FROM READERS: Toy trains are the world's greatest hobby

Louis Eggerding, the president of the Ozark Division of the Train Collectors Association has been playing with toy trains for 62 years

I have played with toy trains for 62 years, and I see no reason to stop now. Like most boys (and some girls) born in the post-war years, I wanted an electric train at the top of my Christmas list. I received one when I was eight, and a few months later, my dad built me a table out of a 4-by-8 sheet of plywood. That was the beginning of the first of many layouts. The current one fills a 16-by-33-foot room.

Like me, many others in my age group can share this story. This hobby was something I could share with friends. Along the way we learned some basic carpentry, basic electricity, model-building skills, painting, city planning, sculpting, photography and some railroad history. A few of us continue developing these skills to this day. This diversity of skills has led to the phrase “the world’s greatest hobby,” because each individual can follow his or her own interests within the toy train basic framework.

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