UNION_PACIFIC_STEVE TrainBoard Member

    I've been thinking (maybe not so good a thing) and to me it seems that model railroading is perceived as a hobby for older people.
    I'm 19 myself and dont think model trains are only for older people. i do what i enjoy doing, and dont care if im a normal teenager or not. :D
    I know that im not the only young person on this forum, but i was just wondering what everyone else's thoughts on this are?

  2. Strthoky

    Strthoky E-Mail Bounces

    I am 26 and I have always enjoyed trains. I think it is because I was involved with them due to my Grandmother and my mom working at the Lionel Plant. I recieved my first Lionel train when I was in 5th grade (Amtrak passenger) and lost it in my parents divorce.. since then I have not really been into it due to $$$ now that I am stable I can get back into it...

    My person opinion .... with the growing popularity of Thomas the tank there may be a explosion of new younger interest in model trains.
  3. Benny

    Benny TrainBoard Member

    In the 1950's, there were many younger modelers. Now there isn't. One could sayour society changed...where omce it was OK to play with trains, it turned into a nerds only hobby.

    Hopefully that is reversing. Bottom line: WE NEED young Blood! Oh wait...That would include me... 21 and extremely busy with everything else in life that isn't MR.
  4. Jake

    Jake TrainBoard Member

    I'm 16 and i think model railroading is the greatest thing on earth. Sure at the C&EI club in Rossville, Ill i seem a bit out of place, but it always seems to be easy to make new friends, when share a sort of "brotherhood" with others. I think that this hobby is for all ages.
  5. rush2ny

    rush2ny TrainBoard Member

    It's thinking like that that gives people that very perception. The younger crowd needs to band together and spread the word. Remember....You are the future!

  6. daveheinzel333

    daveheinzel333 TrainBoard Member

    I'm 25 and I'm working my way into the hobby. It's interesting to see the different ways I am treated at hobby stores. Sometimes I am ignored and even if I try to get into a conversation about whatever, I might as well be a 2 year old kid with my thumb in my mouth. Sometimes though (and this is the case at my LHS) I'm treated just like all the other guys. I'm sure part of this is my age, but then again, it's probably like this for you older guys too when you go into a new hobby store.

    I model a modern-era railroad, and I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like most people model things in the transisition era. Maybe because I was born in 1977 I have no sentimental ties to that era. I like trains, but I like trains that I can see out of my window today. I couldn't care less for steam engines, and I can't wait 'till the day that I have a layout big enough to run a couple SD70Macs and autoracks as far as the eye can see.

    But I'm sure there's a few 50 year old modelers who feel the same way. So this might just be me rambling on and on again. [​IMG]
  7. rray

    rray Staff Member

    I have been playing with my trains all my life. Yes I said Playing. I'm in my mid 40's and don't have to be cool anymore. When I was in my 20's I was in an N Trak club, and I was So Cool , we were Modelers then. We did not Play with trains, we ran them.

    As far as being ignored at hobby shops, I went through a phase of "Drop $200-300" on the counter every time I visited my local Hobby Shop, and try like heck to break into conversation with the guys there. I wanted to show that I support my LHS, and wanted to be one of the guys. Didn't work. They still ignore me. When I was in my 20's the cool guys at the LHS were in their 40's and 50's, Now that I'm there, the cool guys are in their 60's and 70's.

    I moved to Boise for 10 years, and the LHS therre treated me like I was one of the cool guys. It was great, but good things must end, and the owner died, and later I moved back home, and have the same LHS as from my youth. I don't support my LHS anymore, I support whichever internet shop has the cheapest prices.

    Points made here:

    If you like trains, who cares how old you are, enjoy them!
    If you are treated like a second class citizen at your LHS, treat them like a second source vendor for last minute glue, paint, or ground foam.
    You will always find friends to talk trains with online, and Everybody's Cool here no matter what their age. After all you have to be cool to operate a computer! :D
  8. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

    You know, it really depends on where you go as far as how you're treated. :rolleyes: I'll be 39 in a few days but it still feel like I'm 25. And when I was 25, I felt like I was 18, and when I was 18, I felt like I was 10. :D I've played (ran, operated...) trains every since I could remember. I agree, we need some more young folks out there, some of the finer sex too. [​IMG]
  9. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    Wow, I hadn't thought much about it, but after having read Brent's post, I'm pretty close to being one of the older guys! (I'm 46 years of age). I've been doing this seriously since age 18.
  10. 7600EM_1

    7600EM_1 Permanently dispatched

    Good posts everyone! However I got a long one!

