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Model trains cost an arm and a leg

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, May 21, 2022 1:14 PM

John-NYBW
 
richhotrain 
BEAUSABRE

Rich, I know, but I wanted to keep it simple and not crawl through the USGA weeds   

Actually, it would make more sense if the handicap calculation were as simple as you stated it. 

I respectfully disagree. If handicaps were based solely on averages, it would reward the inconsistent player, the guy who can shoot 75 one day and might shoot 90 the next.

Show me someone, anyone, who does that. Anyone who shoots a legitimate 75 one day is not going to shoot 90 the next day. The dispersion of scores increases as one's handicap increases. Someone who shoots 75 is not likely to stumble into a score higher than, say, 82. Someone who shoots 90 may well shoot the next round of 102. Someone who shoots a 110 might next time shoot 98 or 122.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, May 21, 2022 1:25 PM

NorthsideChi

Reading that these type of threads get locked is just one of many reasons entry into the hobby is intimidating to some.  Someone should be able to say, "this hobby costs a ton. Can someone post links to _____ type of setup I want to do?"   But I believe posting links to items for sale is also not allowed.  So we're just stuck making vague or sometimes overly complicated recommendations at risk of deterring or confusing a potential new hobbiest.   

Anyone getting into model railroading will find out soon enough. Not long after I retired, I was looking for hobbies to occupy my time. One idea was to get out my American Flyer trains that had been in storage for 45+ years. Bad idea because they no longer ran after my younger brother had abused them.

So, I went to a LHS and started to consider HO scale. I bought some sectional track, a DC power pack and a pair of locomotives. I grew tired of the 4x8 oval in less than a day. So, I expanded to an 8x12 layout and added some rolling stock. 

Before I knew it, I had exceeded $1,000 in just a few short months. Within the first two year period, I had squandered over $10,000 on the hobby. It only got worse from there.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, May 21, 2022 2:07 PM

richhotrain

 

 
NorthsideChi

Reading that these type of threads get locked is just one of many reasons entry into the hobby is intimidating to some.  Someone should be able to say, "this hobby costs a ton. Can someone post links to _____ type of setup I want to do?"   But I believe posting links to items for sale is also not allowed.  So we're just stuck making vague or sometimes overly complicated recommendations at risk of deterring or confusing a potential new hobbiest.   

 

 

Anyone getting into model railroading will find out soon enough. Not long after I retired, I was looking for hobbies to occupy my time. One idea was to get out my American Flyer trains that had been in storage for 45+ years. Bad idea because they no longer ran after my younger brother had abused them.

 

So, I went to a LHS and started to consider HO scale. I bought some sectional track, a DC power pack and a pair of locomotives. I grew tired of the 4x8 oval in less than a day. So, I expanded to an 8x12 layout and added some rolling stock. 

Before I knew it, I had exceeded $1,000 in just a few short months. Within the first two year period, I had squandered over $10,000 on the hobby. It only got worse from there.

Rich

 

OK, the grass is cut and some more of the layout room ceiling is up.

I tracked my spending off and on over the years and came up with a yearly average of about $3000.

Even when I was young, I was gradually gathering and building, even during those times with no layout space. And I did belong to a club in those days.

I have been at this since 1968, I have never sold off my stuff and changed scale, or era, or roadnames. In fact, I have only sold about a dozen items that I changed my mind about over the years. 

Years of light spending easily made up by years of intense spending - you do the math.

The wife and I decided long ago, the will is going to say "being of sound mind and body we spent it all", not even close yet.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by NorthBrit on Saturday, May 21, 2022 2:13 PM

What I find with expenditure on anything money is found from somewhere.

Personally when I got back into model railroading I spent over $1800.  Another $1200  on what I thought I needed.  Now I know what I want barely $100 a year.

My other hobbies are (pre Covid)  cruising and shipping $29,000   per year.

Road Haulage & vehicles etc.   around $300 per year.

To Preservation Societies  $1500

Then there are other items  and projects I am interested in.

 

As for the younger generations  I believe they will find the money they require for the interests they believe in.  

The younger generation will not be involved in railroading  all their lives.   Let's be honest we had other interests also.

