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Discussion Starter #1
Hello
After viewing one of the movie mix DVDs from the bay area clubs and seeing the amazing layouts and thinking about the economy and businesses models of supply and demand I got to wondering just how many people have garden RR's or inside G scale layouts. I would suspect the numbers of HO, N, O and other gauge fans far out number the G men due to cost but mostly space restrictions. Considering the companies that produce G equipment for us and the magazines that are exclusive to the hobby there must be alot of people out there that are reading and buying stough from the manufacturers to keep them in business. I would say that 90% of my G stough was bought used purely due to the cost and it is part of the fun to find a little treasure at a show, shop or on Ebay for a deal. I'm sure that most folks consider the cost when buying their equipment so many people are buying used over new when they can. I know that no one can know for sure but if you had a guess just how many people do you think have G scale layouts or even just a couple of pieces on display 100,000? 500,000, a million?? MORE and what percentage of them are buying new?
What do you think?
 

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Well, according to Garden Railways magazine, their circulation as of Dec 2007 was 32,772. Not all subscribe to the magazine, so I would estimate perhaps a maximum of 100,000 worldwide?
 

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Yeah, I'm with Del. We are a small group, relative to the other scales. And not really that well understood. I don't know how many times I've tried to explain the whole large scale concept to a layman, only to be met with a vacant stare. Model railroading and HO, that they get. But G and F? Outdoors? Along those lines, I would question whether it's money that constricts the growth of large scale. If you look at the price of good equipment in say, HO, you'll find it's not that far off from F or G. In the latest MR, there's a promo for an HO gauge D&RGW long caboose that costs $119, I believe. Not cheap for something that small. And have you ever priced some of the finescale crafstman kits? I could buy a lot of styrene for that. When I look at the reduced price of a Bachmann Connie, or even a Mike, I feel we're getting some bargains, given the size of the product.

One more thing: many of these HO, N and O-scale guys have huge, elaborately detailed layouts with hundreds of feet of track, lots of rolling stock (I've seen car listings in the hundreds), dozens of locos (some with DCC), and countless other geegaws. That spells money in any scale.

In the high-performance automotive world there's a saying: "Speed costs money: how fast do you want to go?"
 

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Honestly? I would be surprised if there is more than 15,000 garden railroads nationwide. To use our club as an example (Wichita Area Garden Railway Society), we have anywhere from 25-40 members of our club in a given year. Currently, the club has (currently existing and including past and current members) 19 or 20 railroads. We lost a couple of our better ones this past year but there are plans to "ressurect" them in new locations. Assuming that this is only half of the actual number then one can assume that the Wichita Area (including most of Central Kansas) has 80 railroads. Head over to Eastern Kansas and the number is probably about the same. Include another 40 for good measure in and around the Kansas City, KS area and you have about 200 for Kansas. Admittedly, we're not garden railway central but I do think that's a pretty good average! Obviously, the West Coast and the East Coast have more but I'll still go with around 10-15,000!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmmm . I would think it has to be more than 15,000 when you consider the amount of manufacturers and the new products they are coming out with all the time. If there were only 15,000 total and only a small percentage could afford to buy that new
2-6-6-2 saddle tank for example than I don't think they would bother making it. Where is the profit? Del Tapparo states Garden railways magazine has over 32,000 subscribers so I would think that 90% of them have at least a few trains sitting on display with dreams of having them run in the garden but most would have some track down and yes not all large scalers subscribe. I have never been to a purely large scale train show but I would imagine that thousands do attend and that would only be a small portion of the G men since most cannot make the trip.
I live on cape cod and I know of a handful of guys that have garden setups. The other day on ebay I clicked on a train item and was suprised to find it was located only a few towns over. The seller may not have a layout but chances are I think he would.
How many people have starter sets for the christmas time that have evolved into year round setups? Alot I bet.
I used to have HO trains, 25 engines, 100 pieces of rolling stock, 400' of track and it was alot cheaper than the G stough but there is HO equipment that is alot of money comparable or more than the finest accucraft. I agree that it may not be so much the money but more the space limitations that keep people from large scale.
I don't think there is any way to know for sure just how many people are involved with large scale but it has to be many of us. Let's do a poll or even better put a question on the census. That will give us a pretty accurate count. (I'M JOKING)
Todd
 

