Posted by Mike
Model Train Show Derailed by Soccer

Train lovers, welcome to my blog. I cherish your presence. Sometimes you will hear me extol the joys of being a locomotive lover and train hobbyist; other times you will share in my everyday life. Blogs are personal and I intend to tell all to willing readers. Aficionados out there know as much about trains as I do, if not more. So, today I will relate what happens on the road when I go to model train conventions.

I look forward to them and they are not as frequent as you might think. I drop everything and run.  They are usually a long drive or plane ride away, necessitating a hotel stay for a night or more. This can get costly. The last one I attended had reserved a block of rooms, but by the time I signed up, they were sold out. The best they could do was put me in a room with someone else. I accepted as it was going to help maintain that dwindling budget.

I was in for a surprise. Not only was my room occupied by a rowdy traveling soccer player, but the floor I was on housed the entire team. You can imagine the raucous laughter. I could hear the beer cans pop. They must have won the game, or so you would think. I didn’t think anything—I got out of there fast. I wasn’t going to have my model train show derailed by soccer. Oddly enough, as I grabbed my bag and headed out to quieter territory, one of the players invited me to join them. Still wearing his soccer cleats (they looked like this), he held up a beer can and grinned ear to ear. “We won!”

No, I did not stay. I gave my excuses. I didn’t have to make them up as the model train convention was about to open to the public. I needed as much time as I could get. There were endless booths of cars (passenger and freight) and locomotives, plus all the accessories for your layout like figures, trees and scenery, track, lighting, buildings, and more. Every collector can use one new item. If you want a wood ore car, an army diesel locomotive, flat car kits, or scratch supplies—you got it. That’s what I love about these conventions. There are displays of old and rare trains, but a plethora of new stuff you can buy.

Each convention has a different focus, so you don’t get the same old thing. As with any hobby, there are advancements and innovations—always something new and tempting. As for me, I like the traditional approach. I like to make my own models although when a great one appears intact, I find a way to add it to my collection. I have trains I run in my “train room” and those I keep in glass-enclosed cases. I am proud to say that I have some rare pieces.

Posted by Mike
Metal, Wood, or Plastic?

Train enthusiasts can enjoy their hobby from afar or they can get right in and build the cars. You have many decisions to make: metal, wood, or plastic. There are pros and cons for each. Beginners start with the basics, simple kits with minimal parts. You have to have a good eye and a sense or organization. Many tyros complain that they are always losing those tiny bits and pieces. I show them how to set up small containers before they begin the process. By the way, you have to have more than a modicum of patience, not to mention manual skill. If you are all thumbs, model train building might not be for you.

Many dads like to use these primary level kits to have fun with their kids. Don’t hesitate. Lots of tots are better with glue than dad. Just be sure you have the right adhesive for the material. You don’t use the same one for metal, wood, and plastic. Plus, each of these requires a different approach. You will find what you like if you give them a try.

Another key point is that the different materials require a special kind of paint. You see that you can’t go into model train building blind. It takes a bit of research and know how. Your hobby shop consultant will point you in the right direction. Many people specialize in wood, plastic, or metal; but I have examples of all types. I have a fondness for the texture of wood for an old-world feel. They are all durable and fun to work with, and have a distinctive appeal for collectors. It comes down to the process and what suits your skills.

There is the preliminary effort of building the cars. It all leads up to your miniature empire: a true railroad system. You can select whatever special features you want. It can be an old-world set up or a western one. Some go ultra-modern. Get out the metal, wood, and plastic: you are going to need them all. Plus a bit of mechanical and civil engineering, electrical wiring, some basic carpentry, and an eye for a good overall design. Ideas are plentiful on line. You might also check out all those handy YouTube videos.

Once you have the concept in mind, you are in for a treat. Years of developing your railroad and sharing it with others. I love to see what fellow train lovers have devised. Every railroad has a purpose, a setting, and a season. I love what some do with snow. I am captivated by trains that transport goods or logs. It makes for very picturesque scenery. A coal train will run through mountains to mines. You could include an entire steel mill. Here is where some metalwork and welding come into play. Of course, in remote times, you would find a steam engine.

