I think I have liked model trains for a long time. I've never owned one, but always liked the concept. When I was little, we had the Tyco slot cars - and those were a lot of fun, but the small wires strips on the track and the pads on the cars tended to wear out, the controllers would burn out, and the whole affair didn't last long.
Model trains have been around a long time and seem to be a more robust affair. Power is provided through the tracks, collected by the wheels, and so there is a good electrical contact. To be sure, cleanliness is still important for efficient operation.
So, I've started learning about the whole thing; there's a lot to what looks like a simple enough hobby. DC vs. DCC, ballast, and a slew of terms to educate. On the whole, it's not complex unless you're talking about the wiring, which for multi-track layouts seems as though it could be a bit tricky.
I'm starting with a basic loop, however, so I don't have much to worry about! I picked up some Atlas Code 83 (code refers to rail height, larger numbers indicate taller rails) track, and a Bachmann power supply and controller. Since our dear daughter is a fan of Thomas the Train Engine, and since I'm not married to any particular type of rail livery or model of locomotive, I've purchased a Bachmann Percy - with moving eyes! As the train rolls along the track, the eyes move. It's a big treat for her to watch. I also have one carriage to attach to it.
My hope over time is to develop a true train layout, probably in the garage where I can take advantage of the space, and get more locomotives, and get into designing some scenery too. A nice, long-term project!