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Model trains cost an arm and a leg

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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 12:19 PM

John-NYBW

 

 
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.

 

Also cheaper because they're far less detailed. They're not exactly comparable products between, say, the Accurail two bay covered hopper and American Limited's two bay.

Accurail found a cost savings somewhere, perhaps the tooling. Others,l who are modestly more detailed, like Bowser, did discontinue kits specifically because the price for a finished model is effectively the same as a kit. 

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Posted by NorthBrit on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 12:48 PM

NittanyLion

 Also cheaper because they're far less detailed. 

 
 
(This thread)   In a nutshell!!!
 
More detail the higher the price.
 
More extras;  sound, lights etc.   Even bigger price.
 
In days long gone we bought the basic model and added the finer details if we wanted to.
 
 
David
 
 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 12:57 PM

John-NYBW

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

In my case, I presently have almost no hobby time this year - and now that my wife and I are taking care of my 90 year old mother, it  may be months before I get any time to work on trains or a layout.  So I spend my money instead.

You guys who have hobby time, I envy you.

 

 

NorthBrit
 
 
NittanyLion

 Also cheaper because they're far less detailed. 

  
 
(This thread)   In a nutshell!!!
 
More detail the higher the price.
 
More extras;  sound, lights etc.   Even bigger price.
 
In days long gone we bought the basic model and added the finer details if we wanted to.
 
 
David

You forgot higher labor costs and shipping costs in the past year or so which have boosted model train prices a great deal over just the things you mentioned.  Add to that now inflation.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 12:59 PM

riogrande5761
You guys who have hobby time, I envy you.

You guys that have a layout room already, I envy you.

I have the time, money, and supplies. Just missing one piece.

-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.

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 1:27 PM

AEP528

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. 

These forums are dying? I don't see any evidence of that.

You have only posted 18 times over the past 14+ years. Why not tell us something about your modeling efforts?

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 10:51 PM

richhotrain
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?

Yes it is expensive, so are brass passenger cars.

One point is this, People like myself, Paul3, John Mock, who have inside experiance in this business know that these prices are not arbitrary, capricious or predatory. They are based on "cost to produce and deliver" plus a reasonable return on investment/profit.

The customers spent a number of decades responding to, and asking for more, RTR with high levels of detail and accuracy.

And at first it was done when production costs overseas were dramiticly lower and pricing was very attractive.

Now the global economy has shifted, as often happens with having items manufactured in countries with lower costs. Those costs are catching up.

I'm not buying any Surfliners, I would not be buying them if they were $10 each....

I do suspect part of the high price is the limited market - Athearn has an idea of how many they can sell, and they have amortized the tooling based on that. Maybe its a small batch due to the limited appeal of the product?

ANYONE who thinks these companies are just charging whatever they want are simply wrong. If fact, total markups from cost to produce to customer are less today percentage wise then they have ever been - a key reason why there are so fewer hobby shops.

So when the OP asserts that prices will "kill" the hobby, he implies the manufacturers actually have a choice and could lower the prices - they can't.

If they lower the prices any more (lower markups for them and retailers) they will go out of business.

They have two choices, make the product at one detail level and charge that price, or make it at a lower detail level and charge less. 

Do not hold your breath waiting for every model of every prototype to be offered in three different "tiers" of detail and cost. We already have way too much duplication of effort in this industry.

And the consumers have two choices - buy or not buy.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 11:26 PM

So... how many other hobbies worth of material can be added to the expense of being a model railroader?

For me, it is several.

1) Woodworking: I enjoy working with wood. I am not a carpenter. However, I have a lot of good woodworkling tools, and this is a bit of an expensive hobby too.

2) Photography: I get a lot of enjoyment from photography, and I enjoy photographing my model trains. I am not any better a photographer than I am a woodworker, so that is a hobby too. It is expensive.

3) Figure Painting: What this hobby costs does not get discussed much. It is expensive, but all the supplies roll into model railroading, and I love painting figures.

What else?

If I add up these additional complimentary hobbies to my model railroad bill, I might go into spasms.

Travel, computers, so on...

-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.

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, May 26, 2022 12:10 AM

NittanyLion
Also cheaper because they're far less detailed. They're not exactly comparable products between, say, the Accurail two bay covered hopper and American Limited's two bay.

