The real cost of trains today!

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Dale Latha » Thu, 23 May 2002 09:19:16



There has been a number of messages lately about $5. kits and the overall
prices of trains today.
I found an excellent web page put out by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve
Bank titled "What is a dollar worth? Using the consumer price index, you can
calculate what services and products of another time were compared to today.
Just enter the proper figures and it will calculate the amount.  The web
site is  http://www.FoundCollection.com/

I think many of the people who complain about the cost are younger modellers
or people new to the hobby.
Let's look at the 'good old days'.  I grabbed my April 1955 issue of Model
Railroader and plugged in the prices and here's what I got.:

An MRC Model Pack power pack. It was rated at 2 1/2 amps, with an on-off
switch and direction control. A fuse holder was mounted externally on the
metal cabinet housing the rheostat.  The price was $21.75.  According to the
above calculations, today's price would be $145.51.  Wow! That's comparable
to a low-end DCC system.

A Hobbytown Alco RS-3 was $24.95 and an E-7 $29.95.  That's $166.92 and
$200.37 respectively. That's with an all metal shell with no added details.

A Varney F unit KIT was $14.95. That's just the drive system; no shell.
That's $100.02 in today's funds. AND, the trucks on the drive system had no
side frames.  You had to buy a dummy unit to get the sideframes.

Twin coil switch machines were $2.95, that's $19.74 each; much higher than a
Tortise drive of today.

A Penn Line K4 kit was $34.50 or $230.82 today.  A Challenger locomotive kit
was $52.50 and the tender an additional $8.50.
for a total of $408.11 in today's funds.

That's just a sampling. You can see where things were not only more
expensive then, but the quality wasn't even close to what it is today.  Many
youngsters at that time didn't have as many job opportunities as today's
***s have (less fast food restaurants then), so a paper route could only
buy so much.

The only items that are comparatively more expensive today are brass
locomotives, but the brass of the 50's was very crude by today's standards.

So, pull out your old magazines, get some prices and make some comparisons.
You can also plug in a price from today and see what it would have cost in
other years.  Truly, I believe, this is the Golden Age of model railroading.
Of course, unless it gets even better.

 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by John Volke » Thu, 23 May 2002 11:12:48


I had a paper route during the early sixties.  I made $2.50 a week.

--
Dr. John X. Volker
931-551-4527
300 Greenwood Avenue
Clarksville, TN 37040


Quote:
> That's just a sampling. You can see where things were not only more
> expensive then, but the quality wasn't even close to what it is today.
Many
> youngsters at that time didn't have as many job opportunities as today's
> ***s have (less fast food restaurants then), so a paper route could only
> buy so much.


 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Dave » Fri, 24 May 2002 01:30:22



Quote:
> That's just a sampling. You can see where things were not only more
> expensive then, but the quality wasn't even close to what it is today.  Many
> youngsters at that time didn't have as many job opportunities as today's
> ***s have (less fast food restaurants then), so a paper route could only
> buy so much.

> The only items that are comparatively more expensive today are brass
> locomotives, but the brass of the 50's was very crude by today's standards.

If the kids couldn't buy a train in those days, what were they doing that
they grew up to be model railroaders?  Were they dependent on their Dad's
trains?  Did they just have one locomotive and a few cars?

Why all the worry about kids today, if the kids of yesterday didn't have
access to train models then?

I'm guessing they were all out watching or reading about real trains and
wishing they could have a more complete layout.  Maybe once they had the
disposable income as ***s, they got into the hobby in a big way.

Maybe, if the graying of the hobby worries are true, it's exposing kids
to trains, not to model trains that needed.  Maybe we need to reach the
***s today, not the kids?

Just some rambling thoughts.

Dave
--
_________________________________________
http://www.FoundCollection.com/
http://www.FoundCollection.com/
http://www.FoundCollection.com/

email is David dot Bott at Dartmouth dot edu

 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Dave » Fri, 24 May 2002 01:31:32




Did you have a trainset?  Did you have a layout?  What did you do that
got you involved in the hobby more today?  see my other post in this
thread.

Quote:
> I had a paper route during the early sixties.  I made $2.50 a week.

> --
> Dr. John X. Volker
> 931-551-4527
> 300 Greenwood Avenue
> Clarksville, TN 37040



> > That's just a sampling. You can see where things were not only more
> > expensive then, but the quality wasn't even close to what it is today.
> Many
> > youngsters at that time didn't have as many job opportunities as today's
> > ***s have (less fast food restaurants then), so a paper route could only
> > buy so much.

