I attended the March Meet in Lombard, IL and posted photos of the event. One of the layout tours was to the Prairie Scale Model Railroad Club. This club occupies a 7,000 sq. foot space and the members are building an outstanding HO layout. (I admire well done layouts in all scales. You can see my photos of the Prairie club here: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...odel-rr-club-tour-ho
I found out during my visit that the Prairie club was founded by a group of OS2R modelers who intended to build an OS2R layout. They invited a group of HO modelers to share the space in order to spread the costs and construction. Eventually, the HO modelers dominated the club and the OS2R founders either left or were forced out. The key question is: Why couldn't the OS2R modelers recruit enough people to work on their portion of the display so that the HO membership and O scale membership would have remained roughly balanced?
This same dynamic is happening in the SF Bay Area where I live. There used to be three OS2R clubs in this area. Now there are only two. The OS2R display that closed shared 50% of a very large space with a HO display. As the years went by, the club members modeling in OS2R declined until there were none. They weren't forced out. With no one to run or maintain the OS2R display, the HO members took down the OS2R layout and they are building an expanded HO display in the vacated area.
The two remaining OS2R model railroads in this area face a similar issues. They share space with smaller scale model railroads. The number of OS2R modelers in these clubs is steadily declining while the participants in the smaller scales just across a 6 foot aisle is increasing. I suspect that at some point in the relatively near future that there won't be enough OS2R modelers in these clubs to support those displays.
This brings me to two questions:
Why can't OS2R modelers recruit more model railroaders to participate in their scale? (It seems that a few people could be recruited to cross a 6 foot aisle from HO to O.)
What can be done to encourage more people to model in OS2R?
I have my own thoughts about this but I would like to hear your thoughts first. NH Joe