Business Articles

E-mail Article to a FriendPrint ArticleBookmark and Share

Commentary: It's time to go mobile

Can we get young people into model railroading? Manufacturers will never know if they don’t market to them by phone.
By John Cubbin
Published: June 15, 2015
Downloadable File(s)
Get Adobe Reader
PDF documents require Adobe Reader.
I recently came across a familiar theme on a model railroad forum: how to get younger people into model railroading.
No specific ages were mentioned, but for expediency I assumed “younger” meant under 20—kids. The consensus was that kids have too many electronic options to choose from and model trains really can’t compete. Why would they want to lay track or create scenery when they could be texting or posting selfies on social media?
I do understand this fairly typical view. We think kids view model trains as old-fashioned. We assume they can be fickle (unlike adults, of course) and that the newest iPhone or Android takes precedence. Any of this could explain the declining number of younger model railroaders.
On the other hand, are model railroad manufacturers really reaching out and trying to understand and connect with a younger audience in meaningful ways?
Related Issues