All we can do is nurture the young ones and one day (hopefully) they become model railroaders.

What they spend will be purely up to them.   Where the technology will be by then will totally blow our mind.

 

David

 

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by selector on Saturday, May 21, 2022 3:16 PM

NorthsideChi

Reading that these type of threads get locked is just one of many reasons entry into the hobby is intimidating to some.  Someone should be able to say, "this hobby costs a ton. Can someone post links to _____ type of setup I want to do?"   But I believe posting links to items for sale is also not allowed.  So we're just stuck making vague or sometimes overly complicated recommendations at risk of deterring or confusing a potential new hobbiest.  

 

Every culture has a history that begets the culture.  It's no different here.  When I joined the forum in early 2005, I soon saw that there were some rough crewmembers who ran roughshod over those who just wanted to come and enjoy the coffee and shoot the breeze about our common interest...model trains, or their full-sized equivalents.  There was some heavy trolling, and it really tore the place up.  It took about three years, but some volunteer member-moderators, sanctioned by our hosts at Kalmbach, managed to weed out the troublemakers and the culture improved.

Earlier than that, though, the forum's rules posted by our hosts prohibited talk of certain kinds.  This was because of.....wait for it....history.  It was always the case that some topics devolved into pokie-chest, foul language, ad hominem attacks, and so on.  So, topics that could lead to accusations of a kind, or threats of a kind, were strictly prohibited.  Our hosts felt that sales between members was necessarily included.

It's as simple as that.  I think it could be handled differently, perhaps on a separate sub-forum, but our hosts' resources are limited and they don't want to accept the burden of policing a sub-forum which would almost certainly evolve into a series of contentious claims, recriminations, finger-pointing, etc.  Money talks, sometimes in unseemly ways.

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Posted by HO-Velo on Saturday, May 21, 2022 4:43 PM

RR_Mel
In 1950 a buddy a few doors up the street from me contracted Shingles and died, his Mother ask me to take over his paper route for him. I did as she ask and it became my source for model railroading.  I wouldn’t have ever looked into a paper route if she hadn’t ask. Her asking me really helped me, at 13 having a job was a good start to life.  Even pennies that were mine to do with what I wanted was great. I ended up working 50 years in electronics, never unemployed for 50 years with her help getting me started as a teen.

Great story Mel, and really neat that you still have your first locomotive. 

Thanks and regards, Peter

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, May 21, 2022 5:44 PM

Peter

I simply fell in love with my 0-6-0, it must have at least 2000 hours running time on it.  All of my layouts have been a loop of some kind and my little 0-6-0 would run the loop as I worked on my layout.

The only thing that has been replaced is the main frame/chasses, in about 1993 it took the big drop from the layout to the concrete floor and broke off the engineers side front step.  I was really sick over the damage.

CryingCryingCrying

I called MDC (remember them) and talked to a very gracious lady.  Explaining what had happened, she was super helpful and sent me a new frame/chassis at NO Charge.  I received the new frame a couple of days later.

The frame was for a newer locomotive, can motor.Sad

I called her back and before I could tell her it was the wrong one she quickly apologized saying she was very sorry and that the correct frame was on the way.

Big SmileBig Smile

I told her I would return the incorrect part and she refused saying I might want to replace the old Pittman motor with a can motor some day.

Angel

Both locomotives run great so I have a spare frame.

The old open frame Pittman motors run very nicely on either DC or a Digitrax decoder.

Any wonder why my MDC locomotives are my favorites?

 
Mel


 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
Turned 84 last July, aging is definitely not for wimps.

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Posted by NorthsideChi on Saturday, May 21, 2022 7:06 PM

selector

 

 
NorthsideChi

Reading that these type of threads get locked is just one of many reasons entry into the hobby is intimidating to some.  Someone should be able to say, "this hobby costs a ton. Can someone post links to _____ type of setup I want to do?"   But I believe posting links to items for sale is also not allowed.  So we're just stuck making vague or sometimes overly complicated recommendations at risk of deterring or confusing a potential new hobbiest.  

