The whole point of a model railroad layout is that it’s a place to run trains. And while collecting distinctive and interesting trains is part of why I got into this branch of the hobby, I do want to run them on my layout. And that means I need to understand how they work, what they need for maintenance, and what it takes to convert non-DCC models to DCC.
Of course for that latter part, I could just pay someone to do the conversion for me. But this is already an expensive hobby, and I’m handy enough with tools not to be too worried about the effort required. So I’m planning to do all of my own converstions, along with detailing such as adding engineers (“drivers” in the British English usually used to describe Japanese trains) and interior passengers.
A model railroad involves many other models as well. The track itself has to look reasonably like real track, although this is an area where functionality tends to win out over realism, particularly in N-scale.