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Playing with Trains: A Passion Beyond Scale
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Playing with Trains: A Passion Beyond Scale

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  60 ratings  ·  15 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 of 92)
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Elizabeth Johnson
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
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?
HBalikov
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.
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.
Dan
A decent memoir of a life long passion of model railroading. He kept my interest as he delved deeper into the people who obsess over the minute details. I grew up with a dad who briefly owned a model train store in the 80s and an HO layout that took up the whole basement. Definitely left me wanting to have a layout of my own!
Christopher
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.
Jim
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
Davy
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!
Tom Warger
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.
Gary
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
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
Sarah
Mostly about layouts; would have enjoyed more about trains. Enjoyed history of steam and diesels in last chapter.
Jeramey
A bit meandering at the end, but overall an enjoyable read.
Fred
A good read about someones passion for a hobby.
Katie
Katie marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2014
Erik Mallinson
Erik Mallinson marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2014
Katherine
Katherine marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2014
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