Saturday, October 22, 2011
Buying My Competition
When I originally began getting into HO scale trains I envisioned the hobby to be a good way to spend time with my two sons who seemed to really enjoy playing with the trains. As they got older they wanted their own trains so starting at Christmas one year trains started showing up under the tree. Soon they wanted to accompany me to the local train store and of course they needed me to make a purchase for their budding train empires. Since I was the NYC fan, that would be my railroad. My oldest son. originally drawn to Conrail, became an avid fan of the NYC arch rival, the Pennsylvania Railroad. My youngest son decided on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad with quite a bit of Erie Lackawanna RR thrown in. Being men / boys we became very competitive regarding locomotives, passenger cars and freight cars. A lot of my engines are better than yours, my cars are better that yours went back and forth. As the only one with an actual income my NYC empire grew much faster than the PRR and B&O. But these two railroads still received plenty of equipment as the years went by. As of this writing the PRR empire of my son actually has a bigger passenger fleet than my NYC. The vast and sprawling B&O / E.L RRs feature an extensive passenger and freight car roster with quite a few military cars thrown in case there is unpleasantness on the layout. Maintenance, upgrades and repairs of this rival equipment is paid for and performed by yours truly. Often the rivals benefit from the learning curve that I gained from working on my NYC equipment. The result is that they have first class equipment that operates flawlessly. So now that my boys are quite a bit older and the verbal barbs continue I often wonder when being verbally abused for running junk, what was I thinking?