Is the cost of our hobby scaring away younger people?

  runawaytrain Locomotive Driver

Something that has been asked by many of my fellow model railway enthusiasts as well as people who aren’t model railway enthusiasts will the hobby die if there isn’t enough younger people making model railway layouts etc or even collecting model railways and is it because of the high price of entering and marinating that interest?

There I think should be two answers to that.  One that yes the hobby is expensive but it is very similar to when young people get a Wii console,  PS3 or PS4, X-Box’s and get controls and games it adds up to being practically the same price as purchasing a train set of good quality with nickel silver track and add one more locomotive and some more track.

However, Wii games etc start from a low price of $19.95 and can go up to $99.95 for popular titles that have had to run continuation of first game like the Sim City series.

It is also looking at this the new PC games force players now to play on the Internet for their game and from what I have heard you can’t play by yourself in the comfort of your own room- something which model railways you can ‘play trains’ as some ill-informed idiots will say.

And yes our hobby is considered expensive for new comers and when a youngster gets a train set for his birthday and wants to expand upon that Thomas the Tank Engine Hornby  train set he got for Christmas he is up for more costs for track, buildings, and I haven’t started on the Locomotives and Rollingstock.  The thing we have to realise its usually the father that purchases the train set because it conjures memories of when he was a child and got a train set for Christmas and made a layout but then he got married move house and more likely than not the layout got dismantled.

Those that enter our hobby are more likely to be retired and can afford to purchase the $295.00+ for locomotives let alone the add on’s.

For example I got speaking to someone and they said Ausicision’s very popular VLP N Passenger cars retail for $400.00 and add to that a VLP N Class loco of $295.00 and all up you have a price of $695.00 and you haven’t even laid the track yet.

To Powerline’s credit whilst not publicised they do manufacture train sets of high quality similar quality exists for Hornby ones. Lima used to when it did Australian Prototype but was let down by its distributor when stock ran out at department stores or hobby shops I was told the waiting time for it to be ordered from Order to delivery to store was around 4-6 weeks and that was because the distributor used to claim there was none in stock in Australia and had to order from Italy and you guessed it back then there was no Internet so no store would be able to find out if it was true or not.  Yes an overseas phone call would be rather expensive to do so they relied on the ‘good word’ from the distributor.

We all know that there are cheap and what some people call “nasty” train sets around the place and one modeller told me Life Like falls into that category but Bachmann on the other hand the exact opposite.  

Just recently I visited a Toys ‘R’ Us store and they had these new plastic trains sets when combined with extra track as well as carriages the purchase price was even much cheaper than our own good quality train sets.  However, what was not really well known was that these train sets are probably being tested at these stores and if they are popular they might expand to discount retail stores like Big W or K-Mart.  Target on the other hand I don’t think has ever been too keen to stock train sets.

Let’s now look at Lego train sets they are expensive but the number of buildings and track is rather limited and yes people my age remember in the 1980s when it was all electric with a level crossing which had lights and you lowered the barriers at the flick of a switch including signals doing this- yes don’t tell Lego this because they don’t us to remember how advanced they were for back then.

Anyway, to encourage younger modellers will be hard because of the high price involved but it all has to do with priorities and what they prioritise their money towards.

So what are your thoughts are we getting more younger modellers to join our ranks is the price of the hobby scaring them away or is there something else?

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  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I disagree, in real terms model railways have never been cheaper and modellers are blessed with a huge variety to choose from. You are making the classic mistake of only putting up examples of RTR models, what about kits? You can buy kits for excellent Victorian Railways models from as low as $16.95.

Go back 20 or more years and the relative cost was higher, and there was little to choose from. If you wanted RTR Australian models, then you had limited choices and for many the only option was expensive brass models that, if translated into today's prices, would make your eyes water. As a result, many people scratchbuilt their own models or bashed an existing model into some semblance of a local prototype. But back then, you were still taught some of those skills in schools, not anymore.

Getting Lima products here back then was difficult, but all the blame cannot be levelled at the distributor, getting anything off the Italian docks intact was a monumental task.

