Ted S posted:

I wonder whether people who grew up without seeing, or reading about steam locomotives and passenger trains will come to places like Hamburg (RCT&HS) and Strasburg (RR Museum of PA?)  These are the trains I love, and inspire me to model.  But will the younger generations appreciate them!?

I'm not young (47) but I'm definitely not old enough to remember steam engines or passenger trains.  And yet, here I am.  That said, I think your point is valid.  I share your concern and I'm sure the hobby's numbers will be smaller for just that reason.

By and large, this is an old guy hobby.  If you expose kids to it, they'll pick it up.. a few decades from now.

MikeH

I recall as a youngster, when reading the model train magazines, It was all old guys in them.  I didn't see any kids or young people'... in the mags.  I see plenty of kids at the shows around the country.  I would think some will get into the hobby.  In time and as time goes by, sooner or later they will tire of video games. If they still have any imagination left... they'll be fine.  Of course the products will also still have to be available'...

 

One of the key points mentioned is the fact that parents  'don't have the time' or don't interact with their children much the way our parent did way back when. 

The point of having a child is to love them, nurture them, expose then to the world. When you leave them to the 'electronic babysitters', they lose that creativity, imagination and become introverted. 

My son is not your typical kid - loves to be outside playing basketball, biking; loves Legos and Hot Wheels. Loves to be with me and his mother. If I'm stepping out to run an errand or swing by the firehouse (I'm a volunteer firefighter) he will jump in the car with me. If I'm in the train room he'll hang with me and run the trains. If he's outside shooting baskets, I'll go outside and shoot some with him. 

He's not passionate as I am over trains  - his passion is coins, science and cars. But that's ok with me.

The takeaway is that truly spending time with children - talking with them, doing things with them and exposing them to different aspects of life, hopefully down the road, they'll want to do the same with their children.

My own little slice of happiness in 5' x 9' 

I don't. That doesn't mean I wouldn't try and help or encourage some youngun' who showed interest, but I'm not going recruiting.

No one in my family had any interest in trains, but I acquired one at a very early age....not even sure how, where, or why, but it happened. I think if it's meant to be, it will occur one way or another. The old "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." applies, I think.

Simon

A couple key points people are missing:

1. This hobby isn't cheap. If someone is looking to get into the hobby a decent starter set is around $200. Not a whole lot of people have hundreds of dollars lying around leftover from their budget to spend on expensive hobbies, especially people in their teen years, early 20's, or those just starting a family. In high school, undergrad, and my master's program I was out of the hobby as I didn't have the extra money or time to spend on it. Several years out of school I now do.

2. Space. If one doesn't have a house with a basement it's hard to find the space to build a layout. Many younger people live in apartments, possibly with roommates. They may not have the space for a layout. 

These are probably 2 of the biggest factors in limiting entrance into the hobby. Think back to when you were young. It would have been pretty hard to justify dropping $1500 on a locomotive. As people advance through their careers (and age) they end up earning more and having some disposable income, hence why there are more older people in an expensive hobby.

Santa Fe, All the Way

I'm 28, couple railroading friends, one baby.

I concur with several points made. I don't recruit either, and I don't feel obligated to.

It's hard to fault kids or parents choices when trains are selling for $200-to crazy money, and a used video game is $25. Plus, video games can build cooperation and problem solving in ways a very budget layout could never do - lots of bang for the buck.

I also feel like the roundy-round layouts lose interest. Prototype operations have a purpose and attract a certain type of person, regardless of age. I think a significant number of airsofters or reenactors could come to the hobby to operate a model train in realistic manner.

Griff Murphey posted:

I gave my 12 year old grandson, who was adopted from Ukraine at age 11, an MTH Crescent Limited 4-6-2 and Lionel cars to match. Unfortunately my operating briefing was incomplete. He had a derailment and did the rerail with full power still applied - the ensuing sparks which as we know can be spectacular, scared him and worse, his mom (my daughter) so I doubt it’s been run since. Don’t make my mistake! Be sure you do a full briefing on the nature of electricity. My daughter who grew up around my trains now thinks they are a fire hazard... End of my $400 investment (track, cars, power) not counting the gift of the 4-6-2.

Not only a complete briefing, but often it's helpful after an incident to immediately recreate the incident with the student, and go though the proper steps showing him what to do, maybe laugh a little and put him at ease. If a student has an incident that frightens him, often the best thing is to immediately repeat it and go over it, and let the student understand what to do and be confident and not afraid of what happened. Otherwise, sometimes the student stays scared and won't engage in the activity any more.

A lot of good thoughts here (and one or two absurd ones). Mostly good though. As with any aspect of our lives it is usually the result of many forces and factors. Two that haven't been mentioned here are: First the cost of trains as a percent of income as compared to say 1950. There is a significant disparity there. Two is that in many parts of the country trains are not a visible part of our everyday life as they were 70 years ago. Many of the communities that were served by rail are now served by trucks, and passenger service is almost non-existent. People don't see trains as a part of their everyday life. In fact, think how many people on this forum frequently ask what color ballast should I use or what color should I paint the rails? For me it's a no brainer with the CSX main line 4 miles away, but not so easy for many here. My two cents worth.

jackson, CEO, Not-So-Great Eastern RR, aka The Never Done Line

          Division of the Southern Adirondack Railway Cartel

 

 

I think one other thing that is going for the hobby is real trains. Granted as stated above not many people are them with their daily lives. With excursion trains being the only main way to see anything, this is where the seed may be planted. I know the BR&W by me always has events for the kids. Last year's Railfest had a few working layouts. I know Christmas time is especially hot for the Railroad as Santa starts in November sometime.

My dad introduced me and brother very young into trains. I vaguely remember being 3 yrs old going to see PRR 1223 on her last weekend running at Strasburg. I do however remember very well taking my finger and running it down the gold paint on the driver spokes and then attempting to give it a taste, much to my mom's pure horror. (Thanks dad for paying more attention to the fireman shoving coal)

Since then, I have pursued a career in railroading, now modeling O scale hi-rail trains, and also going to see and operate trains whenever the opportunity arrises.

My brother took to hosting railroad photo charters, and brings his two kids to Strasburg every chance he gets. They've even built their own little layout, and custom painted models for each member of our family.

67958789_10156789921352545_3461046064872685568_n42059383_10156012503692545_3479540138214686720_n36420576_10155826618607545_8436195988531576832_n20729677_10154995343722545_2327751210085458371_n20994157_10155031413077545_1592528395295775281_n20708188_10154995912612545_4497353410210952678_n

I can't thank my dad enough for exposing us to something that has become such a critical and therapeutic part of my life. Not to mention, my way of life income wise. I'm 32 now, if the time ever comes that I have kids of my own, you better believe trains WILL be a part of the family.

 

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A train layout is a wonderful way to teach children about their community.

With houses and businesses, churches and schools, fire stations and hospitals, restaurants and sports fields, the child has a chance to see the many parts of their home town.

A good economy may mean a new railroad siding for new industries that employ their neighbors.  A train station offers a place to start a journey to other places. 

And older steam engines can take them back in history to when in-door plumbing had not replaced the outhouse.  Ugh gross.  Really Dad?  They sat over a hole in the ground?  What do you mean no electricity?  They had to hand-pump their water?  Eggs come from chickens on the farm?  No cell phone towers?  How did they operate their computers?

There are many lessons building a railroad can teach, even to those of us much older.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

 

Lot of good, thoughtful answers here. I think part of the answer is people are looking back to when they were kids and the path that has led them and others to 'come back' to 3 rail as adults, and assume that the same thing is important for the future of the hobby. Even on the scale side of things, in N and HO, you read a lot of narratives in Model Railroader and other places how the person 'got into" N or HO as a kid, then got into cars and girls and whatnot, then went to school, got married, etc, then came back as they got older. With O three rail many of us did have them as kids (I am in my mid 50's now, so I missed the 'peak' of the PW Lionel experience, but I inherited trains from my brother), then did come back. I think with the introduce kids to it the idea is even if the kid doesn't get into it then, they will have seen it, and the bug will hit later, and I think there is truth to that. I don't share the picture of young kids today, that they are somehow defective because they aren't in to trains, it must be the internet, must be social media and video games, they are 'easy', etc, I think simply that as always has been, there are other distractions. Back in the 1950's, kid hit their teens, and it was often cars that caught them, or sports, or dating , or doing more in the outside world as they got older...and back then, it was television that was turning them into mindless idiots in the 'great wasteland' as the head of the FCC called it in the early 60's.

