Model Trains and Model Railroading....not just a hobby

Why is model railroading a great hobby for kids?

FAMILY/ INDEPENDENCE – a kid hears “NO” a lot.  A model railroad puts kids in charge of powerful locomotives.  Trains run when the kids want them to and the track, scenery and buildings are ones that they helped to choose. Model railroading bonds parents, grandparents and children.  The whole family will enjoy building and running the railroad thus building lasting memories.  

DECISION-MAKING/ ACCOMPLISHMENT – – many kids lack opportunities for accomplishment.  Not every child is a basketball, football or any other sports star. Model railroading gives them a chance to build something unique that impresses everyone who sees it.  A model railroad is a solid real-world achievement. Choices on the model railroad will bring immediate results.  Wrong choices cause derailments and problems.  Right choices make the trains run smoother or make the layout look more realistic. 

IMAGINATION/CREATIVITY – before one actually builds a railroad, one dreams about it.  A layout helps a kid to build a world that matches their dreams and wishes.  Learning how to make dreams real, one step at a time. 

PERSISTENCE/COORDINATION – running a model train is a hands-on activity.  It improves eye-hand coordination and building structures, scenery and operating accessories teaches small hands to be accurate.  Kids see the power of steady working.  A little effort applied at regular intervals creates noticeable and exciting progress. 

SHARING/COOPERATION – by operating the trains with family members or other kids,  a child learns how to cooperate and share.  They learn the value of teamwork. 

PHYSICAL SCIENCE/ELECTRONICS – when operating heavy trains at a fast speed, one gets a hands-on education on how things move.  Inertia, momentum and friction play their part in keeping an engine and cars on the track.  Kids get a solid grounding in how electricity works to move a train around a track.  Run the train too fast on a sharp curve and the train derails.  They learn how electricity affects them in their daily life. 

TRANSPORTATION/ECONOMICS – by running a realistic freight operation a child learns how our economy works.  Raw materials must be transported to factories, the finished goods must be carried to market.  A model railroad teaches economics by actually doing it. 

TECHNOLOGY/ARCHITECTURE – steam locomotives were once considered high tech.  By becoming aware of the changing face of America through the operations and equipment of different eras, kids learn how one high tech’s advantages replaces another. In  building houses and factories, a child learns about structures and usage . 

SAFETY- real trains are tremendously powerful and heavy.  A child who knows nothing about trains and railroad tracks has no idea how dangerous they can be.  Model railroading teaches respect for trains, train tracks, the potential danger and an understanding of the signals that warn of approaching trains.