 

 

 

Every culture has a history that begets the culture.  It's no different here.  When I joined the forum in early 2005, I soon saw that there were some rough crewmembers who ran roughshod over those who just wanted to come and enjoy the coffee and shoot the breeze about our common interest...model trains, or their full-sized equivalents.  There was some heavy trolling, and it really tore the place up.  It took about three years, but some volunteer member-moderators, sanctioned by our hosts at Kalmbach, managed to weed out the troublemakers and the culture improved.

Earlier than that, though, the forum's rules posted by our hosts prohibited talk of certain kinds.  This was because of.....wait for it....history.  It was always the case that some topics devolved into pokie-chest, foul language, ad hominem attacks, and so on.  So, topics that could lead to accusations of a kind, or threats of a kind, were strictly prohibited.  Our hosts felt that sales between members was necessarily included.

It's as simple as that.  I think it could be handled differently, perhaps on a separate sub-forum, but our hosts' resources are limited and they don't want to accept the burden of policing a sub-forum which would almost certainly evolve into a series of contentious claims, recriminations, finger-pointing, etc.  Money talks, sometimes in unseemly ways.

 

That's a good point.  Let up some slack and it gets out of control again

Anyways, Ive been helping a few people get into the hobby and I suggest DC since those trains are more affordable and the layout can always be switched over.  I told them I'd convert locos if they ever needed help.   I also recommend they stay away from involved landscaping techniques at the beginning.  just paint the table, tack down corkbed and track for now with switch stubs for expansion.  

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Posted by John-NYBW on Saturday, May 21, 2022 8:19 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

The wife and I decided long ago, the will is going to say "being of sound mind and body we spent it all", not even close yet.

Sheldon

 

I've told my relatives it is my intention to die penniless but it's going to require perfect timing. 

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, May 22, 2022 4:18 AM

John-NYBW
I've told my relatives it is my intention to die penniless but it's going to require perfect timing. 

My dad always told me to make sure I bounced the last cheque!

Fact: Model trains cost money!

Fact: I still have both of my arms and both of my legs!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Sunday, May 22, 2022 4:31 AM

southernpacificgs4

I saw with some months of delay the October 2021 new product announcement from Walthers and I was surprised by the price of a particular passenger car.

The Pullman-Standard Bi-Level commuter cars.

For a standard car the price is 89.98 dollars and for a lighted cars it is 99.98 dollars.

If you want to have a decent train with minimum 5 cars this will cost you 499.90 dollars in the lighted version and this without a locomotive.

What was the price of these cars when Walthers released them for the first time?

I guess that these price will kill the model train hobby for a lot of people.

We as model train enthusiast has also contributed to this evolution by asking more and more details on our models with the consequence of higher prices of the models. And as a result of this urge of more realism with details hanging beneath the cars are that those cars are limited to run on a minimum radius of 24 inches.

Did we as model train enthusiast shoot ourselves in the foot, 10 or 20 years ago by asking (no we demanded) more and more details?

I think that model manufactures are crossing a red line by asking those  prices?

Will model trains in the future only for the "rich people"?

 

 

That is a matter of economics and inflation and has nothing to do with model railroading.

You say a pax car costs $89.00. Thatg is roughly the same price as it was 40 years ago... (8.90) Everything (including your salary) has gone up by a factor of 10

I remeber when Gasoline was 31c a gallon, last I looked it was more than $5.00  a gallon.

I remember when a candy bar was 5c, now it is $1.25

I remember when a bottle of Pepsi was 12c (2c was deposit on the glass), Now you can pay 3.00 for it at the C Store.

 

NOW Then, I could tell you how to fix this, but the Forum does not allow politics.

ROAR

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, May 22, 2022 8:54 AM

hon30critter

 

 
John-NYBW
I've told my relatives it is my intention to die penniless but it's going to require perfect timing. 

 

My dad always told me to make sure I bounced the last cheque!

Fact: Model trains cost money!

Fact: I still have both of my arms and both of my legs!

Cheers!!

Dave

 

I have paid off my credit cards in full every month for the last 40 years so I don't ever pay any interest. As I get near the end, it would make sense to pay the minimum each month until I've maxed them all out. It sure would make it easier to plan if I knew when that end was. 

