Saturday, August 07, 2004

Why Bother Talking About Standard Gauge? (Op Ed)

Friend of mine asked me this week "Why did you pick this?" "Why are you wasting your time?"

Standard gauge and history is NOT a waste of time. This is a real, living, breathing hobby. If we don't interact and discuss what we see and know, we lose something. We lose history.

The reason I created the website is because there just isn't much good standard gauge on the web. The discussions aren't bad but they rely on email quite heavily.

The websites that focus on standard gauge are not bad but they just aren't updated nearly as often as I like. I am constantly thinking about this stuff and discussing it. Updates once a year or two just won't do.

I find myself checking eBay 20 times a day just to see standard gauge. Some of the stuff I bid on I know I really shouldn't (it isn't stuff I need and isn't that good). I am just constantly anxious to get my hands on fresh rolling stock and engines that add a different dimension to my collection and operations.

The shows with standard gauge are getting fewer and fewer. I know they have some great stuff at York but you need to go there with a monster amount of cash.

Standard gauge is definitely an escape (as are toy trains) but I would still rather watch an old 390E barrel around a circle than hear one more national news anchor wax eloquent about Iraq or hear about Martha Stewart's incarceration.

Best way to really get productive is to kick around some new ideas and look at the thousand or so old one's that came before you (at least that's what I think). I was at my friend's house last week (Jim Cohen) and he was showing me some of the things he has done just doodling on paper, designs, artwork. These little papers were magnificent! Designs for motors, Voltamp insignias, trolley artwork.

These are ideas that need to see the light of day, if for no other reason because they may create new ideas.

So I made this site to keep the excitement going. Please contribute opinions, ideas, pictures. Whatever enters your mind about standard gauge, 2 7/8 and pre-war tinplate!!


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