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Author Topic: Steam layouts, a dying breed?  (Read 7364 times)

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Offline portland-docks

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Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« on: November 27, 2012, 03:20:56 PM »
I go to alot of exhibitions, and the past few year iv seen an ever increase on modern image/diesels and a great decline in steam, this year especially.

Even looking on here more and more people are choosing modern image to model and im wondering is steam really starting to die off? At our local n gauge group im trying to bring steam back with numerous steam latouts and im determined to have a steam only exhibition some time! :veryangry:
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see first post for exhibition dates

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2012, 03:52:18 PM »
I don't think they are dying out, P-D :no:
I reckon most folks model what they remember regardless of whether exhibition or home layout. On that basis it's probably just a reflection of new/younger blood coming into the hobby. For sure there are a plethora of layouts with 'brightly coloured worms' and yes, it makes the layout a little more colourful, but IMHO steam will never die out.
You only have to look at what Dapol & Farish are bringing out to see the demand is still as strong if not stronger going by the shouts going up from the 'modern image' fans.

Although I model late steam/early diesel, I do like to see a full layout of blue diesels now and then. It's probably the latest I can go knowledge wise anyway. Anything after that and I am totally flummoxed as to what is what :-[

Offline Jack

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 03:57:43 PM »
I believe our hobby is sometimes a reflection on our childhood and the things we grew up with and after all most will say that we enter our second childhood when we start playing with trains.  ;D

Therefore (trying to tread carefully here) diesels/modern image is probably a natural evolution as the older modelers fade away taking their knowledge of all things steam with them.

I have been known to go soft at the sight of an engineering master piece in the form of various steam locos that I've seen in the flesh so to speak but my childhood days that I remember were for all things oil burner related.

Now having put the match to the blue touch paper and being someone who likes 37's, 47's and real HST's, I'm going tip toe away and put on my battle bowler (helmet) and duck!  :-X
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Offline portland-docks

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 04:00:57 PM »
Well im only a young 25, so i obviously grew up in pure diesel age but i spent my entire childhood around thomas, the nrm, nymr, tanfield so steam was all i saw, and i love them too much to see them replaced with diseasels, even at model level
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Offline scotsoft

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 04:12:00 PM »
It could be just a phase that people are going through, especially if a club is involved.  I can imagine the steam guys giving way to the diesels to help keep their membership numbers up.  Of course I could be way off the mark and there is some other reason.  :confused2:

cheers John.

Offline martink

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 04:18:50 PM »
Another issue is that model diesels tend to be better runners than steamers.  I know a few people that have gone modern purely for that reason.

Offline Brenda

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2012, 04:27:14 PM »
Hi, I'm new to railway modelling and n gauge, I was attracted by the steam locos seen on television series like All creatures great and small, the railway children etc. There is a wonderful romance about steam trains that I've yet to be able to express. Steam trains were replaced by the time I was born in 1960 yet I love everything about them and times when they were run. These were innocent times without wi-fi, ipods and games consoles, when people used to meet in the local pub or around the fire to chat.
The others are right - people will connect with the fuel type they are familiar with but it doesn't mean we cant try and convert them. I'd like to see the manufacturers releasing more from LNER & NER and previous liveries. The north east seems to have been short changed which is ionic when you think about Stevenson's Rocket. :thumbsup:
B.

Offline Thorpe Parva

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2012, 04:33:33 PM »
I agree with much of the above. I model the "Green Diesel" era because that's what I remember from my trainspotting days.

As a relative newcomer to N Gauge I am slowly building up my stock of locos, I currently have 4 diesel & 3 steam locos. I have a Blue Pullman & Class 27 on order so diesels will be even more in evidence in the short term.

The problem with steam locos, in my opinion, is availability. I currently am not prepared to buy a new steam loco with solid wheels and moulded handrails. At present I am prepared to wait for models to be upgraded to current standards. I was planning to purchase a Dapol 9F but the models listed in their 2011 catalogue never appeared and I'm also waiting for them to offer one of the Britannias that ran over the Midland Line in the early 60s.

David

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2012, 04:41:12 PM »
I believe our hobby is sometimes a reflection on our childhood and the things we grew up with and after all most will say that we enter our second childhood when we start playing with trains.  ;D

Now having put the match to the blue touch paper and being someone who likes 37's, 47's and real HST's, I'm going tip toe away and put on my battle bowler (helmet) and duck!  :-X
Well, I was born at the very end of the steam age (I have a recollection of standing on a bridge near the local shed with my father & a steamer going under - possibly the shed pilot, and possibly one of the very last journeys in steam at that shed), but grew up with BR blue & the HST.  Not a massive fan of the latter & can't stand the former !!!  :D

In OO, SWMBO & I have an eclectic mix ... some modern image (not many), some 70s-90s (again, not many), a very few diesel post-steam to 70s, but by far steam is the mainstay.  In N - well, steam all the way, and more specifically the late 30s to the start of BR (and mainly post-45 at that).