I think anything we can do to sell the hobby, to kids and their parents, is important, not just because train companies make money out of things like starter sets that allows them to produce other things, but because some kids will enjoy it, and not to mention the parents might get interested, does happen. 

One thing, while trains are obviously an expensive toy, as has been written on here many times they always were, back in the golden age there was a reason Lionel produced things like the scout set and had lower end engines, it was because the PW products were pretty expensive relative to salaries at the time. We think of the layouts we have today, but with kids back then they would get new items for their birthday or Christmas or whatnot, a new switch would be a big deal, a new freight car, engines were a big deal (I was lucky, I got into trains in the early 70's, back when people were selling PW stuff for nothing, 50 bucks and you got a ton of stuff, so price wasn't better back then, it is just that the trains were a hot item and kids would get things piecemeal.

Keep in mind, too, that the hobby has changed a great deal, it is not really a 'toy' any more, even the semi scale stuff is a lot more intricate than most things in the PW period, and the upper end engines, while in relatively price not that far off from the top end of the PW era, offer scale fidelity and features kids could only dream of back then. 

If I was going to retitle the thread, it would be something familiar that we need to bring 'new blood' into the hobby, rather than necessarily 'young people' alone. Introducing young people is about planting a seed for the future, the other part is getting new people into the hobby of various ages, so there is a base in the future. I have to agree that with trains across the board it tends to be an older hobby and remembering back when I started reading train magazines in the mid 70's, it always was a hobby of those in their 30's on up, with more than a few gray hairs in it, too.

In some ways there is a parallel with something else I know more than a bit about, classical music, it has the same concerns with 'aging out' of its audience, but I have read articles from a long time ago that talked about the same thing,so perhaps it always has been something older people tended to be attracted to. Another parallel is people worry because thanks to what has happened in schools, with tight budgets and the like, arts/music teaching has been cut back or slashed, so kids may not be exposed to what kids in earlier generations were, and they worry they won't then pick it up later....much like we worry that kids aren't exposed to trains that much, aren't exposed to the model versions either, and thus will never get interested. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

modeltrainsparts posted:

A lot of good thoughts here (and one or two absurd ones). Mostly good though. As with any aspect of our lives it is usually the result of many forces and factors. Two that haven't been mentioned here are: First the cost of trains as a percent of income as compared to say 1950. There is a significant disparity there. 

Are trains more expensive or less expensive now?

Gas was a quarter a gallon, a hundred bucks a week was a decent salary, a car cost (maybe) a couple of  thousand dollars and depending on where you lived, a house might have been 4 figures. Not counting pennies.

And going to see the Phillies was painful no matter what it cost. Still is.

Gerry 

  Home of the BRATS RR  

 

 

 

When i first introduced our children they loved the small 2 track 4x8 layout even had a pair of and still do today of 2343 F3s that i hand painted there names on each of the shells that were in pour shape.

Took them to some train shows but nowadays they do not go by them as they have busy lives otherwise.

Without a proportion of the younger generation having an interest as we depart what will eventually happen in my opinion does not look good for model trains as sales will eventually decline .

 

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DaveP posted:

One of the key points mentioned is the fact that parents  'don't have the time' or don't interact with their children much the way our parent did way back when. 

The point of having a child is to love them, nurture them, expose then to the world. When you leave them to the 'electronic babysitters', they lose that creativity, imagination and become introverted. 

He's not passionate as I am over trains  - his passion is coins, science and cars. But that's ok with me.

The takeaway is that truly spending time with children - talking with them, doing things with them and exposing them to different aspects of life, hopefully down the road, they'll want to do the same with their children.

DaveP,

Very well stated!

