Shortly thereafter I got my first 'real' engine, an Athern F7 in Chesapeake & Ohio blue and silver.

    Brian Schmidt
    ICQ #21630753
    AIM - railohio
  7. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

    I'm 38 and have been into trains since I can remember. Some of my first memories were of CB&Q streamlined passenger trains passing by mom and dad's place late at night [​IMG]. My first train was a lionel around the Christmas tree, when I was about 5. This was followed when I was about 8 by an Ho set that dad and I put on a 4 x 8 piece of plywood with an over and under track arrangement. This I expanded and worked on until I left for college and mom gave it all away with out asking [​IMG]!! Once college was done, I started in on a new Ho layout, followed by an N scale layout, a G scale layout, another Ho scale layout and now it is back to N since my 4-year old picked that scale (it still kills me to think of how he chose them. I showed my G scale stuff, the Ho stuff he knew about because he was involved in the last layout and then the N scale stuff. He said "I like the little guys Daddy because they are like me!") So its N and you are up to date. I do miss the time I spent with dad working on the layout as this was one of the few things we ever really were able to do together. Happy Modeling!

    The Santa Fe and Southwestern, Chief of the Southwest!!
  8. Gregg Mahlkov

    Gregg Mahlkov Guest

    Gee, all you young pups. I was five and World War II was just over when my parents bought me an American Flyer train set that had a Reading Atlantic with a cast boiler, but all the rest of the train, including the tender were real tinplate. The next year, American Flyer converted to 2 rail S scale and since I couldn't get any more cars from my train set, talked them into a Hudson train set. When I was still in a crib, we lived in Rye, NY, and I supposedly could look out of my crib to the New Haven Railroad main line, which my partents said they always regretted. I, on the other hand, have been both a real and model railroader all my life and haven't regretted it.
  9. Robin Matthysen

    Robin Matthysen Passed Away October 17, 2005 In Memoriam

    My first ELECTRIC TRAIN was a Hornby Dublo Dutchess of Athol. 3 rail track in what has become HO. As far as I can remember I was around eight at the time. Steam was still king in South Africa. We had recently come to Johannesburg from Capetown by train. A 1000 mile journey. That was in 1945. We had spent the war years in Capetown under strict blackout rules as convoys used to come by there on the way to the Indian ocean and the far east.

    Robin member #35

    Maberly and Tayside
  10. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    This old antique got his first red cast iron train in 1933, a 2 rail wind up. 1934 got a Commadore Vanderbilt wind up. 1935 got my dad's 1928 Lionel electric. It ran foreward only. 1937 I got a silver grey Lionel Hudson with real working valve gear and side rods! This one had reverse! Dad built a layout in our basement, and every kid in the neighborhood brought his train and we played til we moved to the country in 1941.
    We ran our TootsieToy autos up the road (with hairpin turns) to the Royal Gorge bridge shown in next photo.
    That is the Lionel Hudson coming through the Royal Gorge. The Grand Tetons are the snow capped mountains in the back ground behind the Royal Gorge swinging bridge. Dad's friend Ed Corey got an HO Varney Pacific kit, and dad got interested in "Scale" trains. I ran Lionel & Marx til 1941. Then I
    was sent to boarding school for safety during three of the war years. Dad and I experimented with HO in 1937, and I got into it in 1941, putting kits together at school. Daddy died in 1983, and now I'm 70.

    Watash #982 [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by watash (edited 16 January 2001).]
  11. Chessie_SD50_8563

    Chessie_SD50_8563 Permanently dispatched

    I am the odball of the family I started on my own and am the only model railroader in my family. First loco was a Lifelike SP F7A (daylight), 2 boxcars and a matching caboose. this was when I was 7. now I am 17 and have owned well over 15 locos

    Theres no such thing as having to many coal hoppers or GP40-2 when you model Chessie System
    (I am one of those wierd Chessie,CR,BN Fans)
    I looked at DCC... and stayed DC!

    [This message has been edited by Chessie_SD50_8563 (edited 14 January 2001).]
  12. Telegrapher

    Telegrapher Passed away July 30, 2008 In Memoriam

    So far it seems you and I are the only old geesers on this net. I got my first train when I was 5, American Flyer. After that I switched to model airplanes. Around 1965 I built a fairly large HO layout in my garage. It only lasted about 6 months and we had to move so gave it all away. I started my N gauge 2 years ago on a 4 x 4 plywood. It was in the fron bedroom of a single wide mobile home and shared space with a sewing maching, desk and a cojple of book cases. Last Christmas we baught a double wide and I took the familh room for my layout and expanded it
    I am 68 years old. Oh, and I worked for SP on the Shasta Division as telegrapher clark from 1955 to 1963 when CTC knocked me out of a job.
  13. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    I'm with you Telegrapher, I find these younger railroaders are really a smart bunch. I can't blame them for wanting all the new gadgets, we did too when we were growing up. I wanted hydraulic brakes on my car, and one of those musical horns that played "Dixie". I also wanted an 027 3-rail Mallet! Well, I got that, my dad made one in our machine shop, so I got that.HA! [​IMG]

    Watash #982 [​IMG]
  14. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I seem to have been a bit of a late starter, as I bought my first train when I was 15. Like Robin, this was 3-rail Hornby-Dublo. I used to set it up on the table, until it was time for tea [​IMG]

    So I built a model railway layout in my bedroom, which hinged up and clipped to the wall when I needed to sleep. No matter how careful I was to remove all 'loose' items, there always seemed to be somthing rattling across the tracks as the layout was raised [​IMG]

    This was scrapped, and a new, better fixed layout built around the walls. All the track was handbuilt, as was a working roundhouse, with lights!