The Internet now spoils you for choice, you can buy prototypes from anywhere in the world from companies competing with each other for your custom, and the local importers are producing far more high quality,detailed models at prices that are no higher than back then, when you consider the inflationary factors.

Nope. It is not the cost scaring young people away, they are just less interested because they are now spoilt for choice in leisure pursuits.
  Dazz Deputy Commissioner

Model railways have never been a "cheap" hobby if you want something remotely realistic or want to model a prototype.

But, young people tend to also want "everything" instead of what will get them started.

By that I mean they want a fleet of NR's/N's/S's/B's/422's81's etc with long rakes of wagons and a full Indian Pacific/Spirit of Progress et etc etc.

If you have limited layout room, then you can really "get by" with a single loco, and a few selected wagons. Lets face it double NR's with six coal hoppes behind them looks silly!

So looking at it from a NSW point of view, you can (could?) buy 44's from Toms for $150, so even a pair at $300 isn't crazy, and if you look around you can still get things like 4-wheel S wagons, sheep/cattle wagons and brake vans for not crazy money. If you were careful and budgeted on $1,000 that's a $150 44 plus $850 for rolling stock. Sure this isn't what you "want" but it is enough to run trains.

If you really want to be a modeler, buy rolling stock kits, much cheaper, and you are actually making it yourself. I fear a lot want instant gratification by using RTR stuff, and you pay for that!

It doesn't cost a lot to knock up either a table style, or even better an around three walls of a room/garage shelf style layout, and if you keep it single line with some sidings and maybe a passing loop, you will not need lots of points or track. $500 would buy a fair chunk of track and enough points to be interesting.

$300 will cover something like an NCE Power Cab and a few bits of wiring etc, and $200 will but a fair bit of materials to make a base to put it all on.

Sure that's $2,000, but what's a new Playstation and half a dozen games cost?

Bottom line is if you are really into modeling, then a few trains and some track is not a lot, scenery is cheap to do, and if you don't have "I want to model half the state system" dreams you can be running trains in a scenicked environment for not a real lot of dollars.

I also think if you are going to be in the hobby for a long time, you don't need it "all now". Get enough to start, and then as you start working, you have more to spend. Nobody builds their dream layout first go even if they have the money and time. So be realistic, and you should be able to have fun for not a silly amount of money.

Scale also plays a part, but as an example, I built a small N scale coffee table layout a few years ago as I had no space for a layout, not much money, but wanted to "play trains".

I bought all the rolling stock off ebay second hand as well as a bunch of flex track, bought a few new bits of curved set track, bought the timber and built the table myself, and I think all up I would have spent less than $500 to get it to a scenicked, operation (albeit tail chaser) layout that was fun to build and relaxing to watch trains run occasionally.

Here it is during construction and initial testing:

And completed:

No, it's not my dream HO scale layout of 1960's NSW prototype (that I'm slowly working towards), but I think most younger people would have the means and skill to make something like this, that wets their appetite without massive financial outlay.

We don't have a mansion as our first house or a Rolls Royce as our first car, so why should our first lot of trains be any different?
  5711 Assistant Commissioner

I also tend to disagree.
The 'toy train' really now has developed into an adult sphere of influence as adults seem to be willing to indulge in hobbies that inspire, create and have sentimental drive.
There is no way a child or a parent could possibly justify spending $295 on a plastic rtr loco just so too introduce them into the hobby - the models have eclipsed the Lima/Hornby days when you could pick them up from Myer or your toy store.
I believe the hobby is attracting more mature collectors who want to engage on a higher level with this hobby. The quality of the releases shows that.

I dont think people are going to be scared by price. It just means that people are going to pace their purchases and collect over a series of time. Its a lifetime hobby.....
Thats my doctrine re this hobby - I had lima loco's etc as a kid and I always wanted those Mansfield/Classic brass 45/421/81's etc that cost around $500 back in 1985!! Now I can indulge these days in those purchases but with the quality of plastic releases surpassing these brass loco's - the future looks bright for collectors - old and new.

