Attention Model Train Stores!

Huge layouts of model trains at Kansas City’s Union Station yesterday 

Over the next ten days, I’m going to have several blog posts about science-related toys and others that I believe will help children become more creative and/or come to love science.

One of the areas I’m going to bring up is model railroading. Building scenery, wiring, etc., teaches many useful skills. Plus, running the trains is fun. That posting will make suggestions for how to get started in the hobby, etc.

Before that blog posting goes up a few days from now, I want to say a few words to the local train stores that are in many cites. I have been in three of those stores this week, two yesterday on Black Friday. All three had in-store layouts none of which we running! I couldn’t believe it. If there was ever a time to be running the layouts, it is Black Friday. Not surprisingly, there was little traffic in the stores.

Meanwhile, in downtown Kansas City, Union Station’s multiple — and beautiful — layouts were jammed with kids and their parents having a wonderful time. If someone had a display of starter train sets, they’d have sold out by the end of the day.

I know a train store owner and he complains about competition from the internet. OK, I’m sure it is a challenge. But, the internet can’t have a layout. It can’t give lessons. It can’t do service.

So, lets get those layouts running! Maybe consider rigging the controls so children an push a button to sound the train’s horn.

I’m giving you a few days to get those layouts in shape then I hope to send you some customers.

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