Motorcycles and Trains, As Kids We Loved Em Both!

By: chesshirecat

May 02 2009

Category: D Gauge, Johnson City, model trains, Mountain Empire Model Railroaders, N Gauge


Focal Length:5.7mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:FinePix S5000

Mountain Empire Model Railroaders
ETSU Science Building, RM 312
Johnson City, TN. 37601

I remember as a kid, when I heard a motorcycle I would crane my neck…looking…longing for a glimpse of the bike that made that coveted noise.

You know I did the same kind of thing when I heard the whistle or horn of a train. What is it about these two machines that brings a kid to full alert when they hear the engine or the horn associated with that magnificent machine? My brothers both got a cool Lionel train set when they were about 11 and 12…I can’t remember, but my guess is one got the track and the scenery, while the other got the trains…and the electric box that drove the train…I can remember fights for the controls.

My oldest brother is into model trains. He spends thousands of dollars on them…he spends thousands of hours working on the ones he buys, painting, adjusting, gluing scenery…he has everything a man needs in order to have some fun building his model train layout. He has everything except room. That’s one reason why he’s joined the Mountain Empire Model Railroaders. Another reason to join, is that there is one hell of a lot to learn about keeping your trains in working order…replacing worn parts, keeping things lubed, you have no idea unless you stop in at your local model railroaders clubhouse. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a set up like this…but it is not exactly the norm…

This club has a 44’ X 24’ permanent layout. It also maintains a complete G-gauge layout and a large, detailed N-Gauge layout.

Here is the regular sized layout…

This is the G-Gauge table….

And lordy…here is the N-Gauge layout…wow….

The members of this club meet every Thursday at 5 PM for what they call “work sessions.” This is where the guys and gals come together and work on their individual modules (48’ X 30’), or to sync their engines with the power outlets and sources. My brother tried to explain all this to me…I’m confused…I’m blond, and I don’t care! All I know, is that on Saturdays, from 10 AM to 3PM, the public is invited to come and ogle the running trains, the cool scenery and the hard work these guys have all put into their passion of model railroading.

I’m gonna keep my mouth shut now y’all….don’t ya just love this stuff? If you say it holds no interest to you then you are in the minority! Too bad for you…I have loved standing as close to the tracks as I dared, feeling the air streaming past me, doing it’s damnedest to suck me into and under the path of the screaming iron wheels!

I have stood on a hill overlooking the tracks where the Engineer could see me and my friends…we would signal the Engineer to sound his horn, pulling down on the imaginary cord as he approached us…mostly these guys would grin widely…and the horns would blast as the engine and it’s cars streamed past us! How frickin cool does it get than that? Can you answer me that one question? HUH????




12 comments on “Motorcycles and Trains, As Kids We Loved Em Both!”

  1. Awesome. Reminds me of the trip I took down 127 from Crossville into the Chat. Stopped in at the museum and saw the wee rail set up there.

  2. The fingers in the one picture don’t bother me…they show the actual scale for those who aren’t familiar with the guage sizing.

  3. OMG…I am 8 years old again!!! Great pics!!! I have to go to this place! Thanks Chessie!

  4. That is one amazing train wonderland…WOW! Thanks for sharing the pictures. I want to go play with it! 🙂

  5. Hey you guys…did you know most communities have a model train club? Check your local phone book or look it up on the web…another idea? If your looking for something to do that don’t cost a lot of money, why not check out the communities your going to be riding through before hand for a club like this one…these things are fun, they will allow you time to get off the bike and stretch your legs, while you enjoy the hard work of others! I’m tellin ya…there are so many cool things to do that don’t cost money…you just have to arrive and do it!

  6. Wow this is pretty cool. Love the detail that goes into the settings. Never seen one of these in person but one of the malls over in Dallas does a big display like this for Christmas. I’m going to have to go check it out when they open it back up.

  7. At a loss for words…Superb posting

  8. Beautiful pictures and write up. Lovely idea about taking a few mins and pre-tripping your ride to find things that don’t cost money and are fun to do. 🙂

  9. Wow!! Chessie, you out did yourself with the photographs, it looks so real. As always keep up the good work.Big Al

  10. Chessie,Great pics! Motorcycles and trains are 2 of my favorite things. I’ll have to send you an image of one of my layouts.Snakebit Sam Kanish/ IWBlogger

  11. You’re right- those two things attract most kids. (and to be honest, I still crane my head when I hear a bike coming – LOL – do other bikers do that?)

  12. >Lionel train was created by Joshua Lionel Cowen in 1901. It has gained a lot of popularity over the years. This is because of its detailed craftsmanship. It has brought a lot of fathers and sons closer. It is fun for both adults and children.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

D. Brent Miller

Writer & Photographer

The Zombie Squad Elite

Gear to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

Girly Gabble

A Relatable Women's Lifestyle & Self-Help Blog

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

This Blog Left Intentionally Blank

May contain nuts. Parental discretion is advised.

What's Hot with Bobber and Chopper Motorcycles

South Side Kustoms Bobbers and Choppers

Riding2up Blog

Riding2up Motorcycle Adventure

RoadsideWonders Annex

* a tiny little division of


We are the next-gen motorcycle builders

Traveling250's Blog

Pain, Curiosity and a Bear


Attempts at things

The Bon Voyage Blog

Thoughts, experiences and opinions on travel to North America from the UK's leading USA tailor-made holiday experts.

Kelly Goddard

Photography from St. Augustine Fla.


Our Motorcycle Blog about Motorcycle Stuff

Art Decor Portraits Blog

Tell us what you think?

Adventures and Curves Blog

Just another site


“I began OKLAHOMA BIKER to realistically portray the biker lifestyle to the citizenry of Oklahoma. Our mission is to communicate what it means to be an Oklahoma biker and to illustrate the brotherhood existing between Oklahoma bikers.”


Just another site

%d bloggers like this: