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Old 08-06-2020, 11:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Global Live Steam Community

Hey All of You -

I placed it in this folder as it seemed most appropriate.

Here's an odd question:

How large is the global steam community?

Estimated # of active users of live steam (by country)?

Realizing this can be proprietary information compiled by a marketer, I'm not asking for anything free - just very curious.

Someone here may have an estimate.

Of course, I'd LOVE breakdown (age/estimated income/demograpics/etc)...but, not easy to compile, and certainly not for free.

Thoughts or insight? Post 'em here!

Ruger
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Ruger,
There are 17 of us, not including you!
Well, maybe a lot more, but how on earth would you find out.
The G1MRA membership might be a good place to start.
2248 members - BUT assuming all of these are interested more in 1/32 or 10mm scale, what about all the Narrow Gauge. So add in members of those associations.
And there are similar Associations in European countries.
And then also add in all the members of local Garden Railway clubs.
And then for every person who likes to join associations and clubs, there are probably 10 who don't.
You can also look at the production numbers of all the manufacturers and then decide on the average number of locos owned by people and try and estimate that way.
Anyway, think of a number and double it and you might be right.
Good luck finding the answer.
David Leech, Delta, Canada
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Another clue to the number, would be to find "all livesteamforums", and look at the numbers of registered users.

There are quite a few in France - but sadly I know no French.
All German speaking countries have large numbers. I think there are some in the Netherlands.
I have no clue to Italian or Spanish livesteamers. There are obviously some in Japan - home of Aster.

My very uncertain estimate regarding Sweden, would be something like 50-70 people.

Although the railwayhobby in general, has shrunk considerably, the number of livesteammodels beeing offered, has probably never before been so large. And the livesteam hobby is actually growing, due to the fact that there are affordable models offered, is my judgement.

Speculating wildly, perhaps there are 5-10'000 people globally, running livesteam on 45mm gauge.
However, they are very much separated by language and interest in country-specific prototypes.

The internet and production techniques lending them selves to economical short-series production, helps all sorts of odd hobbies - like livesteam. 😉
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
You can also look at the production numbers of all the manufacturers and then decide on the average number of locos owned by people and try and estimate that way.
That would be my approach. Live steam models are almost always limited production.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ruger, around 2003 I would estimate the number of active live steamers to be near 100 in Tokyo area (and that I believe accounted for 50% of Japan). But I fear this number may have been halved by now... Best wishes from Indoors, Zubi
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zubi View Post
Ruger, around 2003 I would estimate the number of active live steamers to be near 100 in Tokyo area (and that I believe accounted for 50% of Japan). But I fear this number may have been halved by now... Best wishes from Indoors, Zubi
I think Zubi and myself, are implicitly making the same point.

The global livesteamcommunity, is very concentrated to a few countries. There are 10 million Swedes - and 70 livesteamers. There are more than a hundred million Japanese - and about the same number of livesteamers!

Now, New Zeeland, Australia, Canada, UK = GB / Empire + France + German / Austro Hungarian Empire countries and Netherlands, just about covers it, as far as 90% of livesteamers.

The reason I mentioned Spain, is because one of the members of Stockholm Livesteamers, actually bought his first two Aster kits in Spain! From the sparkie side, I know there are Italian - and even Russian model production. Oddly, I found my first book on live steam, on the Mediterrainial island of Malta! (Though, that is former British.)

There is however a growing, although geographically very spread, community i "new" countries. WuHu has produced acoal & gas fired insane large model with Chinese prototype - that evokes speculation in myself.

I don't fear the demise of live steam engines and the hobby. But the supply of rolling stock, is worrysome.
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Old 08-08-2020, 07:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Zubi and Pauli have both hit on one way to guess a number of live steamers worldwide and in most affluent countries by comparing the approximate known number with the total population number. I personally think, apart from Great Britain that has the highest number of enthusiasts, it appears a similar number across countries.

Zubi says 100 known steamers in Tokyo with a population of around 10 million so add in 50% of that known number for lone modelers and unknowns to a reasonable figure of say 150 participants for 10 million Tokyo population.

Pauli says 70 known live steamers in a population of 10 million for Sweden so again add 50% for some unknowns and you get 105 participants for 10 million population.

Here in Australia I help organise a regular national "Great Southern Steam Up" and we always get around 80 participants and as we know many can't come so that number should be around 135 that we know of and then add in 67 unknown's (Steam loco distributors tell me many more loco's are sold and these steamers are lone modelers) so the total is around 202. The estimate here is approximately 202 steamers for a population of 24 million.

So without going too deep into any exact science it would appear that a very rubbery average, for any affluent country, to say that for every 10 million of general population there is approximately a possible 100 active live steamers.

Any one have any other thoughts or best guesses on their local state or country compared to population?
Food for thought
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Old 08-09-2020, 04:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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About half of my friends are live steamers, so I assume half of the world's population is live steamer?
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Fred,
The ONLY friends I have are live steamers, so based on your calculations I seem to have a larger global estimate!
Actually, thank goodness everyone is not into live steam!
Cheers,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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David, I second that opinion. Also, there is nothing wrong with being unique, to the contrary. The number of live steamers is of the same order of magnitute as the number of Nobel Prize winners. What is wrong with being as rare as a Nobel Prize winner;-)? Best wishes from Indoors, Zubi
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