--
_________________________________________
http://www.FoundCollection.com/
http://www.FoundCollection.com/
http://www.FoundCollection.com/

email is David dot Bott at Dartmouth dot edu

 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by John Volke » Fri, 24 May 2002 03:10:57


Honestly I don't remember ever having a trainset and I sure didn't have a
layout.  I did love trains and all things railroad when I was a kid though.
I don't remember ever knowing another kid that enjoyed model railroading or
my other interest scale models of planes and tanks.  I think the exposure to
trains is one of the critical elements.

--
Dr. John X. Volker
931-551-4527
300 Greenwood Avenue
Clarksville, TN 37040


Quote:


> Did you have a trainset?  Did you have a layout?  What did you do that
> got you involved in the hobby more today?  see my other post in this
> thread.

> > I had a paper route during the early sixties.  I made $2.50 a week.

> > --
> > Dr. John X. Volker
> > 931-551-4527
> > 300 Greenwood Avenue
> > Clarksville, TN 37040

 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Fred Dabne » Fri, 24 May 2002 03:26:10


Quote:
> If the kids couldn't buy a train in those days, what were they
doing that
> they grew up to be model railroaders?  Were they dependent on
their Dad's
> trains?  Did they just have one locomotive and a few cars?

Some of the plastic Varney was affordable to me as a kid
in 1953 or so.  Mantua wasn't but on the other hand most
of it didn't appeal to me.

I was indeed helped by my father who loved it but who
didn't really get involved.  One of my first HO trains was a
Fleischmann set my father bought at the base exchange
at Brize Norton.  He gave it to my mother for a present,
but she wouldn't let him play with it but she did let me.

I didn't just like trains as a kid, "Lusted" is not too hard
a word to work here.

We came back to the states about the same time the
Globe F units hit the market and those I could afford
by the basket full.

My problem wasn't getting equipment though but finding
a place for a layout.  Both as a dependent then as a GI
myself there was no way to build anything but equipment
with no place to run.

Eventually, I got a home with room for a layout but I located
the local club before I found a house when I moved here
and that's been "my" layout since.

That five dollar kit was the basis for so much of my equipment
over the years I can't begin to count it up.

I suspect I'm in the same position as a lot of guys of my
generation:  A fancy, expensive brass steam engine pulling
a load of crap, cheap, and bad plastic cars.

Over time I began to realize that the rest of the train should
be as good as what was pulling it so I started modeling the
train, not just the engines and I've given away most of those
old cars with the cute paint jobs and no prototype.  Even
my free-lance equipment now is worked up to be plausible
if not accurate.

Fred D.

 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Rathbur » Fri, 24 May 2002 04:23:35


This theory does not explain why Proto 2000 raises prices on their
products with each run almost such that the price for the exact same
thing goes from $100 to $140 in 2-3 years.  Or why Intermountain
raises prices with each release of their same cars, or why Athearn
decides to price their Trinity car at $35, at least 5 more dollars
than very similar cars.  In short, prices have been going up very
fast, very recently, not like the 40 years effect of inflation rule
you mention.
Quote:

> There has been a number of messages lately about $5. kits and the overall
> prices of trains today.
> I found an excellent web page put out by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve
> Bank titled "What is a dollar worth? Using the consumer price index, you can
> calculate what services and products of another time were compared to today.
> Just enter the proper figures and it will calculate the amount.  The web
> site is  http://www.FoundCollection.com/

> I think many of the people who complain about the cost are younger modellers
> or people new to the hobby.
> Let's look at the 'good old days'.  I grabbed my April 1955 issue of Model
> Railroader and plugged in the prices and here's what I got.:

> An MRC Model Pack power pack. It was rated at 2 1/2 amps, with an on-off
> switch and direction control. A fuse holder was mounted externally on the
> metal cabinet housing the rheostat.  The price was $21.75.  According to the
> above calculations, today's price would be $145.51.  Wow! That's comparable
> to a low-end DCC system.

> A Hobbytown Alco RS-3 was $24.95 and an E-7 $29.95.  That's $166.92 and
> $200.37 respectively. That's with an all metal shell with no added details.

> A Varney F unit KIT was $14.95. That's just the drive system; no shell.
> That's $100.02 in today's funds. AND, the trucks on the drive system had no
> side frames.  You had to buy a dummy unit to get the sideframes.

