Will the price of gas affect your meet attendance this year?

This forum is dedicated to the Live Steam Hobbyist Community.

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH, cbrew

Mike Walsh
Posts: 645
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 10:14 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Let' See

Post by Mike Walsh » Thu May 29, 2008 8:56 am

Bill Shields wrote: Will $5.00 gas and associated higher costs cause OTHERS to think twice - or thrice - about getting into the hobby? Probably.
I'm not quite so sure about 'getting into the hobby'.... Anyone can get into the hobby. I doubt it is a matter of travel when they are interested in the hobby.

If they want to attend other meets that are quite beyond the scope of possibly weekend travel, then that may cause them to rethink their travel plans for the rest of the year.

I was planning on attending Washakum this summer with some friends from FLLS, but I wound up back in St. Louis for the summer (versus Rochester, NY)... So I dont know if I can even attend the spring meet (end of June), let alone Washakum.... I have open offers for a place to stay, but it is a matter of getting to Rochester, first!

Did I mention I'm 22 years old, and still in college? No? Oh, well.. now you know, and knowing is half the battle!


User avatar
Posts: 2836
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 12:17 pm
Location: Vancouver Wa

Post by cbrew » Thu May 29, 2008 10:01 am

I am loading up tonight for a weekend at Trainmountain,
I only have a few hundred miles to go each way, but im sure it will still cost me about $300 in gas to make the round trip.
but like Bill and David, My 2004 Dodge Ram and new trailer is paid for so my carrying costs are real low.
I wish i had a little more power under the hood but i just cant bring my self to buy a bigger truck with a large car payment when i will only drive it few times a month.
so i will live with the fact i have to pull the grade in third gear with the hammer down moving a snails pace. :lol: :roll:
just honk and wave as you pass by :wink: ,
If it is not live steam. its not worth it.

User avatar
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:45 am
Location: Werl, Germany

Post by Goose » Thu May 29, 2008 10:57 am

With a fuel-price of actually 1.51 Euro per Liter (or 5.54 Euro per Gallon or 8.01 $ per Gallon), equal if gas or diesel, I no longer can afford trips to custom-car-weekends or to drive long trips to railroads.

At the moment, I only drive 6 miles to work and 6 miles back, nothing more.
Two weekends ago, I visited a private 5" gauge layout, around 50 miles away, but only, because I had promised to come over for a couple of years and to deliver a CD, some drawings and a On30 model of a 3-truck-goose to another railroader, who plans to build such a model for 5" gauge.

Sadly, the increase of gas- and diesel-prices started to raise up just after I decided to buy the Marie E in 5".

If I had knew this before, I never would have bought the engine, because I have no space nor track at home to run it.

Greetings from Germany
Hubert The Goose

User avatar
Posts: 2726
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:33 pm
Location: Chattanooga TN

Post by Fender » Thu May 29, 2008 11:52 am

One thing that would help would be for the various clubs within the same area to coordinate their meet dates so that one trip could cover multiple gatherings. I know this already happens in Florida in the winter, and I believe the Mid-South L.S. and Chattanooga Society of M.E. are doing this as well. This would go a long way towards reducing travel costs, and also make it easier for live steam suppliers to attend more meets. Will probably mean that some meets occur during the week, which may not be so good for the locals, however.
Dan Watson

User avatar
Posts: 4333
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2003 3:26 pm

Re: Will the price of gas affect your meet attendance this y

Post by Fred_V » Thu May 29, 2008 12:06 pm

Greg_Lewis wrote:With gas over $4 and diesel over $5, I for one will be cutting back my plans. It now costs me 39 cents per mile just to drive my diesel truck with camper and trailer down the road. The fuel costs for round trips to the three closest tracks are $144, $132 and $170 respectively. A trip to Train Mountain would be $390 just for fuel. Add in a few restaurant meals and incidentals and I think I'll only be making two more trips this year.

