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End of the Line for Model Trains? Aging Hobbyists Trundle On

Railroads

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An interesting read in the Wall Street Journal,

https://www.wsj.com/articles/end-of-the-line-for-model-trains-aging-hobbyists-trundle-on-1455157546


My own thought of the week is about the enviro-wacko groups having not gone after the hobby yet. I mean we use the worlds natural resources to make silly little plastic trains that go around and around on little tracks. They probably could make one argument or another about finding better uses for the materials used in model railroading.

Robert
 

cornbinder89

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Very few today have any experience with trains other than being stopped at a crossing by one. Its hard to explain the draw to something they have no tie to, and is a "nuisance" to them.
I wonder where the HO set my dad made for us ended up?
 

Bear67

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Last Subscription Date
02/02/2020
As a young father decades ago, I loved trains and tried to get my oldest son interested in scale railroading--but he wanted nothing to do with it. His interest lay in trucks, engines, wheeled atv's and home made vehicles, and things that go bang. I never got involved, but still can lose half a day watching trains on a well though out set up. Don't need any new hobbies/interests at this late time in my life, but I hate to see the hobby die and lose the skills and love those model train folks put in their layouts.

I used to be an Amateur Radio HAM, but lost that interest because my children and grandchildren weren't interested and my Elmer friends all died off on me.
 

I like oldstuff

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Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
Us older "damn I don't qualify but I guess by default I do' remember the magic of choo choos.
This year for Christmas I set up an old Lionel set near the tree for the g kids. The ten yo powered it up, made three laps around the circuit and flipped a few cars off despite me telling him to slow it down and the thing quit. Instant boredom and he went back to his phone. The 15 yo girl didn't even look up from her phone duties.

Yeah, trains are totally dead. If you have the stuff, sell it to some old sucker tomorrow as the next generations will simply put it in the trash.

Bear: What's an Elmer friend..
 

casertractor

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Age
36
Last Subscription Date
04/24/2018
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Bear67

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Last Subscription Date
02/02/2020
In ham radio jargon, it is a mentor/older friend who helps you get started and buily up a "ham shack" I had several as I grew up and they had an influence on me that still is evident. Help others and be a mentor/friend.
 

Bear67

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
02/02/2020
Last June, Mamma and I were in Pennsylvania for Coolspring and the IH show at Kinzers. We spent almost a whole day in the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum at Strasburg, Lancaster County. It houses a very large collection of engines, rolling stock, memorabilia and it is displayed in a building that is the best of many railroad collections we have visited across the US. Anywhere we travel we try to make time for any Steam Rail excursion. I refuse to grow old--still a kid.

But upstairs, it had a really impressive model layout running. Around NE Texas there are several model layouts openpublic at times during the year. All of these are built, maintained and ran by volunteers. I try to find me a 10 year old boy to take with me so I don't stand out as an Old Fart. A couple of these are housed in former train station/depots. My favorite is in the old Cotton Belt RR station in the home of the Cotton Belt. Cotton Belt RR offices in Tyler are not Smith County offices--but still the Cotton Belt Building.
 

uglyblue66

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
11/07/2018
Well for me,it is not as much a lack of intrest in model railroads as I just have to many intrest already .Realisticly,it is a great hobby for folks with disabilitys and such because of light weight materials and most work can be done sitting down or whatever.But what little energy I have left I like the idea of being able to actually DRIVE what I build or fix. not just watch it.and I am lucky enough to have a shop,that currently has a drip,and plenty of tools of mass distruction to work with.
I still have my little HO set from when I was a kid.Boxes are kinda messed up as the plastic overlay is torn but my little steam engine,made with pot metal peices,is crumbled up best I can tell.I might dig it out over the weekend.
 

Pat Barrett

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Age
71
Last Subscription Date
01/02/2020
In about 1955 I remember getting a train set, small one, and the engine had a key on the side, where you wound it up. Seems it would make about 2 laps on the track. It did have an apparatus that sparked out the stack. Back then, it was the ultimate toy.
 

dzgreenacres

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Last Subscription Date
01/24/2016
My father, who is 90, has had his toy trains since he was a kid among which is his Lionel 400e Blue Comet set with the boxes. Since 1935 he has been collecting them. We have a large table upstairs where we have them all set up running. My nieces and nephews love them, but the hobby is dwindling. I will keep playing with them though:)
 
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