As you may or may not know, I am interested in Model Railroading. Below is a paper I wrote for English but it is a good intro to the hobby.
What sorts of things do you like to do? Do you like art, model building, woodworking, landscaping, wiring, painting, detailing, researching, gardening, carving, or collecting? How would you like to combine some or all of these things into one hobby? If this sounds like a good idea, then model railroading is the hobby for you! In the World’s Greatest Hobby you can do some or all of these things in one amazing hobby. In model railroading you can create and be in control of an entire world in miniature.
Before you plunge into this rewarding hobby, you need to know the three basic branches of model railroading.
First there are toy trains. Toy trains were the origin of the hobby. They were originally what the word says, train toys. The main hobbyists today in this category are adults that remember there first train they got when they were a kid and want to keep on going with their toys. Toy trains run on a track that has three metal rails, which is not realistic as the real-life railways. This scale (size) is called O scale. Toy train enthusiasts do not care how real their layout (setup of trains) is, they just like running the whole thing.
Secondly there is scale modeling. These hobbyists are concerned with the construction of a world in miniature, making a scale model [hence the name] of the railroad they are modeling. They try to place all the details the railroad, village or country side they are modeling (copying into miniature) into their layout. The tracks have two rails and are copied into every detail. There are two main scales in scale modeling HO, the larger and more popular scale, and N the smaller scale. Both of these scales are smaller than the toy train’s O scale. In scale modeling, the hobbyists also construct scenery, using various manufactured and natural materials, simulating trees, grasses, bushes, water and landscapes in the real world.
Finally there is garden railroading. Garden railroading brings your train outdoors into the garden. In this aspect of the hobby you use real plants and water to bring life to your layout. The scale for garden railroading is G scale, a large scale much bigger than the other scales.
Now that you know the basics of model railroading, I encourage you to go ahead and start the hobby. If you do not like one aspect of the hobby, do not do it, only do what you enjoy. Always remember, have fun when you are doing the World’s Greatest Hobby.