Train College?

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February 3, 2014 10:30 PM

Over in Kansas there is a college that offers a curriculum that will get you a degree in restoring vintage

automobiles...there may be other schools offering such courses.  Since I (and you) can easily scratch build structures and cars, but, at least speaking for myself, not easily solder together, cast the wheels, etc., for a good running brass or? steam three rail locomotive or other powered model, to fill all the gaps in offerings, I wonder where you can go to school to get the skills you need to do that?

Is there any model railroading course offered by (an) accredited learning institution(s)?  Courses

offered by vocational schools?  I don't think so, but prove me wrong?

 

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

 
 
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February 4, 2014 5:44 AM

Well, its pretty hard to prove something doesn't exist, but I am aware of no school or formal program that teaches all those skills (soldering brass, casting wheels and such) specifically for model trains.  However, many community colleges and vocational courses in this stuff.  My oldest boy wanted to learn how to solder and braze brass and steel and found a course at the local schools here in NC.

 

There is value in seeking professional instruction, but what's wrong with learning it the way most of us always have?  Buy some books, study, try it and learn by doing.  If you screw it up, well it was a learning experience and it probably cost less than tuition at a school would.  

 

That said, it can be intimidating.  The worst forme was in my other hobby: years ago when I had bought a kit from Lingenfelter to tub the wheel wells on a brand new Corvette ZO6.  The four page instructions seemed a bit vague on details for the step using a saber saw to cut away the bodywork right above - maybe within a blade's length? of the gas tank.  And this was a brand new 'vette we are talking about.  Concerned, I called them and they very nicely walked me through my worries, explained what to do, and then told me, "Don't worry.  It's really easy to do the second time you do it."  So many things are like that.   

 

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"If no one as ever done it that way, it might be fun to try."

 
 
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February 4, 2014 8:22 AM

Originally Posted by colorado hirailer:

Over in Kansas there is a college that offers a curriculum that will get you a degree in restoring vintage

automobiles

Sounds like a trade school. Trade schools are not only great for teaching skills...they often provide on-the-job training that leads to a good job. Many of our youth would be better off with a skill as a plummer, rather than a Masters degree in The History of Chinese Dance.

 
 
 
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February 4, 2014 8:31 AM

Find a school that teaches jewelry making or get an apprentice job at a shop.

learn casting engraving sculpting and much of the equipment is the came for casting train parts too.

 

 
 
 
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February 4, 2014 8:51 AM

Several years ago Tony Koester...Contributing Editor of Model Railroader magazine, author of the monthly column Trains of Thought in the same publication, also of RMC magazine fame, lecturer,.... and a fellow Purdue University graduate ()...and several of his well-skilled pals got together to form a 'Model Railroading University' sort of thing.  You could enroll in their series of consecutive how-2s, seminars, slide shows, hands-on, etc. for a fee.  I recall it was held during the summer.  I believe the whole thing lasted the better part of a week.

 

I never attended.  I don't recall hearing of anyone locally who did, either.  In fact, although I remember the advertisements, I can't recall whether it all actually took place (sufficient enrollment?) or, if it did, what the assessment was. 

 

Others who may have had the cobwebs of their brain blown away by this recollection might add to it.

 

Returning to the thread's titular thought...  Ask Tony (write to Kalmbach) whether HE thinks there's merit to an O3R school?  Maybe the OGR staff has their own thoughts? 

 

And if there's some merit, why not hold a 2-3 day 'school' twice annually during the first part of York Week!!  Call it York U.!!!  Hey, we're all heading there anyway.....right???

 

Just a crazy thought.....I know.

 

KD

 
 
 
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February 4, 2014 10:21 AM

There are so many aspects to our hobby that it would take several months or more to cover it all. I would guess there is nothing out there that would cover the thread starter's inquiry because of insufficient interest to warrant the expense to set up such a school.

 

You would have to have a significant interest in such a program to cover the tuition, traveling expense, lodging & food.

 
 
 
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February 4, 2014 10:33 AM

I missed those Tony Koester ads, if they were in MR., dkdkrd, but it means it is not

an original thought.  Obvious problem is that those interested were widely spread out

geographically, and, of course, of limited time with jobs that would not allow two

weeks? training in model making.  While there are various "seminars" that do go on

during York week (Marx meet, Plasticville meet, etc.), many York attendees can't

blow the whole week for York, either.  I am afraid my copy of Lovejoy's College Guide

is decades out of date, so I can't check for such a course offering (if Lovejoy's is even still published in the digital world).  The problem with learning by doing, is that it is

happenstance and time consuming....the reasons we have educational institutions to

accelerate learning.  For youth with the time, okay, for those whose clocks are running

down, faster is better. And there are so many aspects of trains and model railroading.

