It’s a simple crossing, a nondescript two-lane road that could be anywhere. It’s a chance to study a piece of the real world and duplicate it in miniature.

The road intersects two tracks, providing for some extra modeling enjoyment. The flange ways faithfully portray their full-size counterparts, while the coloring, the weedy scrub brush, and the mud caked ties are all here, as you would expect. Why wouldn’t they be?

A crossing is also a metaphor that reflect a change from one state to another. We cross from childhood to an adult, from youth to age, from selfish to considerate. None of these happen in a flash or without effort on our part. They’re part of a journey we’re all on toward maturity and wisdom.

In this craft we can go from wanting to compress the world into a postage stamp to finding the richness, depth and simple beauty of one spot.

We can cross over from feeling deprived if we don’t have an acre of basement to finding satisfaction within the space we do have. We can go from listening to the voices of doubt and inadequacy about our choices to defining the work for our self and bring our own meaning to it.

However we choose to practice this craft, we can cross over from dependence on other opinions to understanding that all the expertise we need to enjoy this hobby is already inside.



  1. Andy

    Hi Mike,

    thank you for the pictures and words in your blog, they are very inspiring to me. 😀

    Regards from Germany

  2. Tom

    Very well said. I found your website within the last year, and have purchased and read some of your publications, and always check to see what the latest blog entry is.

  3. Chris Mears

    This is beautiful. In modelling, as in life, we should be present in our life. To see the joy waiting to be discovered in where we are. If we are not content, here, moving around to search for it elsewhere will never work because we’ll never know how to identify it anywhere else. We overuse the word love these days but I’m comfortable using it here – I love reading these posts. This kind of writing elevates the hobby beyond what it usually is to something greater. It provides a kind of purpose. It makes it accessible to people who aren’t into model trains. If we were to display our work and introduce it like this, it is art, it is deserving of a place in our homes and our lives.

    You touch on learning to appreciate the space we have. In good design, the designer studies their obstacles then uses the tool of design to forge a compromise between what is wanted and what is here. The best examples, those ones that speak to us completely and powerfully, are those brilliant ones where we learned to work with the current and not fight against it.

    Krista keeps inspiring me with the question of “human-centric design” for model railways. I feel that this post really describes a possible response. Created with the modeller.

    Thank you


  4. mike

    Thank you everyone. Not to worry Chris, I’m just getting warmed up. Krista sound like a keeper to me. You’re a lucky man to have such a thoughtful spouse who challenges you to do better with a pursuit your clearly enjoy.



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