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I discovered this forum, just newly started by the staff at OGR (started sometime in the summer I think).  I trolled around for about a month and finally signing up December 30th and never looking back.   Boy as I think back over those twenty years, the people that were on it, that have moved on, or passed on to the great layout beyond, the new members over the years, how much this forum has help, educated, and promoted this hobby we love so dear.  It's just unmeasureable.  How this forum had simple beginnings to the number one O gauge forum in the amount of members, views, etc, etc.

Thanks again OGR, it's been one **** of a ride.

PS did I miss it or did the OGR staff doing anything to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the forum???

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Couldn't agree more. I joined then as well. Think I had dial-up internet. Reefer Madness was the big thread of the day. Wow! Some real memories... Purchasing Williams Golden Memories from Marty, some guy pretending to be Neil Young, or not, Frank53... Time marches on. 15 years ago my Dad passed away. 15 days ago my Mom passed away. I still check the forum daily, and subscribe to the print version of the magazine. I started out as one of the youngest members of the forum, now I'm an old fogey. Thanks OGR for the fun!

Coming up on 13 years for me next March.

I've learned that there hasn't been a question that I've had that someone online couldn't answer. Sort of my trainapedia!

I've also watched a lot of folks come and a lot of folks go, some in a huff!

The knowledge on this site, not just for Lionel, K-line, MTH, etc, but the lesser known trains like KMT, Weaver, etc is outstanding!

When I first found the forum (didn't join right away), the place was really active with what I would call the "TMCC versus DCS wars." Of course I wasn't familiar with either so had to wade in and figure it out. Also, DCS was being beta tested at the time with a release coming soon. Trying to recall the year(s) that would have been. 2003? '04?

Last edited by johnstrains

I joined after realizing that all my google searches about O gauge trains took me here.

It's been just 4 years for me but the wealth of knowledge, and camaraderie among everyone is second to none. Being able to connect with so many with the same passion for model/ toy trains is amazing.

Here's to another 20 years!!!! DILLY! DILLY!


Even though my join date shows 2001, I first joined about this time in 2000 too. Back in the day if you wanted to change your screen name Rich had to delete your original profile and you had to rejoin. Not even sure what my original screen name was.

I’ve never looked back. Like Bob said above, Google O Gauge and this is where you end up.

Last edited by MartyE

Joined Nov 25, 2000.

For me, one of the most appealing aspects of of OGR's forum is its atmosphere and its culture, which is summed up by a sig line of a long gone OGR member (that, sadly, I can't recall the name of): "It's a great big tent with room for everyone!".

By that I mean there's 3R traditional, 3R Hi-rail, Tinplate, Marx, S, HO, G, N, Z, all persuasions of model railroading, plus there's also "specialty" forums. Further, here at OGR there's really no "wrong" way of enjoying your trains. Seems the vast majority of us here get it: There's a huge spectrum of "fun" to be found in the hobby and however a person finds "fun" is the "correct" way for them to enjoy their hobby of model trains and/or hobby of railroading in general.

So, even though my involvement here may ebb and flow... I always check OGR's forums, sometimes several times a day.

After all, OGR illustrates well that model railroading is "a great big tent with room for everyone"!


Compared to many, I'm a newcomer. It will be four years in December. I've been back into O gauge for twenty-three years but didn't find the Forum until 2016. Despite a long time with trains before then, there was much that I didn't know that I have since learned from the Forum. Although I've built and completed two O gauge layouts since 1997 (still have both and operate them often) I spend much more time reading about the hobby on the Forum than downstairs with the layouts.



I remember it well, I joined 12/18/2000. Yep, I am coming up on 20 years.

The biggest things I remember in the olden days of OGR were the raucous and very lightly moderated and sometimes heated or hilarious discussions...awaiting MTH's Mel's Diner for years, "oh, I can smell that chille now"...silly threads about the elephants at Hohenwald, and the toy train museum there with a statue of Lionel chief Gary Moreau made out of the lousy 022 switches...Bob C. and his quest for black smoke...battles over which is best MTH vs. Lionel, and the law suit...Locolawyer giving us a play by play from the courtroom...Clyde Coil and Legacy dang, Tony Lash and company, DCS and Toytrains1 then Barry B. helping people to get it working on their layouts...Marty helping people with Legacy...Hans Zimmer...Zans Himmer...and more...Scherbear waging war...joining TCA...Wifi...Thursdays at Fridays.

Getting answers quickly to problems has always made the forum invaluable. I remember early on I got TMCC and it wouldn't work, I asked the forum for help, quickly reply "make sure you command base is plugged into a 3 prong outlet" it wasn't I had a 3 to 2 adapter, got rid of the adapter and voila!

So much more to say, but thats enough for now. A big thanks to OGR for proving this forum over the years, and to the other Forumites that come up with the answers, questions, photos, movies, and funny stuff. The OGR Forum has been helpful and fun.

Last edited by Craignor

Anyone remember Less Line?  Remember Hot Water questioning his name which really is/was his name.   Less had K-Line's ear and was one of the reasons the B&A berkshire were produced.   Less is no longer with us but I'll remember those early years with Weaver, Kline, AtlasO, MTH, Lionel, 3rdrail.

PS another sad note, early part of the forum is gone when they changed over to crowd stack, can only go back to 2011 and those post are locked.