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, May 22, 2022 8:56 AM

The Lion's point is well taken although he exaggerates the amount of inflation over the last 40 years. My inflation calculator tells me the cost of living has only tripled in the last 40 years, not gone up tenfold. You have to go back to 1958 to find when the dollar was worth ten times more than what it is now. Gasoline price is a bad metric to go by because the price fluctuates so wildly in the short term. Just a few years ago we were paying about $2 a gallon.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, May 22, 2022 9:15 AM

John-NYBW

The Lion's point is well taken although he exaggerates the amount of inflation over the last 40 years. My inflation calculator tells me the cost of living has only tripled in the last 40 years, not gone up tenfold. You have to go back to 1958 to find when the dollar was worth ten times more than what it is now. Gasoline price is a bad metric to go by because the price fluctuates so wildly in the short term. Just a few years ago we were paying about $2 a gallon.

 

If you look at houses and cars, it is easy to see to see at least 8x from the mid 60's to now. 

Gasoline is sometimes artifically high or low, sometimes for long periods, but still, it was 35 cents a gallon when I started driving right before the 70's gas crunch and and even if we use pre current events it was $3 just a bit ago. That seems like close to 10X even using the low prices of the respective eras.

Again, a lot of model train stuff just 15 or 20 years ago was priced well below the inflation adjusted prices when compared to the 1960's or 70's - it is now making an adjustment.....

Athearn purposely held the line on prices from the 70's to the early 90's because they could - all their tooling was paid for. Erv was a smart guy who did not depend on banks like these manufacturers today. Then the market changed and the new owners had to invest money...... and it is still one of the most value added products in the market.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, May 22, 2022 9:33 AM

There seems to be a lot of focus in this thread on inflation and its effect on rising prices. But, inflation has always been a factor. Something purchased today costs more than it did a year ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, 30 years ago. That is as true for model railroading as it is for everything else. Taking an item and making the cost inflation-adjusted, chances are it costs no more today than it did one, five, ten, thirty years ago.

So, it was expensive even 'back in the day' to get involved in model railroading. I keep going back to the OP's original point. It is expensive to build a passenger train. It is expensive to build a layout. Too bad that the OP has not returned to defend his original point.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, May 22, 2022 9:49 AM

richhotrain

There seems to be a lot of focus in this thread on inflation and its effect on rising prices. But, inflation has always been a factor. Something purchased today costs more than it did a year ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, 30 years ago. That is as true for model railroading as it is for everything else. Taking an item and making the cost inflation-adjusted, chances are it costs no more today than it did one, five, ten, thirty years ago.

So, it was expensive even 'back in the day' to get involved in model railroading. I keep going back to the OP's original point. It is expensive to build a passenger train. It is expensive to build a layout. Too bad that the OP has not returned to defend his original point.

Rich

 

EXACTLY, it has NEVER been a hobby for those with limited means, at least not any more advanced version of the hobby. And, as noted, in some ways it is considerably less expensive, and easier, to do on a large scale than it ever has been.

If the hobby was still as it was in 1968, I don't think I would be building a basement filling 1500 sq ft layout with 1200' of track and 130 turnouts, requiring 140 locomotives and 1400 pieces of rolling stock. Simply based on cost and assembly time requirements.

And I am a really good shopper, who has been building the required fleet for many decades, and who does not need the latest and greatest of EVERYTHING - and it is still an expensive hobby. 

Putting up more lights and ceiling today - pictures soon - benchwork hopefully in a few weeks.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, May 22, 2022 10:17 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Putting up more lights and ceiling today - pictures soon - benchwork hopefully in a few weeks.

Sheldon 

My patience is wearing thin, Sheldon. Laugh

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Sunday, May 22, 2022 11:58 AM

John-NYBW
You have to go back to 1958 to find when the dollar was worth ten times more than what it is now.

 

LION goes back to 1948.

Subway fare was 15c... Then (eventually) it went up to $1.50, and now it is $3.00 (sort of).

LION will giff ewe numbers, and ew can plug them into any year where they fit.

But ewe will knead more of them as the ears go bye.

