A Bit of Mexico

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Chops
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Location: El Paso, Texas USA
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A Bit of Mexico

#1

Post by Chops » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:56 am

Here upon the hinterlands of West Texas, our fair city adjoins neighboring Ciudad Juarez, since about the mid 16th century, founded by Spaniards nearly dead from thirst and heatstroke. Finding water abundant in the Rio Grande, they promptly planted their grape vines and the rest is history. In North America, model railroading appears to be on the downgrade since the invasion of video games and cable TV. Rather sparse are young people with the interest, or patience, to build model rail, which was all the rage of my generation.

In Mexico, however, a different trend has emerged. A burgeoning Mexican middle class has taken a rather surprising, and strong interest in model rail, with various clubs and layouts springing up all over. Here is a rather nice view of one of the Club's Mexican members model trains:

https://youtu.be/ag8_SIHVIJw

Malcolm 0-6-0
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: A Bit of Mexico

#2

Post by Malcolm 0-6-0 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:50 am

Ageing populations are a problem in most hobbies. The October 2018 issue of Railway Modelling had an editorial noting that the increasing age of members is making what used to be routine tasks like moving items to set up at displays etc. has become increasingly left to the decreasing number of fitter younger people. I suspect that it isn't so much digital games that are the problem but that people now can access like-minded enthusiasts easily via the internet on forums without the need for club membership etc.

One thing about that layout given its largely desert nature, landscaping must have been relatively easy.

Chops
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:11 am
Location: El Paso, Texas USA
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Re: A Bit of Mexico

#3

Post by Chops » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:45 pm

Quite accurate. Out of a membership of about 40, I count four men who are physically up to the strain of hoisting about 2 x 6 foot modules. The corner modules are real beasts, unwieldy and at least a good 75 lbs each. Out of the four, myself included, rarely are more than 2 available for exhibitions. Does not bode well for the future.

I relaid and redesigned four fiddle yard modules applying the toggles and the power packs to the exterior of the modular set up. This was met with a few howls of protest as to the traditional method was to have the operators in the center of the oval. Objections were muted when I asked how they felt about crawling underneath the baseboards to achieve that objective.

Additionally, the Club layout, a bit of monster at roughly 16 feet by 35 feet was built in 1986 with much enthusiasm, but little foresight. Two duck unders, one quite low, the other just low enough to force one to stoop considerably practically bar fully 75% of the membership of accessing it. If I had a few ten thousand quid to spare, I'd attach a steel cable around its midships and the other to a Caterpillar tractor and pull the entire works out into the parking lot. The fantasy remake would include a wheel chair ramp and substantial aisle width, everything within an easy two foot reach, and no duck unders. I do believe the current trend will keep this idea strongly in fantasy land. Were that I had a few 10,000 squid to spare, I'd just bury the thing in fish.

The again, North Americans have never demonstrated much foresight as a culture. As petroleum was then abundant and cheap, automobiles flourished and trans American freeways blossomed and a massive, intricately connected rail network was wiped off the map.

Malcolm 0-6-0
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Re: A Bit of Mexico

#4

Post by Malcolm 0-6-0 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:25 pm

Yep age takes it toll. Yesterday I was using the vacuum cleaner to clean under my layout. I also wanted to retrieve a couple of small but not vital things that had fallen from the modelling bench without getting them mixed up in the usual vacuum cleaner dust. I'm in my 70s and crawling around on a relatively thick carpet was very hard on my knees, not to mention my back and the actual process of getting up again required some serious planning ;) . Lifting heavy objects like folding tables etc. is now something I prefer not to do as one gets older it is so easy to hurt one's back. Perhaps train modelling clubs need to advertise for casual day laborers to do the heavy lifting :D

Chops
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:11 am
Location: El Paso, Texas USA
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Re: A Bit of Mexico

#5

Post by Chops » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:42 pm

As I enter the flight path of "senior citizen" I truly appreciate what you are saying. By good fortune I can still hold my own, but no longer take it for granted. Fact is, we actually had that discussion at various points, but our treasury is not overly well funded. Like you, I am very cautious with my back- which is one of the most common debilitation among our membership. Damaging one's spine is analogous to fracturing the keel, once you do that, you may possibly never sail quite straight again.

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