Sure, "Cadillac" RTR has a lot more detail. You pay for it, too. But less detailed RTR, like Walthers Mainline and Athearn Roundhouse are more comparable to the Accurail-level kits in detail, and are "only" around $15 more expensive than the Accurail kits. The much more detailed (and more time consuming) Tichy kits, roughly on a par with the more expensive RTR, are roughly the same cost as Accurail's.  That puts them at well under half the Cadillac RTR costs.

Accurail found a cost savings somewhere, perhaps the tooling. Others,l who are modestly more detailed, like Bowser, did discontinue kits specifically because the price for a finished model is effectively the same as a kit. 

Cost savings? Not really. Accurail's kits have nearly tripled in price in the last 15 years. In that time, inflation has increased prices overall by "only" 48%. Where does that other 152% increase come from?

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
ANYONE who thinks these companies are just charging whatever they want are simply wrong. If fact, total markups from cost to produce to customer are less today percentage wise then they have ever been - a key reason why there are so fewer hobby shops.

If it were only that simple. First off, the primary reason there are fewer hobby shops is because a brick and mortar store can't compete on price with a guy who sells out of his basement on the internet. It costs a lot of money for a functional storefront, which the internet seller does not have. So for the same profit level, he can sell much cheaper. People bemoan the demise of most hobby shops, but most of those same people could could be found buying on the internet because it's cheaper, pounding nails into the shops' coffins.

As far as why the prices have gone up so much in the hobby - Yeah, costs have gone up and the profit margins aren't exorbitant these days, but the reasons aren't always what many would think.

Why has "cost to produce" ballooned so precipitously? For one thing, overhead costs have skyrocketed because the bigger companies have bought into the modern corporate culture. That means lots of management - vice president of this, director of that, etc. Those heads expect to be paid, and paid well, or they'll leave for greener pastures (outside model railroading most likely). All those non-producing people and the trappings that go with them cost real money. That money comes from you and me. The days of Irv Athearn and Gordon Varney - the big guys who were in it for love of the hobby, and are satisfied if they can make a decent living, are gone. Sure, there are still folks around who make hobby products because they love to do so, but the "big boys" do it for the money. Many of the smaller manufacturers have jumped on the price hike bandwagon in true "me too" fashion. 

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Posted by FRRYKid on Thursday, May 26, 2022 3:26 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

  

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

What I was more leaning toward with that is if a company takes the time to research a car for release as an RTR and with as much as computers are used for research, you would think they would make them accurate so that more people would buy them.

I'm not a rivet counter but I do ask that they at least get the lettering in the right style and the road numbers correct. I do have one car that doesn't have the right scheme. It is a late 80's early 90s car and a blend of two schemes but I'm willing to live with it as it's not a "star" on the layout. (I seem to remember an MR article to that point within the last few years.) That would make sense, but then of course many companies don't want to make sense, they want to make cents.

I model 1972 to 1980. (A few years after the BN merger to the SLSF merger.) While that gives more rolling stock flexibility, I still have to watch for foobies. What I would love though is to have more HO scale vehicles from that era that are affordable for those of us that don't have a great budget.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, May 26, 2022 5:39 AM

Pruitt

 

 
NittanyLion
Also cheaper because they're far less detailed. They're not exactly comparable products between, say, the Accurail two bay covered hopper and American Limited's two bay.

 

Sure, "Cadillac" RTR has a lot more detail. You pay for it, too. But less detailed RTR, like Walthers Mainline and Athearn Roundhouse are more comparable to the Accurail-level kits in detail, and are "only" around $15 more expensive than the Accurail kits. The much more detailed (and more time consuming) Tichy kits, roughly on a par with the more expensive RTR, are roughly the same cost as Accurail's.  That puts them at well under half the Cadillac RTR costs.

 

 

 
Accurail found a cost savings somewhere, perhaps the tooling. Others,l who are modestly more detailed, like Bowser, did discontinue kits specifically because the price for a finished model is effectively the same as a kit. 

 

Cost savings? Not really. Accurail's kits have nearly tripled in price in the last 15 years. In that time, inflation has increased prices overall by "only" 48%. Where does that other 152% increase come from?

 

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
ANYONE who thinks these companies are just charging whatever they want are simply wrong. If fact, total markups from cost to produce to customer are less today percentage wise then they have ever been - a key reason why there are so fewer hobby shops.