I remember buying new AHM pax cars at $4.00 each... Looks like they want $80.00 for them now (ten and double)

Well I never did earn that much money... I dropped out of the wrok farce in 1983 when I was earning $200/wk. Now most skilled wrokers get $200/day. Oh whale, at least I pay not the taxes.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, May 22, 2022 12:27 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
richhotrain

There seems to be a lot of focus in this thread on inflation and its effect on rising prices. But, inflation has always been a factor. Something purchased today costs more than it did a year ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, 30 years ago. That is as true for model railroading as it is for everything else. Taking an item and making the cost inflation-adjusted, chances are it costs no more today than it did one, five, ten, thirty years ago.

So, it was expensive even 'back in the day' to get involved in model railroading. I keep going back to the OP's original point. It is expensive to build a passenger train. It is expensive to build a layout. Too bad that the OP has not returned to defend his original point.

Rich

 

 

 

EXACTLY, it has NEVER been a hobby for those with limited means, at least not any more advanced version of the hobby. And, as noted, in some ways it is considerably less expensive, and easier, to do on a large scale than it ever has been.

If the hobby was still as it was in 1968, I don't think I would be building a basement filling 1500 sq ft layout with 1200' of track and 130 turnouts, requiring 140 locomotives and 1400 pieces of rolling stock. Simply based on cost and assembly time requirements.

And I am a really good shopper, who has been building the required fleet for many decades, and who does not need the latest and greatest of EVERYTHING - and it is still an expensive hobby. 

Putting up more lights and ceiling today - pictures soon - benchwork hopefully in a few weeks.

Sheldon

 

My first job was at a McDonald's in 1968 and I tend to measure inflation against the price of items back then. A hamburger was 20 cents. A cheeseburger 25 cents. A Big Mac was 49 cents. A filet-o-fish was 30 cents. French fries were 18 cents. A small Coke (12 oz) was 10 cents and a large (16 oz) was 15 cents. A shake was 25 cents. Some items have gone up more than the cost of living. During Lent, you could get 2 filet-o-fish for $6 which is ten times what it cost in 1968 and that is the special price. The regular price is considerably more. 

Inflation is a measure of the value of the dollar. Supply, demand, and production costs also figure into the price of things which is why some items go up faster than the rate of inflation and some items go up less. Getting back to the OP, the cost of a top of the line passenger car is about $90. When I built most of my passenger car fleet during 2000-2010, the price was in the low $60. I don't mind paying top dollar if I get quality for my money. It infuriates me to pay top dollar and get poor quality which I find is the case with one particular brand. Needless to say I'm through buying their passenger cars. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, May 22, 2022 12:54 PM

John-NYBW

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
richhotrain

There seems to be a lot of focus in this thread on inflation and its effect on rising prices. But, inflation has always been a factor. Something purchased today costs more than it did a year ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, 30 years ago. That is as true for model railroading as it is for everything else. Taking an item and making the cost inflation-adjusted, chances are it costs no more today than it did one, five, ten, thirty years ago.

So, it was expensive even 'back in the day' to get involved in model railroading. I keep going back to the OP's original point. It is expensive to build a passenger train. It is expensive to build a layout. Too bad that the OP has not returned to defend his original point.

Rich

 

 

 

EXACTLY, it has NEVER been a hobby for those with limited means, at least not any more advanced version of the hobby. And, as noted, in some ways it is considerably less expensive, and easier, to do on a large scale than it ever has been.

If the hobby was still as it was in 1968, I don't think I would be building a basement filling 1500 sq ft layout with 1200' of track and 130 turnouts, requiring 140 locomotives and 1400 pieces of rolling stock. Simply based on cost and assembly time requirements.

And I am a really good shopper, who has been building the required fleet for many decades, and who does not need the latest and greatest of EVERYTHING - and it is still an expensive hobby. 

Putting up more lights and ceiling today - pictures soon - benchwork hopefully in a few weeks.