    I was started as a 2 year old! YES I SAID 2 years old! I collected an "played" with them! And through the years I ran them, now I opperate them! However, my grandfather being a B&O railroader in the years of the Giants, the steam Articulateds an Mallets I have the steam blood! Its in my veins! No denying that! So... I model the years my grandfather ran the B&O HUGE EM-1's which he also ran the "7600" so... Which yes being a articulated buff an all its my favorite locomotive not just from the fact my grandfather enginnered it but being it was thee biggest on the B&O rail!

    But I had the interest in them all my life more or less! I had a local repair shop that taught me what I'm doing today under a apprenticeship! I'm only 24 but I done everything like it was done 50-60 years ago...I never went to collage for machine work, or Carpentry or anything! I took a Vocational Technical school for carpentry, masonry, and home electrican and all and went under a apprenticeship to learn machine work and taught myself to paint! So, the fellow that done all this for me is like a mentor to me and I still think of him fondly... He was like a grandfather to me once I lost my grandfather, and then I lost him... I'm all on my own now with no one local like that and I got a few kids like like he did teaching them! I never imagined I'd get into custom painting trains, take the money from that and build my own train repair shop... Thats right, I built my own repair shop from painting trains alone! I got good, and I won't ever loose that as I'm comming up on my 6,000th loco painted! Thats not counting rolling stock! Anyway, if it weren't for my grandfather 22 years ago.. I would be the way all the other kids are, into trouble, and God only knows what.. When a young kid has a hobby or something fun and harmless to do they are less likely to get into trouble and all the other stuff. We're not the "nerds" of society... We're the ones that actually have a brain an use it! Wether you model trains, or railfan.. Even just a person that comes to sites to chat that have the interest in one or the other. You still aren't out doing what the majority is! No matter what age you are or whatever, theirs nothing wrong with model railroading or railfaning.... I enjoy both, just I fall short of the railfanning side being I'm working on something everyday and time can be stretched to a point.... BUT not that far! I got 2 new designs for HO scale slugs as I type this! The one is awaiting for decals to be a Chessie System slug.... number 138T, in B&O! The one on the designing board is going to be Western Maryland 139T so.... I love doing it! The challenge of it is what gets me, keeps life interesting to see what I'll do next! :D

    But all in all its your "past time" if you enjoy it and its harmless in more ways then one... then think.... Who's the nerd or dumb one an who's using their head????? See?

    I mean really, here's a good example!

    I got online for the firt time 3 or 4 yuears ago... Joined railserve.com as my first site (which now I very seldom visit being TrainBoard is WAY better more traffic etc and tons of knowledge not to mention friendly! Anyway, the first person their was Watash! He was the first person I ever spoke a word to online! When I first got to talking to him I almost swore he wasn't a day over 30! Seriously! I did! He's got the funny side of a 30 year old and has the mind thats priceless in knowledge in this hobby! To then a while later find out the man's in his 70's! That was then! Now if I'm not mistaken and my memory serves me right he's 72! One of the best friends I got! Never met him in person or anything but one of thee best friends I have in person (in real life) or online.. He's amoung top of that list! And here I am a kid more or less to him! But Respected for the knowledge I have just the same! So in all truth and honestly thats a fine example of the ages in model railroading or even railfanning! Age means nothing in this hobby! Its more or less what type additude the person has you talk to! Not your or their age!

    I will say to alot of people, the hobby we are all in is a hobby you either love or hate... Its nothing that comes in between! I must say...... I'm addicted! 22 years an running. And another 50 plus years to come! I have no intention to stop what I enjoy just to be "cool" and fit in with "the crowd" I do what I like, love, or enjoy and this is it! I got my own coolness, without following the rest of the crowd! I be myself... Thats what the younger kids have to do! If they have a hobby thats good (expensive or not) let them do what they like and at all costs help them along.... As Russ said..... "Their our future!" :D
  11. fitz

    fitz TrainBoard Member

    And John, for someone as young as you are, you sure have your head straight. Keep on doing what you are doing. We aren't going to read about you in the newspaper headlines unless it's something GOOD that you did, right? I hope that the Baltimore thing turns into a big show next year. If it does and I get back east, I plan to look you up. :D [​IMG] :cool:
  12. Shannon

    Shannon TrainBoard Member

    UP Steve,

    I got my first model railroad when I was 6 [​IMG] . My dad built the layout and got me started. Growing up a block and a half from the Santa Fe helped also. I still have all of the first loco and cars I got 47 years ago. (gawd that a long time) Anyway if you enjoy you hobby just do it. [​IMG]

    And please in the future don't use the O word, I kinda like more mature. [​IMG]

    all the best,


  13. 7600EM_1

    7600EM_1 Permanently dispatched

    The last time I was in the news paper, was for promoting the train show, at the Meyersdale Historical Society which I posted pictures of the show. But nothing out of the ordinary for me. I keep my head straight I love my freedom, and I love being outside looking in, and not in looking out, so to speak....... Besides...... Fines an God only knows what. I have WAYYYYYYYY better things to sink my money in. Like a few more Articulateds to add to my roster! :D

    But I tell ya Jim, that will be a time to remember! I'll look forwards in seeing you! Thats for darn sure! You happen to get on this side of the continent. don't be afraid to let me know in e-mail. I'll even give ya a phone number to call to let me know your on this side!!!!!! :D

    [ 29. January 2003, 06:47: Message edited by: 7600EM_1 ]
  14. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    At 60 I guess I am one of the oldies, but it doesn't feel like it [​IMG] I started model railways when I was 15, and within a year had built my first scratchbuilt brass locomotive. I have never left the hobby for one moment, although several changes of scale and country modelled have taken place.

    Young or old, it has to be the best hobby ever!
  15. mdrzycimski

    mdrzycimski TrainBoard Supporter

    As I tell everyone else who ever talks about age:

    You are only as old as you ACT!

    UNION_PACIFIC_STEVE TrainBoard Member

    When i see a train coming down the track i get all excited and act like im 6 :D

    Its so great to have be in a hobby that can be shared with all ages, I think its a good thing for younger people to get into, i think its alot better than what seems to be the new hobby for young kids which is video games.
  17. Mike Robertson

    Mike Robertson TrainBoard Member

    Right you are...and today I guess I'm acting old, because I will be sixty in 30 days' time, and I have a young fellow in his 40's hired today to shovel about two feet of getting-way-too-heavy snow off the roof.
    I've done that sort of thing myself, all my life up until today....and the guilt is as heavy as the snow.... :( :( ...almost.
    regards / Mike
  18. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    In that case, I am about 35, not 60 as I thought :D
  19. Johnny Trains

    Johnny Trains Passed away April 29, 2004 In Memoriam

    I was in a stroller when my family would take me down the street to the old NYC yard to watch the action. I spent many many many hours around the yard starting around 12. Guess I started young.

    And by 6 I had a small circle of HO track on a board. Still have my Varney boxcar.

    Oh, I was also in diapers when my father built a Xmas O scale layout for my brothers.
    We still have it all. Including a nearly 50 year old Lionel Berk, #736.

    One might say it was almost from the day I was born.
  20. Doug F

    Doug F TrainBoard Member

    I guess that I'm an old timer by most standards, but I am still excited about the hobby.

    I got my first Lionel train set just after WWII and my parents had to buy used because new wasn't available. I still have all of it, and it's older than I am. I was born 9 days before Pearl Harbor and most of the Lionel is from 1937 as far as I can tell.

    When I was 14 I was admitted to the Ann Arbor MRRC as a Junior member. I had started buying HO the year before. I'm still waiting to build my first home layout but sure have a lot of stuff for it when (if) it happens. I now belong to a modular club (railsonwheels.com) and find that I am still learning about trains, history. and model railroading.

    It's a great lifetime hobby.

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