First let me say that the comments below are just my opinion; I don't want to get chastised.
Just a few observations:
- Hindsight is 20/20 ( it wasn't soon enough, it was too soon, . . .)
- O scale trains is a brutally expensive hobby to be in for younger families while they struggle with rent, food, utilities, healthcare, kids, insurance, etc.
- For the younger culture; social media costs and hardware (phones, computers, tablets, palms, laptops, kindles, etc) are a much higher priority than $1000.00 engines.
- TCA stands for Train COLLECTORS Association, not Greenberg Public Train Show.
- Joe Hohmann summed it up nicely, the last generation of COLLECTORS were born in the late 40's to mid 50's. That alone lowers the demand for the trains at York. And that generation is dying off quickly and leaving mountains of trains behind to be added to the pile of trains available.
- It takes a lot of room to collect O scale trains or have a permanent layout. Refer to item 2, people don't have the space/money to dedicate to large trains like they used to.
- If you attend York, just look around at the age of the attendees. Rarely do you see people younger than 50 (excluding those who are working in the train show or tables). I would estimate that the AVERAGE age of the attendees was easily over 65. I didn't see anyone with a stroller, but I saw a lot of people with canes and scooters.
- If you attend a public train show the average age of attendee is much lower. Its probably in the range of 20-25 yrs old, because of all the young families with kids just out for a entertainment day with the kids. They may buy some popcorn or a $20 boxcar. They are not your future to sustaining this hobby at its current level. There is a saturation point, which I think was probably reached in the 1999 to 2002 timeframe.