Posted by Mike
That’s One Way to Create Smoke

My friends and I have bragging rights when it comes to our model railroads. Sometimes we try to outdo each other with our ingenuity. Maybe we tackle a particularly difficult accessory or car, or maybe we use our superior construction skills to lay down more track or add a town or forest. Train enthusiasts know how these things can grow and take over an entire room. Beware if you don’t have a basement or attic and want to start a totally engrossing hobby. If you are like the rest of us, you won’t stop with just a few models. It is an absorbing and lifelong process.

I like to be very precise about the details, even of the people and the buildings. Everything has to be perfect when it comes to show off time. I can spend hours getting ready. My model train friends like to go from house to house on a tour of our railroads once a year. We try to avoid negative comments and comparisons, but there was a time when I was totally aghast. One friend had an old-time locomotive and he wanted it to bellow smoke for great effect. It worked and it took all of us a few minutes to figure out how he did it. It was so clever – he used a smoldering cigarette strategically placed at the last minute. Now that’s one way to create smoke! Frankly, I don’t know another way to do it.

I have to add as an aside that I detest the smell of cigarettes and hated going home that day with smelly clothes. Sure, it was cute enough, but it wasn’t fun trying to eliminate the odor. Everything I wore had to be sprayed and thrown into the wash. That bit of authenticity caused me hours of work doing laundry and reading blogs like this to find out how to clean it. What a pain! However, I did enjoy the bit of realism however. I am tempted to try it myself when the neighbor kids come over.

When it comes to our model trains and railways, it is a no holds barred situation. The competition helps motivate us to get more innovative all the time and find new items to share. We have thought about building a system together as a team, combining our various skills and tastes. This will be something to behold. I will keep you posted as plans develop. Meanwhile we are wrangling over the basic concept and approach. We want it to be a candidate for our favorite train hobbyist magazine. If not, it will surely appear on Facebook and Instagram.

Posted by Mike
The merits of traveling by train

  • Ideal Convenience

The greatest advantage of traveling by train is the fact that it is very convenient. Think about the fact that all over the world, both electric, diesel and steam trains serve the role of transporting people from one city to the other throughout the year. It is true that while other means of transport can stop for a while and even break for night rest and eating breaks, this mode of transport is convenient because it keeps going and going.

  • All weather

The second merit about trains is that all of them cannot suffer any impacts of bad weather. When trains get a comparison of other forms of transport such as roads and air, it is true the rest suffer from possible impacts of bad weather. The good news is that no matter how heavy it rains, there is no possibility of railroad flooding. A simple explanation behind this fact is that the typical trains cannot easily climb hills creating the notion that they need a lot of plain lands so that they can arrive at their specific destination easily.

  • Time-saving

Another benefit is that electric trains are faster than the average fastest car. According to reliable sources, the current electric trains move at a maximum of 320Km/h which draws down to meaning that while the typical vehicle can move around a maximum of 300Km but limited to 180km, trains move without any stop. In the case of an urgent meeting that has to take place on the other side of town, the best option to go with is electric trains. Ideally, most of them have stopped at the center of the city means that you will experience no difficulties accessing your destination.

  • It is cheap

When the cost of traveling in great comfort using trains gets a comparison with that of cars and aircraft, it comes out clearly that using trains is one of the cheapest means of transport. In all developed nations, electric trains transport employees of an international organization from one city to the other using as much minimal time as possible. The cheapness is not only for the association of transport charges but also accommodation costs. In one of the best trail riders in the whole world, passengers have the opportunity of enjoying a four-course meal using nothing more the train pass.

  • Comfortable

Most producers of goods and services prefer their products to move by train as it offers a whole lot of comfort than the other means of transport. The good thing about the comfort of trains is that they guarantee that if one carriage faces challenges, it is highly possible that the damage of a single car can simply pass for ideal handling before it gets to the other cars. The comfort that passengers enjoy is enough to give them their privacy when they need to so that other clients can access other traveling privileges as well.

