My version of how to bring back model railroading to what it once was

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by rexscates, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. rexscates

    rexscates New Member

    I have just spent 8 hours talking to model railroaders at O Scale March Meet in chicago and have asked them what they think of the following idea on how to bring back the model railroad hobby to what it once was. I have only gotten positive feedback and people told me to let othesr know that they agree and that the game plan layed out below woudl work if I can get people to follow through. We need to do something if we want new products to come out, hobby shops not to die, and to bring back model railroading to it hay day.

    My fatherinlaw is a O Scale nut and owner of I have gone to a few shows with him helpign him sell stuff and have observed that most people in model railroading are 60+ years old. Living in the bay area in california this suprised me. I started to ask more questions about why this trend is happening and peopel have said it is becuase young people are not getting into the hobby in numbers like they used to. So being a science teacher I analzyed the situation and came to the conclusion that younger people never see model railroading as a hobby that they can pursue as a adult. They are used to the model trains they had when they were 12. Well the osultion to that problem is to show those people what the hobby is all about, Now they wont go to a layout you have to brign it to them.

    You can do this by sites such as Youtube, yahoo video, etc... I have taken it upon myself to help start a new wave of peopel to the hobby. I am gathering videos of people layout at Youtube I currently have 61 videos on display in that group but want much much more. I onyl have a few from the engineers perspective and that is where the next game plan comes in.

    My father in law does not have to really make money. it is more to make his passion for good trackwork available to the general public, but i have talked him into carring wireless video cameras at very resonable prices with full tech support so people will use them. Imagine the idea below.

    We decided to sell these to help promote the model railroad hobby, they can be used with your computer, tv, or vcr. Imagine if thousands of people saw video from the engineers eyes and ears going through your detailed layout, well the technology is now here. (My son in law will provide limited tech support)We will also offer one free video edit of your digital video if you allow us to upload your layouts video to sites such as Youtube. We hope this will help expand the hobby to what it once was. Many young people (20's to 40's) are looking for long turn hobbies and model railroading can be that hobby.
  2. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    I have a problem though that the majority of people in this hobby are in fact over 60. I just don’t see it and from the several age polls here on the gauge it appears that there are far more people under 60 than is given credit. I know that these are not scientific polls but at least they show a far broader membership age on the gauge.

    I can’t speak for train shows because my busy life means that I have never been to one. It appears to me more of the retired people have time to make it to the shows. However if train sells are an indication the past two years have been a banner year for starter sets.

    However there might be some interest for your product since the younger generation does like to incorporate the electronics into most any hobby. I have seen cameras in everything from model rockets, RC planes & cars to trains. People just love to post the vids on the Internet and that does include me. I just hope I still love to do it after the next two decades roll by and I’m in my 60’s.

    [FONT=&quot]Trains sales are up and the past few years have been great and the forecast is even better, though less of these are being bought at the LHS. Frankly what turned my daughter into rail fans was to simple set up my old Lionel around the Christmas Tree and let them take over the controls and have fun.[/FONT]
  3. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    one reason you see mosty, or atleast alot of 60+ in the hobby is that the younger people just cant aford to do it. there just starting out in life, 60+ are retired, kids have left the nest, house paid for,

    that and kids just dont get trains for x-mas like they used to. so they dont know what there missing.
  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    i have seen quite a few younger people (30s or younger) at the LHS recently. Several in their teenage years. And they come in all shapes, sizes, genders, colors, and clothing. I actually think the hobby is getting more diverse.

  5. corwinktbt

    corwinktbt Old-time steam.

    When it comes to the age issue, I'd have to say that I've seen all age ranges in hobby shops and at train shows in the last few years. While the hobby may be getting more expensive in some areas, it seems that those who are interested in model railroading find some way to get started.

    That said, I also think that anyway to promote the hobby to the younger generation is a worthwhile endeavor. I've seen several model railroad videos on youtube and it is encouraging to know that the there are videos on youtube to promote our hobby.
  6. rexscates

    rexscates New Member

    if you ever need help makign videos ask me

    that youtube link I put up top is my attempt to gather the train videos in one place.

    My item about age is npot just coming from a random pole at conventions, it is also comign from talking to hobby shops and asking about the general state of the hobby.

    model railroading does nto have to be expensive. I live in the bay area in california (age 36, but not into trains my father in law is) but the real issue is people dont know how to start.

    but if anyone of you need help putting a video online ask me please. or call my house 831-338-8354 (between 6 and 9 pacific coast time, monday-thursday) and i can walk you through any steps. I have a masters in instructional technology and i feel i can help anyone age 8-100 to do what I am asking.

    If you even wanted to send me a video tape that i could digitize and (with your permission) upload I would be most greatfull.

  7. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    Renovo, you can't take statistics from an internet poll and apply it to the general population, especially an older general population. How many 25 year olds have computers and how many 70 year olds have computers, there will be a discrepancy. So the younger computer literate crowd will use the internet and forums more than the older crowd. This also explains why you will see in forums that N scalers seem to be about even with HO'rs in posts, therefore easy to generalize there must be as many N scalers as HO'rs. But the N scale hobbyist is younger on average than the HO'rs so an over representation of them on the net.

    If you go by what you read in the forums, everyone is purchasing their stock from mail order houses, but in reality this isn't true because again the younger population is more willing to do business over the net than the older crowd. And again the younger crowd is more open to using forums so we hear from the younger crowd who is poorer trying to get their stuff at the cheapest prices. The older fart by and large wants to deal with a retailer who helps them out beyound just saving them money and gets the older crowd loyalty, where getting a great bargain isn't as paramount.

    There are two economic theories at work here; the optimizers versus the satisfiers. The optimizer wants price as paramount along with value, the satisfier wants service and product usability (it doesn't have to be the best but it must work). In general those with less money (and usually younger) will be optimizers; the older crowd with more disposable income the satisfiers.

    Again I am listing trends, so some 90 year old is going to chime in that he only purchases over the internet for the "best" deal; it won't affect what I have said statistically.

Share This Page