Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Model trains cost an arm and a leg

12266 views
282 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 7,224 posts
Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 9:17 AM

Doughless

 

 
selector

 

 
wjstix

First re prices, it's true the "up front" costs can be high. Building materials for benchwork, DCC systems, etc. can be costly... 

 

 

I can't honestly recall, it has been 16 years, but I must have spent $500+ just on tools before I began construction on my first layout.  I left the military with just a small knapsack with some drivers and wrenches, maybe a locking plier. I had to get an orbital sander, files, needlenosed pliers, circular saw,... When I built the second layout, about 16 months later (basement was finished per SWMBO's 'request'), I decided on splined roadbed and frame construction.  I needed power drivers/drill, table saw, etc.  

It all adds up!

 

 

 

My tools used for this hobby over the past 25 years have been:

Jig saw

Chop saw

Cordless drill.  An unneeded luxury compared to a corded drill since building a layout is not a mobile effort.  Extension cords cost about $8.

Drill screw driver bits.

For the trains:

One small pliers that I used for just about everything model maintenance wise,  curved at the tip that cost about $5.00 20 years ago.

Two other small pliers.

Two small household "jewelers" screw driver sets...one phillips head and one slotted head.

A hobby knife, with a regular blade, chisel blade, and curved blade.

A few small drill bits....number 78 and 65 come to mind.

A pin vise, when needed.

A small paint brush set.  Not el cheapo kind but not world class artist quality either.

91% alcohol and qtips.

 

Almost everything you need as far as building benchwork can be bought for around $100 from Ryobi in a set. Now if you need a jig saw that will cost a bit more but it is not neccisarry for benchwork, just makes panel cutouts easier if you need them. Other modeling tools will set you back another $100 but you can usually find used of those. Basic tools being plier set, hobby knife, pin vice, screw drivers. 

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,225 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 9:27 AM

Paul3
Pruitt,

I'm sorry, but I think you're incorrect.  While the hobby will change, I think it will change to become more modern vs. the transition era.  The money will still be there, just spent differently.  To make money in this hobby, you only need to sell 3000 units (more or less). 

I don't think traditional kits will make a big comeback, I think the future is 3D printing.

I didn't say anything about modeled era. That's neither here nor there.

Maybe you're right about kits not making a big comeback, but the bloated-price RTR market share of the hobby will contract significantly. 3D printing will grow, but until surface textures on printed items improves (a lot) it will have limited acceptance. I still think kits will make a comeback, simply because of price and quality. 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 7,224 posts
Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 9:37 AM

John-NYBW

 

 
Track fiddler

Sweet!  I like all the members listed and would have been in on that one John.  

 

 

I had seen both Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson perform individually at the state fair when it was still a free outdoor show. Johnny Cash played there in the late 1960s. I saw Willie Nelson some time in the 1990s. I also ran into Willie Nelson on a golf course. I had sprayed my shot over into his fairway as his group was coming the opposite direction. Fortunately I didn't come close to hitting anybody.

 

 

 

I know this is a forum that strictly enforces only subjects of model railroads and trains with exception of the Diner.  I wonder if we'd get away with a thread for posting songs about trains as it might be kind of fun as there is a lot of them.

This may be a little too upbeat for some here but holds some good memories of Good Times as other train songs do as well.

 

 

Several years ago, maybe more than several, I started a thread about favorite train songs. As I recall it got a lot of responses. My all time favorite is City of New Orleans.

UPDATE: I came across these two videos. The first is The City of New Orleans being performed by the Highwaymen.

The Highwaymen - City of New Orleans (American Outlaws: Live at Nassau Coliseum, 1990) - YouTube

The second is Arlo Guthrie performing the song with video of what I am guessing is an Illinois Central excursion plus other vintage IC footage.

City of New Orleans, Arlo Guthrie - YouTube

 

Yeah, shows used to be free at the fair, then the fair got worse and they started to charge for the concerts. Saw America and Glen Campbell but was never a concert type person. Now most do not go to the fair and they charge a lot more both to get in and to see the concert. Even on the free days, things are not anything like they were and the displays have all but disapeared. Used to have plant displays with towering waterfalls, varius plant clubs would display, model rail club gone too. Only thing now is a paid concert, junk selling area, a poor contest area, jockey club (they closed the race track down) and of course overpriced food and a carnaval area.