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I am located in the southwest bottom corner of Ontario. An hours drive from Detroit. I used to live further north where the garden railway hobby is very active. Since moving south, I can't believe the number of large scale railroaders there are. In my travels I have discovered that only a small percentage of G Scalers subscribe to Garden Railways magazine. Many are unaware that the magazine even exists. Two years ago, I visited Art Knapp Trains in Surrey, British Columbia. Their store manager told me that a number of clients subscribe yearly to Garden Railways, but that aside, the store sells 80 issues every two months. This hobby is a lot larger than many of us realize. I have been surprised by the numbers of people who are unaware that garden railroading even exists. Regards, Dennis.
 

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Posted By cape cod Todd on 03/15/2009 8:49 AM


Del Tapparo states Garden railways magazine has over 32,000 subscribers ...




32,772 is the total circulation: From GR Rate Card #25 "Circulation is obtained by direct-to-publisher renewals, direct mail, space advertising and distribution to book stores and newsstands."
 

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Todd,

FWIW, I'd like to see a poll here on MLS. It'd have to cover 'indoors' , 'outdoors' & 'not yet running but interested'. Also, I'd like to see the poll include, "Do you scratchbuild, kitbash or RTR?" That'd cover two questions that've come up recently.

To me, the number has to be higher than 15K, but I have no idea how much higher.

Les
 

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OK Les, let me be the first respondent. The answers: "indoors" and "not yet," plus "Scratchbuild, kitbash and RTR."

Do I get a prize? :)
 

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This isn't the poll. This is the pre-poll poll. This poll is to see if we/someone should put a a poll on the poll forum, where you know, they list polls.


Les
 

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Hey, Les, you're a 1st class member... you can start a poll, so since it is your question you get to start it.

Although I think you have two separate subjects here... where is your layout and do you scratch build.

Of course, you need to really think out what possible selections you present in the poll...

Like the one for "Where is your layout":


1. Don't have one, don't want one.
2. Don't have one, will build one someday.
3. Had one (or more), but it (they) is (are) now gone, no plans to rebuild.
4. Had one (or more), but it (they) is (are) now gone, plan to rebuild

5. Building one inside now.
6. Building one outside now.
7. Have an outdoor one, building an indoor one now.
8. Have an indoor one, building an outdoor one now.
9. Indoor only.
10. Outdoor only.
11. Both and connected together.
12. Both but not connected together.

That makes 12 possible selections.... uh no, uh...
Hmmm... should you include selections based on elevation?

You'd have to make selections 2 through 10 each to be 3 selections each (i.e.:

2. Don't have one, will build one someday that is elevated.
3. Don't have one, will build one someday that is ground level
4. Don't have one, will build one someday that is both ground level and elevated.

That makes 30 possible selections, but the last 2 (11. & 12) will become:

neither elevated,
outside elevated - inside not,
outside not, inside is,
both are,
outside both elevated and ground level - inside elevated,
outside both elevated and ground level - inside floor level,
outside elevated - inside both elevated and floor level
outside ground - inside both elevated and floor level

So that makes 8 each for them, now there are 46 possible selections...

Oh wait, then there is the possibility of an elevated line being waist level or overhead, both inside and outside... I wonder how many selections a poll can have before the server barfs?

Then, of course, you need answers to keep the wags from complaining...

39. I don't understand this poll.
40. I don't answer polls.
41. I always lie on polls.
42. I don't care.
43. Guess.
44. Mary had a little shoe.
45. None of the above.
46. All of the above.

(Be sure you get the last two in that order just for the conflict it creates!)
 

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Posted By Semper Vaporo on 03/15/2009 7:46 PM

Hey, Les, you're a 1st class member... you can start a poll, so since it is your question you get to start it.

Although I think you have two separate subjects here... where is your layout and do you scratch build.

Of course, you need to really think out what possible selections you present in the poll...

Like the one for "Where is your layout":


1. Don't have one, don't want one.
2. Don't have one, will build one someday.
3. Had one (or more), but it (they) is (are) now gone, no plans to rebuild.
4. Had one (or more), but it (they) is (are) now gone, plan to rebuild

5. Building one inside now.
6. Building one outside now.
7. Have an outdoor one, building an indoor one now.
8. Have an indoor one, building an outdoor one now.
9. Indoor only.
10. Outdoor only.
11. Both and connected together.
12. Both but not connected together.