Sheldon

 

 

 

My first job was at a McDonald's in 1968 and I tend to measure inflation against the price of items back then. A hamburger was 20 cents. A cheeseburger 25 cents. A Big Mac was 49 cents. A filet-o-fish was 30 cents. French fries were 18 cents. A small Coke (12 oz) was 10 cents and a large (16 oz) was 15 cents. A shake was 25 cents. Some items have gone up more than the cost of living. During Lent, you could get 2 filet-o-fish for $6 which is ten times what it cost in 1968 and that is the special price. The regular price is considerably more. 

Inflation is a measure of the value of the dollar. Supply, demand, and production costs also figure into the price of things which is why some items go up faster than the rate of inflation and some items go up less. Getting back to the OP, the cost of a top of the line passenger car is about $90. When I built most of my passenger car fleet during 2000-2010, the price was in the low $60. I don't mind paying top dollar if I get quality for my money. It infuriates me to pay top dollar and get poor quality which I find is the case with one particular brand. Needless to say I'm through buying their passenger cars. 

 

And I am basically disapointed in all the high end passenger cars, $60 or $90, they almost all fail one basic test for me.

A working, touching, reliable system of diaphragms and coupler spacing.

So early on in the advancement of present day high end RTR passenger cars I decided to pretty much stay with inexpensive, generic, often selectively compressed passenger cars that I could build to my own detail and operational standards.

 

 

 

Close coupled, working diaphragms, adequate detail - $30 to $50 per car with all the detail parts, replacement trucks, etc.

 

 

Here are two different brands, different length cars, coupled and on a curve.

 

So, the whole cost of passenger cars thing is not a thing for me. I have an inventory of Athearn passenger cars mostly bought for $5 apiece - I can spend some time and money making them suit my needs. As well as ConCor, Bachmann and some branchline kits, all bought at bargain prices.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by MJ4562 on Sunday, May 22, 2022 1:09 PM

Reminds me that a common theme in layout interviews is they almost always interview a middle-aged person that recalls getting into the hobby by playing with their dad's model railroad and how he wouldn't let them do what they wanted. So they grew up and after becoming established in life, built their own layout so they could do as they pleased.  I see the gateway for newcomers is still the same as its always been:  museum and club layout demos and parents teaching their children.  I really don't see how a newcomer could get started or even become interested without a mentor or someone to show off their work to them.

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Posted by NorthBrit on Sunday, May 22, 2022 1:21 PM

MJ4562

Reminds me that a common theme in layout interviews is they almost always interview a middle-aged person that recalls getting into the hobby by playing with their dad's model railroad and how he wouldn't let them do what they wanted. 

 

 
 
That is one reason why I have always encouraged my grandchildren  since they were three years of age.  They all know how to work the controls  and they run whatever they like.
 
Therefore they always ask to be in the train room.
 
 
David
 
 

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Posted by emdmike on Sunday, May 22, 2022 1:52 PM

Some of these high prices are self inflected by us modelers.  We have demanded brass level detailing on these new plastic models.  Even with high numbers in a run of models, this still leads to much higher expense for the tooling and time it takes to assemble those models.  When you look at the old Athearn Blue box era F7, it was very basic with the only details being a pair of horns and pair of headlight lenses, the bulb was in the cab and didnt really light up the headlights that well, and if you wanted more detailing, window glass ect, you were on your own to buy the parts and install them.  They also growled to varrying levels and it was pot luck if you got one that was fairly quiet right out of the box.   But with them being mass produced, you could get them cheaply at one time.  But even those kids of today, want that brass level detailing and that means expensive models.  The modeling world has changed, both for the better and the worse.  Much of the "modeling" of the past, building kits and detailing your engine as gone to RTR superdetailed right out of the box with the price to boot.  Its up to us modelers with experience to help these kids get started, point them toward less expensive but good running models to get started with.  Sell or give them our older models that we nolonger run as we have moved up the chain into the newest and greatest models that we as adults can afford most of the time.  Back when Lionel was the big name for young boys to desire in trains, most of those were way past what they could afford, sometimes even their fathers had trouble affording them.  But they did and those boys got sets or add ons at Christmas and birthdays.  Many as they got older mowed grass, delivered papers and saved their allowances to add small things to their train layouts.   Its never been a cheap hobby for kids.  Even those $10 Athearn F7s were alot of money when I was a kid in the late 1970s and early 80's.  We counted on holiday gifts and "Santa" to grow our hobby as children.  So this directly relates back to the adults who play this role in a childs life.  We can complain all day about high prices, just the way it is and either you accept that and enjoy the hobby as best you can, or walk away.  Thats the hard truth to it.  Just like any other hobby you can name.  So lets make the best of it, help out the less fortunate modelers of any age get started, and keep going.  Be less negative and instead focus on the good in the hobby, promote the hobby shops that stock lots of second hand models that will be less expensive for the new comer on a tight budget. Help guide these newbies so they dont by an overpriced Tyco or other low end/poor running engine or crappy throttle.  I do this every chance I can get.  I have no problem walking around the show with a newbie, asking them questions about what they like, their budget and then helping them find good stuff to get started.  

