Saturday, July 3, 2010

Model Railroad Lessons Learned #6: Enjoy Each Stage of the Journey

The CP Rail M & M Sub. under construction.

Some people can’t wait to get a layout done. They work as fast as they can to complete it. It’s as if it isn’t any good until it is finished.

I also looked forward to the day when the CP Rail M & M Sub. would be “done.” But I found enjoyment at each step of the process. (OK, except for wiring.) Whether it was making buildings, creating scenery, laying track, weathering cars or any of the other myriad of things that go into creating a layout, I enjoyed each facet and step along the way.

Now that my layout is done, I find that I miss all those things. I miss the feelings of satisfaction that resulted from completing a new scene. I miss the excitement of discovering a new piece of rolling stock for the roster. I even feel nostalgic for the days when my layout room was empty, except for the promise of what was to come.

In this time of instant gratification, when almost everything in the hobby comes ready-to-run out of the box, it's tempting to want to have it all right now. But model railroading, done right, is a process. It takes time to develop the needed skills and abilities that will eventually lead to a dream layout. Each step along the way is important for the next one, and for the one after that. And each one, in its own way, can be savoured and appreciated.

Maybe it’s true: Maybe the trip really is better than reaching the final destination.

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