toy trains

I work in software all day. As such, a lot of my world is virtual. You can't see it, or feel it. It has no weight, no existence in the 3 dimensional world that you and I think of as 'real'. Sure you more pedantic types can argue all you want, but show me a nested 'if' statement. No, a *real* one. See? Look ma! Nothing there! 


That's where the toy trains come in. They're *real*! They have weight and form. And when they're properly displayed and running, I can guarantee you that if they don't bring a smile to your face then there's something reeeeally wrong with you. (Go have that looked at willya?)


There's literally hundreds of manufacturers, both past and present, large and small that produced toy trains. A body could go broke (and nuts) if they didn't narrow their focus a bit. That said, in order to protect my sanity I decided to focus on Lionel Trains manufactured from 1945 to 1969, aka Post War Trains. I could, if I were into reinventing the wheel, go into the history of the company and spend months of my life creating webpages about it all. But why? Lots of folks have done so before me and this site is about ME after all...

So how about some nice piccies and some links to sate your curiousity and let me get back to my scotch?

 Here's a shot of my current train room. When we lived in CO I had a fully finished 11x30' basement for my trains. Here in WA though they don't believe in basements I guess so I'm stuck in a 10x14' 'bonus room'.  

But enough whining. These things are FUN! Much like the Small World ride at Disney everything you see here does *something*. Things light up, load coal, load logs, move barrels, make noise, make smoke... Something! Way cool huh? I like 'em.

Oh, in order to make the most of the space, as I couldn't go 'out' I went up!


When you walk into the room the first thing you see when you look up is this 'shelf'. This shot was taken on a chair but from the floor you don't see the tracks. Pretty soon a rumbling assails the visitors ears and *zoom* goes a big ol' freight train! 

 The single-tracked shelf runs the perimeter of the room and is made from clear hemlock. The track rests on outdoor patio covering, which also covers the tables below, to help with the noise. I was going to run a double-track but didn't think the shelving would hold. As rock steady as the single-track turned out, I'll bet I could easily do double track next time!

Everything that you see on the shelves below has been disassembled down to its pieceparts and serviced by me at one time or another...


I just love this stuff. It's not only a relaxing hobby, it's a bit of Americana that's disappearing... If you think I'm alone in this, there's several organizations with thousands of members to keep me from being lonely! TCA  LCCA  TTOS