As a result - I always wanted a V Set and the friendmont bodies was all that was available. I attempted to build a 2 car set which I did but it always seemed inferior - now with Auscision doing them , I am over the moon that for once I can now relive the old days with new technology and realistic running and for approx $500 maybe for a 4 car set , these days are the best ever!!!!!

my 5c worth - and great thread by the way!!!
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
I came to the struggling realisation a couple of months ago on how much I have spent on trains, and I'm only bloody 20!!!

But that's said, $700 for a 3 car N set with N class kind of bang for buck in the modelling world, but compared to other pursuits of people of my age is expensive.
  Wildtony Beginner

Location: Ingleburn NSW
I reckon I'm totally qualified to answer this question.

About a year and a half ago at Christmas I found my old Lima XPT and 930 train sets that I have had since I was about 10 (mid 30's now but hopefully still a "younger person") buried in my dad's shed and decided to see if I could still get them going.

Having all of the knowledge about model trains of a 10 year old I proceeded to join up my badly corroded steel track pieces, wire up the late 80's power pack and then flick the switch only to watch absolutely nothing happen. This did not surprise me as I used to play with these trains as a ten year old in ways that would probably horrify ay serious modeller (eg, running the trains on track setup on carpet, trying to launch locomotive's over ramps, purposely shorting out the powerpack to make sparks, etc).

Despite this my sentimental attachment to these trains was great enough to make me take them in to Casula Hobbies to see if they still worked and could be salvaged. Once on their test track the 930 was barely able to move forward but there was life in the old girl yet. A good scrub to remove the accumulated gunk on the wheels, some new traction tyres and a bit of lube on the gears were prescribed and I'd be back in action.

My powerpack was replaced with a seemingly bulletproof CDA electronics controller, with inbuilt protection against idiot 10 year old children, as the old one was beyond hope and a track cleaning block was acquired to shine up those old rails.

While I was there they just so happened to also have a Trainorama 930 for sale for $150 and I was so impressed by the level of detail and the working lights that I decided what the hell, I'd take that as well just in case I couldn't get the old one working. In the end I left $350 or so poorer which was way more than I had wanted to spend but I had zero knowledge of what model train prices were.

Getting this stuff home I eventually got everything working again (it turned out the removal of half a tonne of carpet fibres and resoldering one of the poles of the 930 motor were also required) but then started tinkering, first to get my old Lima carriages to connect to the new Trainorama motor then buying some very cheap LifeLike carriages to add to the very tired looking ones I still had and converting those wagons to Kaydee couplers as well, I also bought a few Powerline wagons and Auscision containers to go in them. All of these things individually are very reasonably priced and were good fun as i could play with the trains with my 1 year old son who loves watching them.

A few months later I decided to build my first ever layout using old materials I had sitting in the garage from previous rennovations (so the build cost was zero) and knocked up a fairly dodgy 8' x 4' table to build it on. I have since tossed out all of my old lima track, spent about $300 on replacement track to build my inital double loop and have been adding to this slowly as time goes by as my layout is perfectly flat and built on the logic of cramming as much rail on the layout as possible. Boring yes, but I like having lots of sidings and shunting yards to play around with. Due to the progressive nature of this build you could argue that while there is now about $1000 worth of track and switch machines sitting on the layout that this hobby is expensive. However, the reality is that this expenditure has accumulated slowly and virtually every individual component is very cheap so you are simply adding things as you go.

Over this time I have also started to acquire more locomotives and RTR rolling stock from the likes of Auscision and Austrains which admittedly is not cheap. However, Casula hobbies will sell these by the wagon if you ask. You don't seem to have much choice if like me, you only like Australian trains and don't have the time to build the models yourself but I'd rather be able to buy them at those prices than not having anything available on the market at all. Also the prices for RTR aren't too bad when you consider that they are fully completed models compared to something produced by Games Workshop for instance, which may cost almost as much but still require assembly and painting.