 

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

Aside from all the other alternatives now available to kids and adults, trains are no longer important. Do kids play with any TOYS today? Please name a few. I have 10 grand children, and I think they have been mostly wedded to their "screens".

Over the years on this forum, I've gotten the impression that some of you "worry" about getting new blood into the hobby so that new goodies will continue to be produced for you...or so someone will be there to purchase your stuff.

One of my grandsons was my "train buddy" from 6 months old to 7 years old. We played with trains, watched train videos, and took MANY trips to Strasburg (often over-nighters). But at around age 7, he no longer showed any interest (including "visiting" my layout). Frankly, this does not bother me at all, since this is just one of MY many hobbies.

I build some of my old plastic models with my grandson weekly in the summer, I put on the glue, he does the assembly. Last year he set up two loops of Lionel for Christmas. He is a fanatic Lego builder and easily does the 16 and up ones. I think he will always build something.

As a dentist myself, at age 70, I think the new generation of dentists who are not taught lab work in  school nor subjected to the infamous chalk carving test for dental school admission, don't have the hands us old ones do. Selling a lot of work is the strong point they have, I think.

My take on it is our own fears that the hobby will die off after we are gone.  But i think we are just in a "down' cycle and the hobby will grow again as the next round of modelers retire and become more active.  In today's society, there is precious little time to attend train shows or frequent the remaining hobby shops.  So many of the younger modelers are "hidden" from the older generation.  The younger ones do not need or have time for the socializing part that many of us are used to doing, be it at shows, the hobby shop or local club.   Modern technology has enabled them to model behind the scenes so to speak. Pretty much anything one might need is available from ones own smartphone.  One can order and pay for it while on break at work, or while laying in bed after putting the kids down for the night.  One day these "hidden" younger modelers will slowly come out of the woodwork as they retire and become more socialy active in the hobby.  Atleast that is my take on it from taking to others and setting up a layout at shows.  I see many younger folk having an interest in the hobby, is it as many as it was 10 or 15 years ago, no, but still an interest.   

We as an active hobbiest need to promote the hobby in the best possible light and not bemoan the state of anything while among the general public at shows, shops ect.  We as an active hobbiest need to promote there is a path into the hobby for EVERY income level, in every scale from Z to G.   G and O being the best for children with S and smaller for teens and adults do to fragility.  If you own a hobby shop, stocking sets such as the Harry Potter and Polar Express are very important.  This includes the "add ons"  Both of those series are still very popular with kids and adults alike.  I see way to much negativity at shows, from dealers and hobbiests.  If you want to moan and groan, do it away from the public eye.  Nobody wants to join a hobby that breeds negativity and grumpy old men.   For dealers that carry lots of used HO.   Make up a few decent sets, a decent locomotive, a few cars, small oval of track and power pack.  Put it in a "pop can" flat and price it fairly.  Many parents have no clue what it takes to make a good complete set.  This will save time and increase sales.     Just my thoughts.    Mike

Silly NT's...I have Asperger's Syndrome! 

I'm 52 and my son is 12.  His interest in "our" trains comes and goes.  He had one of his friends over the other night for a spend the night.  The boy had never seen the trains and was really impressed for about 15 minutes then they both returned to the Xbox and PS4. 

One thing that has really helped him is his being able to run the trains AND doing so from the iPad (thanks MTH).  Also I have found getting engines and cars that he is interested helps a lot too.  He is interested in army items so a train with tanks and half tracks on flat cars was a big hit.

I was talking about the trains to him yesterday and said when I was his age I remember going to Toys r Us and there being an entire aisle of just trains.  He was blown away by that, he asked me if i was joking. I also told him that growing up nearly all my friends had a train layout of some sort at their house, again a similar response.

The world is vastly vastly different today than it was 40 years ago and am sure will be more so in another 40 years.

John

Oak, Black Lab, Constant Companion, 12-4-1994 to 12-18-2006 TCA 03-55425

I agree with John that running trains from an I-Pad, remote unit or smartphone app has great potential to appeal to the young. My 7 year old grandaughter loves running LC+ locomotives using the handheld remote. Soon I will get her started using the smartphone app, and I know that will be a big hit with her.

