How did I get here!?
I looked around my basement the other day, at the wonderful tinplate trains and toys I have accumulated, and wondered how I had arrived at this place in the model railroading hobby. It is truly a crooked path with lots of detours, dead ends, false starts, and periods of inactivity. I don't ever remember a time when I wasn't fascinated by railroads, but the real beginning of the hobby came about 1970 when, at the age of 7, I received a Big Rail Work Train by Marx, for Christmas. My Dad built a fold-away table from a 4x8 sheet of plywood, that swung down from the wall on a long piano hinge. It was suspended at the outer corners by two chains anchored in the wall above the hinge. We could lower that board any time we wanted to run trains and set up our miniature railroad empire. Needless to say, that train set saw a lot of use from myself and my three brothers. That was the beginning of a long love affair with toy trains, model railroads, and anything railroad related.