HOW OLD ARE YOU MODEL RAILROADERS?

Mark DeSchane Nov 9, 2019

  1. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Although technology has contributed, fact is, young people have always had a different concept of time and the need for gratification than older people. When I was 18, I bought a '54 Ford basket case. I had visions of the Y-block V8 with a pair of loud duals rolling down Main street rattling the store windows. I knew I needed to get the car done because I would soon be too old to enjoy it.:LOL: I felt sure that would happen around the age of 25. (Yes, it was during this time that I had set model railroading aside in favor of other pursuits. Thought I might come back to it when I was too old to cruise.:ROFLMAO:) Now, the Ford is still in my garage and still sports an unbelievably sweet pair of Dragon glasspacks (more than the passing interest my mother had hoped it was) and I'm looking forward to all the stuff I'm going to do in retirement including moving up north, putting up a pole barn and redoing the Ford again. I have a different outlook now, though. I feel like I have time to savor all these things.
     
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  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oddly enough, I have seen this same conclusion now, for decades: "We're getting older." "Oh, woe is us, the hobby is dying." If that were the case, this hobby should have already died. No, it is just that many come back or start, when there is better time (post-child rearing), and money (post-child rearing), available. After they are matured past flushing their time and money down a toilet of chasing girls, cars and other toys.
     
  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Validating Boxcab's thoughts, there's an uptapped source of younger modelers in railfans. I greatly enjoy getting outside to watch trains and have recently met three fans, all in their 20s, kind and knowledgeable. I don't think any of them model, but they're of the age where distractions are plentiful, space may be tight and money is probably scarce. With their deep interest in real railroading, a step to model railroading some day would be a modest one.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  4. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    It seems like today's kids are interested in video games and not much of anything else. They spend a fortune on game systems and games.

    Joe
     
  5. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    There are a lot of younger people who are model railroaders who post on Facebook and Instagram...just because they are not here doesn't mean that they don't exist
     
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  6. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Good point. I volunteer at a Children's Discovery Center where kids from 2 to 12 are encouraged to touch, feel, and interact with exhibits of all types. Fascinating how most are drawn into the Science Room with all sorts of neat interactive stuff. What impresses me most is that they stop and stare up at a G-Scale running around about ten feet above them. I hear them say "Look at the Choo-Choo", even though it's running a CSX U-25 and Southern RS-3. Whatever, at least they are interested and know what they are looking at.
     
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  7. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    67. I was 13 when the SD45 was introduced. Flares!

    Doug
     
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  8. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    I was hoping someone would correct me. I don't have an account on any op of the popular media sights. I have noticed an age indicator. This place gets very very quiet after 10PM EST. ☻
     
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am at work that time of night, so can only take a quick glance during lunch break.
     
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  10. keithw

    keithw TrainBoard Member

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  11. Mark DeSchane

    Mark DeSchane TrainBoard Member

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    The survey is over at this time. It ran for 2 weeks, sorry you missed being counted, Keithw!
     
  12. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    There are too many unknowns at our level.
    How many units sold? Atlas Geeps? Kato ACs, DCC Chips? Lengths of track? Freight Cars?
    What percentage of disposable income?
    How many members of the family?
     
  13. Burlington Bob

    Burlington Bob TrainBoard Member

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    I can answer the question on percentage of disposable income. TOO MUCH! But I still consider it money well spent!!!
     
  14. Burlington Bob

    Burlington Bob TrainBoard Member

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    Upon further thought, this question actually is a perplexing conundrum. I would have to say that, at least for me, the real answer would have to be "too much" and not enough!
     
  15. Boyd Wirkkala

    Boyd Wirkkala New Member

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    I am 62. I have been an armchair modeler since I had my Tyco train set in the late 60s. In 2017 I started on my lifetime dream of building my version of John Allen's Gorre&Daphetid called the Gorre Northern because of its association with the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern. At this point the benchwork is done and the track is almost all laid. Next comes the DC wiring, scenery, structures, and all the rest.
     
  16. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe we're just trying to sell the hobby in the wrong way. Scratch a gamer and you just might find a model railroad operator. There are a lot of commonalities (intricate problem solving and thousands of horsepower) with interest in other facets of the hobby coming into focus as an eventual result.
     
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  17. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    I hope you are right, we should do anything to gain a teen-ager attention to the hobby. It's a little slower than a video game but maybe the intricate details will help.

    Joe
     
  18. Mark DeSchane

    Mark DeSchane TrainBoard Member

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    I'm really not trying to sell the hobby to anyone. I'm also not attempting to dissuade anyone from becoming involved. I wonder why more people aren't involved; however, the fact that they aren't, is really their choice and we as model railroaders can do very little to change that. The "Fire" has to come from the individual, they have to want to start down this road. I do say however, those of you attempting to "Sell" hobby have my support!
     
  19. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Perhaps "sell" is the wrong word. "Introduce" might be a better term as we're not or should not be salesmen and ladies. Many young people, however, may not have even realized what the hobby is about or that they might find it interesting.
    On the other hand, someone actually did a study once to determine what makes model railroaders tick. Are we people with infantile minds playing with trains? Do our small scale "empires" satisfy a power trip? Neither, as it turns out. Model Railroaders, as a whole, are nostalgic folks, and maybe that's not something that develops until later.
     
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  20. sandro schaer

    sandro schaer TrainBoard Member

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    started with european h0 approx 47 years ago...switched to n-scale about 20 years ago. also some g-scale.
     

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