How it all started
Model railroading is a great hobby for young and old. My first memories of a train setup are of the fascinating snow-scene Christmas layout that my Grandfather and Dad setup every year. It didn't matter that the tracks had three rails and that the skiers racing down their Styrofoam slopes almost hit the skaters on the mirror pond. The houses were all lit and there always seemed to be two trains running at one. It was a magical time.
I ventured into HO trains as a teenager and I think I had a small layout but it didn't get far along. I didn't have much money but we improvised by adding green ink to sawdust to make grass, used dried coffee grounds for dirt and round oatmeal boxes cut in half for oil storage tanks. As teenagers back then, you really didn't tell anyone you liked trains as it just wasn't "cool".
I recently found some old Christmas layout pictures from when I was growing up. Looks like it was probably HO scale.