Posted by Mike
Steam vs Electric Trains

Some folk romanticise the age for steam and steam locos. However, there are so many merits of using electric locomotives to benefit society as well as the environment itself. Ideas such as eco-friendliness, cheap and amazing speed, there is indeed no doubt that electric locomotives offer a lot of economies of scale to our current and future economic pillar. In this article, I intend to share a thorough brief of the reasons I prefer electric locomotives to steam ones.

Amazing Speed

Electric locomotives have the advantage of using electronic magnets which come from a massive power supply either within the station or from another reliable supplier. The number of magnetic electrons that powers motors on electric trains are fast enough to take you from one city to the other within minutes. Ideal speed and efficiency can increase your level of productivity in various fields of life say like work and school. If you are in between the two and happen to reside a long way from either of them, it is time to consider using electric locomotives to get you there.


It is without a doubt that when the source of power for electric trains get in comparison with other types of locomotives, it emerges that while the others pollute the environment at extreme rates, electric trains offer zero threat. As great as it may sound, all this can have a proof by because according to environmental expert Dr Grey of the Journal of Environmental Impacts of Steam Power, the fossil fuels that burning steam materials causes an increase in the release of carbon iv oxide gas which is toxic to the environment.


There is no doubt that electric locomotives offer a high level of suitability which can surely come in handy in this 21st century. Reliable sources of research prove that these trains are 90% effective in the provision of their services across the board. Think about the fact that you can attend an impromptu crisis meeting several miles away from where you stay or maybe you slept in, and you are late for a very important interview. The best option would be an electric train as it is not only fast but also relatively cheap.


Another reason I prefer electric locomotives is that they are easy to access and pocket-friendly to top it all. In all settings, keeping the consumers at a comfortable place in the association will give you an upper hand over your competitors. The current society has too much hustle creating the impression that spending an extra dollar in some of the most fundamental rights and freedoms of human beings is outrageous. Ever since the founding of electric trains, travellers keep increasing by the passage of every second. There are so many benefits that electric trains have over the other locomotives, and it all depends on your perspective.

Posted by Mike
Best Train Simulation Games

The Microsoft Train Simulator is one of the oldest simulations in the game. Since 2001, this simulation experience has constantly had in provision more than entertaining fun and awesome times but also equally challenging missions. In this simulation, the player has the permission to drive over ten trains at a single go. The benefit with this feature is that it puts the driver at a vantage point where he or she can multi-task which eventually boost their psychological and cognitive abilities. Another interesting merit is that the driver can derive his routes when the game becomes too difficult to manage.

You can be able to tell from the sound of its name; this simulation requires you to have your railway network. An empire that is all about the train and other activities that are in one way or the other related to trains is a great way to pass the time. Think about the fact that this simulation game allows you to purchase train stations or if you lack the adequate virtual cash, all you need to do is request construction tools and sooner rather than later, the whole plan will be bare to you and ready for missions.

Another simulation game is the Sid Meier’s Railroads where even beginners have a chance of learning something new by the passage of every second. Here, the job is to ensure that before the train arrives, all rails are present and functioning as they should. In the real picture, this game is more or less like a day in the rails where the transportation of commodities from the supplier or rather producer to the customer is the cardinal objective of the man on duty. Failure to see to it that all goods arrive their destination safely could result in detrimental complications in the game.

The good about this game is that it gives the player a whole lot of opportunities to achieve the objective of the game. A game that has so many methods of beating the goal has enough details to ensure that despite the age and circumstance of the player, a wide variety of ideas of attaining the goal makes it one of the best simulation games out there. Take note of the fact that the player can attain objectives even by completing roads and building ships as well as steering them in their respective docks.

The most interesting part about this game is that it has the capability of bringing several players from across the whole globe. It means that even if you are not into train simulation games today, the day after tomorrow will still be a great day to play it since there are a lot of games to choose from at any time. Sharing a game experience with an online friend is a great feeling especially if you think about the fact that just a few decades ago, no one was able to play one game at the same with another player at the other side of the world.