 

If it were only that simple. First off, the primary reason there are fewer hobby shops is because a brick and mortar store can't compete on price with a guy who sells out of his basement on the internet. It costs a lot of money for a functional storefront, which the internet seller does not have. So for the same profit level, he can sell much cheaper. People bemoan the demise of most hobby shops, but most of those same people could could be found buying on the internet because it's cheaper, pounding nails into the shops' coffins.

 

As far as why the prices have gone up so much in the hobby - Yeah, costs have gone up and the profit margins aren't exorbitant these days, but the reasons aren't always what many would think.

Why has "cost to produce" ballooned so precipitously? For one thing, overhead costs have skyrocketed because the bigger companies have bought into the modern corporate culture. That means lots of management - vice president of this, director of that, etc. Those heads expect to be paid, and paid well, or they'll leave for greener pastures (outside model railroading most likely). All those non-producing people and the trappings that go with them cost real money. That money comes from you and me. The days of Irv Athearn and Gordon Varney - the big guys who were in it for love of the hobby, and are satisfied if they can make a decent living, are gone. Sure, there are still folks around who make hobby products because they love to do so, but the "big boys" do it for the money. Many of the smaller manufacturers have jumped on the price hike bandwagon in true "me too" fashion. 

 

Well Mark, I don't think so. Even the biggest companies in this business have pretty small staffs of people. But I'm not really in the mood to argue that point past what I will say here.

The days of basement dealers are long gone. The big internet players with deep discounts (Trainworld, ModelTrainStuff, ToyTrainHeaven, etc) are in many cases also brick and mortar stores, or were at one time.

The big discounts come from buying direct from the manufacturer, getting the very best volume deal, and giving the customer what was once the distributors markup, and then some. Little shops cannot afford to buy direct, let alone get the best deal - so it has turned into "go big, or go home".

Once you get past Walthers, Athearn, Bachmann, Atlas, most of these companies are amazingly small operations. And even those companies are not "big" in the scheme of business these days.

Bachmann is the only publicly traded company in world making model trains, there are none in the US, not even Athearn's parent Horizon.

AND in fact, today Athearn/Horizon is the one company in this business that has strict requirements that dealers be real full time businesses - unlike days of old. And their price levels are nearly the same to all customers big and small.

Companies like Spring Mills Depot are part time operations by guys who have "real" jobs that feed their families.......  

But you are welcome to believe whatever you like. I'm past the end of my interest level in this thread, and in most of what goes on here.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, May 26, 2022 5:46 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 
richhotrain
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?

Sheldon, since you are quoting me, I hope that I did not leave you or anyone else with the impression that manufacturers are trying to rip off customers with outlandish prices. That would be financial suicide for the manufacturers. 

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, May 26, 2022 6:02 AM

richhotrain

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 
richhotrain
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?

 

 

Sheldon, since you are quoting me, I hope that I did not leave you or anyone else with the impression that manufacturers are trying to rip off customers with outlandish prices. That would be financial suicide for the manufacturers. 

 

Rich

 

No, I don't think you feel that way, or that you ever implied that. But many others seem to think that based on their responses.

The one irony I have found about people is that the cynical ones who think people are ripping them off, are ones who allow their own greed to set them up to get ripped off, or who are themselves, "opportunistic" in their own business practices.

I will repeat this again - I have been self employed most of my life. I walk away from customers who are not comfortable with my prices or want to negotiate - I'm booked until September or October right now.......

We have no quarrel or qualm with those who sell for less, they know what their work is worth.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, May 26, 2022 8:43 AM

SeeYou190
 
 
riogrande5761
You guys who have hobby time, I envy you. 

 

You guys that have a layout room already, I envy you.

I have the time, money, and supplies. Just missing one piece.

-Kevin

 
Having a space for a layout ain't no good if you have no time to enjoy it.  My older sister carelessly gave my 90 year old mother COVID which she survived, but it seems to have advanced her age symptoms like dimentia a great deal and my wife and I have suddenly found ourselves in care giver roles and it's turned our already busy lives upside down.  We are planning to move into her house for a period of time, maybe a couple months?, and only go back to our house on the weekends to keep it maintained.  I don't see any hope of working on that layout for months.  We are trying to figure out how to get my mother affordable care in her own home and get our lives back. My older sister volunteered to take over, but recently she had another bout with sleep deprivation pyschosis which means she may not be able to handle such responsibility.
 