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 7,152 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 9:55 AM

rrebell

rrebell, I never thought I would see the day.  I remember standing in line at the store when I was a lot younger and getting annoyed by old folks at the cash register fiddling around with coupons while I waited longer to check out quick with cash.

We don't go to the fair every year as I hate crowds but probably average once every three years.  We go early in the morning on a weekday instead of the weekend seems to thin the herd well. 

They sell this Minnesota State Fair coupon book at the grocery store up here and they go fast.  5 bucks, probably 10 by now but worth every penny.  We get in and out of the fair for, I would say at least half price with that book. 

Now I'm the one the young people are rolling their eyes and shaking their head behind me in line nowLaugh.. Whistling

 

 

P.S.  We lucked out one year.  There was this business executive that had company tickets for a large party of employees and many of the people didn't show up.  We got free tickets to go see Randy Travis and they were good seats too.

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 2,132 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 10:17 AM

rrebell
 

 

 Yeah, shows used to be free at the fair, then the fair got worse and they started to charge for the concerts. Saw America and Glen Campbell but was never a concert type person. Now most do not go to the fair and they charge a lot more both to get in and to see the concert. Even on the free days, things are not anything like they were and the displays have all but disapeared. Used to have plant displays with towering waterfalls, varius plant clubs would display, model rail club gone too. Only thing now is a paid concert, junk selling area, a poor contest area, jockey club (they closed the race track down) and of course overpriced food and a carnaval area.

Food has always been overpriced at the Ohio State Fair. You kind of figure that into the cost of attending. When I was younger I used to attend the fair every year but as I got older, it became a rarer event. There used to be a building dedicated to model railroaiding and there were a few modular layouts. HO and N for sure. I can't remember if they had any other scales. It's been a long time since the model railroads left. Even then, there's something of interest to everyone at the fair. The main event are the livestock contests. That use to be what county and state fairs were about. The other stuff came later.

It's been six or seven years since I last went to the Ohio State Fair. The last time I went, I learned how easy it was to make maple syrup and have been doing that ever since. I usually get 2-3 gallons a year. Covid shut the fair down for in 2020 and last year it was limited to the livestock shows but this year it is supposed to be full go again. 

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,556 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 10:30 AM

Water Level Route
Here is the list from Athearn's website:

I am just going to state my opinion on this, please don't feel the need to argue, I know some people will disagree with me.

Most of these sounds seem like an annoyance, and would not add to realism.

All of my experience with commercial passenger trains has been watching them go by at grade crossings, mostly in Tampa and Miami. From what I have observed, passenger trains do not sound any different what they go by from freight trains.

Watching trains go by is what we do on our layouts. Sounds should reflect this point of observation.

richhotrain
Yeah, but you wanted steaks and, at least in an indirect way, that is the point of this thread. You often have to settle for less.

I miss good steaks.

I want good steak, and lately I have had to settle for Longhorn or Texas Roadhouse.

I want Bern's, Mario's, or Charley's, but I don't make that kind of money anymore. Compromises had to be made.

Sad

John-NYBW
Food has always been overpriced at the Ohio State Fair.

Fair food down here has always been way too expensive. I never bought any.

I have not been to a fair down here since they switched management companies, probably 15 years ago or so. It just does not have any local flair anymore. It is more of a travelling circus.

-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
    May 2020
  • 773 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 12:26 PM

   The only Fair food I would buy is the fried doe. Good stuff. Haven't been to the Ohio State Fair in over forty years. Won a couple of blue ribbons in modeling contests. Our local fair is the Barnstable county Fair. I haven't been since the snowflakes made them ban the horse pulling and calf roping. I could sit all day and watch the horses. As soon as that steel ring hit the post those animals were going ready or not. Horses have very quick reflexes and a good team is great to see. Yes it does cost an arm and a leg. Once saw an 18 year old girl rope and tie a 300 pound calf in under ten seconds. Skill and horsemanship was outstanding.

  But I digress. For a day at the Fair with the family, I could have bought several brass locomotives and a string of hoppers. It's a matter of perspective.

