I’d like to tell you that Animated Meat has always been a staunch supporter of asking the tough questions in the noble pursuit of the truth. However, I’d be lying to you if I did. Friends and readers, asking tough questions requires follow through. Follow through can be exhausting and there is no guarantee that the noble pursuit of the truth will ever yield anything. Take this situation for example. My son Jacque has been in love with trains since before he could walk. He has been pointing at iron horses as long as I can remember.
As he has grown, his level of fascination has intensified. I have had no choice but to take him out to see every train themed attraction I have been able to find. On our journey, I noticed that he wasn’t the only little critter out there with a burning passion for trains. In fact, it turns out that there are two distinct demographic groups that like to cluster up around locomotives and diesels. This observation has lead me to the tough question I been following through on for the last two years. Why do little boys and old men love trains so much?
My quest for an answer brought be to the Great Train Show at the Fairplex in Pomona. The Great Train Show is a traveling exhibit where people can buy and sell model trains. Up for grabs at the show are trains in all gauges and states of repair. The vendors carried everything from brand-new, in the box trains all the way down to some pieces that can best be described as intensely well loved. While I cannot claim to be an expert because I only picked up a few items, it seems as though haggling over prices is very welcome.
In addition, local clubs are welcome to come out and display their train sets. The displays that they bring out are remarkable. I’m not talking about an old Tyco sitting on top of a sheet of plywood and a couple saw horses. These displays are massive and cover huge expanses of real estate. I have only begun to dip my toe into acquiring model trains. It is staggering to consider the dollars and time invested to create these model railroads. Yet, around each one of the displays were squadrons of little boys and old men, buzzing around like bees.
The Great Train show is an annual event and Jacque and I have attended it at different locations. However, one reason why the Pomona Fairgrounds is a good place to take the train lover in your life is because it is home base for two other train exhibits.
Directly in front of the bungalow the Great Train Show calls home for one weekend in July sits the Fairplex Garden Railroad. Supported by your generous donations, the Fairplex Garden Railroad is a volunteer-maintained G-scale train display. It has over 10,000 feet of track and multiple trains criss-crossing through several different displays.
If a visit to the Great Train Show and a pass through the Fairplex Garden Railroad isn’t enough to satisfy the train lover in your life, the Rail Giants Train Museum is just a short walk away. The museum is home to a collection of restored, full-size steam locomotives and diesels. Most of the trains are open so that a curious explorer can climb aboard and see what it was like to be an engineer.
As I bring this entry to a close, I can provide plenty of evidence to support my question. However, I do not think that I am any better informed as to why old men and little boys like trains so much. Like I said before, asking tough questions requires follow through. Dear reader, I can assure you that there will be plenty of follow through as Jacque and I drop pins in the map as we attempt to find an answer.
This entry was written after a visit to the Great Train Show on July 14, 2018