> Twin coil switch machines were $2.95, that's $19.74 each; much higher than a
> Tortise drive of today.

> A Penn Line K4 kit was $34.50 or $230.82 today.  A Challenger locomotive kit
> was $52.50 and the tender an additional $8.50.
> for a total of $408.11 in today's funds.

> That's just a sampling. You can see where things were not only more
> expensive then, but the quality wasn't even close to what it is today.  Many
> youngsters at that time didn't have as many job opportunities as today's
> ***s have (less fast food restaurants then), so a paper route could only
> buy so much.

> The only items that are comparatively more expensive today are brass
> locomotives, but the brass of the 50's was very crude by today's standards.

> So, pull out your old magazines, get some prices and make some comparisons.
> You can also plug in a price from today and see what it would have cost in
> other years.  Truly, I believe, this is the Golden Age of model railroading.
> Of course, unless it gets even better.

 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Trainma » Fri, 24 May 2002 06:21:16


The prices are going up because people are paying them.

As it was explained to me once "If people are buying your product and not
complaining, your price is too low.  If they're not buying, the price is too
high.  If they're complaining the price is too high, but still buying
anyway, your price is right where it should be."

Don

--

http://www.FoundCollection.com/


http://www.FoundCollection.com/


Quote:
> This theory does not explain why Proto 2000 raises prices on their
> products with each run almost such that the price for the exact same
> thing goes from $100 to $140 in 2-3 years.  Or why Intermountain
> raises prices with each release of their same cars, or why Athearn
> decides to price their Trinity car at $35, at least 5 more dollars
> than very similar cars.  In short, prices have been going up very
> fast, very recently, not like the 40 years effect of inflation rule
> you mention.




Quote:
> > There has been a number of messages lately about $5. kits and the
overall
> > prices of trains today.
> > I found an excellent web page put out by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve
> > Bank titled "What is a dollar worth? Using the consumer price index, you
can
> > calculate what services and products of another time were compared to
today.
> > Just enter the proper figures and it will calculate the amount.  The web
> > site is  http://www.FoundCollection.com/

> > I think many of the people who complain about the cost are younger
modellers
> > or people new to the hobby.
> > Let's look at the 'good old days'.  I grabbed my April 1955 issue of
Model
> > Railroader and plugged in the prices and here's what I got.:

> > An MRC Model Pack power pack. It was rated at 2 1/2 amps, with an on-off
> > switch and direction control. A fuse holder was mounted externally on
the
> > metal cabinet housing the rheostat.  The price was $21.75.  According to
the
> > above calculations, today's price would be $145.51.  Wow! That's
comparable
> > to a low-end DCC system.

> > A Hobbytown Alco RS-3 was $24.95 and an E-7 $29.95.  That's $166.92 and
> > $200.37 respectively. That's with an all metal shell with no added
details.

> > A Varney F unit KIT was $14.95. That's just the drive system; no shell.
> > That's $100.02 in today's funds. AND, the trucks on the drive system had
no
> > side frames.  You had to buy a dummy unit to get the sideframes.

> > Twin coil switch machines were $2.95, that's $19.74 each; much higher
than a
> > Tortise drive of today.

> > A Penn Line K4 kit was $34.50 or $230.82 today.  A Challenger locomotive
kit
> > was $52.50 and the tender an additional $8.50.
> > for a total of $408.11 in today's funds.

> > That's just a sampling. You can see where things were not only more
> > expensive then, but the quality wasn't even close to what it is today.
Many
> > youngsters at that time didn't have as many job opportunities as today's
> > ***s have (less fast food restaurants then), so a paper route could
only
> > buy so much.

> > The only items that are comparatively more expensive today are brass
> > locomotives, but the brass of the 50's was very crude by today's
standards.

> > So, pull out your old magazines, get some prices and make some
comparisons.
> > You can also plug in a price from today and see what it would have cost
in
> > other years.  Truly, I believe, this is the Golden Age of model
railroading.
> > Of course, unless it gets even better.

