CNJ999 mentions the "Stigma" that has developed in recent years, and as of late, I've picked up a slew of snyde comments about people with a "Train Room" from a vareity of sources.
Keep in mind when you get these snyde comments or read cracks or hear cracks about it on your TV, it's coming from a yo-yo with little idea of what it is. We know it's more than a choo-choo running in a circle, but THEY DON'T. We know the room can cost as much as maintaining a large boat -- THEY DON'T. We know the level of work and craftsmanship that goes on in a train room -- THEY DON'T. And if they do? Perhaps they're JEALOUS!
If you want to own a private rail car, the common denominator from my walks about are; Orthodontists, Lawyers and Judges.
Like Private Rail Car Ownership, Model Railroading is also known as a wealthy man's hobby, hence, you need a good income to fuel the hobby -- like a celebrity. We know how engrossing a hobby this is, imagine if you were a celebrity, working like hell for 26 weeks per year (at least) and having 26 more off, what a great hobby this is to keep you busy, not to mention the escapist element that attracts so many to begin with.
As for interviewers veering off the topic, keep in mind, the interviewer is going to stick to a planned set of questions so he or she can hold an intelligent conversation. Remember the interviewer is on TV too. Get onto a topic they can't ask an intelligent follow-up question, and they invariably retreat to safe territory. Then again, perhaps it is one of those "TRAINOPHOBES" out there, we hear more and more about!!
BOO!!!!! I HAVE A TRAIN ROOM!!!