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@Prr7688 posted:

When I think about the money I wish to spend on trains, I compare my spending to a typical sports fan. Season tickets to a sports game to be about equal to a nice Legacy engine price-wise. Two $30 beers at a game is equal to a nice piece of rolling stock. (See how these things translate?) People easily spend a 'rational amount' on sports entertainment every year. Instead of spending this 'rational amount' on sports, I chose to spend it on trains.

Actually, the trains seem more rational:  you have something to show for your money.  Season tickets buys you nothing but a sore throat, a backache, and a tender behind.

When l rediscovered three rail, l set out to find all the rolling stock compatible with my childhood trains.  That was going to be difficult, and expensive, for the rarest few, toward the end, so l diverted.  But in that l "narrowed?" my scope to Lionel-compatible roadnames that ran in Colorado.  Few of those are offered, and almost none of the branch and shortline rolling stock l like in three rail, so l went back to the structure and rolling stock building and bashing of my HO period, but twice the size.  That has greatly reduced buying.  I certainly need nothing else,...unless, something above is produced, unlikely, as the number of makers has dropped radically.  So as long as l stick to these criteria....

When I “re-entered” the hobby after a 17 year hiatus(I do consider my time between the ages of 5-10 as being part of the hobby) during the first 1 year I was on an exploration. I stuck to conventional, with a focus on modern conventional, postwar, and then prewar(tinplate). During the first 2.5 years I had my favorite RRs(Amtrak, Lehigh Valley, PRR, B&O) But also made many purchases based on an “I see it, I like it, I can afford it” w/o regards to roadname. In year 2, I started to concentrate more heavily on tinplate While also having the objective of getting TMCC followed by DCS- both goals of which I achieved. With that came layout expansion- modern buildings/accessories, adapting to MTH realtrax and Lionel FasTrack- While still keeping a heavy interest in tinplate.

That said- I’m now in year 4 and in terms of purchases, while I still buy what I can, I’ve become much more discretionary- not due to finances but because I’ve realized that I’d like to have cohesion and consistency in my consists and try to keep it as Scale, or at least as proportional, as possible.. I’ve also started to run freight trains(big into intermodal) when earlier I was heavily into passenger. Further, I now focus on a certain time period(as modern as possible) thus passenger cars from RR -A, B, C, D, etc.. from the 30s-60s don’t necessarily “jive” with my Phase III and later Amtrak. Oh, I do still run PRR and LV consists at the same time as my Amtrak, but I don run a consist lead by a B&O postwar Budd RDC followed by an MPC B&O hopper, MTH RK NYC Crane, LTI LV gondola, NYC postwar gondola, RMT Bethlehem Steel ore cars, etc... For passenger- it’s Amtrak Phase III and later(MTH RK Phase IV Amfleet, K-line Phase III Horizons, Lionel Phase IVB Amfleet- the former 2 I run together, the later I donMt intermingle due to Size). Ocassionally, I run my MTH proto 2 PRR S-2 with my PRR 13.5” MTH cars. For freight, basically, I’ve narrowed my focus to scale intermodal Cars that carry containers- not just well cars(K-line bulkhead flats modified to fit Weaver 20’ containers, Atlas front runner, etc...). That said, because my CSX legacy smoke unit isn’t working and since I acquired a lovely MTH Alco LV C628- the LV heads the consist . Prototypical? No. Do I love that snowbird- you betcha.

And of course I still love and run my tinplate, not as much as I’d like to but I’ve just become so in love with the modern bells and whistles. But tinplate is probably the one area in which I don’t exercise discretion-but isn’t that part of a tinplater’s creed?! Although, even there my focus has narrowed, not so much that all my consists match but because I’ve learned more.

