Wide-ranging discussions

The Model Railway Show photo TMRS_badge_zpscfab16b2.jpg

Today, I was reminded why I miss producing and co-hosting The Model Railway Show.

What prompted this was a wide-ranging discussion I had with my friend Chris Abbott, who was in the neighbourhood for an early afternoon appointment but had enough time to grab a bite and a pint at Harbord House.

We talked about layout designs for exhibitions… the development of various scales and the confusion some enthusiasts have about “scale” vs. “gauge”… rationalizing one’s collection of stuff… balancing prototype fidelity with model railroading fun… modelling in larger scales in smaller spaces… and much more.

(Great – as always – to see you, Chris!)

Get-togethers with Chris always include a great exchange of ideas – not only about the micro issues that relate to building a specific layout but also the macro issues that shape the hobby as a whole. I’m fortunate that I can say the same about get-togethers with my other regular operators, too – friends like Pierre Oliver, Hunter Hughson and David Woodhead, to name just a few.

Through the podcast, I was able to have these same wide-ranging discussions with interesting hobbyists from around the world. I learned a lot – and while some of what I learned confirmed my hobby biases, a lot of what I learned challenged my thinking.

I know a number of former listeners now read this blog. I’m not posting this to solicit encouragement to pull the headphones out of storage and return to my spot behind the microphone.

I’m simply not ready to revive the podcast – not yet, anyhow. While it was a lot of fun, The Model Railway Show was also a lot of work. What’s more, it was work that cut into my layout-building time. For now, I have this S scale layout to fill my hobby hours and drain my hobby budget.

But in time – perhaps when I have more of the layout completed and I’m down to detailing, special projects and enjoying the fruits of my labours? Well, we’ll see…

In the meantime, I’m happy that I’m able to get together so often with my friends – to share thoughts, debate issues, discuss plans and, in general, solve the hobby’s problems – especially when there’s an operating session and/or a pint or two involved!

4 thoughts on “Wide-ranging discussions

  1. I enjoy this and some other blogs because they are hosted by people who have knowledge levels comparable to what I have accumulated in more than 55 years of model railroading. It is a discussion among equals.

    Beats the heck out of the inquiries from people who want instant gratification and get PO’d when you can’t download all of the knowledge in 10 sentences or less, Of course they would never pay money to buy a magazine or book to learn from – -that I what the internet is for!

  2. Bill has outlined precisely the reason I don’t post much, if at all, on Model Railroad Hobbyist forum even though I’m one of the regular columnists.
    Re: podcasts. Speaking as a former guest on TMRS I strongly encourage you to return the podcast to the air. Stick to the focused discussion topic format, but perhaps the workload would be a little less by having one guest a show.
    I for one really appreciated the fact that you sent me some questions/topics beforehand, we had a brief discussion, and then started recording. Total time investment on my end was minimal for a great result.
    Some of the other podcasts can be interesting but frankly the signal to noise ratio means I don’t really listen to them all that much anymore.

  3. I agree with Marty. A compromise could look like short and sharply focused podcasts that are published less frequently, at least until you get the layout past that level of detail you’re striving to achieve.


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