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Author Topic: Springfield train meet  (Read 5306 times)
Woody Elmore

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« on: February 02, 2010, 10:53:22 AM »

This weekend I, along with three friends, braved the cold to go to the big model railroad expo in West Springfield, Mass.

We parked a great distance from the main building and walking to the building with no shelter was like a scene from "Dr. Zhivago." Then there were the long lines.

People who say that model railroading is in decline needed to be there. The place was mobbed. I was jostled, poked and had my feet stepped on. There were so many people that it was often impossible to reach exhibitor's tables.

I was looking for dealers with Bachmann items but the large majority of what I saw was Lione, American Flyer or G gauge or F scale (or whatever they call it). There were many vendors of scenic products as well as DCC manufacturers.


The modular railroads were simply super. There was one that must have been at least 100 feet long and 40 to 50 feet wide. Lots of nice long HO trains.

The Bachmann booth was the nicest one there. They even had carpeting. When I finally found the building where Bachmann had it's display, the Bachmann wasn't there. I wanted to take home a Bachmann G Gauge articulated. The thing is a great model!

I would have second thoughts about ever going there again. It was a horror show. Give me Timonium!

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rich1998

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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 02:05:30 PM »

I had a great time at the show and I am nearly 70.
Arrived Saturday morning at 10 am. The temperature was a baseball score. 9F. At 2pm when I left, it was a balmy 24F.
Great New England weather. Found some nice items. Great building arraignment.
The Mallary building area was extended this year, there are so many waiting to sell or exhibit at the show. It has been like that for years.
I ate breakfast at a little diner across the street from the Big E before entering.
I get my coffee at the Dunkin Donuts booth when inside.
Attendance was down a thousand or two I believe. One fellow in our  MRR club nearby sells there every year.
All it takes is careful planning and early arrival. The Amherst Railway Society page shows the building arrangement and exhibitors list. I printed out the pages and made a list of places to see.
I have been going to the show since it opened.

Lex
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ebtnut

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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 05:38:48 PM »

Well, I was planning to go to Timonium this Saturday, but now they're talking about 6-12" of white stuff, so that plan may have to be abandoned.  I will likely have the opportunity to go to the Greenberg show in Monroeville next weekend, but that's really not as good as Timonium. 
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jonathan


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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2010, 09:14:55 PM »

Usually, I have only the Greenberg shows to look forward to.  I felt very fortunate to hit the WGHOT at the DC Expo, recently.  It only comes to DC once every four years, so I'm told.  What a treat to have reps from all the major manufacturers with displays.  It was huge! ...except the Z scale layout of course.  Can't wait until 2014! 

Regards,

Jonathan
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 10:42:50 AM »

Let me clarify something. The organization at the West Springfield meet was really great. They had tons of people answering questions. I was just overwhelmed by the crowds. I was unable to find anything that I was interested in buying. I enjoyed the many modular layouts and most of the operators were very interested in answering questions. Perhaps if it hadn't been 9 degrees!
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mabloodhound


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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 02:13:26 PM »

I've gone to the show a number of times, usually every 3 or 4 years.   Mostly to see the changes to the layouts and any new items in person.
Any buying is spur of the moment, not planned.   Its too crowded to get anywhere near the parts bins that dealers have set up.
I was very enjoyable and I got to meet some fellow forum members.
The 6 hours on my feet without a break was a little much though.
 Cool
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Dave Mason

D&G RR (Dunstead & Granford) in On30
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 in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”   Thos. Jefferson

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doug c

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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2010, 03:35:32 PM »

"...Perhaps if it hadn't been 9 degrees!"
No heat in the bldgs ?? Wow !     Otherwise, there is no bad (regular seasonal) weather, just inappropriate clothing !

"..6 hours on my feet without a break was a little much though."
No rest areas provided ?  Or all taken up by squatters Wink   

Our IASTS at our new venue which is allegedly N.A. largest indoor soccer centre has a rest area within each field,  and as a bonus the mezzanine has bleachers where you can relax, eat, and watch the action happening at the show on the level below.   

