Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Most of us who enjoy model railroading or model building likely shared the experience the Christmas tree and a train set.  As a child, I looked forward to Christmas and the American Flyer set being set up under the Christmas tree.


Trains and the holidays have been connected in my mind since childhood.  Trains for holiday travel were the only way to get to see family and friends when I was a child.  The 1950s were the last era of train travel.  Autos and planes relegated passenger trains to last option only slightly better than the Greyhound.


While trains may have started to fade from the public view, they stayed alive in the minds of many.  We see a budding modeler building his layout and spending hours dreaming about what can be done.  I found this picture on Shorpy and decided to use it.  It did bring back memories of my childhood.  Sixty some years later I am still dreaming about what can be done.

The header photo of the GRS S-2a semaphore was taken by Rick Leach of his property and NP railroad collection . The rolling stock, track and signal have been relocated.

Best wishes to you and your family during this holiday season.

Merry Christmas to all and to all good night!


16 thoughts on “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  1. So one Christmas… 1955 or so, I decided I had to see Santa Claus come to our house. Something woke me up… and I gingerly tip-toed in the dark out to the tree in the living room, bumping a few things as I went. Seeing nothing at the tree… I went back to bed.
    Christmas morning… I found out that the things I had bumped… were the Plasticville Structures set in the middle of a brand-new American Flyer train set… right smack-dab in the middle of the floor!!! I still smile about it… and thank Dad for introducing me to this hobby.

  2. Born 1947, received American Flyer in 1952. As an AF two railer versus Lionel I was odd man out when it came time to build basement empires on rainy Oregon days. I constantly checked all of the model railroad books out of the library and built buildings from cereal boxes and file folders. Model railroading was a big part of my life. Even started working in a hobby shop at 15 and put together many a Christmas layout for the “unwashed”.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. My start was a Lionel set and the MR magazine on Christmas 1949. That only lasted a couple years though as the frustration of building scale cars and structures to work with Lionel stuff caused me to go over to the dark side (HO) for the next couple decades.

    Great photos Gene and Merry Christmas,

  4. Gene – Merry Christmas!! I really enjoy your blog and the P:48 Yahoo group! THANK YOU!!
    Santa brought me a Lionel train in 1948, and my father built a portable layout on a 4′ X 6′ thin piece of plywood. It lasted into the late 1950’s, and I finally built my first scale car (All-Nation watermellon car) in 1959, having been introduced to O scale earlier by Santa leaving a couple of Kusan scale plastic boxcars and a tank car.
    A large influence on my early O scale experience occurred in 1961 when a friend of our family (who I had never previously met) had a heart attack and was in the same military hospital where I was born. I wanted to see where I was born, so accompanied my mother on the visit. The friend, Col. John K. Weber, had a large O scale layout over his garage that was even featured in MR before WWII! It was all down hill from there…

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