As for the topic of this title.  This is a regular occurance when hobbyists feel they need to vent about the cost of our toys.  Yes, they are going up and this is one reason I am get annoyed when a company tells me that they plan to make my favorite road name in the future - just sit tight and watch prices increase while I wait. 
 
Many of these forum "clowns" complain that model train companies are gouging buyers with high prices.  They are ignorant of the fact that there isn't much profit in train model manufacture and they are just trying to make enough to keep going and to invest in new projects.  Or they just cynically choose to believe model train companies are greedy.  Our hosts usually try to tamp down these kinds of discussions but seem to be more tolerant this time around.
 
Anyway, for me, I've been able to afford to spend more in the past 5 years and buy a lot more sound equipped loco's.  But with the convergence of my salary not keeping up with inflation and the rising costs of trains, I can see that I'll have to buy less in the future and get back to selling models I don't need.  It's not like I don't have enough models anymore.

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, May 26, 2022 9:14 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
The days of basement dealers are long gone.

Really? You mean like, for example, the guy in Torrington, Wyoming who uses his home as his warehouse and place of business? Basement dealers are alive and more active than ever.

The big internet players with deep discounts (Trainworld, ModelTrainStuff, ToyTrainHeaven, etc)..." are in many cases also brick and mortar stores, or were at one time.

And their overhead costs, on a normalized cash flow basis, is reduced significantly by the internet side of the business.

I've been a manufacturer, mail order and internet sales business in years past (though not in the model railroading world). I know how it works.  

The big discounts come from buying direct from the manufacturer, getting the very best volume deal, and giving the customer what was once the distributors markup, and then some.

I agree that's also a big part of the equation. But it's not the only part - not by a long shot.

Once you get past Walthers, Athearn, Bachmann, Atlas, most of these companies are amazingly small operations. And even those companies are not "big" in the scheme of business these days.

In terms of General Electric or Exxon-Mobil or Boeing, no they're not big. But it's all relative. In the model railroading world, they are giants.

Do I think these companies are predatory in their pricing structures? Not generally, no, but I'm also not going to make excuses for them. 

And now, like you, Sheldon, I'm done with this discussion.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, May 26, 2022 11:55 AM

riogrande5761
My older sister carelessly gave my 90 year old mother COVID which she survived, but it seems to have advanced her age symptoms like dimentia a great deal and my wife and I have suddenly found ourselves in care giver roles and it's turned our already busy lives upside down.

I am so sorry to hear this. My wife's sister had Covid, and barely survived. However she had several strokes while infected, and she will never be herself again. This has placed an incredible burden on her daughter, who has two young children, caring for her. She will need constant care for the rest of her life.

riogrande5761
As for the topic of this title.  This is a regular occurance when hobbyists feel they need to vent about the cost of our toys.

I don't think I have ever really complained about the cost of the hobby.

I have vocally complained about the inability to get what I need. Track shortages, Rapido Railcrew uncouplers, Rapido cancelling the undecorated PA, and a few others have been the thorns in my side.

-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.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, May 26, 2022 12:44 PM

SeeYou190

I am so sorry to hear this. My wife's sister had Covid, and barely survived. However she had several strokes while infected, and she will never be herself again. This has placed an incredible burden on her daughter, who has two young children, caring for her. She will need constant care for the rest of her life.

That's aweful and a long lasting care burden.  I have 3 sisters.  The youngest figured a long time ago she would end up caring for our parents in their declining years.  She couldn't have kids so she adopted two Korean kids and one Chinese kid.  My mother, who is very old fashioned, could never look at them like she would her own offspring, so my youngest sister has always been very bitter about it and has distanced herself.  My wife, being old school believes my little sister should put diffrences aside and help care for our 90 year old mother.  But she seems to have disconnected herself - yet she wants her even share of the inheritance.  Our mother, who is lucid much of the time, feels she deserves less because of her attitude, and after all, it's her decision how much to pass on.  Anyway, the other two of my sisters have issues which seem to make them not ideal candidates for looking after my mother, so rather suddenly, and because I stumbled into my mothers house and found her not well, ended up dealing with the situation.