    Pete.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,556 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 12:59 PM

wrench567
Haven't been to the Ohio State Fair in over forty years. Won a couple of blue ribbons in modeling contests. Our local fair is the Barnstable county Fair.

The Southwest Florida Fair use to have a "Community Pavilion" building that had model contests, pie bake-offs, quilt displays, etc. 

About thirty years ago they stopped the community displays and rented out table space to people selling windows, bath re-fits, car seat covers, and other junk.

That was the beginning of the end for the "local fair" feel.

Slowly we have lost the concerts from local bands, horse riding, local official meet-and-greets, and so on.

I have no interest anymore. I only live two hours away from Busch Gardens/Tampa if I want thrill rides.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Maybe this thread can be locked since it is so far off topic, and all this discussion can be carried on over at the diner.

At least there was not too much complaining about how expensive the hobby is.

-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
    March 2017
  • 7,152 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 1:09 PM

Oh, I don't know.  This thread has gotten to be almost like the land of do whatever you please and I kinda like it now.

You know, all these years that I've gone to the fair periodically since I was a Kid, I don't ever remember seeing a model railroad display and makes me wonder why?  It would be better than looking at a bunch of those shiny vegetables you know.

 

P.S.  The whole Forum has been freezing up on me every time I've been in here today, anyone else?

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 2,132 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 2:49 PM

I don't think it's a bad thing when threads digress into non-railroad related topics. It's a natural part of being a community. I've never been part of a club or operating group but I would bet when they get together the talk isn't all about railroading. Why should this forum be any different. 

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 13,136 posts
Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 3:22 PM

I used to go to the Minnesota State Fair every year back in the 1970s-80s. Back then, there was a guy who had a small (roughly ranch house sized) building that housed an HO layout. As I recall he charged $1 to get in, and kids under a certain age were free. He told me he charged as little as possible so families could come in and not have to pay a lot, and get out of the sun for a while.

Unfortunately, during one winter some people broke into the building and destroyed the layout. His insurance covered only part of it I guess, and it was too much work anyway, so the building sat vacant for decades afterwords. 

I heard that a local hobby shop (Choo Choo Bob's, sponsor of the kids TV show) were planning a layout display at the fair a few years ago, but I haven't been to the fair for some time, so not sure if it ever got going or not. CCB's is closed now so I assume the layout is too, if it ever was built.

I do go to the fairgrounds twice a year for a large model railroad show / flea market sponsored by the Twin City Model Railroad Museum though.

Stix
  • Member since
    October 2007
  • 118 posts
Posted by southernpacificgs4 on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 5:09 PM

Hello,

 

I forgot the link of the passenger cars in my previous posting:

Preorders for $0 down! (factorydirecthobbies.com)

 

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • From: Potomac Yard
  • 2,576 posts
Posted by NittanyLion on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 5:34 PM

Pruitt
I still think kits will make a comeback, simply because of price and quality. 

This presupposes there is any appreciable savings in paying someone to put the parts in the box versus quickly gluing the parts together before putting them in the box. 

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,744 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 9:31 PM

In before the lock.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 960 posts
Posted by PC101 on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 9:32 PM

Track fiddler

Oh, I don't know.  This thread has gotten to be almost like the land of do whatever you please and I kinda like it now.

You know, all these years that I've gone to the fair periodically since I was a Kid, I don't ever remember seeing a model railroad display and makes me wonder why?  It would be better than looking at a bunch of those shiny vegetables you know.

 

P.S.  The whole Forum has been freezing up on me every time I've been in here today, anyone else?

 

 

TF

 

I still have both arms and legs (there, on topic) and a first prize train display from my local Fair (there, on side topic).

I was a youngster then.

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2018
  • From: Northern NY (Think Upstate but even more)
  • 1,238 posts
Posted by Harrison on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 9:50 PM

NYVTRR

I notice that some of the young model railroaders on youtube buy up a lot of inexpensive used locos and rolling stock.  They buy the items that a lot of people would consider as junk, fix them up and get them running like new.  In my opinion thats how young people get involved and will keep the hobby going.

