Author Topic: Model Railroading Booming???.  (Read 1002 times)

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steamrail43

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Model Railroading Booming???.
« on: July 31, 2007, 11:13:35 PM »
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Visited my local hobby shop for a few supplies today, had a chat to the manager who informed me that most shops are having trouble getting stock, he continued by saying because of the large amount of people retiring there has been a big swing to people taking up Model Railroading, seems many manufacturers are way behind with their manufacturing schedules, if this is the case the hobby looks like having a great future, what do other forum members think about his statement?.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2007, 11:18:42 PM by steamrail43 »

qantaqa

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Re: Model Railroading Booming???.
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2007, 03:15:34 AM »
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I was at my nearest hobby shop a few weeks ago, desperately in need of track and looking for new rolling stock, and the selection was abysmal, ummm, disappointing - mostly some state cars by MTL (and 3 different scale test cars  ???), one locomotive, and almost no other N supplies... Z was completely absent, HO fared somewhat better.  The good news was that they told me they make weekly orders to Walthers, so I could save on shipping by combining orders with them, at no additional cost.  Apparently, that's how they are able to "stock" what everyone wants, as everyone models different lines at different times, prefers different brands/heights of track, etc.  I was informed that Railroading was what kept them in business, but was almost an afterthought as far as the retail space was concerned (RC cars, planes, boats occupied the majority of the store).

However, in the last 12 months, 2 local shops have closed, and one has dropped rail completely  :'(  but they still have an amazingly complete selection of model paints and a few useful tools.

Most of the other railroaders I know around here just drive to Canada; the shops they frequent are exclusively rail.

dclyde

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Re: Model Railroading Booming???.
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2007, 07:38:51 AM »
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Having been in the hobby since I was 13 years old (I'm now 51), I'm reminded of the days when there was hardly anything available...anywhere.

I know that in my household, the years have changed a lot of things.  With the introduction of a new wife that is actually more into the hobby than I, we've spent more on trains in the past 2 years then we had the previous 15 years.

The problem in my area is that there is a vast price range.  For the most part, the availibility seems to be there, it's more a matter of how much you're willing to pay for what you need.  For example, hobby shop A wants $17.99 for a standard Atlas remote switch, hobby shop B wants $11.99 for the same switch.

As both a curse and a blessing, my office is spitting distance from M.B. Klein's.  My car never seems to just drive by without stopping.  Of course, stopping always costs money but, neither my wife or I are complaining.

Dave
« Last Edit: August 01, 2007, 07:40:45 AM by dclyde »

Mark5

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Re: Model Railroading Booming???.
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2007, 09:23:43 AM »
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hehe this is great - after all these "the sky is falling" threads over the years on the Atlas forum  :P

sirenwerks

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Re: Model Railroading Booming???.
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2007, 10:41:12 AM »
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Luckily, I have Kleins nearby. They stock all of the major manufacturers and a lot of up and coming products and can get anything I request. Unfortunately though, much of what I'd like to see/hold/check out isn't always there. I appreciate shops like Bruce's Train Shop in Sacramento, that stocks full lines of detail parts that I can peruse. The problem seems to be the smaller manufacturers don't seem to quite get it a lot of times when it comes to their web sites, as a point of marketing. Point in case, both Kaslo Shops and Athabasca make products which may be of interest to me. Since Kleins doesn't carry their products, I can't truly see if they'd work for the projects I have in mind and the manufacturers fail to put photos, or sometimes quality photos, of all  of their products on their web sites. Or they put photos of HO versions of the products, rather than the actual product I might buy. I'm afraid I am not endowed with cash flow that allows me to purchase products sight unseen, with the hopes that they will be what I want. So, in that respect, I don't know that the hobby is healthy, in that smaller manufacturers could be putting out some great products, but without them getting the word out they're bound to not sell well and, ultimately, the company may give up on them for lack of sales and the hobby will muddle along. When in fact, it's partially their own fault for not marketing well.
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.