Model trains have been around for a long time, and there are many names that people give to those who are passionate about them. Generally, model train enthusiasts are referred to as train watchers or train fanatics. On more formal occasions, they are called ferroequinologists. There are also informal names, such as skimmers, storekeepers and guns.
Model train collecting is a popular hobby among adults, especially those who have fond memories of their own childhoods. Collectors often build scale models of real trains and create intricate environments for them, known as designs. These designs can be used to recreate the past, with trains as the theme. For example, someone may choose to model the era between the 1940s and 1950s, and the ERIE railway in HO and N scale.
HO scale is 1:87 in size compared to the full-size train, while N scale is 1:160. Collectors may also search for and acquire rare or unusual pieces of ephemeral railway objects (railroadiana), such as old schedules and tickets for exotic or missing railway lines, bells, lanterns and even full tea services on the most popular trains. In addition to collecting model trains, some enthusiasts also take long train trips, take pictures of trains or create a model train design. Lionel's Super O is the company's answer to one of the most common complaints from train modelers on its popular 3-rail tracks - realism.
Digital trains operate differently than analog controls that control speed and direction. For someone who doesn't understand it, it can be difficult to understand why people collect die-cast models. This is why there is a definitive glossary for modeling railroads with more than 154 definitions of terms, jargon, people and common objects from model railroads.