Legend has it that I received my first model trains at the age of two. Somewhere in a long forgotten photo album there’s visual proof.

In the years since, I’ve tried it all. I’ve had the 1960s plastic equivalent of Brio wooden trains, American Flyer, and countless HO.

Previous layouts ran the spectrum from an early eight-foot square plywood table, to 4x8 slabs, to island designs in the attic of the house I grew up in and numerous shelf layouts in different scales in the basement of the current house.

Early on I went from generic trainset themes, to the coal railroad craze in the 1970s-80s, with a mish-mash of everything but the kitchen sink in between and since. In short, I’ve tried it all and then some with varying degrees of success and frustration.

Over the decades, I’ve gone from rabid enthusiasm to near total indifference and back to enthusiasm and, eventually, learned what I wanted from it all and why. These days, that understanding feels good.

I found this short video online that expresses what I love about railroading. It conveys more in nine minutes than I ever could with words. Enjoy if you decide to watch and I suggest you switch the default resolution from 360 to 480 by clicking on the gear icon.