“I’m just kidding!”  I was so relieved, I almost cried.  She just came back to buy the Hogwarts set.  I smiled, and we both had a good laugh before I carried her new set up to the register.

That was a pretty good night.


Today, I enjoyed a coupler swap and re-build for a regular patron.  He is building a Denver and Colorado railway themed layout, and he found a particular boxcar to fit the theme.  However, it was missing a coupler on one end, and it had an older style coupler than what the rest of his set had.  It took a little time, but I fit some new coupler boxes with modern horn couplers onto the wood frame of the car.  He also brought in a boxcar which he had bought from the store that he believed needed new couplers, or something.  Every time the boxcar hit a curve, it or its adjoining cars derailed.  I fit new couplers into the wheel trucks, and all was well, again.

He was very excited about his new boxcar.  He repeatedly said, “I want it!”  He was very hopeful that I could make everything fit for him, and I really enjoyed and shared in his excitement about his hobby.  The little things like that really make waking up worth it.

Another big little thing is watching kids play with my train set.  I brought my N scale set from home and set it up by my work bench.  I know most people won’t be convinced to buy trains just from playing with a set, but they still enjoy it.

That’s what it’s all about.  The only reason anyone needs for a hobby is the fact that they enjoy it.  I have always been fascinated by the sounds of trains rolling down the rails, watching steam locomotives’ wheel cranks move and work together, and how smoothly turnouts blend into and out of a line of track.  There’s just something about the smooth perfection of it all that has a certain artistic beauty.

Some people prefer the large scales, and others prefer the small ones.  I enjoy all of them.  The large ones are really visually impressive, and the small ones are so cute and fun to work  on!  The small ones are also deceptively fast.  Little Z scale engines can shoot off like rockets if you give them plenty of electrical power!

Another fine artistic beauty is the design of the two Hornby European steam locomotives I worked on, today.  Some of the cranks were bent out of shape, and I had to do some scratch soldering, but they both ran beautifully when I finished them.  I find it interesting that some of them draw power from the engine and feed it to the motorized tender.  The green 4-6-2 was like that.  The black 2-6-0 drew power from both the engine and tender, and it was considerably faster than the green one.

Now that I think about it, it was the European style with which I originally fell in love as a kid.  That’s how all the trains on Shining Time Station were made.  It’s funny to think that a European-inspired show featured the Union Pacific 4-8-4 844 American style passenger steam locomotive on its emblem and opening theme credits.  I may have to invest in some European steam locomotives.  They really are beautiful works of human industry and creation.

The green one is finished and just chilling to the side while I test run the black one.  I love watching the big driving wheels turn and move all the little attached parts.



See how the piston crank is bent into a Z shape?  It’s not supposed to be like that…


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