Want to post a reply to this topic?
Login or register for an acount to join our online community today!

Teens and college students into trains

  • If there are any kids out there into trains and model railroading reading this they might like to look into the Teen Association of Model Railroaders [] or some of the college railroad clubs that are around [they mainly seem to be in the Midwest and East Coast].

    Replies to this thread are ordered from "oldest to newest".   To reverse this order, click here.
    To learn about more about sorting options, visit our FAQ page.
  • Since we have so many new members, and many of then teens and college students, I thought I would bring this back up for them to see. [:D]

    I hope it helps someone. [;)]
  • I'm the Northeast Region Rep. of the TAMR.
  • I'd agree and say that current groups need to make a better effort to reach youth. As a college student /model railroader, I've never joined a club and have been in the hobby for over 5 years. They just need to be visible, open. This hobby has done so much in recent years in terms of amazing detailing and operation, yet is pricing the young out of the hobby. The 21st century is one where railroads aren't as well known as they once were, are not as widespread and local, and because of no passenger service outside Amtrak, rarely do we come face to face with trains as the youth of the 1950's did. The hobby should not expect young people to just appear. We all need to get together to keep this thing going.
    So in conclusion, as I'm climbing off the soapbox, is that the existing groups need to rally around the youth and spread their wisdom. The only reason I discovered model trains was because my grandfather worked for the railroad and told some great stories. People without that connection need to see what's there and be able to access it. To close, remember the wisdom in an old western saying- "Ride together, or hang alone."
  • Thanks jim for bringing this back up, I'm not really a teen MRR at 21 but still consider myself one. As I'm new to it and i find that my knowledge off trains is right around that age group. That being said I think that the teen model groups one, railman said are hidden. Well let me rephrase not hidden but not out there enough. There are many great ways to spread the words about trains. At a school science fair do a project on railroads or do a "lecture" for sumer kids programs. mosst cities have a program where they drop them off at a park and then the city "babysits" them. Which would be a great oportunity to teach kids about model railroads. I'm sure your city would love it. It's one less day of planning for them. Another idea is Boy Scout troops. the boy scouts offer a merit badge on railroading and Ii'm sure one kid would get into them after taking the merit badge. Remember don't try to change everyone just work at one kid at a time.
  • As a teen have never seen any clubs advertize in a magazine like Boy's Life, Video Gamer, or anything like that. As an Eagle Scout I have also never seen any clubs approach my Boy Scout troop or other troops to talk about trains or model railroads. [:(]

    If every Boy Scout troop, or Cub Scout Pack in a coucil made a N-trak Module then at council camporees the troops could put the layouts together and have contests as to the best. The boys would love that! However, local clubs need to be involved and come to a couple of troop meetings to talk about the steps and things that are needed to complete the project. They could also help with some of the accual building. [:D]

    A suggestion to the older club members out there try approaching the young emphasizing the technology involved, i.e. detail railroad simulation software, DCC, running a model railroad off the computer alone, etc.. Some of my friends of my friends would be interested in model railroading if more of the advanced technology side were demonstrated to them, I don't have the $$ to show them what con truly be done. [swg]
  • I am 14 years old and intrested in streamline trains from the 1950's, BNSF Freights, and Commuter Trains such as Metrolink, Coaster, Sounder, GO. But love all trains really. I have a 9x11 HO Scale layout featuring the Super Chief.