That makes 12 possible selections.... uh no, uh...
Hmmm... should you include selections based on elevation?

You'd have to make selections 2 through 10 each to be 3 selections each (i.e.:

2. Don't have one, will build one someday that is elevated.
3. Don't have one, will build one someday that is ground level
4. Don't have one, will build one someday that is both ground level and elevated.

That makes 30 possible selections, but the last 2 (11. & 12) will become:

neither elevated,
outside elevated - inside not,
outside not, inside is,
both are,
outside both elevated and ground level - inside elevated,
outside both elevated and ground level - inside floor level,
outside elevated - inside both elevated and floor level
outside ground - inside both elevated and floor level

So that makes 8 each for them, now there are 46 possible selections...

Oh wait, then there is the possibility of an elevated line being waist level or overhead, both inside and outside... I wonder how many selections a poll can have before the server barfs?

Then, of course, you need answers to keep the wags from complaining...

39. I don't understand this poll.
40. I don't answer polls.
41. I always lie on polls.
42. I don't care.
43. Guess.
44. Mary had a little shoe.
45. None of the above.
46. All of the above.

(Be sure you get the last two in that order just for the conflict it creates!)







Hello Semper.... ummm once again you challenge me to your wit...


ummm re polls: Lets start with what one calls a core survey:


"Do you enjoy G-scale or 1-gauge railroading and do you have any layouts/equipment?"


Now that is basic. Based on results build to the next question. Call this a process.

Keep the survey simple with one liners. People will respond especially if you give them stats on the original question.


This is a social event, non scientific and for fun. People will participate. The problem here is that this type of survey would be conducted on a forum dedicated to large scale railroading....

OOPs


Skewed results maybe?

gg
 

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There are some good suggestions, just too many choices allowed. Remember, the initial questions--as you astutely noted--were dual: 1) do you do G scale, and 2) do you scratch/kit/bash build, or buy RTR?

A logic tree might look like this:

Do you do G scale? "Yes".Then goto 2). "No" Then go away.

2) Do you scratch/kit/bash? "Yes" then goto end. "No," then goto 3).

3) Do you buy RTR? "Yes" then end. "No". Then end.

Simpler, what?

Les
 

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Posted By Les on 03/15/2009 8:48 PM


There are some good suggestions, just too many choices allowed. Remember, the initial questions--as you astutely noted--were dual: 1) do you do G scale, and 2) do you scratch/kit/bash build, or buy RTR?

A logic tree might look like this:

Do you do G scale? "Yes".Then goto 2). "No" Then go away.

2) Do you scratch/kit/bash? "Yes" then goto end. "No," then goto 3).

3) Do you buy RTR? "Yes" then end. "No". Then end.

Simpler, what?

Les




Yeah, that is all well and good to think about, but the poll system does not allow a logic tree like that. You can only set up on list of selections

--------------------------------------
1. Do you do G scale
2. Do you scratch/kit/bash?
3. Do you buy RTR?
--------------------------------------


That looks good if it were a multiple choice setup... but the poll function makes that a single choice... Pick one and one only.

Thus you might have to word it this way, including the line at the bottom with the instruction to not vote if you don't do G-scale.

--------------------------------------
1. I only scratch/kit/bash.
2. I scratch/kit/bash and buy RTR.
3. I only buy RTR.

If you don't do G-scale, please don't answer the poll.
--------------------------------------

Of course, you will get some that will answer the poll before they read the instructions, but you cannot put instructions before the list in the Poll.

Wags will also find some other answer that they would have prefered and won't answer the poll at all, just complain that you didn't think it out far enough to cover their particular bent... Or will question if you mean only rolling stock or include track side structures or maybe want to treat engines as separate from rolling stock.

You will also get those that will question whether you mean to include 1:32, 1:29 and 1:20.3 (and the other random scales that all fit track that is 1.75-inches or 45-mm between the rails) or just the stuff that was originally marketed as "G-Scale". Or do you intend to include those that run "O" or "HO" in the Garden? What about 3.5- or 5.0-inch gauge in their Garden?

