Noun: ferroequinologist (plural ferroequinologists)
Synonyms: (enthusiast) railfan
This is what it says on Wiktionary and it is pretty sparse. I guess I have to fill in the details in this blog over time by describing what it really means to love railroads and mineshafts. I am a diehard train aficionado, as much or more than Sheldon on Big Bang Theory. He would, however, be an example of “ferroequinologist.” It doesn’t matter than he isn’t real. He shows what it is like to have a passion for railroads. Since there is now a Young Sheldon, we get to find out if he developed this fixation as a child like I did. I would lay in bed at night as a kid imagining my dad riding back and forth to work (I couldn’t wait to grow up and get a job in the city) and listening to the whistle when the train went by the house. It meant he would soon be home, so I had wonderful associations with the sound.
Railfans, I never lost this fascination for “iron horses” and today I am going to describe making my own railroad station. I have set up a large table of the fold up kind in the basement, large enough to house whatever buildings and tracks I like. I don’t do Legos, God forbid, but the real thing with numerous tiny handmade parts. I paint it all and add details on top for extra lifelike appearance. What is fun about the project is that I get to research specific depots that are quaint and colorful, and a bit old fashioned. A model train village should be old world in my opinion. Besides, each one can be unique if it is not a modern stereotype. I have small figures, benches, trees, cars parked next to the station, and of course the glorious train. I had to acquire a lot of small tools to do the work, including a staple gun to attach the terrain to the underlying plywood substructure. It is the kind of gadget that artists use to make their own canvasses because you can place it on top and just press until the staple releases. I like to pretend that I’m wielding a real gun when I’ve got the staple gun in my hand, so I call myself a Staple Slinger. What I mean is that it doesn’t open up like paper staples do.
The model is a work in progress and I will tell you more about its final outcome as time goes by. I expect to add to it. It is a long-term hobby. It is critical when going this route to choose the best possible train to please your passion. The station will be in your thoughts for a very long time.