Age and operating session endurance

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…

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