The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Garden railways
I married a guy who loves model trains. He used to drive the real ones for a living, so this is rather understandable.

When we were first married, there was a huge HO scale layout that took up the entire sunroom at our house. It was half disassembled and pretty ugly to look at. Somehow, I convinced Dan to sell it, since he really wasn't doing anything with it.

My relief was short-lived, because he then decided that he wanted to build a 5-inch scale garden railway. The engines are large and powerful enough to sit on AND pull several cars with passengers. He inducted me into this world of trains by taking me to one of the local model steam association "open" days. I got hooked on riding little trains through the bush.

Dan has started his garden railway - problem is, we don't have a garden that's big enough for the size engine that he's building. "No problem," says Dan. We'll buy a trailer for the engine and take it to open days held by the steam club. I groan. I can just picture all of the accessories we are going to have to buy: batteries, trailer, hoist, passenger cars, little engineer's cap, etc.

So, for two years, Dan's has been working on his huge model engine. It's required scale drawings, steel-cutting and welding, and the occasional Band-aid. That's not going fast enough, so he's decided to start a narrow-gauge railway. It uses HO scale stock on a narrower gauge track. The sections of plywood and layouts that I thought were gone for good, are back!

This year, for Boxing Day, we went away to see a friend of his who is restoring a full size heritage railway. We're talking actual old rail cars and a huge shed that sits on several hectares of land. Dan's going to get recertified as a driver so that he can shunt them around during his vacation time!

Can a railway Club car purchase be next?
posted by Melanie O. at 8:44 AM -
  • At 11:24 AM, Blogger gardenbug said…

    Hurray for Dan. Life is too short to deny oneself simple pleasures. Seniors have only one regret...not what they did, but what they failed to do. Go get 'um, Dan. Choo Choo!

  • At 6:15 PM, Anonymous irishnomad said…

    sounds no worse than my passion for bicycles.

  • At 1:12 AM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Or mine for retro lingerie! ;-)

  • At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Marty said…

    Model railroading is a great hobby, combining carpentry, electrical, art, history, etc. I really miss it - sold most of my stuff on ebay a few years ago...... by the way, you skated at the state fairgrounds in Syracuse? I did too! Small world....

  • At 1:38 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Hi Marty -

    Yep - that's the place! The coliseum is at the state fairgrounds. Small world! :-)

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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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