    I wanted to join the TAMR but don't really know what they do. Can anyone say? Unforunately, I am the only person in my family who's hobbies include railfanning and model railroading, so joining others who enjoy trains as much as myself would be great. [:)] Thanks, Aric.
  • Well This is about teens and youth joining the hobby...... The big problem nowadays seems to be that most kids growing up don't get exposed to the hobby like they used too in the olden days. Another problem I see is many Teen railfans and Model railroaders are "in the closet" as thier hobby is often misunderstood by thier peers and by even there parents. Many see the hobby as playing with toys when they should be worrying about other things. I'll tell you this I was made fun of for this nd many other reasons by my peers but I got over it and had fun because trains were my hobby and they provided me with enjoyment. I feel clubs should try to reach out to younger people by offering youth memberships and special open houses for there benifit. Another thing I have seen is some clubs seem to be dominated by a few older mebers and they only want to run certain power... there was a club that disbanded because they only wanted to run NEw Haven Steamers on thier layout nothing else.... My friends fathe who is 55 or 60 was really tured off by this and he loves steamers. I know I would be too. It would be very frustrating for a teen just joining the hobby as they often go for the new railroads tht they can relate to or see. For me it was local shortline Bay Colony and the MBTA and Conrail. They certainly wouldn't fit in on that club..... I think many older members need to give a little to encourage the growthof the hobby.... But let me say this isn't typical... Me and a freind loved to go to hobby shows to buy and talkj to people... Me struck up a friendship with a guy from a modular club. He was always happy to speak to us and would invite us to run a train on the modular layout . This was 10 years ago and we still talk to him often. Another thing is the TAMR I joined in 1996 when I was 16. My friend Barry Joined in 1995. the reason we joined is that we were encouraged b an older member who was about 24 at the time. He had joined when he was our age.... He wrote us letters about trains to encouurage us to join and keep us in the hobby. He met us at a train show near us... We rode our bikes to it he drove from Springfield, MA about 150 miles to meet us in Bourne MA.... I suggest that people try to make friends in the hobby even if you have to go beyond your town...
  • Oh yeah members I sugget if you gotrackside and meet railfans of the same age that you exchange adresses or e-mails. Many friendships can grow from this..... As for clubs I'll tell you this The reason that the TAMR was formed was that the founder was denied membership to a club because he was too young, so he started his own. That was in 1964. Where there is a will there is a way. Alot of people were into Model trains as teens. Harrison Ford was in the Model Railroad Club at his High School, so you are in good company.
  • I am detecting quite a bit of truth here in this thread. Thirty some years ago I was in your shoes. At my model train club there are six junior members, only one is really active. Keep your interest in trains alive. The old timers aren't getting any younger. Be active, railfan responsibly, read all you can when you can. Help someone else get in to the hobby. Don't ever quit and thirty some years from now maybe you can give the next generation some pointers on how it was back in the good old days.
    COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
  • Recently I joined the college railroad club, just to update my Aug. 15th entry. Lone wolf no more!
  • I wai***here were more interest in railfanning here, if there were I would start a collge railfanning club myself!


    "Something hidden, Go and find it. Go and look behind the ranges, Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go." The Explorers - Rudyard Kipling

  • QUOTE: Originally posted by miniwyo

    I wai***here were more interest in railfanning here, if there were I would start a collge railfanning club myself!

    You'd be suprised, petition the school's Club System (not sure what it's called at your school, but if you're a sanctioned club, you'll get funds to do things with) to allow you to use a room on a specific day, put posters up announcing you are seeking people to meet on that day in that room to discuss the formation of such a club.

    If you make the poster right, you'd be suprised how many people would turn out to join. Engineering students would go crazy about the DCC aspect, comp-sci students would love the computer interface aspect, History majors may like the "Living History" aspect, Art's mayors would love to do realistic landscaping and detailing. The list goes on, you could get lot's of people involved and may even get the university, down the road, to formally give you one room on campus to build a permanant layout (or allow you to display module layouts in buildings around campus).

    Don't sit idle, get active, start something, how do you think all those wishy-washy peace lovers you see running around campus spouting "down with the US governement" started?

    One loud voice can do more than one voice whispering in the shadows.
  • QUOTE: Originally posted by modelrailroader71
    I wanted to join the TAMR but don't really know what they do. Can anyone say?

    Yup, you get a national newsletter (some areas, including yours, have regional newsletters), also, you are able to run and/or elect people for certain positions (all but one position is usually run by teens), and you are able to go to TAMR conventions all over the country (ther are usually several conventions each year).
  • Here at WWCC every sanctioned club(anyone can start one) gets $200 a semester. There are a lot of clubs here, Paintball club, Catholics on campus, college republicans, college democrats, and the list goes on and on, the school is supportive of every one who wants to start a club. I just don't think that there will be enough interest in Railfanning, Modeling, or trains in general to even start one, And it kinda shows a bad thing when the club founder doesn't have time to attend the meetings, I have no time at all between classes and Rehearsals, and work(oooh dirty four letter word). but maybe i will start asking around and see if anyone takes interest.


    "Something hidden, Go and find it. Go and look behind the ranges, Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go." The Explorers - Rudyard Kipling