Women and model trains

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Women and model trains

Postby nachoman » May 14th, '11, 20:24

I saw a similar thread over on another forum, and thought that this subject could lead to interesting and humorous discussion. Considering this is a strongly male-dominated hobby, yet train shows and train events seem to have many female attendees, I'm assuming those women are mostly involved through their husbands or children. So how about some thoughts or stories about your wives/daughters/exes/moms in relation to this hobby?

Heres mine:

I'm not married. When I meet a new woman, telling her about my trains is never a first conversation topic. I understand that for most women, trains are not something they find interesting, so my train hobby doesn't typically come up until she first comes over to my house or trains somehow relate to another conversation we are having. A few months ago, I began dating a new woman. I'd been over to her house a few times, but she had not yet been over to mine, and she was completely unaware I had a train layout in my spare bedroom. One evening after I had been dating her about two weeks, I was over at her house and she remarked, "there's a railroad under this bed!" As it turns out, her 11-year-old son had been really into trains when he was younger, and he still has a bunch of N-scale trains in the closet and under the bed. Her and her son used to be regular customers at my LHS, participate in the local railroad club, and used to take road trips to visit tourist railroads. So, now, when she comes over to my house, she wants to see my layout, and knows the terminology. She even asked me if I had a shay!

Anyone else have a story to share?
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Kevin

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Re: Women and model trains

Postby Ralph » May 14th, '11, 20:37

Marry that woman! :) My wife and I met in college and married before our senior year. She's always known about my interest in trains both prototype and model, and she was a good sport about small apartment layouts I slid under the bed. When we bought our house she was the first to comment about the suitability of the basement for my dream layout. She attended a model train flea market with me today and helped scout out a couple of good deals. We've been married for 30 years. :)

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Re: Women and model trains

Postby iis612 » May 14th, '11, 21:17

My wife is not at all into my trains. However, on occasion, she will surprise me. I was working on laying out some track, and she was doing laundry. She looked at the way I had stuff laid out, and she asked me how I was thinking I would be able to switch a facing point spur without a run around track. She then went on to say that I had no room to put in a run around without causing alignment problems, or a few S curves. She even used the terminology. She then went on to describe the best way to build the benchwork to make the best use of the space.

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Re: Women and model trains

Postby BR60103 » May 14th, '11, 21:45

My wife says that she was intrigued by the miniaturization the first time she came to my apartment. She has opinions about what I buy and build and tells me I should be running trains rather than adding to the Gauge. Looking at houses includes checking for railway space; vacations are arranged (usually) to include some railway interest.

My first girlfriend included the trains in the list when she dumped me.
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Re: Women and model trains

Postby Chuck » May 14th, '11, 23:42

When my wife and I were dating and in college, she knew I had, in the past, an interest in trains. I still had some of my old train stuff that I had toted along to all my various abodes while in college (I just couldn't bring myself to part with it). Once I had my first teaching job and my own place, she told me I should look into joining a club -- and not to throw away any of the trains as I may have a son someday. I thought, what the heck -- I had some extra time, so I looked into a club and was immediately bitten by the MR bug again. My wife now looks back and asks herself why she pushed me to get involved again every time we have to stop at railroad stuff whenever we are on vacation.
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Re: Women and model trains

Postby FCIN » May 15th, '11, 00:41

My wife of 44 years has always supported my interest in model railroading and the prototype. Working on the prototype she's even rode on trains with me a few times. When I first worked for the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad (FCIN), we had to make a rare night time trip to Georgetown and she went with us. On the way back, she laid down on the cab floor of that 70 ton GE and went to sleep!

She has gone on a few rail fanning trips with me, but not too wild about that as she finds it boring to sit around some place for hours on end, even when trains are constantly going by. She did enjoy a couple of out of state trips that she went on with me, just because of going places she'd never been to before.

Over the years, whenever we've had to go house hunting; her first consideration has always been "Will you have room in this house to build your railroad?" and we've always looked for houses with basements or at least a spare room.

I worked with a woman a few years ago that knew I had an interest in railroads and had worked in the industry and whenever I went on one of my rail fan trips, she always wanted to see the slides/photos I took. She found it very interesting and when she came to the house to visit the wife and I, the first thing she wanted to see were those "fascinating model trains". She and her son even went with me to a model railroad show one year and I didn't think I'd ever get her to leave. I think she was hoping that her son would get interested in model railroading, so she could work on it too! Her 12 year old son was only moderately interested in the "toy trains", but Mom would spend a long time just looking at the display layouts and all the models and scales and was really fascinated.

