Like most of us who have a bit of discretionary income and interest in collecting "stuff", it can become a hobby itself. But unlike those who collect and hold on to everything; being in the model train hobby, one usually tends to collect only one or two scales and possibly one or two roads. When getting interested in model trains and adding to one's collection, it's best to stay focus on what you are interested in modeling. For example, many years ago when I was in the hobby purchasing and collecting trains, I was modeling Santa Fe (with some Southern Pacific to make it interesting) in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of the road's motive power were in the warbonnet blue and yellow paint and later I had added some "Super Fleet" units after the short-lived planned SPSF merger when Santa Fe began repainting all the locomotives back to the company's paint scheme. I was custom detailing and painting all my locomotives (no DCC and sound in those days) back then.
As a modeler I wanted to be sure my collection was focus on my purpose and that was modeling the Santa Fe in HO scale during the 1980-1990s. Not the 1950s or steam era of the late 1800s. This can make your collecting too broad and more of a challenge and too expensive with having to be sure your motive power is time correct. Remember too, your rolling stock and other equipment needs to be time correct as well. After all, you don't want to be caught with a Challenger pulling your intermodal manifest or running a caboose at the end of your freight train powered by a modern tricked-out Tier IV GEvo locomotive.
So whether you collect brass steam locomotives or the latest and greatest in DCC with sound, decide on what suits your interest and stay focus on your purpose. It will make all the difference in adding to your collection and not being part of the next TV episode on some Picker's show.
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