If I were looking to get someone into the hobby any younger, the Bachmann "Desert King" sets look decent enough for the price and there are plenty of cheaper Hornby kits out there that you could give to a child without being too concerned about them destroying them. The price point of these sets is also similar to say RC helicopters and aeroplanes so I don't think model railways are priced out of the market at all.

Would they be the same quality as say your Auscision/Austrains RTR wagons? Probably not, but they are different products for different markets, I mean the Auscision boxes even say for ages 14+.

However, given that I am still getting enjoyment today out of my dodgy old Lima 930 locomotive my Dad bought for me 20+ years ago, I think you'd have to consider an investment in model rail to be pretty good value in the long run and I'm sure when he is old enough, my son will probably pinch my old Auscision wagons to run on a layout of his own as well.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Model railways is a cheap form of entertainment. My other hobby would be sailing and I don't mean in model form, if I had the time and money, now that gets expensive.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Model railways might seem cheap to us that is in the hobby and it most probably is, but to the Mr and Mrs Averages of this world the prices are just crazy for that little thing. At the NRM when the layout has either some of mine or a few friends scale models running on them you get the same question every time after they like a particular locomotive.

Just say a NR in Ghan livery for sake of the argument.
"I would not mind one of those how much does one cost mate".

"Errrrrrr $295 At Joe Blow Hobbies".

The surprised look on most peoples faces never ceases to amaze me though. These are the ones that have Little Johnny at home and he wants some model trains. You then have to explain to them that there are other alternatives such as a complete train set for about the same price.

I often get asked how much is the NRM layout worth and I cannot really make an estimate as things like track and locomotives are constantly change or removed over a period of time. Actually if we did keep track of this kind of thing I think we would all be in for a big shock as the layout has been there nearly 25 years this year actually. So I don't know what figure to pull out of the air here for cost.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Model railways still are cheap, don't confuse the current offerings by Austrains, Auscision and others as being equivalent to the old Triang, Hornby or Lima sets. The new models are not sets, they are the modern day equivalent of the brass of yesterday. Limited edition (meaning no guarantee they will be continuously stocked), highly detailed, accurate and moderately expensive.

You can still buy cheap train sets, and these days you can buy them cheaply from anywhere in the world via Internet shopping. And you can land them here in Australia at lower prices than the shops. Nope, we never had it so good.
  anzac1959 Chief Commissioner;Item;5419

A Desert King train set $199 who says you need to start with a $300loco and aus carriage set @ $450 . I started with a Dock Authority and the moved onto other things when I could afford it. It only become expensive when you let it become expensive.
  TrainTree Train Controller

Location: Eltham
When I started in the hobby some 30 plus years ago I was given two basic Hornby sets. I don't know the price but I do remember later on wanting to link the two ovals and going and buying points to do it with my birthday money.

One of these was a VR B class and a small steamer. I can remember wanting to buy another carriage and spending $16 on one. These type of sets are still available today but they are mostly of English proto type and reasonably priced for mum and dad.

However, we mostly have a taste for the Australia prototype and for various reasons these are still costly.

The option for relatively low expense entry is there but not with Australia proto type. But these days the hobby competes with free games available on the various hand held devices.

Time have changed and we are all moving on, I can't see our hobby going away and given the growth in Australian prototype today I am hoping for a bright future for our hobby.

  viaprojects Chief Train Controller

So what are your thoughts are we getting more younger modellers to join our ranks is the price of the hobby scaring them away or is there something else?

introduction to the hobbie , space then cost. all are factors.

most of the older model rail player's where able to go to there local toy shop and look and buy there lima or hornby trains.

today - you lucky to find a toy shop. we have the hobby shops but there more pointed to all the older skill set with a full pay to spend if your going for the right look.

as for cost - if your after local then you pay the top end price. if your after the o/s models you can buy the cheap end.

the real turn off is not getting what you need to do the hobbie. not stock, order in, goto xyz, use the internet. it's not an easy hobbie.
  TheFish Chief Train Controller

Location: Pyongyang
I think we shouldn't be advocating lots of rolling stock and miles of track.  Too many modelers create huge beasts of a layout that newcomers see and try to emulate thinking that is what they should aim for.  80% of the versions of this type of layout will never get finished and a ridiculously expensive.  Small simple cheap layouts must be shown to newcomers.  In modelling simple is always better.
  glennofootscray Junior Train Controller

Location: Footscray
I have always been a believer in less is more, there is no point building a 'basement empire' that never gets finished. A small layout can offer a load of operational opportunities, if well executed. A chance to finish off details and if clever enough, be able to expand or become modular.