 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Dale Latha » Fri, 24 May 2002 09:16:46


I guess I started this, so I'll give my personal experiences. I received my
first Marx trainset at the age of 2 1/2 at Christmas of 1949. Another Marx
set followed in 1953. There were no train purchases during the year; only at
Christmas.
In 1959, I found myself in possesion of a one dollar bill.  I went down to
George's Model Craft and Hobby Shop in Alexandria, Va. and purchased an
Aristocraft HO plastic boxcar for 89 cents. It came with no trucks and
limited detail. You had to glue all 4 walls together with the roof and the
flooring. About a month later I aquired another dollar. With that, I got a
pair of trucks for 50 cents and 2 sections of Atlas 9 inch snap track with
the other 50 cents. (There was no sales tax in Va. at that time). I was now
able to push the car back and forth on the 18 inches of track.  It wasn't
until later, that I got an Athearn Hustler trainset for Christmas. I also
got an MRC power pack, as few HO trainsets of the time included them.
Money was very tight for me as a youngster and I didn't get my first paying
job until I was 16 in 1963. Until then, almost all train purchases came as
Christmas presents.
What kept me in the hobby was the 1:1 scale trains that went past my house
at all times of the day. We lived at the south entrance to Potomac Yards and
saw freight and passenger trains all of the time.  I have found that
generally speaking, the better modellers and the ones who have stuck with
the hobby are railfans first and modellers second.
P.S.  Living in the Washington area with Kliens, Mainline Hobbies, Peach
Creek Shops, Mailbag Hobbies, the Timonium train shows and Dougs Hobby shop,
I have never paid more than $80. for a Proto 2000 diesel loco. Again, lucky
I guess.


Quote:

> >This theory does not explain why Proto 2000 raises prices on their
> >products with each run almost such that the price for the exact same
> >thing goes from $100 to $140 in 2-3 years.  Or why Intermountain
> >raises prices with each release of their same cars, or why Athearn
> >decides to price their Trinity car at $35, at least 5 more dollars
> >than very similar cars.  In short, prices have been going up very
> >fast, very recently, not like the 40 years effect of inflation rule
> >you mention.

> Why do they do all that?  Because they start things out saying
> "Limited Production" and the stuff gets bought up like mad....and when
> they see this happening, they make more, and they know people will pay
> more for it, thinking it is gonna run out.

 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Santa Fe R » Fri, 24 May 2002 10:08:07


I don't think prices are actually going up on the street.  Proto 2K GP's are
listing at 100 or over but can be bought from the right dealers and on ebay
for 50 or less.  This is about the same as I paid for them two or three
years ago.  I don't pay a lot of attention to how high the producer raises
his prices.  I am only concerned with what it actually cost to get the
product.


Quote:
> This theory does not explain why Proto 2000 raises prices on their
> products with each run almost such that the price for the exact same
> thing goes from $100 to $140 in 2-3 years.  Or why Intermountain
> raises prices with each release of their same cars, or why Athearn
> decides to price their Trinity car at $35, at least 5 more dollars
> than very similar cars.  In short, prices have been going up very
> fast, very recently, not like the 40 years effect of inflation rule
> you mention.




Quote:
> > There has been a number of messages lately about $5. kits and the
overall
> > prices of trains today.
> > I found an excellent web page put out by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve
> > Bank titled "What is a dollar worth? Using the consumer price index, you
can
> > calculate what services and products of another time were compared to
today.
> > Just enter the proper figures and it will calculate the amount.  The web
> > site is  http://www.FoundCollection.com/

> > I think many of the people who complain about the cost are younger
modellers
> > or people new to the hobby.
> > Let's look at the 'good old days'.  I grabbed my April 1955 issue of
Model
> > Railroader and plugged in the prices and here's what I got.:

> > An MRC Model Pack power pack. It was rated at 2 1/2 amps, with an on-off
> > switch and direction control. A fuse holder was mounted externally on
the
> > metal cabinet housing the rheostat.  The price was $21.75.  According to
the
> > above calculations, today's price would be $145.51.  Wow! That's
comparable
> > to a low-end DCC system.

> > A Hobbytown Alco RS-3 was $24.95 and an E-7 $29.95.  That's $166.92 and
> > $200.37 respectively. That's with an all metal shell with no added
details.

> > A Varney F unit KIT was $14.95. That's just the drive system; no shell.
> > That's $100.02 in today's funds. AND, the trucks on the drive system had
no
> > side frames.  You had to buy a dummy unit to get the sideframes.

> > Twin coil switch machines were $2.95, that's $19.74 each; much higher
than a
> > Tortise drive of today.

