Many people have asked about “the trains”; If you knew my father, then you know that most of the 20×30 upper room in the garage was a model railroad. This is but a tiny glimpse of what he created.
I saved only a few pieces of rolling stock from the train layout before we sold the house. These now have a permanent home in this little display case in my office.
“Model railroad” as in: It was a model. Of a railroad. Not “toy trains” by any stretch of the imagination. He took the rolling stock apart, rebuilt them, detailed them (rust, markings, dull coat so they aren’t shiny plastic, etc), added little people, scratch built buildings, setup little scenes all over the railroad, little guys in rowboats fishing, people on benches, everything lit and remote controlled. You could run multiple trains at the same time, assemble trains in the yard, stage them out of sight… so a train rolls by and then you don’t see it again, and then a different train appears a few minutes later.
Some of the details in the photo: There are “live load” logs on the flat cars — if I get ambitious I could add the tie down cables to the logs. The ore cars (the short brown ones) have properly colored and scale-sized loads… he sifted “speedy dry” (like cat litter, but for cleaning up oil) into different tiny grain sizes, then spread it out and spray painted it, in batches of different colors, then mixed it back together… So it looks like the iron ore that goes in the cars in real life. Then he individually relabeled the 30, (40? I didn’t count) ore cars so they all have unique numbers and markings. Every piece of rolling stock was converted to Kadee couplers — which look and act like real train couplers and can be remotely decoupled with magnets hidden in the track. He would replace the tires (the part that rides on the rails) with metal ones if the kits had inferior plastic ones. He’d add weight to cars to make them move more realistically on the layout. And on and on.
30 years of work.