In regard to local prototype being expensive, it can be; however cutting your modelling teeth on more prolific options (U.S. & U.K) in box sets can save a starter in the caper a world of pain and expense. Then when finished/educated with that 'style', offload it and take up the local option.

Plenty of ideas at either...

or at

From little things, big things grow.

Regards Glenn
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
When talking about youth and cost, I don't believe it is so much the actual cost, but perhaps limits of available disposable budget and spending priorities.  Lets face it, when we talk youth, I guess we refer to those under the age of about 30ish.  A teenagers income is usually pretty low, if any, and in this day and age of being gadget loaded, most dollars are likely to be invested in mobile phone bills and iTunes downloads, takeaway food with mates or trying to hook up with chicks.  The slightly older youth may be at university and working a part time or casual job, so again, limited income, and again, priorities more likely invested in beer, entertainment, food and still trying to pull a chick.  I think most "youth" would also perhaps consider playing trains a bit of a nerdy thing, and probably not do any favours when trying to impress those chicks they are still trying to round up Smile

Once studies are generally finishing for most as they approach their thirties, and better paying jobs are secured, that disposable income might start to become available to splash out on the model train interest.  It just takes time to mature into a hobby like model railways, and most adults will bore quickly with a toy train set that just goes around the basic oval.  A basic train set will set you back a couple of hundred dollars and have you going in circles in about ten minutes.  Think a bit more mature, and a couple of hundred dollars with get you a handful of points and some flex track, but not much to run on them.  No one really starts out with everything.  Consider your first car (probably a $500 heap, but it ran, and the next one will be better), first Lego kit (can't build much yet, but once you get more...), first tool for the shed (ok, I can hammer, but now I need a drill...); all of these are just starting points that will continue to grow, and I expect a model train hobby to be exactly the same.

Dan Pickard
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
In my buy's over the past year:
Two US locomotives and 24 wagons (mix of used and new wagons), $1050 vs Two N classes and one 3 car N set: $900

The local prototype may scare the younger people away.....
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Lets face it double NR's with six coal hoppes behind them looks silly!

Look silly does it?

So while they aren't NR's, then I suppose we must be seeing things then when two 81 classes leading six whatever-product tankers comes along?

If people think that model trains (& other transport modes for that matter) are expensive, especially if you want to model Australian stuff), then why not say buy something similar such as a US coal hopper, and slightly alter it to look Australian?
  xdford Chief Train Controller

What annoys me is that there are semi reasonable looking well presented entry level slot car sets available in the likes of K Mart and so forth and the best that can be done in the railway line is very flimsy plastic/battery powered stuff where the life is not going to be all that long - read literally minutes and not even hours and potential future modellers are lost!

I have been following other threads where there is a new magazine in the UK called "Your Model Railway Village". The teaser offering a red Mk1 type coach. Obviously it is OK enough as many have bought multiples of the magazine with a view to kitbashing the quality is OK even if the prototype is slightly dubious. Of course there are those who want the scale weld marks on the inside of the sill to be 7 zipteenths and not 6.5 or 8.1 and other minor details and have poo pooed the idea that a cheap(er) vehicle has any merit without seeing the bigger picture! Given the quality, I think it would be fair to assume that the vehicles were produced in China literally for pennies ... ensuring a profit for the magazine promoters.

But think if there was a way of getting a more active participation with a better geometry set track of a reasonable quality, reasonable representations without the plasticcy (!) Lifelike look - that look OK three feet away - of rollingstock that modellers who want to can detail to their hearts content... and given the amount of current tooling around the world should not be that difficult to muster.

