Having been involved solely in Z scale for many years I didn’t do a lot of looking at other model train scales. I became very familiar with the major Z scale manufacturers, the cottage manufacturers, the rumors that Z scale (and apparently every scale) seems to have and everything in between. When I decided to open up and look at additional model train scales at the end of September 2013, I knew there was a big world out there in model railroading and I have to admit, it’s actually a little dizzying.
Starting with the N scale kit builds we’ve recently done with Micro-Trains, to the Nn3 kits from PECO we’re building to my own scenic accessories I’m now working on in both N scale and HO scale, I really do feel like the proverbial kid in a candy store.
Just this past week for example I was on the phone with Bachmann talking with them about their On30 line of locomotives, the week before with a new start-up business hopeful in N scale. It’s been an exciting time but what has impressed me the most is the enthusiasm I’ve seen for the hobby, it’s been amazing!
Overall, the manufacturers are no slouches here as new and improved products are what drive the hobby, these investments grow model railroading. There’s an incredible array of new models constantly being introduced as well as impressive refinements in N scale and HO scale. Let’s not forget a current Wikipedia page stating, “On30 is now regarded as the fastest growing segment of the model railroading market in the United States.” I wouldn’t have expected that but I’m thrilled to see it, I like to see any and all growth in our hobby.
If there were a Model Railroading Evangelist position opening up anytime soon, I’d apply for the job. I’m not simply cheering blindly for the hobby though, the best evidence I see for a healthy and exciting hobby is the steady stream of new products in all scales. With all the technological competition our physical hobby has, I think model railroading is doing incredibly well. Every time I see a new locomotive body style, a new line of track or new accessory released, what I really see are large and small companies making an investment in model railroading, in growing model railroading. I’m both encouraged by, and appreciative of, these investments.