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No Trains

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No Trains
Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, January 04, 2019 7:01 PM

Gads, no wonder there isn’t any model railroaders in my offspring’s.  I just walked through my living room and found all eleven of my visiting offspring from 5 to 32 are all on a tablet with the TV on.  I turned off the TV and nobody even noticed.  I think a bomb going off wouldn’t have been noticed.  It’s wonder my WiFi router doesn’t give it up.  
 
This Christmas I didn’t have even one of our kids or grandkids ask to see my layout.  Just food and internet, no trains.
 
It’s a sorrowful Christmas without any train stuff.  OH, Well . . . .  
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, January 04, 2019 7:15 PM

That is sad.  I had to carry a pager for 30 years and I frequently go out without my cellphone.  I no longer want to be at anyone's immediate beck and call.  If I have to wait, like in a doctors office, I will get it out and play solitare. 

I don't like watching videos on a cell.  I have a kindle fire, which is sort of like a crippled tablet.  It's OK for watching videos, but I don't read books or magazines on it.  I'd rather have a paper copy.

We are talking about the "dangers" of led's in another thread.  Cellphones and social media were sprung on us without consideration of the damages. 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, January 04, 2019 7:18 PM

"Gee, kids.  A burglar stole our router.  Oh, double darn.  Whatever shall we do?"

My wife announced to the "visiting hordes" that smart phones on display would earn her ire.  And you don't want her ire.  So we had a nice time talking and beveraging and munching.  Very little grumbling, if any, actually.

 

Ed

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, January 04, 2019 7:19 PM

As they say, different strokes.  It doesn't bother me if family doesn't show interest.  I enjoy trains and my wife supports it, that's enough for me.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Silly Aspie's, I have NT syndrome

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Posted by gregc on Saturday, January 05, 2019 7:52 AM

i've learned to be content with my interests.   I'm happy to share, but enjoy them for the solitude, not to be social.

i think MR operations is a different story.  Read that it is like role playing games (e.g. D&D).   Recently started and enjoy it a lot.

i was disappointed that my kids weren't interested when I flew model gliders.   Only my one son was interested when I flew full scale gliders (and am happy he had a memorable ride).

i can see how the interests in model railroading by the modelers on this forum are varied.   Shows how wide the spectrum of modeling is.

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by mammay76 on Saturday, January 05, 2019 8:15 AM

For some reason this scene comes to mind..

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXOsCi_F7w8

 

Joe

Modeling:

Providence & Worcester Railroad

"East Providence Secondary"

HO scale

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Posted by JWhite on Saturday, January 05, 2019 1:59 PM

I had two of my granddaughters 8 and 5 for the weekend before Christmas and Christmas Eve.  They were helping their grandmother bake cookies on Sunday afternoon when the youngest came down in the basement to see what I was doing.

I had removed all the turnouts on the two modules I have operable to power the frogs (tired of one locomotive stuttering on them if I operated at slow speed). She asked if she could run a train.  I cleared off everything that could cause a short and freed up a 12' section of track.  I put an RS3 with sound on that section of track, powered up the system and gave her the UT4.  She spent an hour running that engine back and forth on the little section of track. I put a couple cars on the track and let her swtich them onto the boiler plant spur which was the only switch still installed.

By that time her big sister came down to see what we were doing and the two of them ran that little train back and forth until dinner.

So there is hope.

Jeff White

Alma, IL

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Posted by Howard Zane on Saturday, January 05, 2019 4:25 PM

I have six grand kids who visit for the holidays....not one interested in trains....only their devices which they will not put down. A few years back a local group of 6th graders came with their teacher to see trains....again, zero interest...only texting each other. Now, I do not allow devices in the train room except for photography. Times and interest do change, but there is much we can do in introducing this hobby to youngsters (another whole subject). Let's face it, the ubiquitous train around and under the Christmas tree will eventually be found only in folklore.

Howard Zane
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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Saturday, January 05, 2019 6:59 PM

Howard Zane
I have six grand kids who visit for the holidays....not one interested in trains....only their devices which they will not put down.

That´s the way it is, I am afraid. We are raising a generation of half-witted twits Sigh

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, January 05, 2019 7:09 PM

I must be the odd-man out here. I had six of my grand kids over last weekend and they all spent at least an hour with the layout. The oldest two with the DT 402 Digitrax throttle, two younger ones with Utility throttles and, lo and behold, grandpa got out an Android tablet with Engine Driver/JMRI on it and the kids all had to take turns using it to select engines and play with all the sound functions.

