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Why Model Railroading Is a Hobby That Will Withstand The Test Of Time

toy train set in garden

Model railroading is one of the oldest hobbies in the world. It has withstood trends, wars, fads, and any number of other disruptive forces. It is either done alone or collaboratively with friends and family members. It’s good for children and adults alike because it challenges problem-solving skills. Here are why model railroading is a hobby that will withstand the test of time.

It’s a Hobby That Can Be Done Alone Or With Friends And Family

Model railroading is a hobby that is easily accessible to people of all ages and economic statuses. One of its most endearing advantages is the ability to work on a layout alone, with a parent, grandparent, spouse, other family members, or friend. It’s an activity that can be done solo or in small groups. As a result, model railroading continues to grow in popularity.

It Improves a Wide Range Of Skills And Attributes

Model railroading is a hobby that builds problem-solving skills, critical thinking ability and logic, creativity, manual dexterity, and fine motor coordination. Model railroaders have to deal with painting techniques, scenery building, scenic materials sourcing, installation, wiring for electric trains or lights or other accessories, cabinet construction, or even scratch-built structures from raw lumber stock. It’s a hobby that provides a training ground for adult skills.

It Can Be Done As a Family Business

After introducing model railroading to the family, it provides an opportunity for parents and grandparents to share their knowledge and skills. Over time, this kind of shared activity can provide familial bonding and lead to precious memories that will last a lifetime.

It’s a Hobby That Provides “Work-Free” Time – Perfect For The Modern Family

The modern family includes parents who work long hours, husbands who are gone for days at a time and families with young children. They find that model railroading is truly useful as an “escape” where they can unwind, relax and recharge their batteries. Some modelers even prefer to use their hobby as an opportunity to pursue other interests while their children play happily nearby.

It’s a Hobby That Builds a Sense Of Community

When the formation of a model railroad club, members around the country and other countries, as well as residents, join together to create a “guild” or “club.” They have access to shared resources such as fabrication facilities, model railroad shows and conventions, ongoing construction projects, and ongoing train club activities.

It’s a Hobby That Inspires Children To Do Hands-On Learning

Children can learn about trains by playing with them. They can decide which kind of trains to build and how they want them to look. They can help paint the scenery and make accessories such as signs, buildings, and trestles. They can become “railroad policemen” and point out what is “right” and what is “wrong” when it comes to operating their trains safely.

It’s a Hobby That Encourages Them To Work Together With Other Modelers

Children also learn about cooperation, sharing, and community when they visit or join a train club. Most clubs organize their layout space in areas where members can display their trains and share what they have learned. Working together on a project with other club members helps children increase social skills and leadership ability. It’s a hobby that provides a platform for learning about leadership.

It’s a Hobby That Encourages Them To Learn About History And Geography

Model railroading can be focused on a specific locale, such as a state or country. It’s a hobby that provides an opportunity for learning about history and geography. In addition, it allows children to create the kind of model railroad they want by incorporating their ideas from an early age.

It’s a Hobby That Helps Kids Think Critically

Model railroading teaches children how to make decisions. They select how to construct their layout, such as placing the scenery and adding the railroad tracks. They decide how to build their layout logically, separating what is important from what is not and how to calculate the correct scale conversion. They’re learning to express themselves thoughtfully to understand that it is better to be able to say “no” than to say “yes.” It is not only good for them but also good for their future relationships with teachers, spouses, employers, and others.

It’s a Hobby That Teaches Kids To Relate To Others

The social aspect of model railroading is not overlooked by parents looking for great family activities. They know that model railroading is a hobby that promotes social interaction with other children. It’s also an activity that helps kids learn how to work together with others, to share their thoughts and knowledge, and how to take turns.

It’s a Hobby That Helps Kids Learn To Handle Rejection

Model railroading is not for everyone. Some children are more creative when they are younger. Others are not able to follow the intricate steps when it comes to building the layout required. If their interests focus on exploring trains early, they will have more fun playing with them in their home or a shop. However, if they dislike trains, they will most likely quickly give up on this hobby, which can be frustrating.

It’s a Hobby That Allows Children To Be In Charge

Model railroading gives young people the opportunity to select which kind of train they will build and where they want it to go. They can collect and display their trains in an orderly manner and be in charge of how to operate them, what accessories they want in their layout, and how detailed they can become. As a result, when children work with model trains, they develop a sense of ownership and pride.

It’s a Hobby That Provides An Opportunity For Learning And Discovery

Any new hobby will be exciting and exciting for children. When they first learn about trains or switch from one kind to another, they will want to learn more and keep asking their parents questions. Parents who are engaged in parenting their children can use this to discuss their new hobby with them. They provide direction, background information, and answers to their questions.

It’s a Hobby That Is Inexpensive

Model trains are not cheap. Even the most basic starter set can be costly. However, when purchased at recommended retail price, they are very inexpensive for other hobbies. It’s an activity that can be in the share without breaking the bank.


No matter what a child’s age, model railroading is something they can enjoy for years to come. How you choose to approach this hobby will depend on your child’s age, your family’s level of enthusiasm, and the kind of model railroad you want to teach them.

Model trains are not merely toys or things that children can play with for a short period. When parents discover how useful model railroading is for their children, they will understand it can become part of their lifelong interest.

1 Comment

  1. James, MRT on May 29, 2023 at 3:51 pm

    This is a great write-up about the hobby of Model Railroading. As a life-long Model Railroader myself, (I’m 55) I can personally attest to all of the skills and benefits mentioned above. With the right resources available to them, Model Railroading can truly become a life-long hobby full of enjoyment and satisfaction.

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