Friday morning

Hornby R2380A J94 0-6-0 tank engine
Hornby R2380A J94 0-6-0

While hardly a layout proper I have left the track stuck together and the controller still alligator-clipped to the rails. I’ve been running this little engine, back-and-forth, every few hours for a few minutes, every time I’m in need of a distraction. This is time that I’d usually spend “checking my phone” so it’s time still wasted but it feels one heck of a lot more positive and productive. I haven’t counted how many times I wandered over to the “layout” and run that little engine back and forth but it doesn’t matter because I’m running a train, this is the most active I’ve been in (literally) years in the hobby, and the first time I’ve actually run a train, here at home, since we moved here almost four years ago.

Leafing through layout designs there’s a natural temptation to ask “is this enough” or “will it keep me entertained” and in that time lost to analysis we never ask “is this analysis loop better or worse than doing nothing? And how or why is it better?”. My track is set, loose, on top of the bookcase and the controller is just alligator-clipped to the track. I did this because I owned a model that I really enjoyed owning but had never actually run. It’s a messy looking scene but I left it as it is so I could see how often I’d wander over just to run that engine if I left things like this. I never thought this could be this much fun. I never thought that because of the way I approached this hobby and the way my experience was crafted by my own language. I still enjoy the craft and conversation of designing things and that interest is not diminished by learning this new lesson.

These models exist for no purpose other than to enrich the quality of lives. They serve no practical purpose. On this length of track I’m reminded of the joy stored in this hobby and waiting to be unlocked by energizing two rails and opening a throttle. Time to put the kettle back on and get back to whatever I was up to before I was doing this.

Categories: How I think

1 reply

  1. Beauty. I’ve always loved trains, but when I went through an unexpected divorce five years ago I rediscovered the importance of enjoying something with no practical purpose. I’m sad that your CPR wood van isn’t on Shapeways, but I have enormous respect for anyone who intentionally makes a choice to go off the grid and reclaim what our phones have stolen from us.

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