When dinner was ready it took fifteen minutes to get the trains "parked" and all the kids herded back upstairs. Yes, they all had their own "twitterboxes" as I call them but for an hour anyway, they got distracted enough with running trains that none of them had to have their noses stuck in them.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, January 05, 2019 7:33 PM

You are one lucky guy Ed.  
 
I think that my oldest Grandson (32) feels sorry for his OLD Grandfather, when I need help doing something he doesn’t hesitate and jumps right in but it’s only for help.  As soon as he finishes he’s gone.  To my knowledge he has never run one of my trains.  When he was about 8 I built him a 4’x 8’ N gauge layout.  This was before the cell/tablet era but he would rather dink around on a computer playing games.  I got his track work finished and had the trains running and he just wasn’t interested.  A couple of his buddies down the street wanted to run his trains so a few months later I offered them the layout, their father said NO.
 
I finally ended up giving it to a teen at church.
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, January 05, 2019 8:11 PM

My daughter was never interested in the trains, but at least I got her to stop using the phone during dinner.  It only took one request, and she never did it again.  Dinner remained a time for family conversation.

That was more important than the trains.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by nycmodel on Sunday, January 06, 2019 8:54 AM

My grand nephew (17) was over recently and was excited to see the trains. He zeroed in on the Arduinos and even asked what language they were programmed in.

 

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Posted by cedarwoodron on Sunday, January 06, 2019 10:41 AM

My daughter was raised amidst my model railroading hobby and fortunately appreciates it from a non-participant standpoint. She knows I have some skills working with my hands but she matured into a young adult who likes arts and crafts type activities. Perhaps that was the most likely outcome. I know she will preserve some of my stuff as momentos to me. Same with my wife, who sees the value of our hobby in its ability to keep me active on retirement. I recently went into a newer LHS in St. Pete (Zitnik Trains) and was suprised by the number of kids and teens there (on a Saturday) so there is hope for a new generation, but that is a very anecdotal slice of today's youth. When I was a kid, model rocketry was already a booming hobby and as part of the space race generation I was a motivated participant but I hear very little about it these days, despite the fact that we now have so many new players in the full size rocket industry- and about four times as many real life rockets to model. 

Yes the focus on smart phones and tablets is pervasive among the current generation- and don't look for it to change. When telephones became part of every household, our grandparents bemoaned teenagers being constantly on the phone. Time oassed and that trend has multiplied greatly with Internet devices. Don't expect it will diminish- implanted devices are but 10 years away and if you think today's youth are distracted by and focused on interactive communication, just wait for that technology to hit. What can we model railroader types do? - just turn back to our workbenches and layouts and enjoy ourselves because progress is like time's arrow- it travels only in 9ne direction and quickly at that!

Cedarwoodron

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, January 06, 2019 11:04 AM

I really think that everyone needs to get over trying to make the younger generation(s) like trains, and just enjoy them for what they are - - - our hobby.

Model railroading, for the most part, just isn't relevant to these younger folks.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, January 06, 2019 11:07 AM

richhotrain
I really think that everyone needs to get over trying to make the younger generation(s) like trains,

Yes

Mike.

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Posted by hardcoalcase on Sunday, January 06, 2019 12:09 PM

Howard Zane

Let's face it, the ubiquitous train around and under the Christmas tree will eventually be found only in folklore. 

Alas, I think you're right.

I have two sons in their early 20's, who inquired why I always put a train around the Christmas tree.  I had to explain that in my generation (Boomer), the electric train set was THE Christmas gift of every young boy... once he pried his dad's hands off the controls!

They said "Oh." never looking up from their cell phones.

Jim 

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Sunday, January 06, 2019 12:20 PM

richhotrain

I really think that everyone needs to get over trying to make the younger generation(s) like trains, and just enjoy them for what they are - - - our hobby.

Model railroading, for the most part, just isn't relevant to these younger folks.

Rich

Sad, but true words of wisdom!

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, January 06, 2019 1:16 PM

mbinsewi
richhotrain
I really think that everyone needs to get over trying to make the younger generation(s) like trains, 

 Yes

Mike. 

 

I tried to teach a pig to sing once.

 

Of course the pig couldn't remember all the lyrics Whistling

But the ribs and BLTs sure were good.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Sunday, January 06, 2019 1:24 PM

With trains, either they "get it" or they don't.

Just like Baseball, Football, Racing, Basketball, or any other sport. Either you "get it", or you don't.

