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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Back from the show

Just got back from the Amherst Railway Society’s annual model railroad show, which is held in...no, not Amherst...Springfield, MA. Barbara wasn’t interested in going, so Meredith accompanied me. Although she isn’t a model railroader, her interests in crafts and technology combine to make model railroading relevant to her.

When we arrived, the first person we ran into was Colby Cousens, Weston High School’s tech support person. (And what’s the probability of that? I doubt that there’s any way to calculate it.) Literally tens of thousands of other fans were attending this huge show, which sprawls over three buildings of the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds, generally known as the Big E. The organizers describe the show this way:
...The event features real life railroads and scale model railroads, historical societies, travel agencies, art shows, flea market dealers, importers, manufacturers and photographers. Modelers’ exhibits will display outstanding handiwork on layouts ranging from the tiny Z scale which fits on a coffee table to a monster 80 foot N-Trak system. The Amherst Belt Lines, an HO scale model railroad empire, has become a show highlight. As of the 2005 show layout, It has grown to 15.8 scale miles of mainline (960 linear feet) on 78 modules and has the capacity of multiple train operation. The Southern New England O Scalers will show its huge O gauge railroad with 100 car freight trains and 7 unit diesels.
...
There are 3 buildings with over 4 acres of railroading of all kinds.
We spent three and a half hours at the show. That still wasn’t enough time to see everything, but I think we saw all the exhibits that I needed to see. Anyway, after all that time we were exhausted, so we couldn’t have stayed longer even if it weren’t 5:00 by that point.

Stay tuned to see the effects of what I learned and bought, including a working (animated) model of the famous Citgo sign in Kenmore Square, which was built in 1965 and is therefore perfect for my 1969 Boston layout.

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