@superwarp1 posted:

Anyone remember Less Line?  Remember Hot Water questioning his name which really is/was his name.   Less had K-Line's ear and was one of the reasons the B&A berkshire were produced.   Less is no longer with us but I'll remember those early years with Weaver, Kline, AtlasO, MTH, Lionel, 3rdrail.

PS another sad note, early part of the forum is gone when they changed over to crowd stack, can only go back to 2011 and those post are locked.

Les Line wrote an article for the New York Times on Thanksgiving Nov. 26, 1998.  I was quoted in the article.  I have a copy I got from the airport on my way home from a football game.

A little over ten years for and have love every minute of. About 9 years ago I set it as my home page every time I go online. Can’t tell you how I have learned and friends I have met and never in person and then those I have met in person all turned out to be great folks full of ideas and knowledge. Look forward to the next ten years Thank You Rich, Alan,  Alan and all the other Graet folks at O Gauge Magazine for creating this great forum and putting up with all of us. During the roughly 4 years I was out of the hobby due to a move and new home this was my other salvation and relief when I did not have my hobby looking at it packed in tubs.


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Sept. 27, 2000 but my join date  but officially it was Dec. 1999 but there was a computer crash at ogr which deleted our registrations. I decided to wait then join at a later date.

Never thought it would last but here it is 20+ years later. Some changes over the years have been good and some not so good. But for the most part its been a great ride.

A big shout out to Myron bigger that kept the magazine going  from the days of O scale railroading and eventually changed the name to OGR despite the disgruntled two railers.  Not sure if Myron started this web site but he was talking about it in his magazine a couple of times. Can't remember that far back though.


Last edited by david1

I go back to 2006 with this ID, I had another one going back to early 2000’s. I killed the account during the “DCS vs TMCC” wars. It became not fun then.

Looking back though, can you imagine how hard getting this computer driven trains revolution would be without this forum? I’m pretty sure I would’ve stayed conventional trying to figure this all out on my own.

@PH1975 posted:

Mark - So, you're a Beatles fan (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band reference) as well as a Train buff eh?  Life doesn't get any better than that! (lol)

  As soon as I read Gary's topic title, "It was twenty years ago today" popped into my head!    I thought a little rhyme was apropo.  I recall back in the '60s my mum said "that music will never last".  Now 50+ years later her youngest granddaughter (born in '93) is one of their biggest fans. 

Well, I joined in 2005 and have enjoyed and am grateful for the Forum. I've been going to York since 1992. The Forum has allowed me to build on friendships with train people from throughout the country who I met at York.  I see people posting and I know them even though they live hundreds of miles from me. I know what their plans are for the next York (whenever that may be) from posts on the Forum. And I'm able to meet them in person.

The Forum has been a wonderful place to get answers to all sorts of train questions. And thanks to OGR for the activities they created over the years which were easy to find out about because of the Forum. The trips to wherever (Tony Lash's, Bob Weaver, etc.) the day before York, the DCS dinner, Thursday or Friday dinners wherever, etc.  So thank you OGR.


Wow 14+ years here. OGR has been a great community. While I don’t post as much as I once did, I still lurk almost every day. OGR was my first introduction to the train community. I haven’t looked back since!

While the layout is gone and trains are packed away, this has been a great way to stay involved. The forum has come a long way since the MTH vs Lionel vs K-Line thread days. Some of those threads were pretty wild - a lot of passion to say the least

Some of my favorite memories include Robert C’s annual trains for kids threads, the controversy over the term “lash up”, the mysterious “NY” responding to posts, and helping out with the Legacy K-Line site. As MojoMark can attest, Lionel required a lot of arm twisting to get that site posted.  Jerry Calabrese eventually got worn down after a few calls from this then teenager K-Line fanatic!

Its been sad to see a lot of members come and go. But it’s awesome to see legends like Lee Willis re-emerge. I think we lost a lot of interesting folks when the address verification / confirming your info became a part of being an OGR member. I understand we lost a few pretty fascinating members who preferred to stay anonymous. You never know who you’ll meet in the hobby!

This is probably my longest post in 10 years, so I’ll leave it at that! Looking forward to a future York OGR grandstand meeting. I owe many members of this forum (and thread) a frosty adult beverage. Thanks for all the encouragement and help over the years.  

About this time in 2014, while eating bfast at a local greasy spoon and watching Christmas Story on their flat screen, I realized that I had not owned a Lionel electric train as a kid; choked down the rest of my food and dashed home to hit the internet.

Found a dealer in New Hampshire offering the Polar Express Anniversary edition; and then it started; next a Lionel Lionchief+ B&O, then a Legacy Pere Marquette, then a VL Big Boy, and then .......... you get the story. 

Chuckle at myself when ordering more track for the PE back then; didn't know the significance what O36 meant.  Then found this forum - the rest ...........

I joined in March 2001. Left the hobby around 2005 and just came back to the hobby and the forum about a year ago. When I left,  I was postwar and new O gauge, and was reincarnated in tinplate.

The early days were fun, especially for me because I was in a tough place and alone. I made a few friends through this forum. Back then there were more silly threads: the Hobo Jungle, Howenwald, etc., like Craignor mentioned.

It's been just shy of 13 years for me, and it's been a great ride. Lots of great folks here and lots of fantastic information.

When I look back on it all I realize it's also been 22 years since I started building my home layout, and somehow even with the input from OGR in those days, I managed to get most things right. There are certainly a few things I would do differently today of course, but hey we live and we learn. (Hopefully)


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