Can't force someone to like something, anymore than Ed could get his pig to sing.

Of course, if Ed were to trying to teach a Parrot.....

Those who "get it" can be encouraged, and yes, there are still some who "get it".

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Monday, January 07, 2019 6:56 AM

There's a time/place for electronics.  With young kids, I get that they want their "tech time."  Part of the challenge is taking one of my boys who loves trains to the layout while the others do non-tech time.  Striking a balance is a challenge.  I refuse to have the kids spend their entire weekends on their respective devices.

I think showing youtube vids of model trains is a great entree to showing them your respective masterpiece(s). 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, January 07, 2019 7:22 AM

richhotrain
Model railroading, for the most part, just isn't relevant to these younger folks. Rich

That might depend on one's view but,there are youth in the hobby and these are kids you see trackside and on youtube.

I suspect there may be thousands that is in the hobby.

My oldest Grandson had a fine collection of high end cars and locomotives that was bought off line just like his general of modelers.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, January 07, 2019 7:59 AM

JWhite

I had two of my granddaughters 8 and 5 for the weekend before Christmas and Christmas Eve.  They were helping their grandmother bake cookies on Sunday afternoon when the youngest came down in the basement to see what I was doing.

I had removed all the turnouts on the two modules I have operable to power the frogs (tired of one locomotive stuttering on them if I operated at slow speed). She asked if she could run a train.  I cleared off everything that could cause a short and freed up a 12' section of track.  I put an RS3 with sound on that section of track, powered up the system and gave her the UT4.  She spent an hour running that engine back and forth on the little section of track. I put a couple cars on the track and let her swtich them onto the boiler plant spur which was the only switch still installed.

By that time her big sister came down to see what we were doing and the two of them ran that little train back and forth until dinner.

So there is hope.

Jeff White

Alma, IL

Not much I'm afraid by my observations over the past 50+ years.

If one of those girls stays interested in trains into adulthood, then it will be a bit like winning the lottery, which means chances are slim to none.  Girls/women who have a life long interest in model trains are an extremely recessive and rare thing.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Silly Aspie's, I have NT syndrome

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Posted by Eilif on Monday, January 07, 2019 1:18 PM

Mel, 

    I'm sorry the kids aren't into trains.  I think it's just a hit-or-miss thing.

My son is loving trains, but he's 8 and we limit his screen time rigidly, so I don't know how that will go over time.  My daughter is expressing a bit of interest but not really much yet.

I think it's on hobbyists to promote trains to the next generation.  I broght 2 Lionel loops to my son's birthday and among the kids it was about one third each uninterested/curious/completely-engaged and I was competing with the 50 gallons of LEGO I had poured out on a tarp 15 feet away. 

Further, one mom asked about getting trains for her son so I'll be dropping off an HO set made from assorted odds-and-ends later this week. 

All this will probaly not heal the hurt of your family not taking up the hobby, but the outlook of the hobby is by no means hopeless.  Complaining about "Those darn kids and their _______" is the refuge of the defeated and wasn't true when your parents said it about you.  The future of the hobby is up to us!

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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Posted by NittanyLion on Monday, January 07, 2019 1:49 PM

Eilif

Complaining about "Those darn kids and their _______" is the refuge of the defeated and wasn't true when your parents said it about you. 

Especially because the whole thing isn't any different than any other time since the Industrial Revolution.  The smartphone, the sports section, cards, whatever.  All the same.  Even pre-industrial is littered with people griping over "he just sat there with his head down over a card game."

In my family, 36 year old me is the one trying to DO stuff and my 60+ parents are the ones I'm trying to get to put down their phones.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, January 07, 2019 2:11 PM

NittanyLion
 
Eilif

Complaining about "Those darn kids and their _______" is the refuge of the defeated and wasn't true when your parents said it about you.  

Especially because the whole thing isn't any different than any other time since the Industrial Revolution.  The smartphone, the sports section, cards, whatever.  All the same.  

I don't know.  The smart phone (especially) seems to be a much bigger addiction than the sports section, cards or whatever.  It's a paradigm shift orderes of magnitude higher.  People of almost any age can't put down the precious.  You see someone walking the dog or pushing a stroller, their head is constantly bent down on the smart phone.  I am driving home and I can see the guy in the car in front of me, when backed up at a traffic light or 4-way stop, is constantly looking down at the smart phone. 