So I'm afraid that if you go by either SWMBO or I, your theory has been blown out of the water  :D  It's not even as if I grew up in a train-mad family, or went to see trains anywhere either !

Mike

Offline E Pinniger

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2012, 06:17:50 PM »
Another issue is that model diesels tend to be better runners than steamers.  I know a few people that have gone modern purely for that reason.

I suspect this is definitely a factor, in N gauge at least. I had little or no interest in diesels myself until I got into N gauge modelling, now I have half a dozen diesel locos on my (transition-era) layout and can tell the difference between most of the BR-era classes! I still prefer steam but the high price and poor running and/or reliability of most N-gauge main line steam locos means that they're unlikely to outnumber diesels on my layout for the foreseeable future (though I have a fair number of small 0-6-0s)
Another likely factor (in N gauge) is that the smaller scale attracts more modern-image modellers due to the ability to run longer trains in a smaller space - an advantage for any era but especially for modern image where longer, more uniform trains are the norm.

Personally I prefer modelling the earlier railways - pre-Beeching and rationalisation - not only because of the appeal of steam, but because the railways as a whole were much more complex, varied and diverse, with most stations having their own yards, signalboxes, etc., countless rail-served industries, and a huge variety of locos and stock in service, some dating back to the 19th century. My N gauge layout is BR transition era as this allows me to run a "steam era" layout whilst still being able to take advantage of the better running qualities of N gauge diesels! I like the pre-grouping era - late 1800s to 1920s - most, but there isn't a great deal available from this era in N.

Offline tim-pelican

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 06:41:31 PM »
Like a few others here, I'm building a transitional layout to get some of the best of both worlds in what I can run.  I only have one steam loco so far, but I don't have any real running problems yet.

What I grew up with was BR blue and then NSE, and I'd like to model one or both some day as well - but don't let SWMBO hear me pondering a second layout!  Especially with so little completed on the first...

Offline Greybeema

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 06:49:13 PM »
Interesting how we see "Modern Image".  Bsically we seem to consider anything from Green Diesels to 2012 as modern image thats a gap of circa 50-60 Years.  Most model steamers that I have seen lately come from the end of steam period say 1930 - 1960 and thats a mere 30 years!!

I lived next to the Brighton line.  It was all electrics..  We saw the Flying Scotsman once.  Sir Nigel Gresley once and a Merchant Navy once....  Saw the Belle everyday (threw that bit in for Pengy)...  73's and 33's...

So why more Modern image than Steam? - For most of us thats what we remember.  But maybe its because the time span is bigger than we think....
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Offline Lawrence

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 06:58:30 PM »
When I got back into model railways about 5 or 6 years ago I remembered how disappointed I was with the running of early 80's British steam models, so I had a look around at what else I could model and ended up with late 50s early 60s American diesels which run like a dream.  I have since added in a mix of Japanese diesel and electric rolling stock and frankly I have never looked back.
Everyone, even me, loves to see a real steam loco in full steam, but from a modelling perspective they are not for me.
If I had a bit of a funny turn and suddenly found myself modelling British railways I would firstly have to do a lot of reading, and secondly would probably start no earlier than a Deltic  ;)
Since getting started with Japanese stuff I do now have an appreciation for British MUs, but just the smaller local types, not these new fancy pointy things (I'm not a fan of the Japanese Shinkansens much, beautifully designed though they may be)

Offline Pengi

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 07:12:31 PM »
BR EMUs were my childhood but I have no desire to recreate them - dirty smelly things. Its the ultra modern sleek clean fast colourful stuff for me.

Because of the lack of it from Dapol/Farish etc, I have become interested in Continental and bullet trains.
Just one Pendolino, give it to me, a beautiful train, from Italy

Offline port perran

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Re: Steam layouts, a dying breed?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 07:27:32 PM »
I agree with most things that have already been said.
I model late 50s/early60s because that's the period I grew up with.
It is interesting that many steam locos sell out quickly after release and are eagerly awaited by many people (eg the new Dapol Panniers). The major manufacturers also keep on churning out steam locos so they must be selling well.
It's great to see a good mix at exhibitions and shows. I for one quite like to see a mix of old and new.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


 

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