 

 

I think you're referring to the "other" Harrison, in the "far north" of Quebec but not all that far from me.

https://www.youtube.com/c/SMTMainline/featured

 

Myself, on the other hand, prefer the fine models that longtime modelers do. However, I've yet to buy one new, or even for a retail price. The most I paid for a locomotive was a whopping 70 bucks (for a brand new Atlas D&H RS-11). Where I save money is self-decoder installs, buying used/waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the right model at the right price, and simply not feeling the need to "have it all" or have "one of everything". I have also been blessed with both modelers handing down track and scenery supplies, as well as a D&H man who gave a large amount of his collection to me while he was battling cancer. 

Harrison

Homeschooler living In upstate NY a.k.a Northern NY.

Modeling the D&H in 1978.

Route of the famous "Montreal Limited"

My YouTube

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 2,132 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 10:10 PM

NittanyLion

 

 
Pruitt
I still think kits will make a comeback, simply because of price and quality. 

 

This presupposes there is any appreciable savings in paying someone to put the parts in the box versus quickly gluing the parts together before putting them in the box. 

 

Accurail freight car kits are considerably cheaper than any decent RTR. Woodland Scenics makes many of their structures available in both kit and built-up version and the kits are much cheaper. So yes it is much cheaper to put the parts in the box than to glue them together. 

It comes down to whether you want to spend your time or spend your money.

  • Member since
    May 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
  • 2,867 posts
Posted by Paul3 on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 10:41 PM

Pruitt,
I know you didn't say anything about modeled era.  I did.  The point was that we both think the hobby will change.  You think it will change back to inexpensive models (and kits) like the '60s and '70s because when today's older modelers die off, all the big money disappears with them.  I disagree.  I think it will change by era modeled and that the current selection of high-end RTR models will continue.  Why?  Because as today's older modelers die off, they will be replaced by the current middle-aged modelers, who will then have disposable income.

I also think that traditional kits won't make a comeback because not enough people will want to build kits regardless of price.  Few people have the patience to build up the skills and tools needed to become excellent kit builders.  And in today's ever decreasing attention span population, kits just won't be of interest to enough folks to make them economically in bulk numbers.  That's why I think 3D printing will be a bigger deal.  Those few that can (and want to) build kits will be able to just print what they need.  Everyone else will still be buying RTR.  But as you pointed out, that is in the future until 3D printing improves.

John-NYBW,
Well, I think off topic posts are a bad thing.  There's millions of places on the internet to talk about whatever you want with whomever you want.  There are just a few model railroading forums.  Instead of ruining a rare model railroad forum, why not post at an applicable place online?

I was a long time lurker and contributer to the newsgroup (remember them?) rec.models.railroad which was unmoderated.  After 9-11, it took a turn as folks started posting more and more non-railroad topics.  When told to knock it off, they would reply, "There are more important things in life than model trains."  While that is true, they should have taken their conversations to those applicable groups.  Instead, they polluted r.m.r with their off topic posts, driving people who wanted to talk trains to moderated forums like the Atlas Forum or here at MR to avoid them.  I'd hate to see that happen here.

And BTW, I'm also a 30-year member of my large model railroad club.  Yes, topics frequently wander from trains at the club and most times it's fine.  But more than a couple members have had to be spoken to by the president of the club and asked to either knock it off or tone it down because some off topic discussions were driving some members to avoid coming to the club to avoid the people in question.  It's a model train club, not a debating society.

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,225 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 11:26 PM

Paul3
Pruitt,

I know you didn't say anything about modeled era.  I did.  The point was that we both think the hobby will change.  You think it will change back to inexpensive models (and kits) like the '60s and '70s because when today's older modelers die off, all the big money disappears with them.  I disagree.  I think it will change by era modeled and that the current selection of high-end RTR models will continue.  Why?  Because as today's older modelers die off, they will be replaced by the current middle-aged modelers, who will then have disposable income.

I also think that traditional kits won't make a comeback because not enough people will want to build kits regardless of price.  Few people have the patience to build up the skills and tools needed to become excellent kit builders.  And in today's ever decreasing attention span population, kits just won't be of interest to enough folks to make them economically in bulk numbers.  That's why I think 3D printing will be a bigger deal.  Those few that can (and want to) build kits will be able to just print what they need.  Everyone else will still be buying RTR.  But as you pointed out, that is in the future until 3D printing improves.

