AP article on model railroading today...


Jack Burgess
 

I read AP news article on model railroading this morning. Maybe our hobby isn’t dying after all!

 

https://hosted.ap.org/article/c10710b3559073bd0a18bd9975c5da35/antidote-pandemic-blues-some-assembly-required

 

Jack Burgess

 


Bob Chaparro
 


Dave Nelson
 

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.

 

Dave Nelson

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2021 8:47 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] AP article on model railroading today...

 

A positive message from a Southern California railroad hobby shop owner:

https://groups.io/g/ModelRailroadsofSoCalif/message/16456?p=,,,20,0,0,0::Created,,railMaster,20,2,0,80172809

And a story about Walthers:

https://groups.io/g/ModelRailroadsofSoCalif/message/16443?p=,,,20,0,0,0::Created,,walthers,20,2,0,80172809

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Scott Kremer
 

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.

Scott Kremer

On Feb 7, 2021, at 4:43 PM, Dave Nelson <Lake_Muskoka@...> wrote:

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.
 
Dave Nelson
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2021 8:47 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] AP article on model railroading today...
 
A positive message from a Southern California railroad hobby shop owner:
And a story about Walthers:
Bob Chaparro
Hemet, CA



mel perry
 

RIGHT ON, tell it like it is, between the
passing of the present generation and
the increasing prices, only the rich and
the millennials will be able to afford this
"hobby", but i forget, this hobby was
"created" to make money, how ironic
;-(


On Sun, Feb 7, 2021, 1:44 PM Dave Nelson <Lake_Muskoka@...> wrote:

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.

 

Dave Nelson

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2021 8:47 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] AP article on model railroading today...

 

A positive message from a Southern California railroad hobby shop owner:

https://groups.io/g/ModelRailroadsofSoCalif/message/16456?p=,,,20,0,0,0::Created,,railMaster,20,2,0,80172809

And a story about Walthers:

https://groups.io/g/ModelRailroadsofSoCalif/message/16443?p=,,,20,0,0,0::Created,,walthers,20,2,0,80172809

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Tim O'Connor
 


Old guys (like us, now) have been crying about the death of the hobby since I was a child.
I read Super Bowl tickets cost more than $6,000. Is football dying? No. I think the average
adult age of becoming an ACTIVE model railroader has always been in the 30-40 age range
and the median age of modelers, while climbing, was in the mid 40's when I was a kid. I see
a LOT of children and families at the Springfield Big E train show. And I see young modelers
with some very impressive skills. And remember that it is a WORLD hobby - there are people
who love trains all over the world. :-)


On 2/7/2021 4:57 PM, Scott Kremer wrote:
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.

Scott Kremer

On Feb 7, 2021, at 4:43 PM, Dave Nelson <Lake_Muskoka@...> wrote:

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.
 
Dave Nelson
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2021 8:47 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] AP article on model railroading today...
 
A positive message from a Southern California railroad hobby shop owner:
And a story about Walthers:
Bob Chaparro
Hemet, CA


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Douglas Harding
 

Lets rethink this for a moment. Walthers has brand new Accurail boxcars on sale for $12.98. Not everyone starts out with super detailed RTR $50 cars. In fact almost no one does. As a married grad student, I started with a Bachmann train set, followed by a bunch of Tyco train set cars and Athearn kits. Today I still purchase Accurail kits. Why? Because they are cheap and durable, which is great for building a fleet for operations.

 

I have people younger than me asking for advice on how to get started with track, engines, cars, etc. No they don’t have lots of money, but with judicious purchasing at swap meets and hobby shops that deal with used items anyone can get a good start. With some guidance from someone “who has been there” and who knows what is good and what is not, a new person can stretch those dollars. And let us not forget the large number of “estates” that are starting to show up on the market. One hobby shop I frequent has been purchasing estates and has used track, engines and cars at prices that a beginner can afford. Later that hobby shop will sell new items to that same repeat customer.

 

It is up to each of us experienced modelers to share our expertise and mentor those who are interested. When was the last time you showed someone how to assemble an Athearn or Accurail boxcar? The grab irons and brake detail can wait for later, after you have showed them how to drill holes in plastic and wood.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dave Nelson
Sent: Sunday, February 7, 2021 3:44 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] AP article on model railroading today...

 

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.