Actually some peoples from here travelled all the way east to attend this show  A couple of them as both MR hobbyists and reps of our society to chat with the manufacturers in attendance at Amherst,  and to review the show organization just in case there was something that could be implemented at our show.   

doug c
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ALCOS4EVER


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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2010, 04:38:57 PM »

Yes it was COLD. I am a member of Amherst Railway Society and attendance was up this year. 21,485 for both days. Approximately 2700 more than last year. Nothing stops the diehards.
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Guilford Guy


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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2010, 05:03:49 PM »

Cold is relative. Having braved the -7º windchill on Friday afternoon, the 24º weather at the show felt just like Spring.
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Alex

daniel_leavitt2000

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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2010, 10:56:10 PM »

It was 1* when I left at 8:30 from Framingham. The wind chill was pegged at -20* This is actually a little better then last year when the temp was around 0.

The Mallary building was expanded to the main hall which added several thousand square feet of space (I think 10-15k additional). All the buildings were just as crowded as last year even with the large expansion.

I had the opportunity to attend the National Train Show in July. The Springfield show is literally 4-5 TIMES the size. Its a bit awe inspiring. With the increased crowds and larger floor space, it is no longer possible to visit everything in one day. I got there at just after 10AM and left after 5PM. I still missed half the vendors and layouts.

This must be the largest train show in America at this point. Now if only we can get Bachmann to make some new announcements at the show.
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scrooge

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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2010, 05:27:44 AM »

Why does it have to be in the middle of winter?
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rich1998

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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2010, 10:47:42 AM »

Why does it have to be in the middle of winter?

Availability and price. the Big E is very busy place during the other parts of the year. I mean, VERY BUSY. I have lived nearby for over 60 years. This show cost the Amherst Railway society a lot of money to put on. And they get a better price this time of year.
The end of September every year, the place becomes a Huge fairgrounds.
Even now, there are organizations waiting in line to rent the fairgrounds for an event.
For this place to continually exist, they need events being held there for income.
Try living the way you do without a job.
I had a very good time shopping around for what I planned to buy. Using the documents from the show web site, I planned all my moves well in advance.
Being near 70, I also brought a car load of Patience. That really helps a lot.
Once in a while I have to get some cheese to go with my whine. I manage quite well actually.

Lex
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ryeguyisme

Heavy Mountain Steam


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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2010, 02:50:00 PM »

well I'm greatful for even the chance of going, this event to me is like christmas morning is to a spoiled 7 yr old. I've gone every year since I was three until now which I'm 21(minus the 2008 show I was currently going to like a boot camp)  I came out of it with more than what I expected to find spending $120 on what I would've paid $200 for on Ebay easily. 




^2 Varney HO heavy consolidations from the prewar era which I so desperately need in order to kitbash this:




so this years show was an outstanding victory for me especially for the fact that its also the recession
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2010, 10:51:29 AM »

I saw those Varney engines. There was also a very nicely assembled Varney  SP pacific with brass tender, My friends had to slowly pull me away from the table as I am a sucker for buying  sorry old kit engines.

One guy had a table covered with Tyco brown box trains and there was another vendor with a great deal of Mantua/Tyco engines.  There also was a definite lack of vendors with Athearn blue box kits.

I couldn't find any vendors who were selling Bachmann On30.  I did enjoy talking to the people from Train and Trooper in Maine.

My friends and I will probably return next year. Hopefully the weatherman will cooperate!
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ryeguyisme

Heavy Mountain Steam


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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2010, 05:18:22 PM »

I saw those Varney engines. There was also a very nicely assembled Varney  SP pacific with brass tender, My friends had to slowly pull me away from the table as I am a sucker for buying  sorry old kit engines.

Well I definitely wasn't going to skip that off, I'm actually glad I didn't spend my money on ready-to-run when I heard of someone selling vintage old brass and once I came across that table with all those varney and johnny english locomotives, I had died and gone to heaven. However wishing I had more money I would've bought the whole lot of them for $400
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