By Barry Hensel
The great thing about model railroading as a hobby is that one can tailor the depth of their involvement directly to their interests and desires. Some modelers enjoy replicating a locomotive or piece of rolling stock as faithfully as possible, down to the last minor detail and bit of weathering, others are content with freight cars that reasonbly match the era and locale being modeled. Some individuals have their layouts wired with complex electronic gadgetry that rivals NASA Mission Control, while others are content to hook up the power pack and go.
Editor's Note: Once you've gotten your feet wet and found that you enjoy operating your trains in a prototypical manner, another source for operations-related information is the Operations Special Interest Group (OPSIG) of the National Model Railroad Association. A link to their website can be found here.