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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The fourth generation of leadership took charge at Wm. K. Walthers Inc., in September when Phil Walthers handed off to daughter Stacey Walthers Naffah. Managing the company into model railroading’s future prompted Naffah to take the helm. Like her grandfather, Naffah is operating a hobby business at a time when technology competes for the world’s leisure time. She believes the answer may be to get the next generation of model railroaders involved by meeting them on their own turf.
One Final Ride
Thousands waving American flags and snapping photos on their cellphones lined rights-of-way from Spring to College Station, TX, on a cold gray day to bid farewell to the nation’s 41st president as he took one last ride on the rails. A 13-car Union Pacific train that had been 10 years in planning and headed by his namesake locomotive carried the body of George H.W. Bush to his final resting place, next to his wife of 73 years, Barbara, on Dec. 6 at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
State of the Hobby: Readers rate the state of model railroading good based on value, selection and quality…
Steam returns to the Alamo City with the restoration of the Texas Transportation Museum’s 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0…
Project layout: Scenery and technology bring to life the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific HO-scale shelf layout.
BONUS WEB COVERAGE: Learn more behind the making of Main Street in Downtown Norwood on the Cowcatcher’s project layout, the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific Railroad…
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Locomotives and rolling stock once again dominated new offerings announced by manufacturers at the NMRA National Train Show. Among them were ScaleTrains.com’s new SD40-T2 Tunnel Motor locomotives that feature see-through radiator grilles.
Walthers Layout Control System Switch Machine
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