The U.S. model hobby industry, like the economy, is making a slow but meaningful recovery, according to a recent survey of manufacturers and distributors. The Hobby Manufacturers Association announced today that the industry’s projected sales grew 3 percent in 2012 at $1.31 billion compared to actual sales in 2011 of $1.265 billion. However, revenues reported in HMA’s third U.S. Model Hobby Industry Study lagged the $1.47 billion in 2010 and $1.379 billion in 2009. “The 2011 actual sales of model hobby products show a 9 percent decrease from the 2009 actual sales reported by survey respondents,” HMA President Fred Hill said in a statement. “This decrease in sales was due in large part to the industry’s later recovery from the economic recession that impacted other industries in 2008 and 2009. Our industry also saw more mergers and consolidations among member manufacturers and an increase in more web-based sellers of hobby…
Category: Model Railroading
The World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour, a popular show that introduces model railroading to the general public, likely will reach an attendance milestone in 2013, and either Fort Worth, TX or St. Louis, MO could be in on the celebration. WGH on Tour announced in July that the one millionth attendee will be recognized at one of its four shows next year. Since opening in 2004 with one show in Edison, NJ, WGH on Tour has attracted 968,285 and averaged more than 25,000 per show. For the first time in four years, the show makes return engagements to Fort Worth and St. Louis, and one is likely to mark No. 1,000,000. Fort Worth starts the slate on Jan. 5-6 at Will Rogers Memorial Center, followed by St. Louis at America’s Center Jan. 12-13. San Diego, CA (Feb. 9-10) and Sacramento (Feb. 23-24) complete the schedule. Unless Fort Worth has a better turnout than it did…
Keith Edwards, who co-founded Kadee Quality Products Co., passed away Thursday at a Medford, OR hospital of natural causes. He was 91. In 1940, Edwards co-founded Kadee Quality Products Co., best-known for its HO-scale coupling devices, with his twin brother, Dale. By the early 1960s, the brothers began to manufacture their Magne-Matic® coupler system in N scale. Gradually, the company added wheels, trucks and under frames to their product line. In 1972, Keith Edwards led the company’s efforts in N and Z scales to form Micro-Trains Line Co., a separate division that at first specialized in N scale trains, Magne-Matic® couplers and accessories. Eventually added to the product line, were cars and couplers in Nn3 scale, and Z scale were eventually added. In 1996, Edwards joined his brother as a member of the Hobby Manufacturers Association Hall of Fame. Four years later, Keith Edwards retired. “Keith inspired all of us…
By Tim Blackwell / Cowcatcher Magazine The team at TrainWorx in Dallas may have felt the same urgency as the BNSF Railway engineer who pilots the long-distance priority Z train under a tight schedule. The design company had seven weeks to build a centerpiece O-scale layout for billionaire Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett to display at Berkshire Hathaway’s May stockholders meeting in Omaha, NE. With founder Roger Farkash at the wheel, TrainWorx delivered an 8’ x 32’ “masterpiece” of Buffett’s railroad and companies. Right on time. “(Buffett) is quite a character and a lot of fun to talk to,” Farkash said. “I was forewarned that he would be there, and the trains were up and running when he came in before the meeting. His first reaction was, ‘It’s a masterpiece!’ Everybody was pretty pleased.” TrainWorx, a division of TW Design, got the nod from BNSF in January and spent the…
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Pass the Salt
Salt is the primary commodity on the Ithaca Central, which is rebuilding business on the portion of the Lehigh Valley line from Ludlowville, NY, to Sayre, PA. A trio of SD40-2s can usually be seen hauling rusty hoppers and tank cars up the hill out of Ithaca, NY, and around picturesque Cayuga Lake. Watco Companies signed a 10-year lease in 2018 with Norfolk Southern to operate the 48.8-mile stretch.
Destined for the curb, a museum-quality O-gauge layout has been painstakingly reassembled over nearly two decades and fills 1,500 square feet over a trucking business.
As model train shows continue to cancel dates, two groups in Colorado and Oklahoma masked up and hosted shows in July…
Traffic on North American railroads continues to lag 2019’s pace. Rail volume in the U.S. Canada and Mexico for the first 32 weeks of 2020 was down 11.5 percent compared to last year…
Through scenery that “enchants the eye,” riding the Milwaukee Road’s Olympian Hiawatha was quite a trip…
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Bring in the summer with this special offer! Try out the Cowcatcher and save! For a limited time we are offering our 100th issue, the July/August 2020 edition, and the May/June 2020 issue for $8.95! SAVE $2.95! The July/August 2020 issue features special coverage of covid-19’s effect on model railroading and rail enthusiasm, plus how to economically add rail sounds to a train by modifying a boxcar. The May/June 2020 issue features the HO-scale Southern Pacific Unique and Mystic, a manageable model railroad empire with the uniqueness of off-layout train staging. (Distribution of this issue was limited due to the pandemic).
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