> > A Penn Line K4 kit was $34.50 or $230.82 today.  A Challenger locomotive
kit
> > was $52.50 and the tender an additional $8.50.
> > for a total of $408.11 in today's funds.

> > That's just a sampling. You can see where things were not only more
> > expensive then, but the quality wasn't even close to what it is today.
Many
> > youngsters at that time didn't have as many job opportunities as today's
> > ***s have (less fast food restaurants then), so a paper route could
only
> > buy so much.

> > The only items that are comparatively more expensive today are brass
> > locomotives, but the brass of the 50's was very crude by today's
standards.

> > So, pull out your old magazines, get some prices and make some
comparisons.
> > You can also plug in a price from today and see what it would have cost
in
> > other years.  Truly, I believe, this is the Golden Age of model
railroading.
> > Of course, unless it gets even better.

 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Ron Herfurt » Fri, 24 May 2002 21:25:39



Quote:
> I guess I started this, so I'll give my personal experiences. I received
my
> first Marx trainset at the age of 2 1/2 at Christmas of 1949. Another Marx
> set followed in 1953. There were no train purchases during the year; only
at
> Christmas.
> In 1959, I found myself in possesion of a one dollar bill.  I went down to
> George's Model Craft and Hobby Shop in Alexandria, Va.

You wouldn't happen to remember Alexexandria Arts and Crafts would you? I
think they started out on King Street in the middle of down town Alexandria,
moved a couple of blocks north, and then to Landmark Shopping Center before
closing down. I think their motto was "tranis spoken fluently".

ron herfurth

and purchased an

Quote:
> Aristocraft HO plastic boxcar for 89 cents. It came with no trucks and
> limited detail. You had to glue all 4 walls together with the roof and the
> flooring. About a month later I aquired another dollar. With that, I got a
> pair of trucks for 50 cents and 2 sections of Atlas 9 inch snap track with
> the other 50 cents. (There was no sales tax in Va. at that time). I was
now
> able to push the car back and forth on the 18 inches of track.  It wasn't
> until later, that I got an Athearn Hustler trainset for Christmas. I also
> got an MRC power pack, as few HO trainsets of the time included them.
> Money was very tight for me as a youngster and I didn't get my first
paying
> job until I was 16 in 1963. Until then, almost all train purchases came as
> Christmas presents.
> What kept me in the hobby was the 1:1 scale trains that went past my house
> at all times of the day. We lived at the south entrance to Potomac Yards
and
> saw freight and passenger trains all of the time.  I have found that
> generally speaking, the better modellers and the ones who have stuck with
> the hobby are railfans first and modellers second.
> P.S.  Living in the Washington area with Kliens, Mainline Hobbies, Peach
> Creek Shops, Mailbag Hobbies, the Timonium train shows and Dougs Hobby
shop,
> I have never paid more than $80. for a Proto 2000 diesel loco. Again,
lucky
> I guess.




> > >This theory does not explain why Proto 2000 raises prices on their
> > >products with each run almost such that the price for the exact same
> > >thing goes from $100 to $140 in 2-3 years.  Or why Intermountain
> > >raises prices with each release of their same cars, or why Athearn
> > >decides to price their Trinity car at $35, at least 5 more dollars
> > >than very similar cars.  In short, prices have been going up very
> > >fast, very recently, not like the 40 years effect of inflation rule
> > >you mention.

> > Why do they do all that?  Because they start things out saying
> > "Limited Production" and the stuff gets bought up like mad....and when
> > they see this happening, they make more, and they know people will pay
> > more for it, thinking it is gonna run out.

 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Rathbur » Fri, 24 May 2002 22:19:05


You are correct of course.  People are paying them and rationalizing
the higher prices in all sorts of manner, just like this theory does.
Posters here have actually cheered for higher prices;  "good for
them!".

I guess I am the only one who has reached the end of the old price
elasticity curve and have slowed/stopped buying items whose prices
have gone up so rapidly.

I do believe that all this very limited run/sold out before
released/much higher priced stuff is not good for the long term health
of the hobby (in terms of drawing in new modelers). But , again, I
think I am the  only one who does.

Quote:

> The prices are going up because people are paying them.

> As it was explained to me once "If people are buying your product and not
> complaining, your price is too low.  If they're not buying, the price is too
> high.  If they're complaining the price is too high, but still buying
> anyway, your price is right where it should be."