A thought that just occurred to me is that when great strides are taken to rebuild and modernize the infrastructure in the US, including the railroads, that might generate a lot more interest in model railroading. I would have thought that we would be doing this by now, especially because this has already happened in other countries. Maybe some of our Forum members from European and other countries where major railroad renovations have occurred, can chime in on this subject. Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

I must be the only one who doesn't "feel the need".

I got into trains because "I liked them" nobody pushed them on me or said it might be a good hobby to get into.  Didn't have a train when I was a kid, got an HO set when I was 27 that was suppose to be for my newborn son, turned out to be a girl so....

Got 3 grandsons, they've seen the trains.  The oldest (7) I don't see him often enough but he likes to watch them.  The 3yr old wants to play with all the stuff on the layout but could care less about running trains.  The almost 2yr old doesn't have a clue about them.

Kids are going to gyrate towards what catches their eye at the moment, if it happens to be trains great, if not, oh well.

***But someone's gonna have a lot of stuff to deal with when grandpa (for some reason they call me Bubba or BawBaw ) goes bye bye!!!***

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

My Daughter and Son grew up with my train layouts. For them it got to be a ho hum having trains. When my daughter was in her mid teens and kinda didn't want her friend to know her dad played with trains. Then one day I was sitting at the kitchen table looking threw a Greenberg price guide, my daughter came in with one of her friends, her friend noticed the Greenberg price guide and he said oh Lionel trains. I looked up and asked if he's familiar with Lionel trains. He said yep, he and his dad has a layout set up in their basement. He wanted to see my layout. From that day on, every time my daughter brought one of her friends over, the first thing she'd ask them, do you want to see my dad's trains.

Fast forward 20+ yrs w/my grandchildren, I decided to build a small layout and let the grandchildren help w/it. As the layout progressed, I named some locations on the layout after my grand daughter and grandson. I named the small town "MacKenzieville" after the grand daughter and the junk yard "Mason's  Junkyard" after the grandson.

Here's a pc of my grand son last week playing on the layout.

3) 8-15-19 [2)

 

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I noticed with my daughter back in the eighties that though she liked to run the trains even at five she got tired of watching it go round and round. I remembered the articles written by Frank Ellison about running a model railroad as if it were a real railroad. I got a stack of file cards and wrote a car number on each one and made a stack. Then I made a stack for each locomotive. Then I named each siding and made a stack of cards for all the sidings and spurs.  We would play make the train and pick up and drop off cars and I explained this is the purpose of real railroads.  Along the way I would sneak in a maintenance and repair session and she was expected to help. To start I taught her the names of the tools and her job was to hand me which ever tool I asked for and I would explain why I need that tool and what I was doing with it.  By the time she was 10 she could pull apart and repair most of her trains occasionally asking my advice.    I was hoping to create an engineer but she turned out a school teacher. Close enough.  She doesn't hesitate to pull apart common household items  lawnmowers, hairdryers, toasters etc. and repair them. I bet her shop is better than half of those on the forum.  I could go on about her skills but the point is too many of our young people have no mechanical or technical skills beyond scrolling a smart phone. The phone is smarter than they are. Technological societies stand atop the hammer screwdriver and pliers.  Grammar through high schools have removed shop from the curriculum, too expensive and  too dangerous. To my way of thinking toys should be about something other than the latest cartoon monster they should teach useful life skills.  Be it model trains, airplanes, doll houses.  Kids really don't know what they like it is up to the parents the adults in their life to push them in some direction if you don't someone will and you likely will not like the direction they go.  You cannot start when they are eight or ten you must start when they are very young the process must be entertaining and they will follow not noticing that you are pushing from the front.          j

I relate to Johnacton's above comments about his daughter, which applies in certain respects to my children, now in their early 30s.

My daughter played with trains like they were dolls. Same is true with my 7 year old granddaughter. We would give the little people on the layout train rides in gondolas, and I would tell stories about the little people. My granddaughter brings her own little people, Shopkins, and we give them train rides and tell stories about them.

