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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F is for Fantastic
Logging is king on the Chester & Beckett Railway in the 1930s and 1940s. The model railroad is a stunning fictitious depiction in F (1:20.3) and Fn30 narrow gauge of the former railroad operated by the Boston & Albany that ran west from Chester, MA, to Beckett. The layout measures 18’ x 21’ x 18’ and features a granite quarry, common in the Berkshires during the day. Structures, most of them scratch-built, represent the period modeled, and scenes are nestled in rugged wilderness. The 15-year-old layout, which won Best of Show at this year’s Amherst Railway Society Railroad and Hobby Show, is featured in a short photo essay.
On the Road
The hardest working couple in model railroading spend half of each month traveling to train shows where they set up shop on a dozen or more eight-foot tables. By the time they finish stocking cases, filling bins and plugging in the cash register, their plot of concrete in whatever convention center, community hall or fairgrounds they call home for the weekend looks like a brick and mortar store. Meet Deb and Dave Zucker of Deshler, NE.
NMRA region conventions this summer are trying new things and bringing in some of model railroading’s top talent to generate interest…
The Denver Zephyr that ran between Chicago and the Mile-High City was the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy’s top passenger train…
Texas and California are fighting for high-speed rail despite pressure from administrators and lawsuits. THESE STORIES AND MORE, PLUS A FULL CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS!
BONUS WEB COVERAGE: Adding a little clutter to right of ways adds realism without overdoing it on the Cowcatcher’s project layout, the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific Railroad…
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The 51st Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show in January packed more than 18,000 in the “Big E” in Springfield, MA, and new HO- and N-scale locomotives grabbed plenty of attention.
PIKO SmartControl light DCC System
Model railroaders seeking an affordable, easy-to-use DCC system for smaller layouts should consider the PIKO SmartControl light Basic Set. The set is designed for use with HO, N and TT layouts and has advanced features not seen in other entry-level DCC systems.
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