I don't think the hobby will change back to what it was, but I think it will trend that direction in coming years, at least for a little while. Here's why:

There's a ballooning of number of retired folk right now, because all us baby boomers have, or shortly will, retire. Many of us have decent pensions as well as Social Security income. Pensions are becoming a thing of the past, and 401k's are not replacing them to a very great extent. Median retirement savings for folks in their 60's is $172,000 (https://due.com/blog/average-retirement-savings-by-age/). With lifespans increasing, that's not a lot, even with Social Security added in the mix. With pensions becoming less and less common, that means discretionary income in retirement years (in terms of buying power) will drop over the next couple decades. Many modelers will have a smaller modeling budget, again in terms of buying power, than we have now. And if inflation continues at it's current breakneck pace, that will only exacerbate the problem. 

So people may not want to build kits, but for many it might be their only viable option. 

And I think (but I'm not sure - correct me if I'm wrong) there are more and more of us who have this attitude - I'm not going to spend $60+ dollars on an RTR boxcar - period. Or $25 for a Chevy Impala. I could afford to, but I'd rather spend 90 minutes or so assembling an Accurail kit I purchased for less than $10 15 years ago and use the difference for something else. Yeah, those RTR offerings are, generally speaking, beautiful models. But they're also, generally speaking, just too darned costly.

Personally I think retirement spending on model railroading will crater in about ten years and take a couple decades to recover, if it ever does. I probably won't live long enough to see the recovery, but hey! If I'm right, just call me Nostradamus! (If I'm wrong - and I hope I am - just call me dummy).

 

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • 1,480 posts
Posted by PRR8259 on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 11:54 PM

When you compare the cost of a high end, fully featured diesel (Rapido as example since their price is currently the highest) at $306 (10% local store discount) today versus the typical Athearn Blue Box diesel of 1986, which didn't have any of the cool features or extreme detailing (at $18 to $30 discounted price then), they are cheaper today and a MUCH better value per hour of wage spent to buy them.

In 1986, I made $3.35 an hour minimum wage working for English's Model RR Supply (Bowser).  You had to be responsible as working in a real machine shop could be dangerous--so not just any 18 year old (PA state law) could even get hired.  Not at all like today's fast food restaurants in and around Harrisburg where the employees are smoking dope while allegedly waiting on you in the drive through (my son noted kids he knows actually doing that) for significantly higher pay.

If one actually shops smart and pays attention one can score the very best of today's diesels for significantly better than 10% off retail, at which point they are a bargain for what they actually provide.

People need to actually go to a train show and shop a bit rather than the immediate gratification of buying from overpriced ebay stuff.  Even the small local shows can have deals.

Oh--and the $13 or $14 per hour drive through wage today will still buy the plain dc/dcc ready diesels for practically dirt cheap as compared to historic prices, and they will still be much better models and much better running.

Case closed.

John

  • Member since
    May 2008
  • From: Miles City, Montana
  • 2,064 posts
Posted by FRRYKid on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 2:36 AM

Mentioning RTR models, as stated, most of them are actually RTR but there are a few out there that aren't in the sense that the lettering in one way or another isn't accurate. I have a few so-called RTR models from a few different companies who shall remain nameless that I have needed to fix the lettering on due to inaccuracies. A few cars I have had incorrect numbers. Another two cars from one company had the lettering styles reversed. Thankfully I'm a good enough modeler that fixing them was too big a headache. However, those were recent enough releases that the companies could have looked up pictures online to avoid that problem at the very least, IMHO.

I have a few cara that I was given recently that the roadname and number aren't the right style or font or even in the wrong place and they are supposedly RTR as well. Another one that I bought recently is an 80's era kit with the wrong number but that era didn't seem to be as prototype accurate as we are now, again IMHO. They are older so I don't know about the resources involved.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
Brain waves can power an electric train. RealFact #832 from Snapple.
  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,556 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 3:02 AM

Well, the thread is back on topic.

