A Rare Hobby for Grownups: Model Railroading

If you’re on the lookout for a hobby to keep you entertained for long periods and something that you can do together as a family, then model railroading is a fantastic hobby for both grownups and kids alike.

While model railroading may not be quite as popular as it used to be in the early- and mid-20th century where many homes had intricate model railroads and trains running around in their living room or basements, nevertheless, those into it are quite passionate about their hobby even today.

However, today in the 21st century, as youngsters and teens turn to more stimulating hobbies such as video games, simulation games, etc. model railroading has become a rare and niche hobby for adults.

In fact, model railroading is quite popular amongst adults and some of the famous model railroaders include Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young to name a few.

Model Railroad Enthusiast Profile


You might be wondering, “Who are the typical model railroad hobbyists?” Well commonly, model railroading has been considered to be a hobby mainly for male adults, who have the time, money and space to build and display a working model railroad layout. Most railroad hobbyists love to display and showcase their construction displays, which come in a huge range of sizes, shapes and designs.

Some constructions not only feature mini railways and tracks, as seen on modelbuildings.org, but also include huge towns complete with buildings, parks, monuments and a whole lot of structures that you can bring to life by simply turning on the switch.

While most people think that model railroading is a predominantly adult “guy” hobby, well, that was probably in the past and most of these beliefs are mostly based on stereotypes. Today, the hobby is loved by people of all ages and genders including kids, teens and women, which leads us to the conclusion that you don’t have to be an “adult guy” to love model railroading.

Reasons Why Model Railroading Is a Great Hobby

Model railroading is a fantastic fun hobby that can keep you occupied for hours on end. And, some of the reasons why this a great hobby to take up include:

Family-Oriented Activity

Model railroading is a great activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family, both adults, as well as kids. In fact, people love this hobby so much that it is passed down from one generation to another.

This is a great hobby where the entire family can participate and be involved in creating and building a railway model that is unique and their own. Model railroading is a lifelong hobby and is a wonderful way where you can spend time with your child building something very special.

Educational Value


Not only is model railroading a great fun hobby, but it is quite educational too, especially for kids. This hobby can teach you a lot of things, right from the history of railroads not only in the US but also across the world. You can learn about railroads and railway systems built over time and how their design, technology, etc. have changed and evolved over the years.

You can learn about various types of railroads, trains and settings over time. You can also learn about the engineering and mechanical aspects of trains and railroads and how they affected various aspects such as transportation, economics, etc. of a country.

Learning Skills

Apart from this, model railroading is also a great way to learn construction, carpentry and basic electrical skills. You can learn skills like how to saw wood, stripping wires, etc. because these are basic skills required for model railroad building.

You will also learn skills such as designing and constructing a layout, artistic techniques of how to build towns, cities, buildings, vehicles, scenery, landscaping, bridges and decorating them.

In fact, model railroading is a fantastic way to learn research, planning, basic engineering and spatial visualization skills, developing logical thought and artistic techniques.

Social Development

Model railroading is a social hobby that is excellent for social development. You can meet and interact with new people who share your same interest and passion for model railroading, especially if you join a railroading club or association like NMRA.

These railroading clubs offer great opportunities to learn new railway building skills, exchange experiences and stories and work together with other people to build newer and better railroad models. These clubs or associations are also a great way to participate in conventions, contests, etc. that give you plenty of opportunities to learn more about your hobby.


Our modern life works at a frenetic pace and both adults and kids are caught up with activities that provide a lot of mental stimulation and instant gratification. Model railroading is a wonderful hobby that requires time, effort and patience. While it does not need months and years to accomplish, it does take a bit of time and thought.

While you can have a basic model railroad up and running quickly, you can spend weeks, months and even years adding to the structure, layout, changing the design and making something truly unique.

Model railroading provides long-term entertainment and you can keep learning and improving on your hobby in the long run. It is a wonderful way to develop and hone your skills with constant practice.

The Final Word


In conclusion, everyone, whether a kid or an adult, should have a hobby that they enjoy doing and model railroading is a fantastic hobby to pursue. Not only is it fun and creative, but it is educational too.

The best part is that this unique hobby is excellent for individuals of all ages. It just takes time and patience to set up a model railroad. And, you can then sit back with your family and enjoy the mini trains going up and down and admire your creation.

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