Who said Kids have no Interest?

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Renovo PPR, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

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    I often hear that this hobby has no future because the kids have no interest. I can only think it is because those that have tons of money invested don't let the kids play with them.

    I just buy the sets put them together then walk away. So what if they break a small part they are having fun.

    However I was politely told this year that I have been doing things wrong. And this was by my 12 year old daughter. She was quick to notice that I had put the consists for the Polar Express and Hogwarts Express together all wrong.

    I didn't know there was a order but she sure did. Now if she didn't have ANY interest in trains how would she of known that?
  2. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

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    lmao!


    your 12 year old has more interest then my 10 year old then....lol
  3. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Yep, she's a railfan! :)
    Ralph
  4. ASH630

    ASH630 New Member

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    A lot of younger kids now like the Thomas trains. I have a cousin who is around 6 and he just loves trains period.

    I personally am too busy between school (college) and work, although I knew someone in my school band who likes HO scale. I prefer O scale better even though it seems harder and harder to acquire.

    My dad loves trains, and he works for the B.N.S.F.

    I know of an online group on facebook who are interested in trains, although I do not know if they like to model them or not.

    I do not know if it is so much the fact that there are not as many younger people who like them, or if there are just not as many younger people who are organized like a club for trains. I also wonder if perhaps the fact that there are almost less instances to appreciate trains with the exception of museums of course. Also perhaps us younger generations like some of the older things, which are of course harder to find in operation. I think mostly the younger generations are kept so busy with school and whatnot and that they associate museums with learning, so they don't want to go to them. They just want to have some fun when they can. Also it seems that a lot of people grow to like trains later in their lives. I mean college days or when they get out of school and into their jobs.

    Also one of my co-workers mentioned that a friend of his has a son in law who loves trains (but has never ridden a train).

    I think I like O scale better because I started out making trains with LEGOs. I got my first job because I wanted to buy a steam engine (Babbitt 4-4-0). By the time I got it I was balancing myself between school and work, and as a result did not have much if any time for trains.
    sorry for the long post...
    ASH
  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    There is typically an age range during which model railroading loses most of its appeal to many people. I can't speak for the female railfan, but in young men, there's a period from roughly ages 18-30 when other priorities take center stage: the pursuit of education, career and financial goals, or, more often, the pursuit of nookie, intoxicating substances and really wild parties. Once you hit your thirties life starts slowing down a little bit and the trains you abandoned as "kid's toys" when you were 18 start looking more and more interesting--the hobbies that you didn't have room for when you were sharing a tiny apartment, didn't have money for when you were working cruddy service jobs and paying for school, and didn't have time for when you were out tearing it up every night suddenly seem a lot more practical.

    Of course, for many of us that's the age when kids start appearing, and kids instinctively love trains (even though steam locomotives have been a rarity for half a century, there isn't a three-year-old in America who doesn't know that trains go "choo-choo!") so frequently the trip to the railroad museum for Junior becomes just as much for Dad.

    And even for those without children, often the hobby becomes a way for grown-up men to reconnect with their own fathers. Even for those whose fathers are not into trains, or for those whose fathers have died, this hobby helps create inter-generational connections that span ages and foster mentoring relationships and friendships.
  6. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

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    "There is typically an age range during which model railroading loses most of its appeal to many people. I can't speak for the female railfan, but in young men, there's a period from roughly ages 18-30 when other priorities take center stage: the pursuit of education, career and financial goals, or, more often, the pursuit of nookie, intoxicating substances and really wild parties. Once you hit your thirties life starts slowing down a little bit and the trains you abandoned as "kid's toys" when you were 18 start looking more and more interesting--the hobbies that you didn't have room for when you were sharing a tiny apartment, didn't have money for when you were working cruddy service jobs and paying for school, and didn't have time for when you were out tearing it up every night suddenly seem a lot more practical."

    holy cow!!! thats me!!!!!!!! stopped running trains at 16 , started back up a little over a year ago,,,,, (i will be 30 next month)
  7. scubadude

    scubadude Member

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    I think today kids are not much different than we were in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's or whenever. Most of us were exposed to trains at some level as kids, drifted away and came back as adults. I expect today's kids will do the same in 20 yrs....It's up to us to plant those train seeds and let nature take its course.....Hopefully at least one kid will keep that Thomas engine forever!
  8. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

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    I guess my point was lost.:mrgreen: I was speaking about cranky old men that get up set when a kids dares to touch something on their layout. No better way than to introduce children to trains by saying NO DON'T TOUCH.

    I keep a few old broken down box cars around just for the kids to have some fun.:thumb:
  9. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

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    i remember the days when my dad got me my first train, was an postwar lionel he got at an auction , i remember dad piling junk on top of them, so other would not see what was in the box then it came time to bid. was santa FE and Texas special engines and sf passenger cars with a few freight cars.

    i remember him and i running them at his house when i was a little little kid, i think thats why i like my mth Texas sp, so much, reminds me of dad. latter on i remember dad buying me my first 2 or 3 HO sets and we both would set them up and run them they was just 4x8 layouts, just a grass mat and track,,, but i did not care at the time. then the last trains i remember running at dads is when he moved to a new house , the house had all hardwood floors, when i got there the first time i walked in and there was an HO train running around the floor in and out of 2 rooms, under the chairs and the couch . and end tables. dad was never into trains, but i was and he knew it.
  10. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    My 7 yo daughter likes to control the locomotives. I throw the turnouts and uncouple cars for her. Guess that makes me her conductor??? She can do this for a good period of time before she gets tired or bored and all I have set up is my yard tracks! I can tell she likes it though. Makes me smile to see her holding the cab and learning the controls. I'd like to get an additional cab so that we can both run a locos at the same time. Could make for some interesting Ops sessions... ;-) My youngest is still too small to learn how to operate a loco competently...in a few more years though.

    Part of my motivation was to give my girls something other then Barbies and Brats dolls to play with. I had no intention of doing all this work just for the family to "look but don't touch!"
  11. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

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    I think too many COM "Cranky Old Men" expect young children to act like adults when playing with their thousands of dollars layouts with super detailed hundreds of dollars engines. Like that is a lot of fun for children, don't do this, watch out for that, don't touch this, STOP, I think you get my point.
  12. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

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    i blame the video games. at least with our boy. i can hand him the controls and he would rather play his games.
  13. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    All of this pretty much sums up my situation with trains (except for the wild parties, etc.)! I grew up under a strong railway influence from my Dad. He died about 8 years ago and I inherited his model train collection. Then, my wife and I had two boys and I started to take them to train events -- heritage trains, model train shows, etc. -- and the rest is history.

    It all started to come back in middle age (in my early-40s) and now I am well involved in the hobby and enjoy rail-fanning and visiting heritage trains. My youngest son, in particular, is crazy about trains. I think you have summed up what happens with many men!

    Cheers, Rob