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

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Posted by maxman on Sunday, May 22, 2022 3:11 PM
  • Member since
    May 2022
  • 6 posts
Posted by MaxTheRailfan123 on Sunday, May 22, 2022 3:41 PM

Train prices today can be crazy. To get something with moderate detail can be easily over $200. Most trains with DCC and sound are well over $200, sometimes getting to $300 or higher. There is a model train I want, it is an Athearn Genesis EMD SD75M PRLX primed for grime w/ dcc and sound which I found for $256. I guess for being top of the line its not that bad but i mean, how much does it cost to make these small trains$

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 20,702 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, May 22, 2022 5:06 PM

I model the Transition Era, 4-axle diesels and typically 40 foot boxcars.  As so much model railroad equipment was built for this Era, there's still a lot around, and it doesn't command premium prices.

The modern era seems to demand every shiny detail we see at the Amtrak station.  I'm happy with a sturdy old locomotive, a string of rust-colored and weathered boxcars and a caboose.

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

  • Member since
    October 2005
  • From: Central Texas
  • 293 posts
Posted by MJ4562 on Sunday, May 22, 2022 9:08 PM

NorthBrit
That is one reason why I have always encouraged my grandchildren  since they were three years of age.  They all know how to work the controls  and they run whatever they like.
 
Therefore they always ask to be in the train room.

 
They will always remember that special time, even if they don't become model railroaders as adults. But there is a good chance they will grow up to enjoy the hobby and in turn introduce their kids to it.  I know, because I used to be one of those kids playing with granddad's trains.  That is the future of our hobby.
  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,515 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, May 22, 2022 10:23 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
I tracked my spending off and on over the years and came up with a yearly average of about $3000.

I have been at an average of around $1,000.00 per year with four exceptions.

1989, 2019, 2020, and 2021. Those years I was buying massive amount to populate a large layout project. I have spent over $20,000.00 on trains in the past three years.

That being said... my spending has actually plummeted to near-zero. I had a plan for what I needed to buy for the new layout, and I finally have everything as planned. Now all I need to do is put it all together.

Only Hurricanes can stop me now.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 7,208 posts
Posted by rrebell on Monday, May 23, 2022 8:34 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

OK, the grass is cut and some more of the layout room ceiling is up.

I tracked my spending off and on over the years and came up with a yearly average of about $3000.

Even when I was young, I was gradually gathering and b

Years of light spending easily made up by years of intense spending - you do the math.

The wife and I decided long ago, the will is going to say "being of sound mind and body we spent it all", not even close yet.

Sheldon

 

Don't think that is possible for me unless it is medicaly related. Fiqured I would spend a lot on travel in later years but sister is a time share junkie so most places to stay are almost free. 10 days in Napa wine country cost me $139 for a place to stay instead of $5000, really cuts down on expencives.

Moderator
  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Waukesha, WI
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Posted by Steven Otte on Monday, May 23, 2022 8:53 AM

gmpullman

 

Steven Otte
 No matter how many threads there already are on the topic of how expensive the hobby is, people always want to start a new one, so here's what we're going to do.

 

https://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/245773.aspx

 

 

Cheers, Ed

 

 

Stupid broken Forum software won't let me merge threads any more...

--
Steven Otte, Model Railroader associate editor
sotte@kalmbach.com

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