Everyone loves models of things. The novelty of a miniature world is universally appealing - I've met plenty of husband and wife teams who take equal interest in it. Kids who you would expect to ridicule it have sometimes in my experience been fascinated by it and confessed to "loving that kind of stuff". Even people who claim to find it ridiculous usually have an unconfessed fascination or interest in it. That's why you have tourist attractions like model villages, miniature towns, and so forth. In short, it's obviously something that's a part of human nature, and regardless of who you are we're all fascinated by it. Women are fundamentally different to men anyway, and I've noticed this manifest itself in modelling with a greater interest in painting, buildings, people and scenery than you would find in most men. Also they tend to take greater interest in things with historical significance or importance. Although there are a large number of male historical prototype modellers out there. Men seem to enjoy locomotives like they would enjoy cars, IE they operate their favourite ones, and rolling stock can sometimes be the same. Setting the scene is what buildings come down to, and laying complex trackwork is all about getting more enjoyment out of the actual locos and rolling stock. It's a gadget to play with, an evolution of a boy with his toys. You create a fantasy world and then make things happen in it. Operating seems to be on an even keel with men and women, although I've noticed it favouring men. There are always exceptions to the rule, but in my experience models built by male and female teams tend to have greater attention to detail in the areas surrounding the railroad, but not involved with it. Personally, model trains is more than just a layout and a train to me. I like everything, from fictional storylines and characters, to made up history, and comprehensive scenery. I love the hobby because it gets me researching things that I'd otherwise never research. I'm keeping some knowledge alive that would have no other reason to be kept alive if I didn't need to know it for certain modelling projects. So I think it's just one of those things where everyone can get at least something out of it. I knew a guy who built models just so that he could see how things looked "way back", since he had trouble imagining life before the 1960s without it all being black and white or sepia!