I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something magical about model railroading. It simply is one of the more charming hobbies that exists.
There is nothing quite so endearing as an older (I'll let the reader define that one) gentleman showing off his prize minature railroad. This is generally not something that was simply bought and constructed but something that has been nurtured and developed over decades.
Perhaps it is the fascination with the raw power of the machinery, at full size, of course. Or, perhaps instead it is an attempt to reach back to the not so distant past when trains were high tech (believe it!) in an attempt to recapture the perceived quality of life and/or innocence.
Who knows? But then, who cares? It is just cool.