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Is railway modelling green and healthy?

3333 Views 34 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Brian Considine
With Prince Charles having a bit of a downer on McDonalds and lots of talk of carbon emissions right now its time for Model Rail Forum to have its own debate on green and healthy issues.

Is railway modelling a green pastime?

Is is healthy for you?

On the green side it has to be said that from a recycling point of view it is probably one of the top pastimes. You can model a whole layout from the contents of the refuse sac. And old models last forever and are constantly recycled on eBay and elsewhere. On the other hand the amount of metal and plastic and packaging utilised in ready to run new model production probably has the effect of making it ungreen overall if you only buy new models.

On the healthy side you do have to stretch and twist and cut and lift and run up and down stairs if you have a loft layout and it does take your mind off food and other digestive perils so it clearly it is better to be a railway modeller than not if you are seeking a healthy lifestyle. On the other hand it is all too easy to slump in your chair and watch your trains pass by if there is no ongoing project and your doctor might be alarmed at this practice.

As it is clearly in the interests of any hobby to promote its greeness and health giving properties could any of you provide examples of what you have done that you consider either to be a green or healthy practice.

Having to rush over to the end of a layout every 30 seconds to sort out Hornby Pullman coaches that keep derailing might be an example of excercise as you need to be nimble. And using the polystyrene packaging of your latest electrical goods to create an embankment would be an example of being green.

Really what we are looking for are the best examples of being green and burning calories that you can provide.

Happy modelling
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I most certainly think that railway modelling is green and healthy.

Why green? Many materials get recycled nowadays and I am sure that the model train manufacturers and manufacturers of model train accessories must use recycled materials. Locomotives and rolling stock are made from plastic and metal that are recycleable materials. Packaging materials are made from polystyrene and paper/cardboard which are recycleable materials. In fact on the inside of some of the packaging boxes from the European model train and accessory manufacturers you will find the international recycling emblem. If you do not keep the packaging of your model trains you can send the boxes back for recycling and use the polystyrene for scenery building.

When we construct the layout benchwork we will most probably use wood and plywood obtained from a timber yard that recycles these materials. As already mentioned a lot of household waste can also be recycled for use on your layout.

Why healthy? When you start with the construction of your layout it involves a lot of physical work to get up the benchwork and laying the tracks. Before you can start with the scenery you will have to go out into nature and have a look at the best prototype there is. You will take photos and videos of nature scenes, buildings and structures. You will go back to the layout and start with the scenery. Good healthy excercise.

Most of us modellers also like the real thing - the prototype. So whenever the opportunity presents itself for a photoshoot of the prototype we will be there. I think we all know how much moving around this can entail. Good healthy excercise.

When your layout is finished (does it ever get finished?) or even when the layout is still under construction you can retreat into your layout room and relax after a hard day's work. You can run your trains, assemble a kit, watch a train video or just relax and forget about the problems around you. Good and healthy therapy for body and soul.

I read an article some time ago about an American doctor who treated one of his patients for a certain condition (I can not remember the details of the condition). After trying several of the clinically correct treatments without real success, he suggested that the patient should get involved in model railways. The patient did get involved and today leads a normal healthy life. The doctor ascribed his patient's recovery directly to his involvement in model railways.


Kind regards.

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