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How many Model Railroaders are there?

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How many Model Railroaders are there?
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 9, 2004 7:37 PM
Two questions, maybe you can help me.

1) How many model railroaders are there in the US? I think 15 years or so ago the number was 200,000. Does anyone have any numbers as of late?

2) How many modelers are registered for this forum?

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Posted by johncolley on Thursday, December 9, 2004 8:58 PM
I think there is a whole bunch! Using the switchman's count: there's one, another one, another one... MR should have some market estimations they might share. One of 6 or 10 in Port Townsend WA and we're out in the sticks!
jc5729
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 9, 2004 8:59 PM
201, 567,765.001 to be exact!
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Posted by CNJ831 on Thursday, December 9, 2004 9:33 PM
Jeeez guys, this same question was asked just a week ago...and fully answered! Can't we be a little more original with the questions?

CNJ831
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Posted by willy6 on Thursday, December 9, 2004 9:48 PM
As of 0344 Zulu there were 167,080 members registered on this forum.
Being old is when you didn't loose it, it's that you just can't remember where you put it.
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Posted by ksax73 on Friday, December 10, 2004 7:47 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by CNJ831

Jeeez guys, this same question was asked just a week ago...and fully answered! Can't we be a little more original with the questions?

CNJ831


I think these subjects just move to the back so fast that nobody has time to check every single page. I'm guilty of it myself. I can only check but so many pages to search for a question I already have before I give up and start a new topic.

~Kyle

The Mary Lindsay Railroad - Featuring Amtrak Model Trains
Your HO Rail Journey Starts Here......... 

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Posted by egmurphy on Friday, December 10, 2004 8:28 AM
QUOTE: CNJ831: Jeeez guys, this same question was asked just a week ago...


Since jdoll has only been a member 4 days I guess we could cut him some slack this time, what do you say?

Having a popular forum is a two edged sword. We have plenty of activity and participation, but topics quickly drop to page 2, 3, and below. We regulars may recognize easily when a topic has been recently discussed, but new members or those who drop in only occasionally can't be expected to search before asking every question.


QUOTE: willy6: As of 0344 Zulu there were 167,080 members registered on this forum.


Could be, although I'd question the accuracy of the counter the forum is using. Seems high to me. There are probably only a couple of hundred members who post here with any regularity. Add in a few hundred more guests/lurkers.


I suppose that MR must publish circulation stats each year, but I don't recall seeing their published numbers lately.

Regards

Ed
The Rail Images Page of Ed Murphy "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home." - James Michener
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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Friday, December 10, 2004 8:49 AM
All the magazines are required to post circulation figures once a year - usually in small print in the back of the magazine. Not sure which issue though.
Enjoy
Paul
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Posted by CNJ831 on Friday, December 10, 2004 9:12 AM
egmurphy - You are correct. I didn't notice that jdoll had only been here a couple of days. I also agree with another poster's comment that many worthwhile subjects are too quickly pushed to the back pages of this forum by an endless series of silly polls and other fluff. So...to offer jdoll some perspective on the hobby, let me repeat some of what I had replied to the question the last time around.

If one considers all those with some sort of interest in model trains, teen through adult, tin-plate or scale, I believe that something like 300,000 might be a reasonable figure for the U.S.A., based on magazine circulation, hobby sales, etc. However, I'd have to say that likely more than half of these would be more properly classified as model railroad enthusiasts - persons with an armchair interest only or who never get beyond a single loop of track on a bare piece of plywood.

Based on what you can find in the magazines and on-line, maybe something like 10k-20k might be considered true model railroaders with operating, scenicked layouts, while there appear to be a great many individuals that fit somewhere between that minority and the simple enthusiast level, or are those who are between layouts.

Addressing the question of just how many individuals are on this forum, the listed figure of 167,000 seems to me oddly high considering MR's circulation in only around 175,000. It seems almost impossible that 95% of MR's readership are members of this forum. Perhaps there are a large number of individuals here with many multiples of screen names? Whatever the case, I'd echo another poster's response that only a few hundred ever actually post here.

CNJ831

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 10, 2004 9:26 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by FundyNorthern

201, 567,765.001 to be exact!


Since I'm just starting out, I guess I account for the .001. Hopefully, before too long, I'll be a complete and well rounded 1.0. [:)]
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Posted by orsonroy on Friday, December 10, 2004 9:27 AM
I personally think that everyone in the hobby lowballs the total number of model railroaders severely. How many kids have Lionel or Tyco train sets? How many 4x8 layouts are in people's garages? How many people with a "train set" have never attended a train show, never pick up a magazine, and have never seen someone else's layout? Heck, where do all these people come from at our local train shows and swapmeets, most of whom aren't members of any club?

Frankly, I think that there are well over 1 million "model railroaders" in the USA alone, with another million in Europe, and a third spread out across the rest of the planet (mostly Japan, with a smattering in S. America and Australia). And I'm probably lowballing THAT figure. There might well be one million three railers in the USA! And how many G scaler outdoor layouts are there, owned by people who are otherwise completely disinterested by our hobby?

Ray Breyer

Modeling the NKP's Peoria Division, circa 1943

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Posted by CNJ831 on Friday, December 10, 2004 5:37 PM
Ray's (orsonroy) post brings up an interesting question: what constitutes being a model railroader? If one wants to accept that anyone with a 20 year old still boxed Tycho set sitting on the upper shelf of a closet, or a 7 year old playing with Lionel trains under the Christmas tree, is a "model railroader" then indeed there are probably a million such persons out there that fit the category.

However, taking a more serious look at the hobby through the eyes of one of its early "greats" suggests quite a different outlook on the subject. MR magazine divorced itself from accepting the tin-plate crowd as serious model railroaders in an editorial way back in the 1950's (but look at them now, publishing magazines for just such folks!). And I recall Linn Westcott long ago writing somewhere in the hallowed pages of MR just what constitutes being a model railroader. It went something like - an individual whose efforts culminate in having scale models of trains running purposely through scenery that , even if crudely, represents the real world. i.e. not those who just have loops of track on bare plywood, collectors, or pipedreamers. I've really got to locate Linn's decription in my volumes of MR and post it here. It was most enlightening to read the clear-cut opinions such hobbyists held back in those days.

Anyway, the figures I suggested in my earlier posts, that there are probably less than 150,000 individuals seriously involved in the hobby and far less than that with completed layouts, is more in keeping with Linn Westcott's outlook on the matter. As to the class of model railroad "enthusiasts", you can set whatever number you please because that category could prove to be very open ended indeed.

CNJ831
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, December 12, 2004 1:42 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by FundyNorthern

201, 567,765.001 to be exact!


An update, it's really 201,567,765.002, you missed it by 1/1000th. another was joining as you posted. [:D] How's that for accuracy???[:D]
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Posted by jockellis on Sunday, December 12, 2004 8:21 PM
If you look at MR in the early 1960s, just before slot racers came out, and now, you'll see many more products and more expensive products now than then. That tells me that there are more people into the hobby. But what is the hobby? Is it what Linn was talking about or maybe the guy who wants trains running around the top of the walls around his living room? Or a guy who has seen a train running by his apartment day after day and wants it replicated in 1:87 scale? There are probably as many types of railroad hobbiest as there are people with trains. And there must be a bunch of them or businesses wouldn't by offering so many products. The question might be how many people are still into slot racing?
Jock Ellis

Jock Ellis Cumming, GA US of A Georgia Association of Railroad Passengers

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