Sometimes I know that it’s never enough
Survival is fine but satisfaction is rough
– “Ain’t It Heavy”, Melissa Etheridge
As I sit, looking at the pile of employee timetables that I recently acquired, I wondered when I will stop collecting timetables. When will I have “enough” timetables?
Railfans are notorious collectors. We collect so many things, from timetables to railway passes to lanterns to dishes to photographs to slides to… well, the field seems almost infinite.
This doesn’t even include the model train collectors. People spend thousands and thousands of dollars on model trains, many of which never turn a wheel on a layout. I consider myself really fortunate that I am not one who “needs” a particular locomotive when it comes out. At $300-$450 per locomotive these days, that adds up fast.
I do have my addictions. I collect paperwork – employee timetables, public timetables, car control manuals, train orders, waybills – and I have a lot of timetables.
Not all of those are physical paper timetables. People have scanned timetables over the years and I have those in my collection as well. I have almost all of the VIA Rail timetables in scanned form, and I’m totally OK with having a digital copy and not the physical copy.
I really want the timetables for reference, but I’m willing to admit that I just like collecting the paper employee timetables too. There’s something soothing about flipping through a worn timetable, knowing that it may have been referred to in some locomotive or caboose on a freight train rattling down some now forgotten branch line.
Chris Mears touched on that in his post There’s never enough space. He wrote about the distraction of stuff, and it really resonated with me. Lots of things beckon to me from the periphery of my vision. My model train workbench is cluttered with half finished projects. I’m pretty sure that soon they are either going to be finished, or they are going straight in the trash.
I don’t think I’ve reached “enough” yet with my timetable collection. I probably never will.
What do you collect? What’s your “not enough”?