-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
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 12,021 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 5:34 AM

FRRYKid

Mentioning RTR models, as stated, most of them are actually RTR but there are a few out there that aren't in the sense that the lettering in one way or another isn't accurate. I have a few so-called RTR models from a few different companies who shall remain nameless that I have needed to fix the lettering on due to inaccuracies. A few cars I have had incorrect numbers. Another two cars from one company had the lettering styles reversed. Thankfully I'm a good enough modeler that fixing them was too big a headache. However, those were recent enough releases that the companies could have looked up pictures online to avoid that problem at the very least, IMHO.

I have a few cara that I was given recently that the roadname and number aren't the right style or font or even in the wrong place and they are supposedly RTR as well. Another one that I bought recently is an 80's era kit with the wrong number but that era didn't seem to be as prototype accurate as we are now, again IMHO. They are older so I don't know about the resources involved.

 

What? The term RTR (ready to run) has nothing to do with prototypical accuracy.

In the era I model, 1954, you would not have many pieces of equipment on your layout if you depended on all of them being prototypically correct to that level of accuracy.

RTR simply means "fully assembled" accurate or not. You know, like the equipment in evey train set sold throughout history......

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,199 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 7:31 AM

Paul3

Well, I think off topic posts are a bad thing.  There's millions of places on the internet to talk about whatever you want with whomever you want.  There are just a few model railroading forums.  Instead of ruining a rare model railroad forum, why not post at an applicable place online?

I was a long time lurker and contributer to the newsgroup (remember them?) rec.models.railroad which was unmoderated.  After 9-11, it took a turn as folks started posting more and more non-railroad topics.  When told to knock it off, they would reply, "There are more important things in life than model trains."  While that is true, they should have taken their conversations to those applicable groups.  Instead, they polluted r.m.r with their off topic posts, driving people who wanted to talk trains to moderated forums like the Atlas Forum or here at MR to avoid them.  I'd hate to see that happen here.

And BTW, I'm also a 30-year member of my large model railroad club.  Yes, topics frequently wander from trains at the club and most times it's fine.  But more than a couple members have had to be spoken to by the president of the club and asked to either knock it off or tone it down because some off topic discussions were driving some members to avoid coming to the club to avoid the people in question.  It's a model train club, not a debating society. 

Well stated, Paul. From the beginning, I found this to be an interesting thread. Obviously, so have others. 5 pages, over 4500 views, and over 140 replies.

The thread has survived in spite of threats from a few guys to try to lock the thread. A few others have simply taken the thread off topic without any good reason. There is no forum policy prohibiting statements about how expensive model railroading can be, and why should there be any such prohibitions? This is a matter of complainers complaining about complainers. If nothing else, it disrespects the OP.

If people would take the time to understand the OP's main premise, it is that the recent production of Athearn passenger cars, specifically the Amtrak Surfliner,  have MSRPs as high as a $199.99. Now, if you are a passenger train enthusiast, specifically an Amtrak fan, who wouldn't be interested in the Surfliners. But, a thousand bucks to acquire a 5-car set is expensive, is it not?

What is it about this topic that sets off some folks?  Hmm

Rich

 

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 2,853 posts
Posted by NorthBrit on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 7:43 AM

richhotrain
Paul3

Well, I think off topic posts are a bad thing.  There's millions of places on the internet to talk about whatever you want with whomever you want.  There are just a few model railroading forums.  Instead of ruining a rare model railroad forum, why not post at an applicable place online?

etcetera  ------

Well stated, Paul. From the beginning, I found this to be an interesting thread. Obviously, so have others. 5 pages, over 4500 views, and over 140 replies.

Etcetera -----=-

Rich

 

Thumbs Up

 

David

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

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 7,224 posts
Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 9:22 AM

Before I go back on topic, going off topic here is much more important than other places as we all start with a common bond, Model Railroading. On another note, that retirement shortcut had, to me, weird advice talking about spending your nest egg at 4% a year. Much better to spend non of it and live off the dividends if you can, never know how long you need, my mom is 100.  Now back to trains, I wonder how the loss of train layouts at county fairs has affected the numbers of people in the hobby? Also it  is sad to see what happened here is happening it seems everywhere, county fairs are going the route of the circus.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: US
  • 52 posts
Posted by spe3376 on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 10:18 AM

southernpacificgs4

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.