    After marriage, and my own house, I moved into O scale in the garden. All locomotives, stock and track were hand built. I later started building brass locomotives for other people, and my business was started. I then moved on to #1 scale, mainly commisions for customers.

    Meanwhile I built a layout in the loft (US HO scale), but temperature fluctuations were too great, so this was dismantled.

    I now have a budding N scale layout in a purpose built insulated shed (the Andersley Western), which triggered the transformation of my business into N scale kits.

    Of my two sons, only one, Matt (Sticky Monk) is into trains. I am now 58, and have loved every minute of my model railway/railroading days.

    Alan Curtis. Moderator. Member #12

    The perfect combination - BNSF and N Scale!
    Andersley Western Railroad
    Alan's American Gallery
  15. Tom Bentley

    Tom Bentley TrainBoard Member

    I, like Alan was a late comer. I bought my daughter(wink-wink) a train set for X-mas when I was 25. I always liked trains tho. My Grandpa worked for the Erie in the 20's. He moved back to Iowa and in the 50's bought a farm 1/4 mile from the CB&Q mainline. We could look out the front window and watch the trains. He always liked to count the cars whether frieght or passenger. A few years ago when he was in a nursing home I would pick him up and we would go sit by the tracks. By the way, in '79 I bought a house 1 block from the CB&Q (BN) depot and I could stand in my front window and watch trains.

  16. rrman48

    rrman48 E-Mail Bounces

    Ya'll,got my first train when I was 7.I remember dad and the next door neighbor bringing in this humongous(?) box and uncreating on the floor of our living room.
    It was a "City of Denver" Lionel,with all the goodies.They set it on the diningroom table and I did'nt get a chance to play with
    it until dad went to work the next day...
    (Wish I still had that one).Got out of trains
    over the years,but now that the varmits(kids) are grown and one getting married
    next weekend(train set for wedding present)
    I have the room (with the wifes permission of course) have gotten back into model RR'
    ing.My wife says I'm just an ol toot,but she's the one with the AARP card,1 more year for me....Happy Railroading........
  17. leghome

    leghome TrainBoard Member

    I had a Lionel Steam set as a kid that I shared with my brothers(all 5 of them at one time or another). Did not get into modeling until about 12 yrs ago. I worked part time in a computer and office supply store and both of the guys I worked with were RR modelers. One HO and the other N scale. I went to a hobby shop with Roger (the HO guy) aand what I saw was interesting but did not pique my interest. In the same strip center there was a N scale only shop and Roger took me in there. He told me later that when we walked into the N shop he know imediately what scale I was going to model. He said my eyes just about bugged out of my head with all of the really neat stuff that was there. The owner of the "N" store could be somewhat of an A**hole at times but he also could be very helpful if you spent some money. Now that I am retired from General Motors my new layout is taking shape and hopefully the CEE Line will be moving trains in the near future.

    Member #743
    Larry E. Gilbert
    NARA member #3
    ASST. Superintendent
    Central Indiana Division MWR/NMRA
  18. atsfman

    atsfman TrainBoard Member

    well, add another geezer. Got my first Lionel train for Christmas at age 6 months, in 1936. My dad was a career Santa Fe engineer for 50 years. I grew up with a Lionel layout until college. Started in HO will in college and through seminary. Went to work for Santa Fe in Topeka KS in 1959.

    Today have a large three deck HO Santa Fe in basement, a modular Santa Fe also HO, in the garage, and a garden railroad also Santa Fe in the backyard. I am a happy man.
  19. fitz

    fitz TrainBoard Member

    I was born in 1939, and am not sure at what age I finally got my 027 Marx train. I vaguely remember a radio broadcast about President Roosevelt dying while I was playing with that Marx (666? 999?) 2-4-2. Every year for Christmas that was all I wanted, more track, more cars. I envied the kids who had Lionels and borrowed their engines often. Couldn't stand to have the same layout for more than a couple of weeks. Local older fellah had a machine shop and I converted that little Marx into a Lionel by installing classification lights, a whistle, and painting the tires white. It was one of a kind. Several years later I had enough track to build a layout all around the house. Then Marx came out with my dream, a Hudson, but it was plastic and made a lot of noise unlike a steam engine. Fast forward to interest in girls, etc. The train stuff magically disappeared, just like my baseball card collection had. At the age of 51 I attended Railfair '91 in Sacramento, CA and became a born again foamer. I don't model, but chase and ride surviving 12 inch to the foot scale STEAM engines. Nothing like hearing those air pumps and steam appliances running, eh, Watash? Closest thing to human that man has made.

    [​IMG] Member No. 508
  20. milwfreak

    milwfreak TrainBoard Member

    Cant't remember the age, but can remember the layout! Had to be when I was about 8 or 9 years old. It was basically two large ovals laid down to form an L shape.

    The thing I recall the best was me and my brother's part of the layout was small town with Milwaukee Road and Chessie System Geeps. My other brother had an Army train with a HUGE mountain in the middle of nowhere! He would pretend to bomb the poor townsfoulk.

    I also remember my father taking a saw and a hammer to the layout and dismembering(sp)it. He took everything and put it away in boxes. At least I saved the Milwaukee Road engine!


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