Ian McDonald :

Often I start an interview with a purpose, then the discussion leads to things far more important in the grand scheme of life.

Ian is an ex builder and carrier who became a model train enthusiast when he retired. He has built a number of train layouts, but interestingly for him it isn’t operating the trains that attracts him, it is another aspect altogether.

The layouts he has built are for different gauges, or sizes of model train. I quickly learn that a layout can vary from the size of a pillow to taking up your whole back garden. In this show we discuss how people enter the hobby, the costs, and where to find all sorts of information. Particularly the importance of the internet in sourcing materials, models, scenery and the historical background of railroads and individual trains.

Ian mentions buying the plans and scenery for his models from the Post Office, and also from an internet source called Scale Scene. You will find them at www.scalescenes.com And there are plenty of model train magazines to give inspiration and encouragement.

I haven’t mentioned yet that Ian and his wife Anne downsized when they retired and elected to live in an over fifty-five’s community. A good deal of our discussion revolves around the importance of this move in their lives. They are very happy in the community, and it is when I ask Ian about his advice to retirees that the reasons become clear.

He has obviously given considerable thought to life after work, and he nominates the important things as … having a hobby, staying fit, and being part of a community. And that is where the particular village he lives in shines. It serves those needs, and in doing so supports his and Anne’s wellbeing and their happiness.

If you are a model train enthusiast, or have any questions for Ian please leave a comment in the Reply Box at the bottom of the page and I will get them to him. And I would be grateful if you pressed share at the foot of the page because it helps others to find the Retired Excited podcast.

Peace, health and happiness,



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