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We are a small group as large scale train nuts , and with all of the world problems and changes , and PRICES , I wonder about our toys .
Because of the closeing and problems that occured with LGB , and now the lack of parts to keep the LGB products operating . /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/shocked.gif Should you need any , /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crying.gif

So , what if , another LS mfr went under , it could be any one of the remaining LS producers , and then parts and needed/ wanted items , would dry up in the pipe line , and our choices would be even more limited .

Chicken little worries ............maybe , most likely , but perish the thought for large scale train interest , if things continue /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/unsure.gif

signed
worry out loud /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif

I limited the worry to LS trains , because this IS a LS train forum /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif
 

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Hi Dennis,
At present the hobby seems, to me. be fine but I have only been in large scale for a couple of years. I accept that money is getting tighter for many, but many of us who are retired do have some money, not a lot, to spend on our pastimes and hobbies. I feel that the demise of one major large scale player (now seemingly back in the European theater to a small degree) has actually given the hobby a strong jolt and I am sure this has been of much benefit to American manufacturers.
I know you look into the Forum on this side of the water so you will have noticed that the Forum is far more cosmopolitan now than it used to be and is not so centered on solely European railroads.
As far as hobby growth is concerned, like so many facets of life, it is up to us to promote the hobby as often and as wide as we can.
:)
 

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I see a few things changing, but nothing major. For starters, the high cost of track will do two things. First, encourage lower-cost alternatives (to wit, rumblings of Aristo adding aluminum rail to their lineup). Also, it will force people to take a bit more practical approach to planning a garden railroad. Gone is the temptation to lay 1000'+ of track simply because it's cheap, only then to discover what a maintenance headache a railroad of that size can be. At $10/foot, a 300' railroad is a significant investment, but it will emphasize that (a) you don't need a large space for a garden railroad, and (b) less is often more. Small railroads are far easier to maintain, and will likely help keep many folks in the hobby who don't otherwise have the time to keep up with things.

As far as equipment goes, parts from defunct manufacturers will be a problem, but heck--parts from existing manufacturers can sometimes be a problem. That's a problem that's existed in the small scales for decades with no tangible effects beyond an increase in retired old shelf queens. But hey--given the choice between a 1960s vintage Athearn F-7 and a new one from Kato or Atlas... let's just say some technologies are best put out to pasture. If nothing else, a lack of legacy parts from fallen manufacturers bodes well for new product development.

At the same time, it's not like the molds from these various fallen flags are gathering much dust. They're too valuable. Aristo's got most of the old Delton stuff. Hartland has the old Kalamazoo. It looks like Piko's found some of the old MDC molds, and USA's ore cars are reportedly straight from the Lionel molds. Marklin's not about to just sit on all the US-prototype molds they have. They may need time to get production up to speed and incorporate them into the line-up, but it will happen.

Like track, though, I think a tighter hobby budget will reduce the amount of equipment people buy. Instead of buying two locos, perhaps they'll buy just one. Instead of a string of 10 hoppers, maybe just 6 or 7. But since the average hobbyist won't have 1000' of track, the belt-tightening won't be noticeable. A smaller train fits better on smaller railroads. The overall satisfaction--in my opinion--would stay the same.

I think that this hobby in general is too small to enjoy "economies of scale" in terms of production. I think production runs will ultimately level out with demand, whatever that is. I would bet that Aristo-Craft has produced far more mikados than AMS has tank cars, yet both are able to produce their respective products and make a modicum of profit off of them. As money gets tighter, we might see a slight taper in the number of new products. Coupled with that, though, I think we'll see smarter production from the manufacturers; more interchangeable parts, more research into what will sell, and more efficiencies in the production itself which will allow new products to hit the shelves a little cheaper at least on their end.