I don't think I have ever really complained about the cost of the hobby.

I have vocally complained about the inability to get what I need. Track shortages, Rapido Railcrew uncouplers, Rapido cancelling the undecorated PA, and a few others have been the thorns in my side.

-Kevin 

No, not you.  I was referring to the topic starter, and other topic starts in the past since "the hobby is too expensive" rears its head periodically and has for many years.  Hmm

Anyway, how has your hunt for a house with a train room gone.  I recall you were house hunting but since you said you have no layout space, it must be on-going?

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, May 26, 2022 12:57 PM

riogrande5761
Anyway, how has your hunt for a house with a train room gone.  I recall you were house hunting but since you said you have no layout space, it must be on-going?

I gave up the house hunt two years ago when I finally found the perfect home, but it was on a lake, and that raised the price too high for my budget.

I have been remodelling my house slowly since then. When done, I will have a train room, and all the other features I wanted. The house is still in the wrong neighborhood, and it is too small. However, it is paid for and the property taxes are nearly zero, so this is where I will stay.

The living room and new master bedroom are nearly completed, then onto the 11 by 22 train room, which was the master bedroom before.

Without a more expensive house I have been able to maintain myself with an enjoyable job at Home Depot and I have no stress. If I would have bought a more expensive house I would still be on the Hamster Wheel. It all worked out.

-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.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, May 26, 2022 1:21 PM

Re-modeling can slow things down.  I moved in Nov 2017 and we had kitchen and other projects so I wasn't able to start working on finishing the basement until Dec 2018 and finished basically a year later, so it was 2 years from move-in until I could start building the layout.  But as seems to be the case, getting time to work on the layout has been hard to come by.  Here is where it's at as of early this year:

 

 

An 11x22 room isn't huge but certainly workable for a layout.  I'm in HO right now but have added a decent N-scale collection for the inevidable downsize I expect will happen eventually.  What scale are you planning for?

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, May 26, 2022 1:33 PM

riogrande5761
An 11x22 room isn't huge but certainly workable for a layout.  I'm in HO right now but have added a decent N-scale collection for the inevidable downsize I expect will happen eventually.  What scale are you planning for?

HO Scale. Here is the conception of the layout room. Track plan will be altered.

-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.

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Posted by davidmurray on Thursday, May 26, 2022 2:52 PM

Kevin:  this looks like a fun layout.  Only question I have is:"how do you get to the staging area to fix any problems?"  It seems to be behind a wall.

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, May 26, 2022 3:11 PM

davidmurray
Only question I have is:"how do you get to the staging area to fix any problems?"  It seems to be behind a wall.

David, The orginal plan for the room was to have access to that side through a door in the 1/2 bath/changing room that was going to be added for the swimming pool.

We found out that a swimming pool would not only increase our property taxes, but also increase our insurance. The swimming pool plan was replaced with a large outdoor patio.

So, I lost the planned access point. I will need to do something different, but I have not decided what exactly it will be yet. I have three different ideas.

I have also found out that a section of the room is six inches smaller than anticipated. Two walls did not line up like I thought after I removed the partitions.

This will also require some replanning.

-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 2019
  • 2,132 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Thursday, May 26, 2022 3:23 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
riogrande5761
Anyway, how has your hunt for a house with a train room gone.  I recall you were house hunting but since you said you have no layout space, it must be on-going?

 

I gave up the house hunt two years ago when I finally found the perfect home, but it was on a lake, and that raised the price too high for my budget.

I have been remodelling my house slowly since then. When done, I will have a train room, and all the other features I wanted. The house is still in the wrong neighborhood, and it is too small. However, it is paid for and the property taxes are nearly zero, so this is where I will stay.

The living room and new master bedroom are nearly completed, then onto the 11 by 22 train room, which was the master bedroom before.

Without a more expensive house I have been able to maintain myself with an enjoyable job at Home Depot and I have no stress. If I would have bought a more expensive house I would still be on the Hamster Wheel. It all worked out.

