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Railroading Is A Most Exciting Hobby

Aug 17, 2007
Railroading is not only an industry within the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It is a very impressive and exciting hobby. At last count, there are over 200,000 subscribers to the leading rail hobby magazines. There are over 200 railroad and trolley museums scattered about the USA and Canada. There are a multitude of local railfan organizations, many of who conduct railroad fan trips. Many other railfan organizations perform restoration projects where literally, the dead are brought back to life.

And this is only the beginning. There are over 50,000 model railroad layouts in existence. Many of these layouts belong to clubs that meet regularly to run trains and to construct scale models representing steam, diesel, and electric locomotives. Model railroading has grown to such an extent that now there are digital control systems that supply sound and controls to all trains in operation.

The hobby of railroading can be as inexpensive or as costly as you would like it to be. The simplest and cheapest kind of railroading is just finding a spot of railroad which looks scenic, finding a good location where to watch the trains, get a good camera,and then see them zoom or else crawl by. The most costly way to enjoy the sport is to invest about $50,000 in a model railroad consisting of scale locomotives, cars, scenery, buildings, and electrical equipment.

There are all sorts of cost and enjoyment levels in this sport. How much time and money you wish to invest is up to you. This article will get you started. It will keep you very much occupied as you pursue this hobby. Let's take a look at some of these basics.

The cheapest way to enjoy railroading is to find a good stretch of track where the trains run frequently and just watch them go by. Bring a camera if you want to record the action. Please remember to observe the basics of safety and do not venture onto the tracks under any circumstances. Do not bring children along unless you are watching trains from a bridge that is fenced. Above all, never venture onto railroad right of way unless you have gotten prior permission from railroad authorities to be there.

Railroading becomes more expensive when you couple up the hobby of photography with railroading. Some breathtaking railroad still photos and videos have been taken with camera equipment that is in high three figures. You can then send these images to other members of a railfan group to show them how good you are. However, it does not compare with the expense of building and operating a model railroad.

Model railroading is very costly. Buying a single locomotive that is scale detailed can run into $500 or more. Model railroading comes in three sizes, O Gauge, HO Gauge, and N Gauge. As the scale gets smaller, the costs also tend to get smaller, but the detailed accuracy of the model also tends to diminish. Building and operating a model railroad will also take a lot of your time as well as a lot of your money. Be prepared to have an understanding spouse and above all, keep the family cat out of the model railroad room.

You should also be prepared to invest a lot of money and time by belonging to one or more railroading groups or rail museums. These groups also work with large full sized trains and trolley cars, but they confine their operations to their own right-of-ways and will teach you good safety habits if you do not already have them. These groups go out regularly on fan trips that are sanctioned by the railroads that support them, and are great subjects for photography. There are also a multitude of e-mail posts available on any railroad or railroad fan group through Yahoo. Here, your investment is very inexpensive and you can get a good background in how trains operate. A search through Google will tell you where these groups are located.

Talking to other railfans or other railroaders is an excellent way to network yourself and to communicate with others that have either been there or done that. You can even start and develop your own web conference room, where you can invite railroaders from all over the US and Canada to go over every issue related to the railroading hobby.

To get to other website locations that will help you get started or will give you more information on this exciting hobby, go to web search engines to find blogs and other websites. A trip through one or more search engines should prove to be of immense help.

Whatever your fancy, follow the steel rails. They will lead you to hours of fun.
About the Author
Bob Carper is a veteran information systems consultant that has over 30 years experience in information systems design and development. He is an ardent railfan and belongs to the New York Central Historical Society.

Please visit http://www.secure-webconference.citymax.com
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