Yesterday I received in the mail the June/July issue of OGR Magazine, and found the article about the O Gauge railroad in the retirement community very inspiring.

What better place is there for a model railroad than having one at a retirement community, nursing home or children's hospital. IMO, this is the highest and best use for a model railroad. 

I would love to see similar articles in future editions of OGR Magazine.

Bravo to OGR magazine for publishing this article, and Bravo to Dick Philpott and John Penca for building the layout and creating  the article and photographs! Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Original Post

I read a good part of the latest OGR issue last night.  I want to comment:

I read and collected that other (largely HO scale) magazine for many years, and now OGR for about 3 years.   That is the most useful, inspiring, and innovative model railroad issue I have ever seen!!  

- the Breckinridge Village article- made me want to move ( I live in NE Ohio).  The steel mill and refinery articles made me want to add each to my layout  (especially the part about using pasta- THAT is using the ol' noodle!).  The Collector" article on Texas Special sets made me want to collect.  The two articles by Eric Siegel made me want to spend more money.

WOW!!

It is a great article, and a great thing Dick will leave for future residents.

The home my 93-year old aunt is in has a rather large HO layout a group of men built.  When the home built a new building the HO group was given a much larger space.  It is great to see

This morning, myself and two other forum members will be going to a senior care center in Sierra Madre CA to set up a 72" oval of O and Std to run trains for the residents. We did this once last year and it was well received, so this year we have two facilities scheduled. We run both gauges of trains, including some clockwork. We mostly run modern, but do display some originals. Not the same as what your speaking of, but a great time. We allow quite a bit of time for discussion and we hear a lot about their dads, brothers trains etc. The ladies seem to be just as enthusiastic.

Steve

Steve "Papa" Eastman

Yorba Linda, CA

Left Coast, Home of the lunatics

Thank you for the above contributions to this thread, all of which are heart warming.

I can't think of a better way to keep the elderly (I'm one of them) engaged and happy than for them to have a model railroad to dream about and tinker with.

A model railroad could also be a great promotion for the nursing home or retirement community, distinguishing their facility from all of the others. And once the model railroad is up and running, they should invite a lot of little kids to see it.  Doing so would make those in the nursing home even more excited. The elderly love to be around little kids at play. Such a positive  environment becomes a form of paradise on earth. Arnold 

 

 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Arnold, yes speaking of elderly, I received my first Social Security deposit yesterday.  Of course 60-something isn’t elderly, but none of us knows how soon we may not be able to get around anymore.  I have not been by the model railroad room at my aunt’s facility when it is open, but can look in the fishbowl window as Dick mentioned in his article.  It may be open when they have events, which I haven’t attended.  

I will be retiring on November 1st. I have thought of setting up two loops of O gauge track (one inside the other) and running post war trains in a retirement village or a large veteran's hospital that they have here in my home town of Murfreesboro TN.  This would be a temporary set up maybe around Christmas.If any of you have done something like this before, what was your experience? What else do you add to your temporary layout other than the trains? Maybe some of those ceramic buildings? Are you able to barrow tables from the facility, or did you bring some of your own? Did you do this by yourself or did you have help? How long did it take you to get everything set up?

What a great idea! The Sun City development nearby has a model railroading club that puts up a Christmas-time layout in their community center. It is relatively big - a big oval with the ceramic and plastic buildings arranged in little scenes. There is a raised middle section that has a similar oval and scenes in smaller scales. The volunteers staff it during the day and change out the engines every hour or so. When kids visited, they handed them a handheld controller and let them control the train... This development also has a larger, permanent O gauge layout and outdoor garden railroad in an outbuilding.

 

I have done the same. Since I live in a 55 and over active retirement community, I was asked by the car club to set up a simple track plan at their monthly antique car club meeting and ran trains for the folks there. Rekindled a lot of memories. I would like to start a train club here but my own club is 4 miles away. We recently had the car club visit us and they had a very enjoyable time. 

I did a 29 slide presentation to the men's club here where I live, 4 Seasons at South Knolls, Jackson, NJ for about 125 members of which I am a member. Set up a layout, ran some trains and showed/explained about our club and the progress we have made over the last few years since we moved. What was interesting to them was having a scale big boy and a 2026 sitting side by side. Every monthly meeting we have a guest speaker. My presentation had the folks wide awake and enjoying every minute of it. I live in a place where most men had trains in their earlier years, some still do! It sparked a lot of enthusiasm when folks heard the hobby was alive and kicking.