I refer to smart phones as "the precious" because it reminds me of gollum in Lord of the Rings, with the "one ring" that has an irresistable power over him (until Bilbo outwits him and steels it).  Then he is driven mad trying to get it back.  Just take a smart phone away from a teenager and you'll see the similarity.  No, it ain't the same as the sports page - not by a long shot.  In my all my life I've never seen anything quite like addiction to the smart phone, and to some degree, electronics in general. 

For a few months I carpooled with a co-worker and heald on to his smart phone in his right hand and didn't let go of it.  Ever since the smart phone we've risen to a whole new level of addiction. 

My wife is a nanny for a mixed marriage couple with 5 kids between them and there is one ADHD kid who is on medication for it.  My wife is convinced if his parents had the fortitude to get him off the computer (which would surely mean weeks of withdrawel drama) he could be taken off the medication and his ADHD symptoms would be greatly reduced.  I believe she is right.  But the parents are constantly traveling and working long hours chasing the dollar and are tired and don't have the will to make the changes would really benefit the children.  The irony is they are both PhD psychologist.  Go figure.  

 

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Silly Aspie's, I have NT syndrome

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Posted by NittanyLion on Monday, January 07, 2019 2:54 PM

riogrande5761

 

 
NittanyLion
 
Eilif

Complaining about "Those darn kids and their _______" is the refuge of the defeated and wasn't true when your parents said it about you.  

Especially because the whole thing isn't any different than any other time since the Industrial Revolution.  The smartphone, the sports section, cards, whatever.  All the same.  

 

I don't know.  The smart phone (especially) seems to be a much bigger addiction than the sports section, cards or whatever.  It's a paradigm shift orderes of magnitude higher. 

 

 

History vigorously disagrees with this.  Every single complaint people make about smartphones were being made on the same scale in the same phrasing about the same issues for the last 150s years.

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Posted by garya on Monday, January 07, 2019 4:24 PM

cedarwoodron

When I was a kid, model rocketry was already a booming hobby and as part of the space race generation I was a motivated participant but I hear very little about it these days, despite the fact that we now have so many new players in the full size rocket industry- and about four times as many real life rockets to model. 

Model Rocketry is far from dead--in some ways, it's thriving.  A common occurence seems to be someone who participated when young returning as an adult, or BAR (Born Again Rocketeer).  There are some of the same complaints (LHS closing, kids today) but the hobby seems to be doing ok.  See https://www.rocketryforum.com/

 

Gary
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Posted by Howard Zane on Monday, January 07, 2019 4:26 PM

There is so much talk these days about kids in the hobby. I've tried for over 30 years to bring kids to our huge show in Timonium, MD.....free admission, prizes, etc. Sometimes kids came...some with parents, and some teenagers by themselves....but not in the last decade. I've found that from age 3-8 there is interest beginning with Brio and Thomas...then as said in NY..."forgetaboutit" !!!Times and interests change and we have to accept that.

For the hobby, I feel the future is among the newly retired. They now will have time for a hobby, have funds, know about trains, and most likely have some sort of an affinity for them. 

Howard Zane
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Posted by NittanyLion on Monday, January 07, 2019 4:49 PM

garya

 

 
cedarwoodron

When I was a kid, model rocketry was already a booming hobby and as part of the space race generation I was a motivated participant but I hear very little about it these days, despite the fact that we now have so many new players in the full size rocket industry- and about four times as many real life rockets to model. 

 

 

Model Rocketry is far from dead--in some ways, it's thriving.  A common occurence seems to be someone who participated when young returning as an adult, or BAR (Born Again Rocketeer).  There are some of the same complaints (LHS closing, kids today) but the hobby seems to be doing ok.  See https://www.rocketryforum.com/

 

 

I'd blame what I'd call, for lack of a better term, scope-creep on rocketry (and model trains and everything, up to and including Legos).  Adults with deep pockets, compared to literal children, serve as a huge driver of the business that even the bottom end of the hobby caters to them.  The bottom end now is what the middle used to be on a variety of angles.

Rocketry fascinates me, both from the point of view of someone that literally works in the space industry and as someone that fondly remembers his own Estes Alpha III from fifth grade or so.  My mom has a cousin that got up into that "basically a surface-to-air missile" level of amateur rocketry too, and that always was like...holy cow to a kid.  It doesn't take a lot to react your maximum in regardes to altitude and range when you're younger and I think that causes some level of stall out in interest.  I had access to a farm, so everything came down on our property no matter how far down-range it could get.  My nephews, with far more limited areas to fly, could never get beyond the fairly small rockets and 1/2A and A engines.  Fittingly, they sorta lost interest once they couldn't "do more."

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