Re: Patience was [RealSTMFC] Rapido GLA Hoppers

Charlie Vlk

I am struck by the occasional rant here that belies a lack of patience…


Many bemoan the cost of Model Railroading keeping out “youth”.   The cost of the cell phones kids have and the athletic shoes they wear shoots that one down.  That and a simple inflation calculation of then vs. now.   


But I fear for the future of the Hobby of Model Railroading for three reasons….


Increasing lack of intellectual curiosity in the general population.  Twitter and Tick Tok are not builders of common sense.  People go to libraries to get an answer and refuse to pick up a B O O K…they want it from the internet and don’t care if it has attribution…just that it is electronic and instant.

No foundation in “history” beyond social science interests.   Look at programs in libraries and universities…how many even acknowledge technical or industrial arts? 

Expectation of instant gratification in all areas of life.  Amazon has spoiled all of us…it is the modern day equivalent of the Sears Catalog and Railway Express of our great-great-grandfathers…but it has made us unreasonably impatient in all aspects of life.


This does not bode well for our Hobby which, while it has a rich range of skills, interests, crafts, arts, in which many can find a fit it is not a one time event….it is a lifelong hobby that one grows into and constantly finds new things to explore. 


Bruce Smith stated very well the nature of ALL the Model Railroad Companies….not just Rapido Trains of Canada.   “Back in the Day” Lionel, American Flyer and Marx may have had large factories and a good sized office staff.  They had full time regional sales organizations and a highly structured product distribution network and schedule.   Those days are gone.  Most of the big players in the Industry are very small operations because they rely on Chinese production facilities.   Even the few companies that do make product in North America are relatively small family-owned type shops or basement “Hobby” businesses.  Almost without exception they are in Model Trains because it is a pleasant way to make a living (most of the time)….doing something you have an interest in.


While Bruce starts to sound like the guy who walked both ways to school through the snow, barefoot and uphill,  he is correct.  Finding bad apples in Model Railroading is very rare…both in Customers (in 25 years in the Industry I only got one death threat!) and the Supply Chain (very few fraud artists prey on us Model Railroaders). 


If you can’t wait for a product to ship, scratch build it or build a resin kit like many of the people on this list do.   It is a Hobby.

Model Railroading is Fun!!

Charlie Vlk


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