How much do you spend on model trains?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I thought this might be an interesting question to toss out here.

    I realize that people will spend different amounts (per month) depending on "where" are with the hobby. For example, someone just starting out will probably have a larger outlay than someone who has had a layout for years. I'm thinking more of the "established" model railroader who already has a working layout.

    In my case, my 4x6 layout has been operational for the past 2-3 years & I already had a large model train collection, so I had quite a head start. But I'm continually developing the layout and adding to it. I'm trying very hard, however, to control or limit my expenses :cry: -- to spread them out over time as my cash flow allows.

    I've just started to keep a record of my expenses and I suddenly realized that I'd spent close to $100 in just 2-3 weeks! :eek: I realize that this will be nothing to some people and a huge expense to others. I'm just interested in comparing notes to see how others juggle their hobby expenses.

  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    As you mentioned we spend a lot more at the start. With an "almost finished" layout I seem to be on a steady downward trend with expenses although there may be the occasional spike if I see something I really want (like the PC F units I saw in the Walthers catalog!). On the average this year I'd say I spend about $25 a month on the layout.
  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Ralph. I just realized that, in my $100 figure above, I also included such things as model train magazines and books/magazines on the real thing. So, while that skews the numbers, it's still part of my regular expenses. Rob
  4. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    How much do I spend? As much as I possibly can without getting the raised eyebrow. My last several engines have been quite expensive with the most recent being the most expensive at just over the $400 dollar mark. As long as I space those out to one a month, I seem to be able to get away with it.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    When I first started in model railroading, I established a $10.00 per week budget. If I wanted something that was more expensive than I had saved from my $10.00 per week, I would either save up for it or put it on lay away at my local hobby shop until it was paid for. I did find one problem early on. I had decided to model the Santa Fe, so I bought every locomotive I saw that had Santa Fe colors. I discovered later, because Santa Fe is so popular, most manufacturers paint everything in Santa Fe colors. I wanted to model prototype railroading, so I discovered that I had bought a lot of locomotives that I couldn't use. I sold some of the mistakes at yard sales, and gave a couple to friends kids that I built model railroads for.

    My advice to new modelers now is to buy magazines and books, and check books out of your local library to help you decide what you want to model before you start spending money on everything that catches your eye.
  6. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    :) sorry double post
  7. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    :) You figure it out. 12-20-2006 through 9-24-2007

    2 MTH Premier powered diesels
    2 MTH Premier un powered diesel
    2 MTh Railking powered diesels
    1MTh Railking un powered diesel
    1 Lionel Non TMCC diesel
    1 K-Line TMCC diesel
    1 Williams powered diesel
    1 Williams un powered diesel
    1 MTH Aerotrain set
    3 MTH Aerotrain coaches
    I Lionel TMCC Locomotive
    1 MTH trolley
    1 K-Line switcher
    54 various Lionel & MTH Rolling stock
    6 various buildings
    26 figures ( people & animals)
    3 Kline cars
    4 180 Lionel power bricks
    1 Lionel TPC 300
    1 Lionel TPC 400
    1 Lionel TMCC lit
    2 MTH z-1000
    1 Lionel CW 80
    2 MTH bridges
    2 MTh trestle kits
    6 Fast Track switches
    ? Lionel fast track enough for two large interconnecting ovals on a 6X9 layout
    ? MTH Real Trax enough for a elevated line above the fast track
    4 MTH tunnel portals
    2 MTh IR devices
    2 Lionel IR decices
    1 MTH signal
    1 Lionel signal
    8 Bottles of scenic cement
    ? scenic material such as grass, trees, ballast, lichen etc
    1 MTH crossing signal
    1 Lionel Polar Express set
    1 Lionel PA Flyer set
    2 Lionel HE sets ordered
    ? yards of wire
    ? misc elctrical
    2 sheets of 4x8 plywood
    1 box armstrong ceiling tile
    14 2x4's
    ? screws & nails

    I have no idea how much this all adds up to but it is about 100% of my purchases during the past 9 months. Strange I never saw it in print before. I don't even what to try and total it.

    What do I expect to buy the next 9 months?

    I doubt I will spend 1/10 of the past 9 months. That darn start up expense can be heck though.

    Oh heck I forgot about 10 bottles of smoke fluid. :)
  8. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Yes, I know what you mean! It's wise to space things out. Rob
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Well, what else is there to spend money on?

    My wife says it's a good thing that I started when I did, because I couldn't afford to buy all of it now.
    I can go to the hobby shop and come out without buying anything! (Luckily, I have specific tastes and I'm getting really fussy.) My main expenses now are the 8-10 magazines I buy each month.
    I do have my eye on a couple of locos in the next year, and one of my stations needs half a dozen Peco points.
  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Wow, that's a lot of magazines ... I thought I was "bad" getting my 2-4 each month! :mrgreen: There certainly are some good ones out there -- Cdn Railway Modeller, MR, the new Hornby Magazine, Steam Railway, Heritage Railway, Railway Modeller ... it's hard to keep up and find the time to read all of these. I also like to buy period books containing pics of actual locos in the 1950s -- those are very helpful for modelling. Rob
  11. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I can't say for certain, but I bet it has averaged about 20 bucks a month for the past few years. Part of the reason is lack of money, part of the reason is lack of time, and part of the reason is i enjoy scratchbuilding stuff out of things I have laying around.

  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I stopped adding up the money I spend on the hobby years ago so I could have one less worry.Besides,If I didn't spend money buying hobby stuff I would find something else to blow it on.
  13. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Yes, I agree. I just added up my money for September as an experiment, to see what it actually amounted to. $6 here, $10 there, etc., quickly adds up!

    I'm trying hard to limit it to $50/month, mainly because our cash flow isn't great at the moment. With two young kids at home & only me working, we really have to watch our expenses. I'm sure there are others who can relate!

    My other "problem" is that I have a really good hobby shop just minutes from where I live and an excellent model train store just walking distance from my office !


Share This Page