Ted Bertiger, President

Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders Lakewood, N.J.

www.ocsmr.com

 

Thank you for the kind words on Dick Philpotts Breckenridge layout i will make sure he knows. When i first saw the layout it screamed to be made public . I told him it was made to be in OGR everything about it was perfect !  Special shot out to Allan Miller who couldnt have agreed with me more !

tncentrr posted:

I will be retiring on November 1st. I have thought of setting up two loops of O gauge track (one inside the other) and running post war trains in a retirement village or a large veteran's hospital that they have here in my home town of Murfreesboro TN.  This would be a temporary set up maybe around Christmas.If any of you have done something like this before, what was your experience? What else do you add to your temporary layout other than the trains? Maybe some of those ceramic buildings? Are you able to barrow tables from the facility, or did you bring some of your own? Did you do this by yourself or did you have help? How long did it take you to get everything set up?

  I think all that will vary greatly from site to site, and depending on what you include in the layout. Even the daily schedule could have impact on things; a need or not for lights, etc.. All homes/villages/etc are different. Some are merely apartments/homes, some are nearly full hospitals, Vet's hospitals are both...or at least used to be until they closed them "all" (lots   doesn't  effect me, but disappointing)

There may be motor field generated static/noise, data/signal conflict, or even spark concerns around some medical equipment too. 

   Plastic/tin is "safer" in any public setting; I'd ask the manager about their preferences.

And a reality check....  I asked about doing it years ago while a freind was battling COPD at a really small nursing and neighborhood retirement home. They said they already had one but had to remove it due to patients battling each other over it, one guy mistaking it as their's from home and another hating him for that, etc, etc.. My freind passed and my own health took another downturn about that time, so it never got past the one meeting.  It made me laugh as I already heard the idjits arguing like kids; imagining a train at the heart of it wasn't too hard 😂

  I also think of Pappy and wonder if the trains were really friend or foe to his well being; we only heard his side of it.  Either way, I know I'd sure NEED one where ever I stay long.

  It really isn't even optional; Food, drink, sleep, medicine, clothes, shoes, trains, a 30" dia. or square table, glasses👓, my briefcase of tools, and my music; I just can't see far away, so that is my base "needs", in order 😎. 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Adriatic,

Thanks for the reply and all the good information. You mentioned several things I never even thought about. The two residents fighting over the train layout never entered my mind, but I can see where it is possible.I guess I should talk to some of the facilities managements in Murfreesboro and see what they say.

Shell Point Retirement Village, on the Gulf Coast of Florida, has an excellent railroad "club" and room, open to the public, with attendees there (from the facility) as guides.  We took our grandchildren there, and their parents as well as the kids (and grandparents) loved it. 

The layout is 43' X 41' L-shaped,  HO Scale, very detailed, and is actually a depiction of the entire State of Florida. 

There is a depiction of major cities (Orlando,  Miami, Jacksonville, etc.), Disney World, etc. (see below), and they run passenger as well as freight trains all around the layout using DCC control.  Vehicles run around the streets, activated using magnets underneath.  There is a small circle layout of "O" Gauge, N gauge and S gauge also.

 This list of features, from the Shell Point website:

  • Freight yards in Pensacola
  • Tallahassee's old Capitol Building and new Executive Building
  • Gator Bowl in Gainesville, with working message board on Goodyear blimp
  • Disney World attractions
  •  Bok Singing and Citrus Towers
  • Kennedy Space Center, with space shuttle Columbia taking off from the launch pad
  • Resort buildings and hotels along the east coast (Palm Beach and Miami)
  • Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, with audible organ
  • Everglades, with wildlife
  • Sanibel lighthouse
  • Shell Point (retirement village) itself

https://www.shellpoint.org/trainroom/

Sorry, have no info about NY area.  But, back a few years around Christmas time, when my Mom was living at an assisted-living center, they put up a Christmas tree with a few fake gifts underneath in a common area near the front door.  That looked so lifeless to me, that I asked if I could put a small PW oval on the floor under the tree.  They were initially concerned about operational problems, but I convinced them that I could set it up so the engine only ran forward and would start as soon as they plugged the transformer in each morning.

Well, it didn't work as planned (problems with E-unit) and became a static display.  But, the residents and visitors all liked it and commented on it.  And, despite all the attention, everything from my childhood came home unbroken.