Have never run across a woman that actually did any modeling, although I'm aware that there are some out there. I've tried many times to get the wife interested in helping me work on mine, but she's always afraid that she'll mess something up and is just content encourage me to work on it. One important factor: any time I want or need to order something for the model railroad - she's all for it. When the package arrives or I return from the LHS, she always wants to see what I got. Since I've retired, she's on my case on a daily basis to "stop planning and changing things and build it! I'd like to see you complete something before I pass away!".

I do know a couple of other people that are into model railroading around here and their wives are not at all thrilled with the idea of their husbands "playing with trains", but they tolerate it. But, Heaven forbid - they don't want any of their friends to know that hubby "plays with trains".

Like it not, there is a certain stigma associated with grown men "playing with toy trains", possible topic for another thread. But if you find a woman that supports your interests - then by all means put her on the short list of marriage candidates!
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Re: Women and model trains

Postby yellowlynn » May 15th, '11, 10:30

My wife of 59 years helped get me going. On Christmas 1986 she gave me an Atlas RS-3. That really perked up my interest in HO. A few years later she gave me a Riverossi Big Boy. She is happy it keeps me interested, and home. Other than that, she really has no interest in it (model RRing).

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Re: Women and model trains

Postby Puddlejumper » May 15th, '11, 12:19

My wife shows zero interest in trains but tolerates, and even promotes, my interest. I don't think she'd ever buy me a train related item, but she does enjoy going on trips to tourist railroads. One of our regular excursions is to go check out the Strasburg Railroad 2 or 3 times a year. I really enjoy the SRR and RR Museum of Pa, probably because of the heavy PRR theme of the area. She actually wants to go back more often.
When I drew up plans for the addition on the house I came to the realization that there was absolutely no way to fit a garage into the plan. It was a single story addition, and I thought maybe I could get one more room into the plan for a layout room. It barely took any convincing, she agreed, and I ended up making the entire addition 2 stories, with a 10x19 workout room and a 19x19 layout room upstairs. Only added $5000 or less to the total cost of the addition. She has been very supportive, one day I showed her some drawings of layout plans and she said "But that plan will take up the whole room" and I was like... "um, yeah, that is what that room is for!!" She convinced me to make the layout smaller so she could put a table and chair in there for her to sit at and read while I was "playing with my trains". LOL.
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Re: Women and model trains

Postby MountainMan » May 16th, '11, 19:39

I support my wife's hobbies and she supports mine. she wants to help me with artwork and color, which are weak points for me, and add little touches to structures and stuff - miniature curtains and so forth. She's even thinking how to make N-scale stained glass windows.
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Re: Women and model trains

Postby radivil » May 16th, '11, 21:27

My girlfriend is not super-interested but she's tolerant. And curious. She likes to see me be happy because I'm not the happiest person around. She is patient enough to follow me around when I'm jumping out of the car in Kingsport TN to take a picture of a caboose or dragging her through a museum.
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Re: Women and model trains

Postby tetters » May 17th, '11, 09:20

Just to give you an idea of what my wife thinks of the hobby.

The other day while working on my latest project, she saunters over to the table and in her best baby talk impersonation asks...

"Are you building a little house for your choo choos?"

'Nuff said.

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Re: Women and model trains

Postby Brakie » May 17th, '11, 11:20

My late wife love to build and detail structures we used on the layout.

The last woman thing I talk to thought I was a mite immature because I like " toy trains"..Needless to say I said "Please don't call " as I was leaving the AO.
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Re: Women and model trains

Postby nachoman » May 17th, '11, 11:32

I told my girlfriend this morning that I will not see her tonight because I am planning on cleaning the train room (too much junk on the layout to run trains now). She told me "why! Train rooms are supposed to be messy!"
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Re: Women and model trains

Postby Sumpter250 » May 17th, '11, 13:30

I can't speak for the majority of women who are in this hobby, but one, in particular stands out.
Leslie Eaton, MMR, is a superb model maker. She is also a spokesperson for COM ART, and Iwata air brushes, and yes, I have learned a couple of things about detailing and weathering from watching her work, and instruct, at the NMRA convention, and at Trainfestl.
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Re: Women and model trains

Postby yellowlynn » May 17th, '11, 13:44

Nobody has mentioned "Spitfire" and her great modeling.

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