Where are the Great Young Model Railroaders?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by riverotter, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I'm right here.:wave::thumb: I'm only 16. Ill be your next generation I guess. And as mentioned earlier, I have fouund the other sex,.........but trains are still more important. I think?:confused: Now I remember, yse they are still more important!:thumb:​
  2. kokoracer

    kokoracer Member

    I am in my 50s. Model railroading was a dream for me. Something I planned on doing when we bought this place. I started playing with the Life Like track shortly after we moved in, but was fixated with NASCAR.
    At one point I was a national internet columnist with a second teir site.

    Toyota came in and I left when the company I work for sponsored one. Better to leave a hobby than risk a job. That is when I turned my full attention to the hobby. A switch to the Bachmann nickel silver roadbed track and the Springfield Southen was born. John
  3. stormfather

    stormfather Member

    I'm 22. Between work, work, work, graduate school, work, and work, I don't have much free time. The free time I do have is split between my girlfriend, videogames, and my model railroad. I think young people just don't have as much free time and money as older folks.
  4. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    As you may be aware, dish TV deliberately excludes PBS programming.
  5. e-paw

    e-paw Member

    I am 34 and finishing my basement for a layout. Hears a few shots of my work.

    Attached Files:

  6. conrailmike

    conrailmike Member

    I think also nowadays, you don't see or hear the new "ideas" so to speak. So you may not hear a lot of names being tossed around like you did then. If you think about it, when John Armstrong came up with his walk-around throttle system it was something that no one else had done. There's a lot of people now that have huge, detailed layouts that you don't hear about only because it's been done before. John Allen was known for what he did with the G&D only because there were no layouts like it. They weren't very young when they did this stuff either. I believe Allen McClelland was in his 30's or 40's when he built the V&O. He became known for the whole "beyond the basement" thing only because no one had really thought about it before then. I'm not sure we're gonna see or hear of guys like this ever again only because I think they really were the "pioneers" of our wonderful hobby. I also think that back then, these guys knew a lot of people who actually worked for the railroads (when railroads had a lot of employees) and the railroads themselves were a lot more accessible then they are now.
  7. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    Those look good! I, for one, would like to see pictures of your basement layout, as it progresses, too.
  8. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    Excellent points, conrailmike!
    1. If there are 'huge detailed layouts be that you don't hear about' (and I'll bet medium-sized amounts of money you're right about that), maybe there's a market for a semi-annual or even quarterly magazine like "Great Model Railroads".
    2. Some of the things I've heard about, but not in enough detail (to satisfy my insatiable thirst for model railroad information!) are computer/layout interfaces (e.g., through DCC), computer-based operations planning, powering trains through other sources than electricity through the rails (e.g., batteries), modular model railroad concepts like Free-mo (is MR tied so firmly to the NMRA that they won't run articles about this topic?)
    3. Personally, I'd like to see more stories about "layouts in progress" or "before and after: what it looked like before it was finished" or "what didn't go exactly like the track plan/3-D CAD design" and why.
  9. roch

    roch Member

    Nice pics e-paw. :thumb:
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    They do and they don't. There was a time that they didn't include my local PBS channel and I had to pay a dollar a month to get national PBS. They've included the local PBS now for quite a few years, but I still subscribe to the national one. It seems as if the local station isn't always current on some series like "This Old House". Plus, they're running fund raisers about every other month and blocking regular broadcasting when they are and substituting stuff that they've shown over and over again during other fund raisers.wall1 wall1 One more run of "Celtic Women" or "Do-whop, the 420th edition":rolleyes: and I'll start blocking local PBS.:p :p

    Oh, neither one runs, "Tracks Ahead"...:cry:
  11. Go Big1

    Go Big1 Member

    Well, at 36 years old, I'm really not that "young" anymore. And since I am just getting into this hobby, I am nowhere near "great", and with 3 young kids, I doubt that I will get anywhere near greatness for many years to come!

    But to address the idea that the industry is dying (ie where are all the great young modelers), I think that quite the opposite is going to happen in the coming years. I think with the advent of DCC, higher quality easy build kits, ready to roll, foam, etc., I think that it is making the hobby a lot less daunting to get into - which is a good thing. Yes, you might not see as many modelers building all of the great scratch built, hand layed layouts that you may have seen in the past. But that doesn't mean that this great hobby is going to go quietly into the night.
  12. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Another thing you may find is if there are younger "gen x" model railroaders, they may not be as open about it as older hobbyist are, and I use myself as an example.

    I fele anyone from teens to late 30's who've never been exposed to the hobby think of it as more a kids hobby, unlike saying something "I'm into R/C cars and planes" or something. To me it seems when you tell that person you're a model railroader, they instantly picture a toy train that goes roundy-round a loop of track. People outside the hobby don't know about the many aspects involved in such the hobby (engineering, electrical, technical, art, etc..).

    However, this "kiddy" image can make a young person feel embarrased about the hobby to their peers. I feel this way at times so I don't really tell people that it's a hobby of mine. Outside of my family, the LHS, and forums I post on I think maybe 2 people know. None of co-workers do for example.

    So there may be many more "closet hobbyist" out there.
  13. beamish

    beamish HO & Steam Engineer

    At 22 I am young, but definately not great!

    I have a vast knowledge and experience in electronics(design to assembly), computers, and live steam. I have combined many of these passions and interests with my model railroad hobby. I am learning as I go along and slowly aquiring skills, knowledge, and trains.

    EDIT: As an electronics designer I find that many coworkers think the DCC and the "cool" electronic things very interesting and they enjoy asking me about the layout and love to see pictures. They also provide a unique resources to me as the products we design are just a touch more complicated then DCC.:mrgreen:
  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    But will the current generations keep up with the rampant inflation and devaluation of the dollar well enough to model the way the old-timers are doing now? Some locos cost up to $3000 today...in another 20 years?
  15. iis612

    iis612 Member

    I also watch the "trains & Locomotives" on RFD. The modeling program you are talking about, is that the one that covers mostly Lionel? If so, I had to stop watching it, it was more effective than sleeping pills. No "Tracks Ahead" here, which is odd considering the area is a huge railhead.
  16. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

  17. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Tell them you'll send a donation if the re-run it...:thumb:
  18. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    Thanks for your observations!

    I was definitely not trying to imply that I think the hobby is dying. Changing may be more like it, but it seems that by and large the industry publications - NMRA's Scale Rails, MR & RMC - are not seeking out and embracing the changes that may be taking place. (I would be interested in the subscriber demographics of those publications. Don't they realize that, while the hobby might not die, they will if they don't get hip?):mrgreen:
  19. conrailmike

    conrailmike Member

    I'm not a current member of the NMRA, but I've heard quite a few people talk about how Scale Rails is suffering as a magazine and how the NMRA itself is outdated as an organization. As far as MR is concerned, I think they may be embracing the changes but the real problem they have is the direction the magazine has gone in the past few years. In my opinion (and lots of others that I've talked to) it seems they've become more advertisements and less content. It also seems they've become pro HO. I don't know maybe I'm missing something...
  20. e-paw

    e-paw Member

    I am almost finished laying the floor. I still have to install the moldings, sump pump, celling, and partition off the utilities. All before I start the bench work.

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