Why Model Railroading Is Becoming More Popular the past Few Years – 2024 Guide

At one time, model railroading used to be one of the most popular hobbies for every other little boy who would spend his after-school hours painstakingly creating miniature versions of trains steaming through landscapes.

Over the years, model railroading fell out of favor with most people who got busy with the demands of fast-paced modern life. No one had the time to create intricate model railroads in their basements outside of their jobs.

The model railroad hobbyist is often thought of with several stereotypes. Many people think of model railroaders as older men and see them as being geeky and eccentric.

However, this is not the case, especially as model railroading makes a comeback as a popular and widely loved hobby in recent years.

There are various reasons why people have again woken up to the benefits of model railroading as a hobby and a passion for people of all genders, ages and walks of life.

Generational Shift

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Model railroading has been around for more than a hundred years and sales for model railroad parts had peaked in the 1950s in the US.

At the time, model railroads were a trendy choice of toy for young children, especially boys. Model railroad parts were bought as holiday gifts and throughout the year.

Many children who were first exposed to model railroading through child-friendly toys eventually grew up, became busy with their education and jobs and let go of model railroading.

However, those who were children at the time are growing older and have been reaching an optimal age in the past years. These people are now finding the time to go back to their interests.

Now, they have the spending power to invest in good quality model railroading equipment and can resume model railroading as a hobby and a passion in their homes in their free time.

Modern Life Woes

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The idea that model railroading is not suited to modern times is a mistaken one that had gained popularity for some time. However, people are realizing the potential of model railroading and how perfect it is as a hobby for modern times.

People are frustrated with the isolation prevalent in modern times, with people allowing their busy lives to overtake their time with friends and family.

Model railroading provides a great way to come together with your loved ones at home and form larger communities as well.

People across ages can bond over model railroading as adults can teach crucial knowledge in subjects such as history, geography and physics to children through model railroading in an organic manner.

Besides, model railroading can also help to build critical thinking, logic and creativity in children according to the experts at www.modelbuildings.org

As people are primarily engaged in jobs involving mental or digital work, they tend to feel distanced from life and struggle with mental health issues. Model railroading provides an excellent physical hobby that can significantly help one feel more grounded and improve their mental health.

The bad reputation that model railroading had gathered of being extremely time consuming and therefore unsuitable for fast-paced modern life is also being rejected.

Instead, people crave a hobby to engage in patiently when everything else is hectic and short lived.

All in all, model railroading provides a welcome respite from the overall lifestyle of modern times.


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In the past few years, the global COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to spend most of their time indoors due to social distancing rules. As a result, people of all ages have been left without access to their usual forms of leisure.

Adults are stuck at home without restaurants or bars to go to and children cannot go to school, hobby classes or playgrounds.

In this scenario, model railroading is an ideal hobby that can be done entirely from home. It is a great hobby to pursue whether you are isolating all alone or are staying with family members and looking for ways to spend time together.

Especially as most forms of education, work and recreation have gone digital, people deal with screen fatigue and are looking for things to do outside their computers and smartphones.

Model railroading provides a great alternative to digital forms of leisure, as it is entirely physical. It can help to bring families together and form alternative forms of education for children.

The toy manufacturer Hornby in the UK saw an increase of 33% in model railroad sales in 2024. The German manufacturer Märklin also saw an increase of 10% in sales, thanks to the resurgence of model railroading.

Media Representation

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With the emergence of popular television shows such as The Great Model Railway Challenge, model railroading is getting a much-needed makeover in popular representation.

The stereotype of fathers and sons engaging in model railroading as a masculine activity no longer holds true, as women and people from all walks of life have come to the show and popularized model railroading as a hobby for anyone and everyone.

Such changes have also shown people the potential of model railroading as not just a hobby but also a difficult and laborious skill as well as a highly creative art that should be respected and appreciated.

Parting Thoughts

Model railroading is a unique and beautiful endeavor that is a combination of skill, technique and art. It can be a hobby, passion or even something that you can earn a livelihood from.

Model railroading is a great way to preserve a part of the world as it is often highly realistic in terms of historically accurate technology and even the geography of the railroad.

With technological advancement providing more and more realistic equipment, model railroading is becoming the hobby of choice for thousands of people across the world.