Steam is a lifelong hobby for many people with the opportunity to collect and create some impressive models over time.
Many enthusiasts will spend countless hours crafting intricate steam models and testing them out within the comfort of their own home. This is all well and good but one of the great things about steam is the community it creates. Enthusiasts from all over regularly get together and share their passion and even work together on much bigger projects.
In a world where everyone is constantly connected it has never been easier to get in touch with like-minded people. The steam community is an ideal place to share thoughts on certain models, building techniques or their experiences within the world of steam. It is not just in the UK where this passion is felt as countries all over the globe have people who are dedicated to this popular pastime.
So, how do you get involved? Here is a short guide to getting connected in the world of steam.
Events and exhibitions
Events and exhibitions are a great way to meet like-minded steam enthusiasts. Pretty much every weekend will see a model steam event taking place somewhere in the country. They range from the smaller, local events where a few steam clubs will attend right up to the national events such as the International N Gauge Show.
Ideal for either newcomers or seasoned modellers, steam clubs offer the perfect environment for people to meet, discuss, exhibit and learn more about steam. Clubs are often working on a big project, such as building scenery for a smaller gauge model railway, and people can get involved with these.
Another benefit is that many clubs are affiliated with larger organisations meaning they can get discounts and priority tickets for certain steam events.
Online forums can be a great resource for anyone that has a particular query about their models or just simply want to reminisce about certain steam engines. Monitored by moderators to ensure conversations are kept in a safe and non-threatening manner, people can seek advice from other steam enthusiasts.
Forums are becoming increasingly popular among those in the steam community with a number of experts providing their thoughts for other users.
It seems the entire world is on social media and the steam community is no different. Both Facebook and Twitter are key tools for companies in the steam sector and it is great for people wanting to find out what is going on in their local area. Events and exhibitions will often be promoted through social media while steam companies can also interact with their customer base.
Many firms will have a group or forum page on their Facebook profile allowing people to communicate with each other on various popular topics. Like with online forums, moderators can ensure that any offensive or threatening behaviour is tolerated and stamped out easily.
Despite being a slightly outdated form of communication, there is still a place in the steam community for published magazines. Enthusiasts can purchase subscriptions to ensure they get all the latest news on a weekly or monthly basis.