> Don

> --

> http://www.geocities.com/don_dellmann


> http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/MRPics



> > This theory does not explain why Proto 2000 raises prices on their
> > products with each run almost such that the price for the exact same
> > thing goes from $100 to $140 in 2-3 years.  Or why Intermountain
> > raises prices with each release of their same cars, or why Athearn
> > decides to price their Trinity car at $35, at least 5 more dollars
> > than very similar cars.  In short, prices have been going up very
> > fast, very recently, not like the 40 years effect of inflation rule
> > you mention.

 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Jon Mille » Sat, 25 May 2002 00:06:14


Rathburne,
        One thing that must be remembered it that the offshore manufacturing
plants where items are made are charging more.  There are three phases to
remember about things made in Asia, first phase is they make junk and know
it and it's cheap.  Second phase is they make really good stuff but they
don't know it yet and it's cheap.  Third phase is they make good stuff and
know it and it's becomes expensive.<VBG>
 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Trainma » Sat, 25 May 2002 00:28:16


No, there's two of us.  I probably spend ten bucks a week (on average) on
the layout.

I have three P2K engines, but only because I got them on sale at 60% off
retail.  Otherwise I run Athearns. (and one Varney and one vintage
hobbytown).  OTOH, I DO know how to paint and decal!

The Athearn and MDC freight cars are good enough for me.  All that fancy
super detail just gets broken off during operation anyway.  I can
scratchbuild if I have to.

I build my own throttles (running straight DC).

You CAN model on a budget, BUT, you have to be a MODELER, not a "Train
Collector" (which is the direction these prices are pushing the hobby.)

Don

--

http://www.geocities.com/don_dellmann


http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/MRPics


Quote:
> You are correct of course.  People are paying them and rationalizing
> the higher prices in all sorts of manner, just like this theory does.
> Posters here have actually cheered for higher prices;  "good for
> them!".

> I guess I am the only one who has reached the end of the old price
> elasticity curve and have slowed/stopped buying items whose prices
> have gone up so rapidly.

> I do believe that all this very limited run/sold out before
> released/much higher priced stuff is not good for the long term health
> of the hobby (in terms of drawing in new modelers). But , again, I
> think I am the  only one who does.




- Show quoted text -

Quote:
> > The prices are going up because people are paying them.

> > As it was explained to me once "If people are buying your product and
not
> > complaining, your price is too low.  If they're not buying, the price is
too
> > high.  If they're complaining the price is too high, but still buying
> > anyway, your price is right where it should be."

> > Don

> > --

> > http://www.geocities.com/don_dellmann


> > http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/MRPics



> > > This theory does not explain why Proto 2000 raises prices on their
> > > products with each run almost such that the price for the exact same
> > > thing goes from $100 to $140 in 2-3 years.  Or why Intermountain
> > > raises prices with each release of their same cars, or why Athearn
> > > decides to price their Trinity car at $35, at least 5 more dollars
> > > than very similar cars.  In short, prices have been going up very
> > > fast, very recently, not like the 40 years effect of inflation rule
> > > you mention.

 
 
 

The real cost of trains today!

Post by Lee Popli » Sat, 25 May 2002 01:25:28



says...

Quote:

>No, there's two of us.  I probably spend ten bucks a week (on average) on
>the layout.
>You CAN model on a budget, BUT, you have to be a MODELER, not a "Train
>Collector" (which is the direction these prices are pushing the hobby.)

I think the problem is that there is SOOOOO much more of a selection now that
any "New Release" is so very common.  Way back in the old days when something
"new" came out, it didn't have that much competition.  So that's where your
money went.  You could actually save up for that new release.

Nowadays, the new releases come so fast that as soon as you have bought
something, you've blown at least $100 for an engine and by the time you save up
again 20 newer releases have come out and passed you buy.  Now, that's not a bad
thing if you pick and choose what you want or need.  I guess for the train
"collectors" it is near impossible to keep up.

Atlas is probably been one of the biggest releasers this past year.  It seems
that between their rolling stock and locos, they've hit just about every market
each month.  So, my confusion is that I save up to buy that 17k gallon tank car
and I wait for it.  Well, there are 2 more coming out right behind it.  I like
the first 2 so I want more but they come too fast.  :)  I need a faster wallet.

-Lee

---------------------------
Nashville, TN
Southern / Norfolk Southern - Z, N, HO Scales
NMRA Lifetime & Southeast (Cumberland) Region Lifetime Member
DCC all the way baby!