I was quite active and involved in model RR'ing a few years back. I assembled a fairly large collection of HO scale cars and engines. Needs changed, finances required some re-directing, and I sold off about 50% of the items, and basically lost touch with the hobby for the past several years - almost entirely.

Finally, I am able to return to the hobby. No purchases yet, but plans are under way. Forgotten, sometimes lost, model train websites have been relocated and re-bookmarked. To this point, I am trying to determine how things have changed.

Kato use to have a number of diesels to choose from on their website. At the moment, they look very thin on offerings. Yes? No?

BLI had several ATSF steam engines and several sweet diesels [switchers, etc.] on their website years back. I cannot seem to find much available; their website seems thin, and the Cab Forward plus a couple of other steam engines seems to be the bulk of their offerings. Yes? No?

I then find out that Proto 2000 is absorbed by Walthers, yet most of the P2K items on the Walthers site are sold out. What's with the Proto

2000 line-up and its future?

The Atlas website use to have tons of rolling stock in HO scale. We owned a lot. I can't find many of the tankers, etc. Have they reduced their inventory?

It's early since my return. My perusing might be falling short and my observations may be wrong, but it *seems* like the hobby is either in declince or manufacturers have really cut back on their offerings. Yet, DCC appears strong. The recent train show attendance has been strong.

Am I way off? Is the model RR industry/hobby strong? Or, should I panic?

Kadee and Intermountain seem to be moving along as usual.



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Have you looked fully at the Walthers website and at Athearn?




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I am delighted to read your replies. My unplanned hiatus from model RR'ing a few years back [financial reasons] was disappointing. Hence, my recent return to the hobby, albeit slow and presently restricted by limited funds, was quite uplifting. Then, I began by looking through the Walthers website and several of the manufacturer's websites, and I wasn't sure how to interpret the findings. Most of the BLI engines are not available from Walthers or even shown on their own website. A number of the Atlas engines and rolling stock are likewise not available in either location. These results could be viewed in two diverse ways: sales are super strong or manufacturing had been reduced dramatically.

Your confidence in the strength of the hobby is most pleasing.

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I am delighted to read your replies. Your confidence in the strength of the hobby is most pleasing. My unplanned hiatus from the hobby a few years back due to finances was disappointing. My return, albeit limited by funds at this junture, is quite uplifting.

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The thing is, the days of walking into a neighborhood store that has everything you want is nearly over. I happen to be very lucky to have America's Best Toys and Hobby

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20 minutes away, but that sadly is the exception. Find a good online store or two and stick with them. I use Litchfield Station for DCC and for anything else that I don't buy at America's Best.

The real tragedy is that you came back to the hobby after Loy Spurlock retired. is still a great resource for DCC information, but he no longer sells anything. *

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