-Kevin

 

I made the opposite choice about 21 years ago. I had the modest, paid off house with low taxes in the wrong neighborhood. It had a divided basement with one half having an open 11x28 foot space which I filled with my previous layout. It was poorly designed and not a lot of fun to operate. I could have just scrapped it and rebuilt better but I opted for the dream house in the country with a large space for a basement empire. To accomplish that my finances were stretched to the limit and it has taken me far longer to complete the basement empire than I ever would have imagined. I'm not saying I regret my decision but I have thought about how much simpler my life would have been had kept the old house, lived frugally, and had plenty of money for other things. There are tradeoffs to every decision we make. I guess I'll always wonder if I would have been happier staying with what I had. 

  • Member since
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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, May 26, 2022 3:42 PM

You never know what's going to happen. When we moved into this house in 2006, with a large basement with no dividing walls (and a relatively high ceiling) I was anxious to get going on a nice big layout.

Then the 'Great Recession' happened, and a family member (now with a next-generation family member) had to move in, and the basement got filled up storing stuff, and money had to be spent helping other family members etc.

As it turned out, I finally finished the last major section of benchwork / track on the layout this winter - much later than I would have guessed at the start. If I had know going in, I would have planned a smaller but complete layout that I could have built in available space / expense and could maybe be incorporated into a larger layout later.

Stix
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 7,224 posts
Posted by rrebell on Thursday, May 26, 2022 9:58 PM

riogrande5761

 

 
SeeYou190

I am so sorry to hear this. My wife's sister had Covid, and barely survived. However she had several strokes while infected, and she will never be herself again. This has placed an incredible burden on her daughter, who has two young children, caring for her. She will need constant care for the rest of her life.

 

That's aweful and a long lasting care burden.  I have 3 sisters.  The youngest figured a long time ago she would end up caring for our parents in their declining years.  She couldn't have kids so she adopted two Korean kids and one Chinese kid.  My mother, who is very old fashioned, could never look at them like she would her own offspring, so my youngest sister has always been very bitter about it and has distanced herself.  My wife, being old school believes my little sister should put diffrences aside and help care for our 90 year old mother.  But she seems to have disconnected herself - yet she wants her even share of the inheritance.  Our mother, who is lucid much of the time, feels she deserves less because of her attitude, and after all, it's her decision how much to pass on.  Anyway, the other two of my sisters have issues which seem to make them not ideal candidates for looking after my mother, so rather suddenly, and because I stumbled into my mothers house and found her not well, ended up dealing with the situation.

 

 
I don't think I have ever really complained about the cost of the hobby.

I have vocally complained about the inability to get what I need. Track shortages, Rapido Railcrew uncouplers, Rapido cancelling the undecorated PA, and a few others have been the thorns in my side.

-Kevin 

 

 

No, not you.  I was referring to the topic starter, and other topic starts in the past since "the hobby is too expensive" rears its head periodically and has for many years.  Hmm

Anyway, how has your hunt for a house with a train room gone.  I recall you were house hunting but since you said you have no layout space, it must be on-going?

 

Set up a trust.

  • Member since
    May 2008
  • From: Miles City, Montana
  • 2,064 posts
Posted by FRRYKid on Friday, May 27, 2022 1:51 AM

SeeYou190

You guys that have a layout room already, I envy you.

In my case, my room came with the purchase of the house. (Of course, I went in with the specific idea of a room for the layout with a tape measure.) The layout was already built and then build and added a few more sections to get it to where I want it.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
Brain waves can power an electric train. RealFact #832 from Snapple.
  • Member since
    June 2007
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, May 27, 2022 10:20 AM

rrebell
Set up a trust.

If you're talking about my mom's estate, my lawyer sister has already drawn up the paper work.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, May 27, 2022 10:51 AM

By my count, the last 11 posts have been completely off topic. Geez, if you don't like the topic, why derail it so to speak? 

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, May 27, 2022 12:43 PM

In case you didn't notice, it was derailed a long time ago.

But ... in before the lock!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, May 27, 2022 12:49 PM

richhotrain
By my count, the last 11 posts have been completely off topic. Geez, if you don't like the topic, why derail it so to speak? 

When this thread first went off topic I suggested it be locked, and all this chatter be moved to the Diner.

This thread has kind of replaced the Diner for this month I guess.

-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
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,199 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Friday, May 27, 2022 12:57 PM

Kevin, I had the same thought. Great minds think alike

I do wish that the OP had done a better job of managing the thread.

There is a lot of interest in this thread for whatever the reasons. It is averaging 800 views per day.

Rich

Alton Junction

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