Chuck

We have taken a few of the kid's layouts we build, to rehab and nursing care facilities when members have been at one after surgery or when full time care became necessary. These are built on hollow core interior doors, rest on 2 chairs or a couple of cardboard boxes or a folding table, have enough action that people enjoy the display and are easily transported via pickup or mini van/SUV.

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Paradise & Pacific Railroad

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TNCENTRR,

That was the track we had available, mostly we use 3 rail 027 track, as that is what gets donated to the club the most. The 031 is also used often, the MTH and Fastrack are very tight to the edges so we are judicious when using them, a lot depends on whether using sidings or doing a figure 8 which is the plan of choice currently, as switching for the kids made for more derailments than anything. 

We work to repurpose as much as we can, so that the kids get a viable layout with play value and the trains and buildings get new life.

Paradise & Pacific Railroad

Ron_S posted:

We have taken a few of the kid's layouts we build, to rehab and nursing care facilities when members have been at one after surgery or when full time care became necessary. These are built on hollow core interior doors, rest on 2 chairs or a couple of cardboard boxes or a folding table, have enough action that people enjoy the display and are easily transported via pickup or mini van/SUV.

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I think what you have done, Ron, creating these beautiful portable layouts to entertain the elderly is wonderful. I regard this as the highest and best use for our trains. Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

The idea is to become more passionate, not less passionate, about our creative pursuits as we get older, especially when we are approaching the end of our days on Earth.

Building and running a model railroad, and repairing and restoring model trains, are very creative things to do, like writing books and composing music. Such things keep us fully engaged, and enable us to live very fully.

This reminds me of the singer/songwriter David Bowie. I am not familiar with his music, but I understand that  when he knew he was dying of a terminal illness, he created his last album, Black Star. Now that is the way to go, in a blaze of creative glory. 

One of Tim McGraw's greatest hits is the song, Live Like You Are Dying. I understand that song is about his father, the flamboyant Met and Phillie baseball pitcher, Tug McGraw. The song is about the time when Tug McGraw knew he was dying of brain cancer in his early 50s, and he lived very fully in his last days, including skydiving, riding a bull in a rodeo, etc. Arnold

 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Arnold D. Cribari,

I learned in my music appreciation class, in college 40 years ago, that Johann Sebastian Bach was composing music on his death bed. That goes back to what you said above. I plan on playing with my trains as long as the Lord gives me the strength to do so. My 3 rail trains are big part of a full life for me, along with other things too, of course.

Mr Eastman,

I noticed the Standard Gauge Trains. Were they well received? Also, did the facility provide the tables? What Kind of buildings are those in the fourth photograph? It looks like there were at least three of you there, so one of you could run the layout while the others ate lunch or went to the bathroom etc.? Did you take snacks and drinks with you? How long did you continuously run trains at a stretch? 8 hours?

tncentrr posted:

Mr Eastman,

I noticed the Standard Gauge Trains. Were they well received? Also, did the facility provide the tables? What Kind of buildings are those in the fourth photograph? It looks like there were at least three of you there, so one of you could run the layout while the others ate lunch or went to the bathroom etc.? Did you take snacks and drinks with you? How long did you continuously run trains at a stretch? 8 hours?

Great questions!

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

 
tncentrr posted:

Mr Eastman,

I noticed the Standard Gauge Trains. Were they well received? Also, did the facility provide the tables? What Kind of buildings are those in the fourth photograph? It looks like there were at least three of you there, so one of you could run the layout while the others ate lunch or went to the bathroom etc.? Did you take snacks and drinks with you? How long did you continuously run trains at a stretch? 8 hours?

These places have a number of activities for their guests, so we have a 2 hour slot to run trains, give an oral presentation and then do a Q&A. They loved the Std Gauge, especially the 100 year old 33 passenger set. We had plenty of time before and after for set up and tear down. They provided the tables. The buildings are various tea and cookie tins. Simple and they fit in a small bankers box. There were 3 of us, all forum members. They have a very nice eating area, a nice menu and great wait staff, just like a restaurant. There personnel also came into the room with the trains to see if we wanted any soda, water, coffee and ice tea etc. They treated us great.

Steve

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Steve "Papa" Eastman

Yorba Linda, CA

Left Coast, Home of the lunatics

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Steve, your 33 Passenger set is in much better cosmetic condition than the 1 my father in law had as a kid and that I had a local savant of a repairman mechanically rebuild, I am keeping the paint as is, it means a lot to my wife, knowing I rebuilt it, his set also has the freight cars. I have the slide rheostat and several of the accessories from his set.

 

Paradise & Pacific Railroad

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