In summary, I don’t think any of us but the most lucky will ever not be constrained by something(finances, time, space, and so on). However, when I am least constrained, I like to think that I now make my purchases to fill a need on my layout- for example adding a flat or well car so that I can take a container off the steel beams in my “in the works” intermodal yard and put it on that car. I like to think that’s rational

Well....got several alerts on this topic so I thought I would take a look.  THIS IS NOT A GUN COLLECTING FORUM!!  Had to spend valuable time cleaning this thread up from those of you that decided to discuss guns and weapons.  WOW...how the heck you thought interjecting that topic into this forum made any sense beats me.  We will keep the topic open but another gun post will not only get deleted, the topic will get closed and the offender will be taking a vacation from the forum for a while.  I really hate to be so hard nosed but some of you just don't get it....

I started in 1957(?) and ended my first train purchasing in the mid-60s. I went into the USAF for 24 years. No place in dorms/barracks for train layouts. Eventually sold my train collection.

Then in 2009 found out Lionel had been licensed by the Boy Scouts of America to issue 100th Anniversary of the BSA items starting in 2009 and ending who knows when. I think Lionel issued the last 100th anniversary piece in 2012 or so.

That collection grew (I think I ended up purchasing ever item Lionel issued and then kept adding and adding and adding).

Now my collection is about 1,100 pieces (including track and everything else). In fact, I now need a larger place to put up a layout. I originally had the items stored in my only bedroom. Out grew that space and moved into a 2 bedroom apartment. Wasn't big enough so now looking for a larger 2 bedroom apartment.

You can see my current collection here with more items continually being added: http://dog-walker.org/trains-modern.htm

Rational? Not sure, but I do collect certain railroads and themes (you can see the list on the above web page). I don't think I'm rational, but I'm enjoying it. I guess that's the main point - enjoy it. Will be enjoying it more as soon as I find that larger second bedroom apartment and have a layout built.

@bluelinec4 posted:

Perfectly rationalADCBA2EE-5CBD-4285-A5A7-FBB6FA7DF402

A gorgeous display. I'm collecting only streamlined steam, so the front and side of the engine is important to me. Also shoehorning displayed trains in among the many books and pieces of art in my livingroom (I've been in my apt since 1968, when I was 22). No layout.

I have been motivated by the impending demise of MTH to acquire a whole bunch more streamlined steam locos in recent months. Now have half a dozen still in their boxes, unpacked.

I had two display cases made by Classy Woods, but the guy went out of business last year. Here are the displays, have have expanded into bookcases the other side of the room:

Train-Cases-2018-1

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  • Train-Cases-2018-1

A gorgeous display. I'm collecting only streamlined steam, so the front and side of the engine is important to me. Also shoehorning displayed trains in among the many books and pieces of art in my livingroom (I've been in my apt since 1968, when I was 22). No layout.

I have been motivated by the impending demise of MTH to acquire a whole bunch more streamlined steam locos in recent months. Now have half a dozen still in their boxes, unpacked.

I had two display cases made by Classy Woods, but the guy went out of business last year. Here are the displays, have have expanded into bookcases the other side of the room:

Train-Cases-2018-1

wow......wow.....WOW Beauty eh!

I should rephotograph the cases, the contents of which have changed a lot since I took the photo in 2018. In fact, here's a photo from last year, showing a partial view of the cases with more recent contents, and the particle-board bookcase that I repurposed to hold trains next to it.

Above and to the extreme left are part of my collection of original artwork by Richard Powers, a cover illustrator:

Train-Shelves-2020

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  • Train-Shelves-2020

As I began reading this thread earlier this morning. I paused as I looked over into the room where I have my temporary O gauge layout. I realized that have I ten or more unopened boxes that arrived this week out there with all sorts of prewar engines, cars and accessories in both Standard and O gauge. The guest room has many more boxes of unopened modern trains. This afternoon I am picking up a period correct barrister cabinet I purchased earlier this week to display some of these and other prewar, postwar and modern gems. I may purchase the twin cabinet set too. The placement of these will require rearranging furniture and the continued understanding of my quite understanding bride.
So I wonder to myself is that rational? Heck no. There is absolutely nothing rational about buying things to put on display or to run once in a blue moon. But it makes me happy. And that is why I am sitting here on a Saturday morning posting to a thread that might be read by some people understand this as I do.

Last edited by WRW

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