How about you?
Greg you get off cheap. all tracks are 400 plus miles from me. at 7MPG it gets costly but i'll still go. i make about 4 trips/year.
Fred V

User avatar
Posts: 954
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:07 am


Post by bcody » Thu May 29, 2008 12:47 pm

Dan: Your idea has merit but I don't see it happening. Granted, a large part of the people in our hobby are retired but many are not. I can just see a guy going to his boss asking for two days off in the middle of the work week to go play trains, YEA and you couldn't get vacation time without clearing it with the wife. In 2000 I took my motorhome and headed South and then East. Ran at numerous tracks on the week-ends and didn't know what to do with myself during the week. Spent alot of time in campgrounds watching TV. I was out two months and covered over 7000 miles, $1700+ for fuel at a much lower cost per gallon than it is now, course I was burning gas then and getting about 6 MPG if I kept the cruise speed at 60 MPH. Got to where I was using the motorhome 5 days a year, I sold it years ago. Bill

Steve Bratina
Posts: 975
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Cambridge Ontario

The cost of travelling

Post by Steve Bratina » Thu May 29, 2008 8:36 pm

The cost of travelling is going up and so are other things to which I have no control. I have missed the meets for the past few years but will be at New Jersey, Southwick, Montreal and Waushakum. It will cost a few bucks but my wife and I don't live too high and two things make me want to go.
One is that I told my wife if there is anything she wants to do in her hobby, do it. I don't want to be sitting around in our golden years talking about things that she wished she had done. The same goes for my hobby.
The other is my dad is in a home and had been fading for several years. He can't travel to the meets with me any more and his health won't be coming back. I still am able to travel so the cost of fuel is not that bad that it will keep me from going. When my time comes that I can't travel any more, I want fond memories of the hobby, not regrets.
One other small point. I enjoy talking with the old guard of the hobby and they are getting up there in age. Most of them I only see once or maybe twice a year so if you miss one year, they may not be there the next!. I have learned this lesson a few times over. So whats a few extra bucks in the scheme of things.
I know others may have different situations and are not in the same boat as me. I hope this ramble has not offended anyone as that was not my intention.
Keep Steamin'

User avatar
Posts: 3436
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 9:26 pm
Location: New Jersey

Post by Trainman4602 » Thu May 29, 2008 9:54 pm

Dan and I are planning a trip to Southwick’s (PVLS) spring meet. I don’t like the high gas prices as well but like some one said” What are you going to do stay home”. Next year it will cost even more for gas so go now. After a year of waiting and building I can’t wait to run the 1361 again. I always had a great time at Southwick and if the weather is with us that weekend it should be another great one.

Who else is going?

One idea that I always had is that maybe clubs should consider having only one meet per year. I tried to initiate this at NJLS to no avail. Every running season we would have the same argument at meetings. Who’s going to do gate duty? Who’s going to buy the food and cook it, getting the track ready and so on? I really think all clubs should only have one meet per year. I'm not talking about the steam up and other gathering during the running season just eliminate one major meet. I think they would be better attended if that were the case.

Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:33 pm
Location: New Jersey


Post by Rich » Fri May 30, 2008 4:58 am

Since the NJLS has been mentioned a couple of times recently, just a reminder that the Spring Meet is the weekend of the 6-8th of June.

The 7 1/4" has undergone some upgrading and the elevated looks to be OK. The 4 3/4" has some new LED signals to look at. GA 1 is up and running also.

See you there!

User avatar
Posts: 6712
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:52 pm
Location: NW Indiana. Close to Lake Michigan S. tip

Post by steamin10 » Fri May 30, 2008 10:02 am

Yep, you bet fuel will limit my moves. Ford 7.3 turbo gets 24 on open road, Ranger 4.0 gets 22, same as 3.0 Splash. Since My equipment doesnt run yet it only room for ash and gallons of gas. 3 tracks I use are 30 35 and 65 miles. So its no biggy, but the bite is still there.
Last edited by steamin10 on Sat May 31, 2008 4:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

User avatar
Posts: 954
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:07 am


Post by bcody » Fri May 30, 2008 11:50 am

Steve Bratina: I totally agree with you. You only go around once and you MUST get all you can from life while you can. I'm a firm believer in the statement I heard in a joke years ago. Family gathered in the lawyer's office for the reading of the will and it starts off with "being of sound mind I spent it". I earned it and I'm going to spend it any way I wish. That is one reason I have three live steam locomotives, a GE Dash 9 diesel, numerous pieces of rolling stock and six RTR steam powered R/C boats. I also have an R/C hydroplane with a 3 HP 2 stroke engine that burns a gasoline and oil mix. I'm looking to get another steamboat. Bill

User avatar
Posts: 652
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:56 am

Post by alanstepney » Sat May 31, 2008 4:20 am

Just to let you guys over there know, in the UK, diesel (which is what my car uses) costs between (and translated to US$ and US gallons)
between $9.30 and $10.40 a gallon/

Petrol / gas is roughly 50 cents cheaper.
Model Engineering, Steam and workshop pages.

Post Reply