Brand: Random House Playing with Trains: A Passion Beyond Scale Item Sku:
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Description: Why do grown men play with trains? Is it a primal attachment to childhood, nostalgia for the lost age of rail travel, or the stuff of flat-out obsession? In this delightful and unprecedented book, Grand Prix legend Sam Posey tracks those who share his â€œpassion beyond scaleâ€ and discovers a wonderfully strange and vital culture.
Poseyâ€™s first layout, wired by his mother in the years just after the Second World War, was, as he writes in his Introduction, â€œa miniature universe which I could operate on my own. Speed and control: I was fascinated by both, as well as by the way they were inextricably bound together.â€ Eventually, when Poseyâ€™s son was born, he was convinced that building him a basement layout would be the highest expression of fatherhood. Sixteen years and thousands of hours later, this project, â€œthe outgrowth of chance meetings, unexpected friendships, mistakes, illness, latent ambitions, and sheer luckâ€ was completed. But for Posey, the creation of his HO-scale masterpiece based on the historic Colorado Midland, was just the beginning.
In Playing with Trains, Sam Posey ventures well beyond the borders of his layout in northwestern Connecticut, to find out what makes the top modelers tick. He expects to find men â€œengaged in a genial hobby, happy to spend a few hours a week escaping the pressures of contemporary life.â€ Instead he uncovers a world of extremesâ€“extreme commitment, extreme passion, and extreme differences of approach. For instance, Malcolm Furlow, holed up on his ranch in the wilderness of New Mexico, insists that model railroading is defined by scenery and artistic self-expression. On the other hand, Tony Koester, a New Jersey modeler, believes his â€œmissionâ€ is to replicate, with fanatical precision and authenticity, the way a real railroad operates. Going to extremes himself, Posey actually â€œtest drivesâ€ a real steam engine in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, in an attempt to understand the great machines that inspired the models and connect us to a time when â€œthe railroad was inventing America.â€ Timeless and original, Playing with Trains reveals a classic, questing American world.