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Get them involved in operations, which requires little to nothing, and you have a reasonable chance that they will come back to the hobby later in life. Get the ones who are involved in making plastic models to realize there is a lot of opportunity to make great models in model railroading and they too will stay involved.
Whistling past the graveyard (literally). Any hobby with an average age of 68 is in trouble and with models of freight cars costing $40-$50 a pop there is no pulling in teenagers or young adults.
A positive message from a Southern California railroad hobby shop owner:
And a story about Walthers: