UK modeller Chris Nevard has a great blog on his layouts and projects.
Here’s a link to the blog’s home page for those who want to follow what he’s doing. But even if you don’t, I think this posting is worth a read. I can identify with Chris’ comment about having wide-ranging interests, as I do too.
I can also relate to Chris’ comment about the need to be realistic about the time one has available for the hobby. It’s a key driver behind my decision to tackle a simple theme and do it well.
I admire those who undertake lifetime layouts and I’m glad I get to benefit from their work and dedication when we have operating sessions. But I also know I’d burn out if it was my project.
“Know Your Limits”: Good advice!
A friend got in touch this weekend with an interesting observation.
Having read through my Port Rowan blog, he wrote that one objective I’m meeting – without really planning to – is the amount of time older modellers can endure during an operating session. Knees and backs get sore sooner, and the problem is aggravated if one is carrying around a little extra weight (or, let’s face it, a lot).
My friend noted that a session lasting 45-60 minutes is a great objective in the world of Baby Boomers. (He didn’t comment on the “retiring to the pub” part afterwards, but I suspect he’d approve of that, too.)
I enjoy longer sessions when I get the chance. But for the most part, I know I’ll be running my own layout with one or two friends, or visitors from out of town. Often, we’ll have a lot of catching up to do – discussing hobby and layout plans, families, dogs, jobs, politics, life in the big city or small town, and more – and those are conversations better suited to the dinner table or local watering hole than the train room.
I think the owners of large layouts that normally host multi-hour operating marathons should consider how they would host a one-hour session for older visitors or those pressed for time. It would also be useful for those times when the host wants to run a train or two without wrecking the schedule. Maybe a branch integrated into the main layout could operate as a stand-alone line?
Something to think about…