 

Dave Nelson

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2021 8:47 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] AP article on model railroading today...

 

A positive message from a Southern California railroad hobby shop owner:

https://groups.io/g/ModelRailroadsofSoCalif/message/16456?p=,,,20,0,0,0::Created,,railMaster,20,2,0,80172809

And a story about Walthers:

https://groups.io/g/ModelRailroadsofSoCalif/message/16443?p=,,,20,0,0,0::Created,,walthers,20,2,0,80172809

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Dennis Storzek
 

On Sun, Feb 7, 2021 at 02:30 PM, Douglas Harding wrote:
Lets rethink this for a moment. Walthers has brand new Accurail boxcars on sale for $12.98.
Well, we try. The real problem, as I see it, is the disappearance of $40 locomotives to pull those cars.

Dennis Storzek
Accurail, Inc.


Brian Carlson
 

Around 1988, I saved my allowance and did chores for a couple of months in order to afford an atlas RS 11 at $45. Even then I was modeling the steam era.  Today that same locomotive would be $100 accounting for inflation. If you shop around you can get decent locomotives for that price or less. Heck even Bachmann with DCC can be had around that price  We tend to forget inflation when looking back.  

Brian J. Carlson 

On Feb 8, 2021, at 9:03 AM, Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...> wrote:

On Sun, Feb 7, 2021 at 02:30 PM, Douglas Harding wrote:
Lets rethink this for a moment. Walthers has brand new Accurail boxcars on sale for $12.98.
Well, we try. The real problem, as I see it, is the disappearance of $40 locomotives to pull those cars.

Dennis Storzek
Accurail, Inc.


Mark Rossiter
 

Dave, I respectfully disagree with your position.  Our local model railroad club has at least a half-dozen members under the age of 20 and they are very enthusiastic about the hobby.  Most are active railfans as well.  The big difference as I see it is they are more interested in operations (running trains) than they are in building models.  Yes, some add super details to their equipment, but for the most part they buy RTR.  Somehow they seem to be able to afford the latest in sound-equipped DCC locomotives and highly detailed freight cars.  One young member is starting to amass a sizeable collection of brass steam locomotives.  He is not a rich kid, so I suspect he prefers saving his money for models over X-box games and $300 sneakers.

 

This is all anecdotal, of course, but I don’t see the hobby as dying, just changing. 

 

Mark Rossiter   

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 


Steve SANDIFER
 

Our club here in Houston is helping sponsor a model railroad club at a local middle school. The kids are building modules and learning how to do things. We include them on our layout tour and support their annual train show.  

 

At our train show, you can purchase all the blue box and equivalent cars with Kadees that you want for $5. With the deaths of owners of large railroads, the local market is saturated with quality equipment and the only way to sell it is to sell it cheap. So if you don’t require the latest greatest, there is a very large supply of affordable equipment available.

 

 

J. Stephen Sandifer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Douglas Harding
Sent: Sunday, February 7, 2021 4:31 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] AP article on model railroading today...

 

Lets rethink this for a moment. Walthers has brand new Accurail boxcars on sale for $12.98. Not everyone starts out with super detailed RTR $50 cars. In fact almost no one does. As a married grad student, I started with a Bachmann train set, followed by a bunch of Tyco train set cars and Athearn kits. Today I still purchase Accurail kits. Why? Because they are cheap and durable, which is great for building a fleet for operations.

 

I have people younger than me asking for advice on how to get started with track, engines, cars, etc. No they don’t have lots of money, but with judicious purchasing at swap meets and hobby shops that deal with used items anyone can get a good start. With some guidance from someone “who has been there” and who knows what is good and what is not, a new person can stretch those dollars. And let us not forget the large number of “estates” that are starting to show up on the market. One hobby shop I frequent has been purchasing estates and has used track, engines and cars at prices that a beginner can afford. Later that hobby shop will sell new items to that same repeat customer.

 

It is up to each of us experienced modelers to share our expertise and mentor those who are interested. When was the last time you showed someone how to assemble an Athearn or Accurail boxcar? The grab irons and brake detail can wait for later, after you have showed them how to drill holes in plastic and wood.

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dave Nelson
Sent: Sunday, February 7, 2021 3:44 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] AP article on model railroading today...

 

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.

 

Dave Nelson

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2021 8:47 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] AP article on model railroading today...