 

It's funny that this topic came up when it did.  I was at our Scout meeting night before last, and one of the parents was upset that her oldest son had wrecked two of his Metra cars by sending them over the side of his layout. She complained that was almost $200 down the drain. I felt bad overhearing her story, so I asked her about the layout and what happened. She said that her son had a layout built by his dad and he really wanted the Metra cars, but he had to show responsibility to earn them. She said he did really well with the train set cars he had and with no major derailments, was able to get the cars for his birthday. I had worked with her son on his Railroading Merit Badge, so I know he was responsible. He said he wasn't even going fast, they just derailed right off the side of the layout as he was running them. The mom said she called the hobby shop and asked what could have caused that. She said that after the initial skepticism that he was going too fast died down, she said she was told the radii were probably too small for the cars. Her next question was, why does that matter? She then got, in her words, "mainsplained" about track radii and other things. She said that no one at the hobby shop told her it was a thing when she bought the cars. She just went right up to the shelf, picked up the cars, and then paid for them. No one said anything. First she was dismayed about how expensive the cars were, but also that if her son wanted to run them, then he'd have to upgrade his track now too.

I would agree that the entry level costs are getting to be too much. But there's also a distinct lack of low cost entry level equipment. You used to be able to walk into almost any department store and buy a train set or other model railroad equipment and supplies. I see Bachmann HO sets at Menards around Christmas, and that's about it. WalMart used to carry the Athearn John Deere sets in the early 2000's, and nothing really since. But if someone wants to go just beyond the train sets, what is that next step? A lot of people say Accurail or Athearn blue box kits, but those are becoming exceedingly rare and more expensive, at least in the hobby shops I frequent. But google searches bring up lots of forums and Facebook groups, where the bluebox kits and accurail kits, and Bachmann silver series, are derided because the details aren't up to par or the paint isn't accurate. How is someone new to model railroading supposed to take that information? Maybe they did buy that Bachmann set from Menards, but now see several old farts on line call it "Botchmann". I see several people say to "do your research" but there's too many differing opinions that the cognitive dissonance becomes hard to sort through.

 

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 7,152 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 10:27 AM

Morning

Some good points rrebell and others as well.  The Fairs used to have much more interesting exibits if you were to ask me.  Now that Stix mentioned it, I do remember that nice old guy with the Ho layout when I was quite young.  I guess I never knew what happened with that building but now I do.  I really admired the one that PC101 posted with the model railroad modeling contest.

Hey, There ain't nothing wrong with a display of the 6th graders art projects with one taking the Blue Ribbon in the contest.  A model railroad modeling contest would be right up my alley just like an award-winning shiny rutabaga is to a farmers interests.

As far as thread topics having a heartbeat and swaying off-topic from time to time, similar to a few sidings off a main line on a railroad.  I would have to say, I think it's the reason why some threads are more interesting than others.  The numbers tend to show that when they are and it doesn't really bother me as long as things get back on track again sooner or later.  Maybe some Forum members can't relate to the certain thread topic at hand but can relate to something that was said, often making that subject a bit more interesting.

As far as a few complaining about too much complainingLaugh  I don't know but I think one of the monitors even made reference to something like that.  The whole Forum is based on opinions.  If one doesn't agree with someone else's, it still should be respected and then can be taken with a grain of salt.

It isn't that one person is right and everyone else is wrong, ...Ever.  Just different points of view and certainly nothing to get one's feathers ruffled overWink

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 42 posts
Posted by AEP528 on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 12:06 PM

As usual, everybody wants to spout opinions but not talk about actual modelling. Exactly three threads related to actual modelling in the General forum have had a post in the last 12 hours. The Layout and layout building forum hasn't had a post in 9 hours, Electronics 17 hours and Prototype 10 hours. No wonder these forums are dying.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,556 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 12:17 PM

AEP528
As usual, everybody wants to spout opinions but not talk about actual modelling.

Apparently the Spring and Summer months are a down-time for a lot of modelers. I don't understand that, but apparently that is what happens.

Weekend Photo Fun is the best place to see what people are up to. I would love to see you contribute there.

There used to be a lot more people asking questions, but that changed.

There is a lot more to Model Railroading than just modeling. The variety of topics, like this one, reflect that.

-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.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!