My father built "O Gauge" model trains and ran them on a layout that took up an entire 3-car garage and looped out into the back yard. I never got the train "bug", but I was fascinated watching him work with wood, metal, and plastic while building his collection.
My father died of a heart attack in 1976, and some of his collection has followed me around for over 40 years. I recently found one of the prizes of his collection, a partially destroyed Santa Fe motor car which he built originally in 1940. After studying the remains to this unique vehicle, I set out to rebuild this 79 year of piece of history. My intention was to just clean it up and fix as much of the damage as I could, leaving as much of his original build as possible.
The motorized passenger cars were unique little vehicles called "Doodlebugs". They plied the rural, low volume lines where large trains would be totally unprofitable. The unit I fixed represents a Santa Fe Doodlebug which I remember running the rails in the Texas Panhandle and New Mexico when I was a child.
Below are three pictures of what I started with, and four of my completed project.