CP Executive train in Albany

CP Executive train in Albany

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Springfield Train Show 2024

Another Springfield train show has come and gone. I again went with the local NMRA Division on a chartered bus on Saturday and had a great time. But, I miss coming with my wife because she helps me from getting lost and forces me to slow down and take in the layouts. I look forward to the day when I can bring Harrison with me. However, it still was a good time.

Out of the eight hours of the show, I worked at the NMRA table for two of them so I was already in a bind to see everything. And I know I missed a lot. But here are some pictures I took of interesting things I came across (I left my small memory card in my camera and quickly maxed out on the number of pictures I could take... GRRR!)

There was an O scale layout called the "Crystal Cove" which ran off of live overhead wire. It was very well done and I watched the little train trundle back and forth for awhile.

The other end of the line featured a neat waterfront scene.

On the O gauge layout that kids are allowed to operate via pushbuttons, a Big Boy was pulling a long train. To me it is a large engine... to a kid of 5, it must have been gigantic!

A custom painter and engine detailer had some neat GE HO scale engines on display. The interiors were lit including the display stands, engine meters, track lights, etc. I liked the leaves stuck on the sides of the vents the most though.

Here is a Bar Mills model kit ("Fenster's Farm Fresh" that I want to build for my future O scale layout. But I might scratchbuild it instead of using the kit. I haven't decided yet. But it is a nice kit and ripe to add lots of details. 

While strolling by a large T-trak layout, I came across this one. It certainly gets originality points.

There were at least a half-dozen Z scale layouts scattered around. Here was a well done one that I suspect was built on a pre-fab base. The owner was explaining it but I came too late to hear all of the details.

Here is another Z scale layout in a guitar case. A simple loop is on the left, but a branch line off of it climbs up and over and down the "guitar neck" to a switching yard area. Neat.

The first actual T gauge (1:450) layout that I have seen (as opposed to a train on display). It ran well though it seemed more of a novelty piece than having potential for an actual model railroad. But to each his own.  

Some very old Trebel O train sets, which were the precurser to N scale. For complete in box, the prices seemed very reasonable if you wanted to capture a piece of N scale history.

Here was a large N scale display that was fantastically detailed. I took many pictures of it and could have stared at it for much longer. A plaque on the end identified it as built by "The Great South Bay Model Railroad Club". 

Another picture of the other end of the same layout. It was filled with neat little details and scenes that all looked so natural and realistic.

The display by the South Port Model Works. Yes, on the very right hand side there is a train siding with a boxcar but I was taken aback but all of the wonderful boat models. 

And I bought a couple of things too. Harrison is struggling to get a Lionel steam locomotive (with all of the pilot and driving wheels) AND tender on the track and connected up... hey, he is only 20 months hold! So, I bought him a cheap Lionel MPC engine with only 8 wheels and durable metal handrails to use on his layout. For $65 it was a good deal even though it is painted for the Union Pacific. If this leads him to a lifetime of modeling the UP I will kick myself forever...

I also bought two O scale bulkhead flatcars including one with a pipe load for $20 each. I will modify them and add new loads sometime in the future. Finally, I bought a Conrail caboose for $30. The seller had an Atlas trainman caboose (with less details) for $30 and I saw it last year at the show and forgot about it. I bought it this year but the seller pointed out more detailed Lionel one for $10 more. Sadly, I didn't have the extra $10 in my wallet but the guy had pity on me and sold it to me for $30. Yay!

I looked and looked for wooden Thomas trains to buy Harrison but didn't see many for sale. Maybe this year sellers of kid toys were in short supply. So, I bought him a pair of train socks instead which are a little too large but he will grow into them.

All in all it was a great time. But, next year I want to spend a lot more time just staring at the layouts on display and less time searching for elusive things to buy.