Hobby Heaven

For some seniors, hobbies are not mere distractions, they're full-blown obsessions

Driving down 1525 West, a quiet road in Farmington, Utah, you pass meditative cows, grassy fields, a few modest houses. Then, on the west side of the road, a mirage looms: 10.5 acres of colorful, pint-size railroad trains chugging out of a replica 1920s station house, snaking through tunnels, over bridges, past waterfalls and man-made mountains. Here live Steve Flanders and his accommodating wife Susan, who over eight years watched her husband turn their farm--and her carefully tended flower beds--into a model-railroad park.

It seems that Flanders, 50, a retired concrete producer, has taken his hobby to an extreme. It...

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