How about whether just renumbering an engine is included under "bashing" as opposed to sawing the purchased equipment up into little pieces and glueing it back together in a different configuration.

And then someone will ask what RTR means.



And yet, none of those things will be brought up because people are being mean or trolling for an argument... some people have varied narrow definitions and unless you really explain yourself you will get someone that gets befuddled by the poll and will either not answer or will answer wrong just because the possible answers were ambiguous to them.

This "poll taking" is difficult!



 

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C.T.

When you create a poll you have the choice of making it a "Single Select" or a "Multiple Select" as can be seen in the following screen-shot.




The following is a direct link to the FAQ's, the last one at the bottom of the page explains the poll creation, just click the question to expand the explanation..

MLS FAQ: Q10. How do I create new polls in the Poll Booth Forum?
 
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well. i think instead of a mamoth poll there could be a sequence of simple polls.

forget the question about Gscale. - who else, than Gscalers are reading here?

make one poll for outdoors - indoors - mixed.
one for actual layout - former layout - future layout - in between layouts.
one for rolling stock mostly bought - mostly bashed or scratchbuilt
one for money how much do you spend on it per month less than 100 - less than 500 - more than 500

these four polls should give a lot of information allready.

edit:
i forgot...
if you want to raise tempers a bit, include one more poll
do you mainly: simple DC - DC with remote control - Battery powered - steam
 

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Who else other than G scalers are reading here??


Well, there are quite a few folks like myself who model in F scale ... and I am not sure that those who model in 1:32, 1:29 or 1:13.7 call themselves G scale either. The scale designation arguments have been on since time began but the track gauge at 45 mm is almost common - there are at least a few who model in F standard gauge at approx 70 mm amd a few others who follow some British gauges.

I am not sure whether knowing anything about scale modelled has much to do with the original intent of the suggested polls.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Steve, Doug, & Korm

Steve, thanks for the hedzup on the 'clik n point' and the link. I'm going to work on this for a couple of reasons: I think getting an idea of how many folks actually 'do' g gauge is handy; I like the mental challenge of producing the poll and I need to get more familiar with working the board, so setting up a poll will help.

'Gauge' will be defined as 45mm. 'Scale' will have a disclaimer: "Any scale." The poll will be explicit: "This is for fun purposes only." If that can't be put at the front, that's a tad of a problem but there should be a workaround. There's a human element at work in polls: People both want to be heard and don't want to 'tip their hand'. A general question followed by specifics ought to cover most of that.

There will be malcontents of all descriptions. That's the 'tare' the pollster has to be ready to endure. The best course is silence toward complainers. (Who will then complain, "Nobody listens to me!")

It is impossible to print a sentence that someone, somewhere, cannot fail to misunderstand, find ambiguous or construe to be biased. Or pretend to, just to stir the pot.

Korm, I'm more interested in knowing who's doing G gauge, in raw numbers because there's two major positions: 1) The manufacturers don't build what I like/want; and 2) the manufacturers say, "We can only build what we think we can sell." I'd like to know how many 'bashers are out there, because mags complain that they're not getting enough input. (I don't agree with that.) In MNSHO, I think the hobby has 'floated' the best builders to the top, and the 'hey-look-what-I-fabbed-up-for-my-work-train' (i.e. the not top-notch builders) are reluctant to show their work. And 'how-to' articles are time-consuming (comparatively) to publish given limited space in a mag. That's why I think sites like this one will become the 'hobby magazines' of the future. Or are the future. For instance, I like the series photos guys post as they build an item up, warts and all. Then, when it turns out looking decent, I'm pleased because I think, "Hey, I could do that, too."

Also, I think a lot of guys running different scales at least visit this site hunting for ideas to use. Since this is a g gauge site--save for where it isn't--those folks won't have reason to take the poll, human maliciousness aside. Again, that's the tare a well-designed poll can weed out to a tolerable degree.

I'm gonna start--offline on Word as some canny moderator suggested on another subject--and post here or in the posting forum on a trial basis. Perhaps the finished poll can be fully posted there. Sort of like using your mini-post series idea, except no data will be taken until the final post is up.

Les--open to suggestions.
 
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