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Old 05-18-2012, 02:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Using a garden railroad to actually do something...

Here's my question/ramblings. Does anyone use their garden railroad to actually do something? Meaning... does the railroad actually serve a purpose... example would be a lawn mower mows the lawn. A tractor plows your fields, etc. Or does everyone just use them as toys.

I have a hard time justifying spending great amounts of time to just build something to watch run in circles. I would like to actually make a model railroad that has a purpose. With F-Scale you can actually haul a fair amount of weight.

Some examples of freight for the railroad are...

- Ash from the fireplace to a dump area in the woods
- Cat litter from the house to a dump area (no pun intended).
- Kitchen scraps
- Firewood
- Saw dust from the wood shop to a dump area outside.

I'm a practical person and really like trains. I think for me to stay in the hobby... I'm gonna have to find something for my trains to do!

Thoughts or ideas?
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default RE: Using a garden railroad to actually do something...

Leave out the kitchen scraps, then I would say "all of the above." The kitchen scraps could attract some undesirable critters that you may not want as "neighbors." Don't know where your drinking water comes from, but suggest you keep the kitty litter well away from that source also, if it is not a municiple supply. Otherwise, things look pretty creative and fun.

Best,
David Meashey
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default RE: Using a garden railroad to actually do something...

Posted By PapaPerk on 18 May 2012 02:20 PM
I have a hard time justifying spending great amounts of time to just build something to watch run in circles. I would like to actually make a model railroad that has a purpose. With F-Scale you can actually haul a fair amount of weight.

I'm a practical person and really like trains. I think for me to stay in the hobby... I'm gonna have to find something for my trains to do!

Thoughts or ideas?
IMHO, this hobby or any model railroading hobby has NEVER been equated with practicality.
AND I have been involved in this for over sixty years!
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default RE: Using a garden railroad to actually do something...

This is Russ from Sun Valley,CA . As for a purpose for garden railroading i enjoy it myself and sharing it with my children and grandchildren. The grandchildren are 16 and 13 and bring some of there friends . They share the controller and my train hat. It is a joy to see them excited about trains, something we can share . My purpose is to have family time with them and their friends. Moments you cant put a price tag on . Have fun and enjoy life!!!
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default RE: Using a garden railroad to actually do something...

I'm with you Gary

Practicaltity and hobbies don't relate.

No matter if you use your toy train to haul things in reality it isn't practical in that you're hauling small loads. It will take longer.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default RE: Using a garden railroad to actually do something...

I ain't no english major, so I am not sure how to give the proper credit but copied directly from Wikipedia:

A hobby is a regular activity or interest that is undertaken for pleasure, typically done during one's leisure time. Examples of hobbies include collecting, creative and artistic pursuits, making, tinkering, sports and adult education. Engaging in a hobby can lead to acquiring substantial skill, knowledge and experience. People also enjoy participating in competitive hobbies such as athletics, hockey, curling, golf, bowling and tennis.

What are hobbies for some people are professions for others. For example, a chef may enjoy playing computer games as a hobby, whilst a professional game tester might enjoy cooking. Generally speaking, the person who engages in an activity for fun, not remuneration, is called an amateur (or hobbyist), as distinct from a professional.


To my way of thinking, a hobby is intended to relax and allow the individual to relieve stress. Fretting over whether a model railroad of any scale is practical seems to me to defeat the purpose of a hobby. As an aside, if purpose is your thing, run your hobby railroad like the real thing, develop timetables, industries (real or imagined), passenger service, etc. I think you will find that quite challenging and create a purpose for the railroad, even if it is artificial.

For my money - "Kick back, relax and watch the trains go round!"

Bob C.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default RE: Using a garden railroad to actually do something...

Run the track past the kitchen window and arrange for your wife to place cold cans of beer on board, then bring it to where you want it. (We can dream!)

Andrew
Sandbar & Mudcrab Railway
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default RE: Using a garden railroad to actually do something...

I'm always finding n+1 things to do with the hobby, so I would naturally research any ideas that propagate the hobby. But that's just my perspective. Here are various items on my list, some done, some in progress, some on the wishlist:

1. For several military and children''s hospitals, delivering the nutrition/vitamin packets with motivational music/personalized messages at the breakfast and dinner sessions - done.
2. Digital advertisement streamed to the side of the cars for a restaurant - done. Same for restaurants/bars that are advertising Happy hour specials.
3. Model robotics training courses for military bases - work in progress
4. Command and Control versus Command with Control differences, demonstrations, issues and challenges for a large organization - using model railroads as an example - work in progress
5. Changing the membership profile of local clubs to bring in more junior railroad 'guest' engineers (Ages 9 and above) with smartphone based controls (ipod touch,android) - work in progress
6. Digital mesh networking concepts with open enrollment/exit using model railroading - work in progress

7. Air/land Drone networks for disaster afflicted areas - University concept

8. Tracking cross-border rail freight shipments with Advanced wireless Manifesting for Customs authorities - work in progress

9. Corporate team exercises involving gaming and strategy for team building with speed, precision and mental calculation challenges - work in progress

10. Remote commands over www with sight-impaired instrument-only night railroading using feedback metrics - almost done

11. A track based network for remote monitoring of a petroleum refinery

12. A long consist of open cars with roses and orchids from around the world for a very large nursery. Moves back into the shade during hot temperatures.


.... and I'm looking for more.


Cheers,
Victor
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default RE: Using a garden railroad to actually do something...

My railroad does several useful things.

It gets me out of the house and in the garden instead of in front of the TV,

It provides entertainment,

It gives my mind creative outlets in all sorts of areas,

It busies my hands to keep them more agile,

It provides a social outlet though the club,

Etc.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default RE: Using a garden railroad to actually do something...

I have a friend who hauls vegetables in from the garden on the trains. He called me one day lamenting that his zucchini was too large to fit on a flat car, and wasn't sure how best to move it.

Mine routinely carries sticks, rocks, leaves, and whatever other manner of things my kids pile into the cars.

Later,

K
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