The interest in the hobby is there if magazine sales are any indication... so what levels of detail do most of us really want!

For the benefit of the hobby while I rejoice in exquisite detail (I would love a Rapido Canadian but I am a long way short!), I am prepared to compromise with lesser detail!

My thoughts anyway

  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
There is of course the old saying, you get what you pay for, which goes for most things in life, not just model trains.  Most serious modellers will desire the better quality and better detail...that comes at a price.  No one could possibly compare the quality of a Life-Like starter set with say some of the Auscision (as an example only) individual sale products. There is a reason why the starter set only cost $200.  

Dan Pickard
  1210_5910 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Over the Hills & far away...
Hi All

For my 7th Christmas my parents bought me a Lifelike train set as well as some more track and a Model Power steam loco. I was as happy as a pig in mud with whatever I got given rollingstock wise (although I did prefer passenger carriages to goods wagons.... Razz). So all up I probably had about $150 - $200 worth of a collection.

It was around age 10/11 that I started to prefer Australian content, in particular anything NSWGR's.

Skip forwards to 2009: By this time I had many locos, but in my opinion nothing to put behind them. So then I started getting into building carriage and wagon kits (by this time I'd made up my mind to purely stick with NSWGR content). Firstly I had to decide what I wanted, then look for it amongst our manufacturers (e.g. Casula, Berg's, AR, etc.), and then look at prices between the manufacturers for the same kit if there were duplicates available. I discovered that NSWGR is fairly expensive, and you have to do some hard yards to get what you want (e.g. if you want say a NSWGR C30T, you more or less have to build it yourself from a brass & whitemetal kit - a learning curve within itself!), but for what I want I'm happy to pay just a little more for something that will get used a lot.

The point is, it all depends on what you want - if you just want a "train set", then any amount of money is fine. If you want something specific then save your pennies for it. Either way though, it's a great hobby and hopefully soon we'll eventually get more young people into it!! Smile


K 8)
  M636C Minister for Railways

There is of course the old saying, you get what you pay for, which goes for most things in life, not just model trains.  Most serious modellers will desire the better quality and better detail...that comes at a price.  No one could possibly compare the quality of a Life-Like starter set with say some of the Auscision (as an example only) individual sale products. There is a reason why the starter set only cost $200.  

Dan Pickard

The "Desert King" set described earlier is Bachmann, not Life Like and the locomotive is a very accurate model of a locomotive used by BHP Billiton (SD40-2)  in iron ore traffic in the Pilbara. There isn't much added detail but the handrails are quite fine and the paintwork is sharp and the colours correct. The locomotive runs as well as current Athearn models of the same general type.

The similar "Desert Hauler" has a model of the BHP Billiton CM40-8 locomotive, a locomotive unique to the Pilbara and the only model of this type available anywhere.

Since these are models of Western Australian prototype, that should be of interest to people on the  "Eastern States Bias" thread.

The iron ore wagons are models of Rio Tinto prototype and are slightly smaller than the actual BHPB wagons. In the set, they come with plastic wheels that need replacement. The set track is plated steel rather than nickel silver. The transformer is pretty basic too but runs the set locomotive with no problems.

This is a good and cheap way into modelling a very interesting part of local prototype not so far catered for by local manufacturers although US firm Broadway Limited produce BHPB locomotives.

Far from being something you will grow out of, these are good quality models of an under represented local system.

  linton78 Train Controller

Location: South Coast NSW
I started with a Powerline train set. It contained an 81 class, an FS, BS, a few goods wagons which were American orientated and some track. This suited me fine, set up on a few doors and lasted a few years. Eventually I was able to build a 6m x 2m layout using half my parents garage. I was largely influenced by layouts such as Beyond Bulliac and the many other excellent layouts featured in AMRM. Through my later teens I was distracted by cars and girls. I also joined the Navy and I saw little of my railway. I would still buy AMRM but was not what you would call an active modeller.

