Why are adult men (and women) collectors so fascinated with toy trains? One author on the subject blames their mothers (of course). As youngsters, many children, especially boys, played with trains sets. As they reached their teens and left for college, their mothers, realizing the children had outgrown the toys, passed them on to younger cousins or donated them to the church rummage sale. Little did mothers realize how their acts of generosity would motivate adult children's attempts to buy back their childhoods. Or, perhaps, it is not so complicated. Maybe adults simply enjoy operating their model trains sets.