I would like to build my own powered engines, etc.  But I really need a course in

layout carpentry, too.  And wiring...and scenery...and?????  It was just a wild thought....

 

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

 
 
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February 4, 2014 11:34 AM

All valid points.  Perhaps the collateral personal costs were why Tony's idea didn't survive?  Nonetheless, that there are so many professional layout builders, active even in this "economy" (), who garner the prices they do for their effort, there must be some sufficient interest...with money and time...to explore the idea.

Many of us have, perhaps, been to a train show, club event, etc. where an entire layout, often 4X8 or easily-transported modular in size, is built in a matter of hours.  Planned, prepared, staffed, staged, and advertised well it can be a great concentrated learning experience for those interested in seeing/doing.  The one speed-build I went to (HO layout) many years ago was awesome!  It was well-attended.  I think it's a great magnet for those interested in getting into or doing more with the hobby of model railroading.

 

But, the more I think about it, York is probably NOT the place to do that since it's not a general public event. 

 

Ah, well, just thought I'd try to kick-start some thinking on how to make building skills more available to others.  No offense to periodical publishers, but actually seeing and/or participating, being able to ask questions in the process, is often more valuable to an individual than reading an article about the same.

 

Returning to your original thought...  I just heard on one of the cable news programs that a college/university somewhere is offering a course on...get this...the singer Beyonce'!!   There ya go....the sublime-to-ridiculous is now a fait accompli.  So, surely, a course in 'model railroading' should be more palatable to academia!

 

Right?

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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February 4, 2014 12:25 PM

Originally Posted by dkdkrd:

Returning to your original thought...  I just heard on one of the cable news programs that a college/university somewhere is offering a course on...get this...the singer Beyonce'!!   There ya go....the sublime-to-ridiculous is now a fait accompli.  So, surely, a course in 'model railroading' should be more palatable to academia!

 

Right?

 

 

 

 

But there would be a whole herd of mindless Entertainment Tonight, Survivor, The Bachleor watching, People magazine reading, pop culture zombies who would flock to a Beyonce class and that of course would make the school more money. There probably wouldn't be enough to fill a class of model railroading to make it worth the school even trying it, that plus the fact that train people are generally looked at like most of us have some serious issues.

 

jerry

 

 

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February 4, 2014 1:14 PM

Originally Posted by baltimoretrainworks:
Originally Posted by dkdkrd:

Returning to your original thought...  I just heard on one of the cable news programs that a college/university somewhere is offering a course on...get this...the singer Beyonce'!!   There ya go....the sublime-to-ridiculous is now a fait accompli.  So, surely, a course in 'model railroading' should be more palatable to academia!

 

Right?

 

 

 

 

But there would be a whole herd of mindless Entertainment Tonight, Survivor, The Bachleor watching, People magazine reading, pop culture zombies who would flock to a Beyonce class and that of course would make the school more money.

 

jerry

You're probably right.  It IS about the money, after all.

 

But just remember, they helped vote in the people who run this country.

 

Oooooh, so sorry.  I couldn't help myself.  I have a embedded cranial APP that  responds to the word "mindless".  Come to think of it,.....

 

 

Do you suppose Korean academia has a similar course to study their singer PSY, complete with frenetic flailing aerobics called "Gangnam Style"???

 
Last edited by dkdkrd February 4, 2014 1:17 PM
 
 
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February 4, 2014 1:41 PM

Well, they better generate the Beyonce' class outline in a hurry, for ever since Elvis,

and big on the news this morning (some actor I never heard of...I just go to movies

for the subject and, obviously, pay no attention to who plays the part) celebrities with five minutes of fame have chemically erased themselves.  This thought is cause to

wonder just what tiny percentage of the U.S. and Canadian population is in model railroading, and what microscopic percentage of THAT, is in O scale/gauge?  While I, and many, think York is mobbed, have you been to a mall on Black Friday?  (I haven't...I consider myself forewarned, but have seen them break down the doors, on the news...but there is a very large population, such as attended or watched the SuperBowl, not in trains)  Probably more of that population have heard of ("celebrity"..fill in the blank) than of Lionel or MTH, and so.....we must be homeschooled.

 

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

 
 
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February 4, 2014 3:39 PM

What is "Beyonce"? Is that the little sheet of paper you put in the clothes dryer?

 
 
 
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February 5, 2014 7:17 AM

It's may be over kill but some colleges offer Blacksmithing majors with courses that mirror many of the skills used in the back shops. Popular courses for artists.

 
 
 
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February 5, 2014 8:21 AM

Back in the 1980s MR ran an article about a college that offered a class in ferroequinology.

 

Steve

 
 
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