My son, who is very bright (much brighter than me which pleases me), would get bored running the trains as a young child. He was fascinated, however, by what goes on, mechanically and electrically, inside the trains and accessories. I remember he was particularly interested in the inside of the Lionel O22 switch tracks. He is now a mechanical engineer and Construction Project Manager for a company that build and renovates commercial buildings.

Both of my adult children now have little interest in the trains, but are amused that their Dad is so interested in them. LOL, Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

AGHR -- The Next Generation

FullSizeR1

The old guys like myself get to relax and shoot the breeze because the kids run the layout WAY better than we do. Yet another reason to have young people involved in the hobby.

 

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
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DaveP posted:

One of the key points mentioned is the fact that parents  'don't have the time' or don't interact with their children much the way our parent did way back when. 

The point of having a child is to love them, nurture them, expose then to the world. When you leave them to the 'electronic babysitters', they lose that creativity, imagination and become introverted. 

My son is not your typical kid - loves to be outside playing basketball, biking; loves Legos and Hot Wheels. Loves to be with me and his mother. If I'm stepping out to run an errand or swing by the firehouse (I'm a volunteer firefighter) he will jump in the car with me. If I'm in the train room he'll hang with me and run the trains. If he's outside shooting baskets, I'll go outside and shoot some with him. 

He's not passionate as I am over trains  - his passion is coins, science and cars. But that's ok with me.

The takeaway is that truly spending time with children - talking with them, doing things with them and exposing them to different aspects of life, hopefully down the road, they'll want to do the same with their children.

Children are a massive investment of time and resources. My kids grew up with o scale trolleys and heavy metal. My grandson lives with me and gets steam engines and heavy metal. Nothing beats watching the trains in the dark with Black Sabbath cranking 😎😎

Mike

gmorlitz posted:
modeltrainsparts posted:

A lot of good thoughts here (and one or two absurd ones). Mostly good though. As with any aspect of our lives it is usually the result of many forces and factors. Two that haven't been mentioned here are: First the cost of trains as a percent of income as compared to say 1950. There is a significant disparity there. 

Are trains more expensive or less expensive now?

Gas was a quarter a gallon, a hundred bucks a week was a decent salary, a car cost (maybe) a couple of  thousand dollars and depending on where you lived, a house might have been 4 figures. Not counting pennies.

And going to see the Phillies was painful no matter what it cost. Still is.

Gerry 

Probably equally expensive. Gas was 25c a gallon (heck, I remember premium (ethyl!) at a cut rate gas station for 33c a gallon in the early 70s), but if you scale that with general inflation it isn't all that far from where gas prices are today in real terms. A car cost a couple of thousands of dollars, but when you are making 100 bucks a week, have bills to pay, taxes, etc, that couple of thousand dollars represented an investment that wasn't  trivial (scale it to today, and that 2000 dollar car if you factor in other cost increases, is likely close to 30k today).On the other hand a modern car in many ways will cost you less over its life, back then cars didn't last as they do today, in the time you own a modern car  you likely would have bought several cars back in the day (the average length of car ownership these days is 11 years, back in the 1950's it was likely a maybe 4-5 years, if not less than that). 

My house in the 1950's went for like 16k, today it is over 500k likely. 

If you factor in what salaries were, what the cost of living was, then Lionel trains were likely expensive, a set that cost 50 bucks back then would be somewhere around 500 today, scaled to what things cost. The famous 700e that sold for 75 bucks in the late 30's would be about 2500 in today's dollars (roughly the MSRP on some of the high end engines today).  The nature of the hobby has changed, though,back in the 1950's the big market would be kids, when these were truly trains, today the big market is adults, whether the scale /hi rail operator who buys the scale products and command control engines, or the person recreating the post war 'toy train layout' (or anything between), while parents buying for kids is an important market, the advertising Lionel does in OGRR and other magazines is not aimed at kids, it is aimed at adults, the only ads I see aimed at kids are around Christmas time where stores might advertise having starter sets.