 

A positive message from a Southern California railroad hobby shop owner:

https://groups.io/g/ModelRailroadsofSoCalif/message/16456?p=,,,20,0,0,0::Created,,railMaster,20,2,0,80172809

And a story about Walthers:

https://groups.io/g/ModelRailroadsofSoCalif/message/16443?p=,,,20,0,0,0::Created,,walthers,20,2,0,80172809

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Tony Thompson
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:

Old guys (like us, now) have been crying about the death of the hobby since I was a child.

Very true. In this context, I always mention the editorial in _Model Railroader_ in the early 1950s, a period when MR surveyed its members every year or two. They had noted that the average age in the previous few years had been increasing, and concluded that the hobby only had a few years to run -- unless we all started vigorously recruiting the young. Sound familiar?

Tony Thompson




CJ Riley
 

I belong to the NMRA Facebook group and the posts age rife with questions from beginners, many obviously young because they want answers from the net and not from books or magazines. And they usually get proper and complete answers although there are often differences of opinion.  They also love to post photos of their latest bargains found on eBay or at train shows. While I am older than probably 95% of the hobby, it seems to be in good hands, just different approaches.




maynard stowe
 

I just stopped by at East Deerfield, Mass after getting my car washed. Not much going on; there was a young guy - late teens/ ear twenties - standing taking pictures for at least 20 minutes. It was 27 degrees out; I don't think the hobby is dead yet.
Maynard Stowe 


Brian Termunde
 

Bob;
It's nice to hear some good news among all the negative! Thanks for sharing both of this cheerful items as well as all of the other nuggets you are so generous in sharing. Especially the Barringer photos, it was wonderful to see the photos of the Grand Canyon (where I started my career in the hospitality industry 30 years ago) and at William, Ariz.! Thanks ever so much!


Take care, 


Brian


Tim O'Connor
 


I joined the Facebook "Athearn blue box" group for the same reason - many inexperienced modelers
and lots of enthusiasm - I don't know (or care) about their ages but many of them seem young at heart. :-)
Good modelers are made, not born that way - pass on what we've learned - and remember it's fun.


On 2/8/2021 4:51 PM, CJ Riley via groups.io wrote:
I belong to the NMRA Facebook group and the posts age rife with questions from beginners, many obviously young because they want answers from the net and not from books or magazines. And they usually get proper and complete answers although there are often differences of opinion.  They also love to post photos of their latest bargains found on eBay or at train shows. While I am older than probably 95% of the hobby, it seems to be in good hands, just different approaches.


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


fire5506
 

I'm sure I'm like a lot on here. I started with trains when a child became a teenager, still interested in trains but had also started getting interested in the opposite sex so that started taking more of my time. I did join a club (West Island MRR club on Long Island) I moved to Florida when I was 21 and model railroading went to the back burner as I got married plus work got in the way. Later on many years later I was able to bring MRR more to the front. I went through times I could not afford to purchase anything for a hobby, but in later years I had a little more available for luxuries such as model trains. Now that I am retired, model railroading is more on the front burner. I'm sure I wasn't on the radar of most of the older people that were saying MRR was dying, but here I am now. I still have to watch how much I spend on models, but am sure a lot more active in it.

Richard Webster


Tim O'Connor
 


Many bargains to be had out there on Ebay, Dennis! Those ancient blue box Athearn locos just
keep going and going... But yeah, if you shop for -current- trains the list prices remind me of when
I was a teenager and AHM locomotives (with pizza cutter wheels) listed for what seemed like
insane prices at the time (~1970) - I remember my Dad paid $50 or so (a fortune to me) for an
AHM articulated steam locomotive. Accounting for inflation that would be something like $500
today - can you imagine? :-D

The North Shore club has been buying and re-selling train collections for 40+ years... The "flea
market" tables at the Springfield train show always do a brisk business. Old freight cars with Kadee
couplers sell for $3 to $5 dollars... that's much cheaper than they were when I was a kid! (After I
take inflation into account.)


On 2/8/2021 9:03 AM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
On Sun, Feb 7, 2021 at 02:30 PM, Douglas Harding wrote:
Lets rethink this for a moment. Walthers has brand new Accurail boxcars on sale for $12.98.
Well, we try. The real problem, as I see it, is the disappearance of $40 locomotives to pull those cars.

Dennis Storzek
Accurail, Inc.

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts