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So I Have A Question
 Moderated by: W C Greene Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  Next Page Last Page  
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 Posted: Sun Apr 6th, 2014 08:13 pm
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Basher
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Steve; If I were anywhere close to you I would be knocking on your door. I have a collection of every photo I have ever found on the Web of your layout. I live in a suburb of Chicago, too far to travel for a session. Bummer.
Ron D.

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 Posted: Sun Apr 6th, 2014 08:23 pm
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mdrailbaron
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Good afternoon,
 Well thank you all for your comments and Herb, yes the check is in the mail.  James go to You Tube and type in either Deep Run Railroad, Steve Fisher, or possibly On30 Guy something of that nature.   I made two videos a couple of years ago of the then existing parts of my railroad, run from each direction, this isn't all of the railroad, but you get an idea.  Since that video I have added an extremly large area that is the standard gauge, dual gauge, narrow gauge area, a sawmill complex that is 5' wide or so and about 16' long, needs to have two operators one on each side.
 I have made the operation of the railroad as simple as possible, first with Lenz/Atlas DCC system, then signaling, an off/on signal, then train cards and simple way bills, and finally battery r/c.  I send or give a handout to each new member or prespective new member, for the most part it tells you how to operate the dcc system, a small history of the railroad,  we ask you to wear either a tight fitting sleeved shirt or a short sleeve shirt, no sweaters (snags buildings and equipment), about lunch and special cookouts, and finally the major number one rule that will not get violated, "NO conversations about politics or religion".
 Yes, the railroad is large and we have friendly folks, I also have place names on the fascia of the railroad and labeling where needed.  I agree with all of your comments about the aging of the hobby, I am now three from seventy, the aging is a problem.  Yes, the lack of skills and new folks is a problem, I saw that 30+ years ago when we had the modules.  I am thinking that  it is what it is, I don't think that the Yahoo groups are my answer, because of what I have seen and read.  I know my bad.
Anyway, thanks guys I appreciate it, now it is cocktail time on the porch, good glass of red wine and humus,
Steve

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 Posted: Sun Apr 6th, 2014 09:27 pm
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jtrain
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Steve,

Believe it or not, I've never seen that video before. Impressive layout, I can see what herb was talking about.

As for the list of rules you have, I think that's more than reasonable. One thing I hate more than anything else is when someone brings up politics and religion where neither belong. Such comments can ruffle feathers, or even personally hurt others; plus it ruins the fun of operating.

I can't tell you how many times I was giving a tour of the museum I volunteered at and someone has to keep taking cheap shots at some politician. Really ruins the mood of the crowd. At least people tend to be a bit smarter on the subject of religion.

--James:java:



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 Posted: Sun Apr 6th, 2014 09:51 pm
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Salada
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"Gobsmacked" (UK Copyright) = stunned into silence in awe/admiration/terror etc. by  the occasion, subject or object.

c/f 'dumbstruck'

Regards                                Michael

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 Posted: Mon Apr 7th, 2014 12:44 am
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Mr Stumpy
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I wish you luck in finding good people to help operate your narrow gauge empire.  I hope someday to see it, as I'm at the other end of the spectrum in micro layouts. 

I've been to a few operating sessions, both on HO basement fillers, and found it interesting.  Unfortunately, it would take many sessions for a newbie to get "up to speed" learning the routine and polishing his techiques enough to be really useful on these layouts. Therefore, patience with a new member is going to be necessary.

Everyone is correct in that our hobby is aging rapidly, and that what more recent hobbyists there are, seem not to be interested in learning the skills, history, or technologies represented in the hobby.  I'm known as "The Dinosaur" at one hobby shop because I still build things rather than buy everything.  However, you need NOT be a great modeler to be a good operator, so a lack of modeling skill is not a disqualifying offence.

With age comes a lack of desire to do a lot of driving.  I've driven everything with wheels, including tractor trailers and Stock Cars, and it's not age, but fear of the morons at the wheel these days which puts me off!  I used to do eight to ten shows a year, but no more.  As you get older you begin to ask yourself more often "do I need this aggravation?"

One thing that has always been part of keeping any group together is how well the members get along and more and more it becomes more about "B.S.ing" than running trains.  I used to be in a modular club which had both an HO and an O three rail modular layout.  We had more members at the meetings than showed up at train shows and other events with their modules.  It became obvious that the social part of the club was even more important than the trains!  The trains had simply become "the price of admission" to many.

I also belong to two HO slot car racing clubs which have been having problems keeping members active as well.  (Guess what, they're all senoir citizens or almost there.)  Age, illness, distance, and a few guys with an overcompetitive attitude (enough that they darn near come to blows) are the culprits.   The one club is now down to six regular members and we run four lane tracks, so there aren't enough guys to put spun out or crashed cars back on the track!  So it's not just model railroading that is struggling. 

On the other hand, I'm in a hot rod and restored car club which has thrived for over 25 years because it is based NOT on recruiting members with the best CARS, but in having the best quality PEOPLE who have an old car.  Therefore it is certainly not impossible to find the right folks for any hobby, the key is keeping them active.

Stumpy in Ahia:old dude:

 

 

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 Posted: Mon Apr 7th, 2014 01:17 am
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mdrailbaron
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Guys,
 thank you all so very much for the help, words, and compliments.  As I read your comments I want to immediately respond before I get finished reading.  Jon D if you or any one else is interested in having me bore you with more pictures let me have an E mail from you at traindadders@gmail.com and I will send you some current shots around the system.  For me "YIKES and GADZUCKS"  is about all I can utter.
Stumpy, I remember you from Gary Kohler's Ohio shows and yes I have cut way back as well.  As I see it, same models, same dealers, same conversations, lots of money to go, so now I pick which meets and shows I want to go to and usually order product off of the net.  I also agree the friendships that have been made from 35 years of model railroading is value beyond compare.
 One thing I don't want to let slip by without responding, I am very tolerate of new people with minimum skills be it modeling or operating with railroads or railroading. In fact we start each session with coffee and my wife's home made baked goods and a show and tell and help session. As I think I said my middle school aged grand son is part of our group, Sam has mild Asbergers, which in his case works to his advantage, he is very detailed and repetitive, just not as skilled socially.  The guys like him and have made him a very welcomed operator and not because I am his grand father and yes the guys joke a lot with him.
  When I started this new group I wanted to be sure that the new person coming in the door would be able to operate a train very quickly.  As Herb stated, finding where you need to go can be something of a challenge since the railroad is so large.  I know that will get better with time and most of the guys have pretty much got it.  Since I am the dispatcher, all they need do is call in on the intercom and ask and they are guaranteed a very friendly smart ass answer.  We try to keep this fun, Steve Sherril, the WVA Railbaron and many others drive more then two hours to come to my railroad, I have another guy who lives above Harrisburg, PA and others two hours away in Southern, Maryland who will drive up once a month just to spend the day.  I am more grateful then words can convey, so that is why I really need to be sure of the next guy in.
Well, as I said in the last response I think the answer was always there live with what I have and hope for another lonely person looking for a model railroad to run.  Again, thank you all for the many comments.
Steve

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 Posted: Mon Apr 7th, 2014 11:43 am
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2foot6
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I have been reading the posts with great interest,we have the same problems down under,(Australia)we have six regular members in our group(not a club).We meet at different members homes each week and either work on or operate their layouts.My layout is now basically finished,and becomes a meeting place for our group to operate the layout or just talk between us about every thing and any thing.In the twenty five years I have been building and operating the layout ,I have had the displeasure once to say to a member not to come back.Although I felt sad in having to do such a task,it was needed to be done to protect my equipment that I had paid for and or built from scratch.It was at great risk of being damaged due to an uncaring attitude.As for our members ,we are ageing quickly,the youngest is 58 and the oldest is 75.Yesterday a club in a town 60 miles away paid a visit to my layout,they brought there youngest and oldest members (14 members visited)There ages ranged from 48 to 77(estimates)There is a large gap in modellers age groups,at train shows you see many younger people (interested and knowledgeable) visiting and looking but they seem to be lacking in the membership of clubs.It may be different in clubs in other areas,I could be wrong(if I am,that's twice this week ) :sad: Cheers Peter.

Last edited on Mon Apr 7th, 2014 11:45 am by 2foot6



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 Posted: Mon Apr 7th, 2014 02:32 pm
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W C Greene
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I have to tell ya'll about my experiences with younger modelers. The kids (pre teens) I know in the two groups I am into probably know more about railroading than the old dudes. Sure, their building experience is beginning but they know "the score" and aren't a problem. Matter of fact, one young man offered me parts from his HOn3 MDC Shay to repair mine during a local train show. I showed him how to fix mine with a piece of wire and he learned something about "making do". Actually, we both learned something valuable.
Neither of these two groups have dues or any of that crap, they are free to everybody. The "clubs" in this area have age limits for membership and I have not seen any kids hanging around any of them at shows. A sad, sad thing. Over 50 years ago, another group of older model railroaders accepted one youngster and let him become "one of the boys" and visit layouts and the occasional NMRA meet. And that wasn't just one group, that same kid was welcomed into the layout rooms of some very well known and published modelers. The kid has never forgot about that and over the years "pay it forward" has been the rule.
And today? When the On30 guys come to visit the Mogollon Railway...while the old guys shoot the s#$%, the young guys grab transmitters and bring loads of ore to the smelter. Maybe some day they will enjoy shooting the s$#% more than operating...I hope not!
That's my "piece", I got plenty of work to do if I could just remember where I put that Moto Tool.

Woodie



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 Posted: Mon Apr 7th, 2014 06:08 pm
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Tileguy
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I have 3 of em Woody, You want to borrow the cordless or the corded version :)



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 Posted: Tue Apr 8th, 2014 10:29 pm
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Mr Stumpy
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My experience with young folks and trains, both children AND younger adults, seems to show me that they are either VERY interested and enthusiastic, or they are just a pain in the butt that wish they were somewhere else texting or playing computer games.

I worked at a local school for 28 years and learned that you can't really force kids to do something they don't want to do for very long, and for model railroading probably shouldn't try. However, sometimes you CAN ATTRACT them to do something. The problem with children and many young people today is that their attention spans are a lot shorter, their social skills are stunted, and they lack basic disipline. Probably a cumulative result of our computerized, instant gratification society. This does not bode well for a hobby which you must devote time and skill to.

If you can find someone under fifty that is interested, grab 'em! Use much patience and take time to answer questions and teach them. Perhaps getting them involved with layout operations could be a way to lead them into the hobby on a deeper level?

I'm one of those people who has grown less confident in the future of model railroading as it is currently done. Perhaps there is some fundimental change in the future which will allow it to survive, computer simulation railroading is one possibility, who knows?

As for me, I'll continue to play with trains "until they pry the power pack from my cold dead hands.";)

Stumpy in Ahia:old dude:

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