Personally I would argue that having kids exposed to the hobby is likely as valuable as kids taking up the hobby, that even if the kid gets train set, plays with it a bit, then moves on to other toys, or they see a big display layout at a train show, that is planting seeds for the future, they don't have to build a layout, they don't have to be into switching or operations or belong to a club (though it would be nice if some did), they just need to have some inkling it is out there, so if they run across it later, they take it up. And yes, it is self serving in some ways, for manufacturers to keep making our toys, there needs to be a base that replenishes itself going down the road. 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

trainroomgary posted:

Meet my train crew. The next generation, just old fashion fun.....

1 Train Room

I have found that these controllers from Lionel work the best....... LionChief Plus 🚂

Gary

Gary,

The above is one of the many wonderful and inspiring photos on this thread.

As to controllers, my experience has been the same.  The controllers are smaller and fit into smaller hands, and the speed control dial and other buttons are fairly easy to explain (mostly).  With our grandchildren, I just plan to enjoy them and the trains together.  They have a layout at their house, but seem to want to play with it only when I ask if they would like to run the trains together.  Unlike in my generation, an electric train is not the "it" toy for them and their friends.

That's fine.  I can just enjoy running the trains and accessories with them.  I won't try to sell them on the hobby, but,  will just spend time together with them now.

_____________________________

Rusty:

       "And as the sunset faded, I spoke to the faintest first starlight.
And I said next time, Next time, We'll get it right!"

This singer-composer fronted my favorite local group, "Bob Seger and The Last Heard", and  regularly played at my high school's weekly dances.  They would always win the annual "Battle of The Bands" - a big deal, as these so-called, "Sock Hops" were exceedingly well attended, regularly filling the school's cafeteria with excited teens. 

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

We don't need to.  There is no need for it on our part.  More trains are in existence than all of us hobbiests can possibly use.

The need, such as it is, is for the youth, who ought to have more skills than thumb manipulation.

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

There is no need for me to recruit kids or adults to get into trains. If they like them they like them if not, oh well. 

My parents got me involved trains, I just like them. My Parents got my brother and myself a train for Christmas many years ago and we both continued when we became adults.

This kind of thread pops up every so often bemoaning the fact that we need younger people in the hobby. I really don't care if they do become involved, great if they do but I'm still playing with my trains either way. 

You can't force people to like something, yes even trains.

Dave

RadioRon posted:
Dennis GS-4 N & W No. 611 posted:

DaveP,

Very well stated!

 

Dennis, I might suggest revising the title of this thread to "Why we need to...."  As it is, it kinda indicates there is no need.   Just a suggestion (thats how it occurred to me).       Happy railroading!!

Thanks Dave!  Your suggestion is well taken. The title was intended to accommodate both views - both equally valid.  

I generally don't feel the need to promote the hobby so as to preserve the hobby, or to swell the number of future hobbyists.  I do, however, enjoy introducing the hobby to young children who want to see the layout and run the trains.  Their smiles and laughter are worth the price of admission.  If they choose to enjoy the hobby for themselves at some point, then that's fine.

Similarly, I taught my children to swim at an early age.  Two loved to swim, and ultimately became lifeguards at large, public locations. One seldom swims.  I believe that they should do whatever they enjoy, not what I enjoy.  Exposing them to swimming, however gave them that opportunity.

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

I have been active since the age of 3, that's 40 years so far including working part time running the train department, at my local hobby shop.  First of, we had people under the age of 18 buying stuff, not a lot but they where buying. Parents where buying train sets, combining all of the different scales we probably sold about a few hundred a year, did all of them stay interested, probably not but now lets fast forward in their life lets say their 30's they now have kids and are looking for something to do, they pull out the train they had as a kid, maybe it was a hand me down from their dad, they set up a layout, the kids play with dad for a while but loose interest for now, however dad (or mom) is looking for something to do, they take up the hobby, many people may be lone wolf modelers, some may join a club, but look at all the people in their 30's to 40's on Facebook or on YouTube  getting into the hobby (maybe again) the hobby is not dying......... or the interest in it........  I think we are focusing to much in the wrong age group in the hobby, yes give a train to a kid, but look for that kid 20 to 30 years latter and show that person why this is the worlds greatest hobby.

 

 

Model Railroading is Fun
Mike Slater

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