Later,

K
 

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First off, for most of those serious to the model RR hobby, while increased costs are a bit of a pain, they are not a make or break, like any other expensive/rich man's hobby. There are a ton of Hotrods here for the show in Nashville this weekend. I am sure the large spikes in gas and tire costs are a factor for them, but they are still here. So a increase in track or rolling stock prices are a per centage in the total cost of a decent layout or collection which will run in the thousands.

Second, for the certain maker of large scale trains in Europe, replacement parts are available, from Germany, but not from "ofA" or anyone Stateside at this time for whatever fact or fiction reasons, excluding some bits from former suppliers with retail sales now.

Annother factor for thought is look at the collectable Lionel, Flyer, etc. I can get parts for my old tinplate Lionel still, some NOS, some repops from China.... If the market exists?
 

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Oh, we could, but it wouldn't do any good; just give us heart attacks, high blood pressure and ulcers.
 

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No need to worry. Yes, we have already seen some "shaking out" and consolidation in the hobby, and it's likely to become even more pronounced in the future, but those who truly enjoy model railroading and Large Scale will always find a way around fewer choices and/or higher prices. There are a great many things we all should be worried about today--very worried about--but model trains is way down on the list. Besides, I suspect that most of us here already have more trains than we need or can possibly use.

And I agree with Kevin when it comes to the price of track. Maybe those prices will force some folks to be a bit more realistic with their plans, and build somewhat smaller layouts that they can more easily maintain and enhance.

But as far as this particular segment of the hobby goes, I will always miss--and fondly remember--LGB. The loss of that one manufacturer will, I'm fairly confident, have the greatest long-term adverse impact on the growth of this segment.
 
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Chicken little worries ............maybe , most likely , but perish the thought for large scale train interest , if things continue
i am collecting toys for decades (well, few, because of my location and budget)
to me it seems, it is not just G-scale, but toys (and other things) in general getting more expensive, while at the same time getting produced less refined.
in my opinion, the rich countries made the mistake, to stop working. north america and europe outsource each and every production to china and other low-wage countries.
the outcome is starting to be feeled. western societies might go belly-up.
for everybody's hobby there are but two choices: either become filthy rich to afford astronomical prices of small batch high class products, or start "Do it your self"ing.
in a couple of years we will read in this forum frequently about homemade locos made from motors an gears taken from used up office mashines and similars.

G-scale will stay.
what will disapear are the middle-class chequebook modellers.

ps: but the prices on ebay will go down too. for some time there will be a lot of older G-scale things to be bought cheap.
 

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Again, while that one maker is gone in the form of a company, the product is still with us, and is slowly coming back online. Geesh, after all, the colonel is dead, but here we are, still enjoying his chicken????

Maybe that new company will take a different approach, say like the original one did in the 1970s and 1980s with one or two new models a year, instead of dozens in the 1990s and 2000s, so maybe the middle class checkbook modellers will be able to keep up....
 

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The parts will become available again, in one form or another. If the company won't, some railroader will do it in his basement or garage. Also remember that alot of parts for locos are not made by the manufacturer. I believe it is Massoth (sp?) that makes the LGB electronics, alot (maybe all?) of the motors are made by other companies and better yet other companies are making replacement parts now as was stated above.

As far as track goes, it is getting expensive but there are alternitives to the uber expensive stuff. There is aluminum which has been reported to work with sparky locos, it just requires a bit more maintenence (so i'm told). Accucraft has come out with a lower cost brass track. Granted if you got the email from Lewis Polk, that lower copper content is the worst possible choice you could ever make in life :) You can also buy bulk rail and handlay track. Which although time consuming is a considerable savings.

Another option is to join a club if available. A few local fellas and myself have discussed starting a monthly get together, not a club persay but a gathering of friends. We can run trains on established layouts and those who don't have one will have somewhere to run. Then hey could build as time or money permits. Or there are many parks or arboretums (sp?) that have layouts to run at. I believe Torby runs at something like this.

There are options out there. The hobby may change a bit but I don't think it's too much to worry about. People are just going to adjust their ways of don it.

Take care
Terry
 
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