Model Railroading: the Perfect Family Bonding Time and the History of a Miniature World

A train passes by a local farm the gravel under the tracks shakes as the locomotive draws closer and closer when suddenly crash the train falls off the track and a hand quickly and gently pits it back on track. From reading the first sentence one may think of a real railroad but this is just an everyday event in a model railroader’s life and all part of the duties of having complete control over what they have created.

Originating in Britain in the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s model railroading has evolved and changed from a simple toy train for children that had to be wound up to a full scale miniature railway complete with grass, trees, buildings, cars, and even people. Yes model railroading has changed a lot over the years but the basic idea of the hobby has stayed the same, the love of the railway.

In the beginning model railways were considered to be a toy that only the wealthy of the wealthiest could afford with one locomotive costing an estimated $500.00 and upwards in today’s currency. Model railways were owned by such celebrities as Walt Disney and Frank Sinatra just to name few. Even today you can still go and see Walt Disney’s model railway at the Carolwood Pacific preservation society in California.

As model railroading evolved and electricity became more available to the public, Model railroading became more of a hobby for adults, specifically men.  This was due to the dangerous amounts of electric currents moving through the tracks. When WWII Broke out model railway manufacturers were forced to change their production lines to products that would be more useful to the war effort so when the war finally ended to try and boost sales the model railway companies started marketing model railroading as a great hobby for the entire family. This marketing  technique proved to be very successful with thousands of both middle and upper class families investing into building model railways throughout the 60`s070`s and into the early 80`s however throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s the popularity started to decline and still sadly continues to decline today. In the 60’s to 70’s one of the most popular ways in which someone could take part in this hobby was through model railway clubs and this has stayed true today with model railway clubs still educating the public on the great hobby of model railroading. By joining a model railway club you can learn more about the history of the railway and help build a model railway which you have control over. As well as pick up tips and tricks which can help you with your own railway. This is also a good opportunity to socialize with people that share the same interest as you. Interested in starting a model railway? A good place to start is by visiting a local hobby or “Train” Store Such as Georges Trains or Daily hobbies. Or by visiting a local model railway show. There are lots of different types of model railways with many different sizes ranging from Z,S,HO all the way to live steamers or narrow gauge. You can choose from a tabletop layout to a garden layout to a full sized live steam railway. The choice is really up to you but one thing is for sure whatever you choose you will love it.