Friday, March 23, 2018

Most Popular Railway to Model, Most Popular Era

Members of the Canadian Railway Modellers group on Facebook are an eclectic lot, with people modelling all sorts of Canadian roads.

Recently, someone asked group members to indicate what railways they modelled. A poll was created; 702 people responded. Here are the results.

CN: 32%
CP: 23.7%
VIA: 12%
PGE: 6.2%
Freelance: 5.6%
ONR: 4.7%
TH&B: 2.4%

Others that were noted, all under 3%, were GO, GTW, ACR, E & N, NAR, SRRB.C., AMT, DAR, OS, NBS, QNSL, OCR, CBNS, Cartier, DWP, G & E, Windsor & Jantsport, GWWD, Saugenay, CEMR and Huron Central.

At the same time that poll appeared, another one was created about eras. 294 people replied.

The most popular era was 1980-89 at 25.1%. The others were as follows:

1980-89: 25.1%
1970-79: 21.4%
Today: 21.4%
Transition (1950-59): 12.9%
1990-99: 7.8%
2000-09: 7.4%
1960-69: 5.7%
No era (anything goes): 3.4%
Pre-1930: 2%
1940-49: 1%
1930-39: 0.3%

This is just a small sample, of course, and very unscientific. But the answers are interesting. Who would have thought the 70s and 80s were so popular?

Conventional wisdom is that the transition era (steam to diesel) is the most popular. But those who belong to this Facebook group might be on the younger side, thus skewing the results. On the other hand, those who remember steam are getting older . . . .

As for the M & M Sub., it is set in the 1990-99 period. Although when I started it in 1994 it was the modern era!

Photo at top by Christian Vazzaz.


  1. The 80s are a good happy medium; still plenty of 1st generation diesel power rolling, vans on freight trains, blue and yellow on VIA trains, even an excuse for mainline steam if you're set in 1986 before Steam Expo. Don't get much of that nowadays.

  2. Thanks for the quick census. As one from the transition era, I was a bit surprised at the low number but then I thought of two things: 1) yes, we are getting older, numbers may be diminishing; 2) those of us from this era tend to shy away from social media such as Facebook; when I mention the subject to my "peers", I am taken aback at times by the negative reaction. Any, FB has opened up a tonne of new ideas and possibilities for me re model railroading in Canada. Thanks again.

  3. Interesting! DAR guy, Transition.