I've been active in rail museum operations for 40 years, and I've seen it both ways, although the "pushy railfan" groups tend to win here. They want smoke, they want you to park with rods down, make their pictures pretty for them, and they won't buy a ticket to ride or buy souvenirs. I've also given talks on our museum, and afterward got the "why don't you" and "you should" comments. Hey, we're all volunteers, we always have the Help Wanted sign out, c'mon down and pitch in if you think something should be done.
We also had to put up with snide comments about how we are narrow gauge, that we don't run at 60 mph, and other similar "problems", all which seem to be liabilities to some fans, but they still pack the place during our special events . . . and not buy a ticket to ride.
One way to shut some of them up is for me to show them my steam locomotive engineer's license. Got one of these, pal? No? Then I win.
They tell me to act my age. I don't know how to do that. I've never been this old before.