Posted by Mike
Tips for Model Train Displays

  • Ensure cleanliness

In all settings, it is crucial to pay attention to the level of cleanliness as it plays an impressive role in creating the first impression of a client. Cleaning the trains is a sure way to keep your display at the top of the competition as it helps to give the train the feeling and the look of whole new machines even if it is older than it appears. Also, tidiness keeps little risk like dust and fire away from causing potential damages.

  • Incline the train

Another important point to think about during the storage of trains is the manner of storage. Note that in the normal floors where most people keep stores, the instances of dust accumulation and other hazards runs too high by the elapsing of every second. Experts advise that elevating the train in the sense that its front is away from the ground in all ways is key in storing a durable, presentable and appealing display. Ideally, keeping the train inclined reduces chances of accident from children around the house or showroom for that matter.

  • Lay rail tracks accordingly

If you hope that your train display will go perfectly, it is pertinent that you ensure all the rails have the perfect arrangement. When the customers get the idea that you have gone a long way out of your comfort zone to see to it that the safety of the train guarantees them their health, it is likely that they will consider your idea. On the positive side, laying a perfect trail will allow the train top not only operate smoothly and effectively but will also give it additional time to pass for ideal durability.

  • Have short circuits

The interaction between time and electric currents is sure to give a vital lesson to the former that every time a circuit is elongated, the travel time and speed of electrons changes. When this is open to the critical analysis of an engineering perspective, if the circuit has an extension and some slight electric glitches happen before the train sets off, it is likely that a certain level of damages may impact the train. To avoid, this, the circuit that comes with the display train is the best to use despite the circumstance. In cases where the circuit is unreliable, another short one can serve as a perfect alternative.

  • Involve kids

Following the fact that the real target audience of this display or rather a presentation is mostly kids, it is wise to involve them in coming up with the final contributions in the whole setup. In fact, most parents understand the fact that if the display owner is considerate enough to include the input of the child, there are high chances that when the whole project wins, their children will be part of something influential in life. It is the nature of all men to belong to an influential aspect of the whole of the human life interaction.

Posted by Mike
Great Train Rides in the World

  • Rovos Rail: Location, South Africa

At the mention of Africa, the first thing that crosses your mind is the amazing range of memorable experiences that you stand a chance of enjoying when you decide to visit this ride. The Rovos Rail is one of the famous rides in the history of all time. It has a two-week tour that touches most parts of Africa at such an affordable rate running all through the day and the week.

  • Glacier Express: Location, Switzerland

Another breathtaking the ride is the Glacier Express which passes between snow mountains right from St. Moritz up to the Alps. Without a doubt, if you are a great traveler and adventurer, the sight of snow is enough to give you amazing ideas of having traveled some of the most beautiful places in the world. It is over 2200 meters creating the idea that in the whole of Switzerland, this wins ass one among the longest rides ever. The good thing about this train is that it only moves for a maximum of seven hours but which turn out to be the most amazing moments you ever had to travel by train.

  • The Jacobite: Location, Scotland

Last month marked the first moon for the official operation of the Jacobite. It has an origination destiny of traveling an average of 67 kilometers from Fort Williams down the waters of Loch Nevis. What one may forget to notice is that this train runs from the highest point in Europe to the deepest point as well. Through this experience, there is no arguing that it is indeed one of the best train rides across the whole globe.

  • The Ghan: Location: Australia

The best thing about this ride is the location itself. Australia is one of the most amazing places in the whole world courtesy of its tropical rainforest climatic conditions. In this ride, which comes from Adelaide and races up to Darwin, you are sure to get the most outback experience. The typical harmless wild animals like kangaroos and camels alongside gazelles are some of the constituents of appealing features that will grab your attention all through the journey. The fact on file that it is over 3000 meters makes it even crazy for a road trip with family and friends.

  • The Hiram Bingham Orient Express: Location, Peru

It is crucial to understand that this ride obtains its name from its founder by the name Hiram who made a discovery in 1911 regarding the lost city of Incan. Most travelers would like to visit this place and have first time experience of what it feels like to be part of history. The city is an ancient town which goes down to meaning that people from all over the world usually come around to visit with the hope of creating some of the best train traveling memories.