Back into it all again and now 35 years old I find the hobby a lot more expensive! I have limited myself to quite a tight era and modelling area. For some reason when I was younger I made do with what I had. I would build a slow motion point motors out of old bits and pieces mounted on some scrap timber. I built my own container wagons. They took time but were very cheap. Just the other day I found some styrene 80 class sides I had been building?

These days I buy tortoise point motors. The timber used in my layout is brand new quality ply, all CNC cut and my styrene 80 class would just not cut it! I am not a collector and will buy models to use. This however includes $2000 dollar PSM brass models, something I would have never dreamt about. I really feel that I have lost the art of turning scrap in to treasure. Maybe it is my career that influences me to be a little OCD. Maybe it's my career that allows this to happen?

Which ever way, I think the hobby is still reachable for younger modellers, as long as, like other people on here have said it progresses slowly. Kids are walking around with $500 iPads, phones and haircuts. Surely they can afford a $150 trainorama 44 class, some track and whack it down on a piece of ply. Relative to all the other 'cool' stuff around, modelling trains isn't really that expensive.

You probably would not want to dive in too deep anyway these days. A few kids I know get sick of things after a few weeks. No make that hours!

  andrew1996 Train Controller

Location: Fremantle
The price of modelling has scared me away. (I'm young)
  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.
Modelling but on a tight budget? have a look at - you can get a layout, a garden railway, and a little country house all for around 1/2 the replacement value! Better be quick, I'm already asking my cats if they'd like to move there.
  torana Station Master

Location: Menangle.N.S.W.
I would like to add my 2 peneth into this discussion. As a little boy of about 3 years old, my father planted the seed -as every young kid likes trains. We were lucky that we lived close to Lidcombe Railway Station and Signal box, and our only form of transport then we Train Travel.

  On many occassions we would go for a train ride into the city with our father, and this is back in the 1950's, of a Saturday.And walk around Central Station, and back then every Country train was a Steam Train.Even the Spirit of Progress was a Steam hauled Express Train to Albury, where you changed trains because of a different gauge.And as a little boy, your eyes would be looking at everything in Awe.

 I still have a Photograph in my Back Room of me -now a 62 year old Man, sitting on the front buffers of Steam Locomotive 3813 when it was on display to Celebrate the Centerary of the Railways held in Sydney Yard. And as often as possible my Father would take my sister and i to anything that involved Trains.,Exhibitions, displays, or even when they used to run the old restored locomotives 1709-2705 from Central out to Bankstown and around to Lidcombe and back into Central again.Everyone would come out to see and join in the Celebration of the day, to see the trains.

As a young man of 15 years of age, working on the N.S.W.G.R. railways was a place lots of people went to get a job, it was a family tradition, and a permanent job as well.As long as you behaved yourself. I worked there for 25 years ,starting off as a Trainee Storeman at the General Stores at Rozelle and progressing through the various stages of Promotion to the rank of Salaried Officer Stores Supervisor  stationed at A.C.Dep,Eveleigh.But i worked at most of the Railway Stores in the Sydney Metropolitan area and to Valley Height Locomotive Depot, as it was under the control of the Storeman in Charge at Wagon Works Clyde. So my love of trains continued for many,many years.And i always had a camera close by to take Photographs of different Locomotives and Diesels.

Then as time went by, and i was made Redundant after 25 years of loyal service, i took a career change and became a Professional Chauffeur.But the love of Trains still remains today.And even though i am now retired, i have my own Model Train Layout on my enclosed Back Verandah, i operate in H.O. Scale-N.S.W.G.R. models of Steam and Diesel.I did have a model train layout when i was younger, but sold it recently for a small fortune.Now as i travel this great country of ours, i always have my camera nearby to photograph and record the sights and sounds of our great railways.And the interest was planted by my parents so many years ago.I would say that the interest in this hobby never dies, it might linger quietly and burst forth at some stage in your childs life.

 Today there are so many Model Railway Clubs around with Exhibitions ,being held most weekends.And it is just so good to see the workmanship that someone puts into his layout to make it interesting to look at.

We are known for our little boys with our toys,even as grown men.May the hobby live on for many years to come.

torana- Dave.
Kings Park.N.S.W.

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