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Old 03-24-2015, 02:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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IMO its about the same, personally I think the new landlords haven't done anything to complain about. Forum participation has been lax since the economic blowup cleared alot of folks out of the large scale game, many of them for good so it seams. For the last couple years from my perspective a good sized chunk of the active posts here have been about or in the Live Steam category, guess their participants were slightly less effected by the economic blowup, so much so I mused the sites name MLS could be renamed MyLiveSteam. Even so there have been a few newbies asking Q's which is a good thing but its been slow on all large scale sites.


Consider that on the Kalmbach site, things got so bad they actually reduced the Garden railroading magazine forum from 4 separate forums into a single forum, and even then its very very slow. That doesn't bode well for the hobby, neither does the soaring prices, lack of new product, Aristo's loss, the endless repaints and the almost virtual abandonment of the US market by LGB for several years while they sorted out their production issues. We're still no where yet out of the woods as a hobby so its no surprise there is still a lack of new participation or returning members to keep the forums a lively place.


Sorry if that's a gloomy Eeyore's outlook but its based on a clear eyed observation of the hobby in general, but there is hope. The last few shows I've been in, there were lots of people in attendance and lots of interest in LS. But Mfrs need to do something about really high pricing and entry level approachability to get people in the door IMO.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I guess that makes sense that it isn't just a new owner which has put this site into a downturn. To me, it's still undeniable that there's a lack of activity. (It's still pretty good considering, but not what it was). I can tell you this, the freerails forum has 1,494 registered members with 20 active topics in the last 24 hours, or a 74:1 ratio. Mylargescale has 14,371 members with 37 active topics within the last 24 hours, or a 388:1 ratio. Of course, this will vary greatly on a day-to-day basis, but Freerails at this moment is more active, compared to it's size, than Mylargescale. In other words, where are all the 14,371 members???

Of course, we never had all 14,371 members active at once, but it seems like Mylargescale's active member pool is getting down to a small(ish) number of members who are keeping the site active, meanwhile the other 14,000 members have gone their own ways.

Just food for thought here, remember my opinion is worth what you paid for it, so treat it as such.

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Old 03-24-2015, 04:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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If there was more "disposable income " for our unique hobby...
We might not be having these abstract conversations..

Our economy is ill..
Our many vendors that sell to us, and provide the rolling stock we need or want are having great difficulty..

The hobby will not and cannot grow without cash flow... period!

Manufactures that keep raising prices just wind up selling less in volume...
They need cash flow also...

Go knock on your governments doors...tell them to work and solve problems..or get out of the way so some one can!!
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My impression is that there are fewer of the old bunch, and a lot more 'newbies' asking questions. The latter is good - shows MLS is visible and accessible (or maybe the owners take SEO [search engine optimization] seriously.) The former - not so much.

But the topics are still interesting enough to keep me coming back, though I post most of my stuff at LSC. The Live Steam forum in particular seems to have become the place to discuss that topic - sslivesteam (the email group) seems to have withered as all the guys are here.
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Old 03-24-2015, 10:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I believe Garratt is absolutely correct. It's nearly impossible to find anything in F scale these days - and absolutely nothing new is planned.

Perhaps F scale was a fad, and it's simply fading out.

Same with Garden Trains.

Not to mention the economic collapse and the price hikes of Garden trains in general, not to mention the loss of several manufacturers.

Robert
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Old 03-24-2015, 11:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjwtrainman View Post
I guess that makes sense that it isn't just a new owner which has put this site into a downturn. To me, it's still undeniable that there's a lack of activity. (It's still pretty good considering, but not what it was). I can tell you this, the freerails forum has 1,494 registered members with 20 active topics in the last 24 hours, or a 74:1 ratio.
I have never heard of the freerails forum before, so I just went and checked it out...
ummm..if they don't understand the difference between O-scale and Large scale..lets just say it doesn't instill confidence!
and it doesn't make me want to join..

Scot
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Old 03-24-2015, 11:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Large scale is very specific to model railroading and diversified within itself. I never feel at home in a H0, 0 or N scale world. Even 7/8ths has it's own specific forum which quite often requires a different approach to modelling.
This place was once 'the big show in town' when Large Scale was at it's peak in new products, new scales etc. incorporating electrics and live steam and I must say some very dedicated and skilled contributors.
Things have settled down now due to economic reasons and possibly a 'been there done that' viewpoint with the masses. Many garden railroads never quite came into fruition or the interest was lost and the weeds took over. This hobby does take up plenty of room, requires maintenance and it is expensive. You can buy a pretty nifty helicopter for under $100 now which is more dynamic and a lot less expensive than a hundred feet of brass track.
I think the hobby is now well past the 'frisby' saturation stage when every train lover just had to have one.
Live steam growth is probably mostly the older generations who grew up with trains and can afford the expense.

Andrew
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:25 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have mixed emotions about the above conversation.

On the one hand, I don't have much I need to buy anymore (although I'll be taking a good wad of cash with me to ECLSTS, just in case). My garden layout is big enough to be a lot of maintenance work and I don't need much in the way of rolling stock, etc. I installed the new Kadee remote couplers in three of my locos, and I can't wait to try them out outdoors if Spring ever gets here. And I'm well into attempting to back-light my switch control panel. So there's not much I need to help keep our suppliers in business. My layout is almost "finished".

On the other hand, this winter I blew a few hundred bucks on the new Kadee remote couplers and the Phoenix control boards. And later this summer I'd like to get going in Mr. Bodnar's anduino laser detector thing. I'll post the story of the backlighted switch panel once I have it lookin' good. So it would seem that there are a few new things we can spend our money on. All we have to do is not let our layouts be "finished".

JackM

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Old 03-25-2015, 04:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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My layout is almost "finished".
Finished? It's a hobby, how does that happen? LOL!
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Finished? It's a hobby, how does that happen? LOL!
Wife steps in and says, "No More!"
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