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Playing with Trains: A Passion Beyond Scale

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  85 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
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 “passion beyond scale” and discovers a wonderfully strange and vital culture.

Posey’s first layout, wired by his mother in t
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 8th 2005 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published September 7th 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ronald Kelland
Jul 11, 2015 Ronald Kelland rated it really liked it
Model railroaders can be a quirky bunch, trust me, I'm one of them. Not surprisingly this book greatly interested me. It is setup almost as two books in one. The first half of the book explores the author's nearly lifelong fascination with model trains. As a child running Lionel trains with his mother and stepfather to his rediscovery of the hobby as a new father trying. The second part is very much a "state-of-the-hobby" address as the author explores the quirky, and surprisingly contested, hob ...more
Elizabeth Johnson
Aug 13, 2014 Elizabeth Johnson rated it it was amazing
Written in memoir-style, Posey's book shares some of the challenges and thrills of creating a model layout. along with observations about those who enjoy the hobby and their varied styles of craft. I learned, I laughed, and I grew in appreciation for all the detail that goes into model layouts. It was quite understandable, even for someone who doesn't know a THING about model railroading - but my husband enjoys the hobby, and I was glad to learn a little more about it for his sake. It was a good ...more
Joe
Mar 07, 2010 Joe rated it really liked it
This book was fun to read. Posey has a very easy, intelligent, and conversational style that makes for quick reading. It was interesting to discover this side of a person for whom all my prior knowledge was gleaned from sportscasting. This book took me back to my childhood, when my dad and I built a layout in our basement. Now I find myself pondering just where in my house I could fit a new layout of my own...
Michael
Great idea...I can see why an editor would want this book. However, the execution, from the writing to the organization to the general superficiality, left a lot to be desired. It was probably too much for a non-train enthusiast and not nearly enough for a dork like me.

And...why would you agree to publish this book and then not have better photographs of Posey's layout?
Pam
Jan 15, 2012 Pam rated it really liked it
Shelves: bios-memoirs, pam
American culture suppresses rather than honors eccentrics. I think that is a shame as there is nothing as boring as a uniform society. Sam Posey is one of those men with a passion which propells him through life and insures that he is never bored or without something to do. This glimpse into the world of model trains is wonderful and amazing.
HBalikov
Mar 12, 2008 HBalikov rated it really liked it
This is a book about model railroading but not a conventional one. Posey is very insightful about what drove his interest (connections with his youth and his children) and how it fit into his own life and growing issues with MS. His connection to others who create model railroads and what this is all about adds to the biography as he evolves in his life and his passion.
Tom Warger
Apr 08, 2013 Tom Warger rated it it was amazing
Shelves: railroad
Posey came late to model trains but (maybe as a result) quickly came to know all of us cellar-dwelling train nuts better than we know ourselves. Best book I know on the hobby--told with real appreciation.
Christopher
Apr 27, 2009 Christopher rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable book for anyone who has ever played with a toy train. Captures the culture of the hobby from detail-obsessed modelers to artists to manufacturers. A book written by a man who is passionate about the subject.
Davy
Dec 19, 2007 Davy rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you need a small, quirky, delightful book more than you need a great big jaw-dropping revelation. This one was about the charmingly idiosyncratic subculture of model railroading, and it hit the spot!
Jim
Apr 04, 2009 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 6-star-books, trains
YES YES YES
one of the best auto racing commentators writes of his passion for toy trains, visits other enthusiasts and even becomes a train conductor. one of the coolist books i've ever read! and lots of pictures
Duffy Laudick
May 02, 2016 Duffy Laudick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a how to book, but a look at one persons passion with model trains. Great read! It was fun to look up on the internet some of the other layouts that are mentioned in the book.
Jeramey
Dec 02, 2013 Jeramey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: transportation
A bit meandering at the end, but overall an enjoyable read.
Sarah
Jul 06, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
Mostly about layouts; would have enjoyed more about trains. Enjoyed history of steam and diesels in last chapter.
Tony Kliment
Jan 23, 2017 Tony Kliment rated it liked it
A fun little book if you're at all interested in model trains.
Gary
Sep 23, 2008 Gary rated it really liked it
A quick read on the airplane from San Francisco. It describes one of my passions, but to the extreme.
Note: Firstborn son, Lionel as a youth, Z scale as an adult.
Sonya Carlson
Jan 15, 2011 Sonya Carlson rated it it was ok
Captivating writing but I seemed to miss something. The train details are interesting but he didn't seem to connect with his son or anyone else meaningfully
Brian
Brian rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2017
Dohm Jellison
Dohm Jellison rated it really liked it
Sep 28, 2014
David Kinzer
David Kinzer rated it really liked it
Oct 10, 2014
Donald G. Boos
Donald G. Boos rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2016
Lane
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Jan 10, 2008
Javier Repetto
Javier Repetto rated it really liked it
Apr 28, 2017
Kay Fair
Kay Fair rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2014
Jake Elwell
Jake Elwell rated it it was ok
Oct 02, 2012
Oliver Billin
Oliver Billin rated it it was amazing
Sep 11, 2016
James Carl
James Carl rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2016
Emmanuel Nevers
Emmanuel Nevers rated it it was amazing
Dec 04, 2014
Gavin
Gavin rated it liked it
Oct 30, 2014
Justin Rupp
Justin Rupp rated it it was amazing
Feb 15, 2013
Erik Cox
Erik Cox rated it it was amazing
Aug 04, 2014
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