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Playing with Trains: A Passion Beyond Scale

Sam Posey

Product Details:
Hardcover 240 pages (September 2004)
Publisher: Random House
Language: English
ISBN: 1400061784


"Sam Posey's volume of grand passions and Lilliputian vehicles offers all the satisfactions of a great rail journey through soaring, unspoiled American terrain." - Michael Pollan

"This book deals with toys, but it's really about a man's inner life. It's bright and touching and shows a subversive sense of humor." - Paul Newman

"With the empathy and insight that could only come from a true hobbyist, PLAYING WITH TRAINS takes the reader on a trip through the model railroading world and introduces us to some of the hobby's most interesting personalities. The journey is personal, friendly and welcoming, and I found it immensely enjoyable." -Terry D. Thompson, Editor, Model Railroader Magazine


Sam Posey, "Are you an Operator or Scenery Man?"

MRF Review:
Dennis David recommended this book to me and as with many of his recommendations, it lives up to expectations and is a very enjoyable read.

Sam Posey, 60, is known for his versatility as a Grand Prix racing driver, author, designer, architect and television commentator.

I was able to identify with Sam Posey when he talks about re-discovering the hobby as an adult, motivated by the birth of his son. I bought my first loco on the day my first child made her presence known to us.

His ideas and aspirations for his track were the same as mine and I felt comfortable with the knowledge that if Sam Posey after all those years could gain so much enjoyment and satisfaction from his hobby then I could too.

Sam Posey does not have a clear-cut idea and a specific path to his achievement, but his work evolves and changes and is influenced by people and books that he comes across over the years.

This pathway is documented within the book, the first half telling the reader about his layout and ideals with the second half taking with other modelers, finding out what drives them and what aspect of the hobby they lean towards.

This book makes you feel good about the concept of playing with trains. It puts aside any doubts or apprehensions you may have at the outset when faced with a large expanse of plywood and cork. It offers a simple philosophy that works. It is not technical and it is not a manual of any sorts, but it is worth a pile of manuals for all the motivation and encouragement it gives you.

The book lacks photos and perhaps a track plan. You find yourself again and again leafing through the book looking for photos, diagrams or a plan on what he's getting up to. Sam talks about documenting his work and taking rolls of film whilst researching his layout and building it over the years. Unfortunately we only see one photo on the inside of the front and back cover. So to help you along with your read, here are some more photos of his 'Colorado Midland' layout.

Click the images below for larger versions

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