Jump to content
Cat

Amherst Show, Springfield MA, January 2020

Recommended Posts

Cat

Anyone coming to the big show in Springfield?  
 
We've booked our tickets for Sunday the 26th.  Primary mission for us this year is to chat with the T-Trak folks and visit the Kato booth.
http://www.railroadhobbyshow.com/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Kiha66

Wish I was!  I've got a friend going but I didn't have the spare cash to fly over from the other coast.  Be sure to share some photos of the trip if you spy anything interesting!

Edited by Kiha66
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Cat

Will definitely post a few pictures.  There's not likely to be much, if any, Japanese modelling on display; although it looks like the European image modellers will have big expanded display space this year. ❤️ 

Fortunately for us, it's only about a 2 hour drive across the state and every so many years we make the pilgrimage for a day trip of shopping and inspiration.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
DanielMackay

Spent the morning at the show, and then had to get back to Upstate NY for a family commitment. A long line of traffic entering the Exposition grounds. $5 parking and $15 one-day entrance fee gets you into an impressively large show. As in 415 vendors and layouts spread across 3 large buildings (450,000 SF in total, equal to 10.3 acres).

 

Those arriving early hit the second-hand booths quickly; having gone this first time, I know which vendors I should focus on early next time. Went with a rather esoteric "Want" list of twenty-one items related to completing the Penn Central and Amtrak train consists I've ridden on since childhood (individual cars to complete various Acela trainsets, Kato's rainbow fleet sets, two Fleischmann engines that will serve as conversions to Amtrak's AEM-7), and did not return with one item from the list.

 

Did come home with the seven car E6 Komachi by Kato and an eight car suite of Taki 43000s, both nicely-priced courtesy of Bernie Kritzer of National Capital Trains out of Springfield VA, who had an impressively large collection of Japanese trains available at the show (and any Kato track product you might want). And a 1:700 Royal Navy Colossus aircraft carrier, the first injection-molded kit produced by Mike Bartel, of Imperial Hobby Productions. It's his 3D print of the AEM-7 shell at Shapeways that I will use if I ever find the Fleischmann kits.

 

One other vendor had several boxed sets of Kato and Tomix Japanese consists, and they were not priced at the temptation level. A few other Japanese cars here and there in the second-hand market. Lionel and O gauge vendors were more numerous than expected, and HO clearly out-ranked N at the many sales tables and layouts.

 

Kato staff on site with a both, as was Rapido Trains out of Canada, a business that is being innovative and having fun both. They released Amtrak's TurboTrain in N scale several years ago and that's in my "I rode it" collection in both early and late Amtrak schemes. Their email is worth signing up for even if you'll never model North American trains.

 

So the Japanese trains that were present were a bonus to the rest of the experience. So many impressively long modular layouts, some as long as 515 linear feet (8.5 scale miles in HO). Dry Hill Model Railroad Club's set-up deserves a particular shout-out, as did the FreeMo set-up. Great to see first-hand many other vendors that are currently shaping the hobby. 

 

It would be real fun to someday have a Japanese modular layout on the floor... not one layout I saw was running Japanese trains, or slipping Shinkansen into the mix. Wonder how we might build the capacity in the NE to pull that off one year. Cat, it would be real fun to show up with a Shorty layout as well.

 

I got in the Day 1 door at 9:20 due to traffic and longer-than-expected lines for pre-paid ticket pick-up. As said, even this wasn't early enough to get as some of the items on my list. Not sure how much vendors are tempted to drop prices by the afternoon of Day 2.

 

Hope you had fun, Cat!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

Wow sounds like it was a very large show! Glad national capital got up there for it. They are now our goto source for Unitrak, giving them club the best price and having excellent selection.

 

It’s a lot of work but we started our club by doing total set up on the fly layout. Lots of stuff to transport and many hours of setup, but it worked! We then refined that with more modular scenery and bench work for the first 5 years. Lots of perceived scenery with just lots of buildings, vehicles and scenery bits plunked down, but was very Japanese way of setup on the floor for a while and play.

 

jeff

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Cat
5 hours ago, DanielMackay said:

Hope you had fun, Cat!


We're heading out tomorrow morning.  Prior times we've gone it's been on the Saturday, but today we were up in New Hampshire for a monthly board gaming and feasting with old friends day.  Nice thing for the Sunday trip, we can sleep in an hour later in the morning; bad thing, the show day is an hour shorter and we usually make full use of all the hours on Saturday!
 
Having done the show before, yes one learns the first time to beeline for flea-marketty stuff first.  We only have one OOP item we're questing for; hopefully one might still be available on the morrow — a Walthers HO transfer table — swapping in N scale track, that would be a foot long bridge that could carry a string of 4 Shorty cars for fiddle yard operations.  

If all goes well with our construction plans for beginning work this summer, we may have Japanese T-Trak to bring in the future.  Stay tuned to see if we're ready by next January or not.
 
The big companies are usually there in force.  Some years ago we got to meet Mr. Kato himself at the Kato booth.
 
From past visits, the New England modular layouts really seem to focus on local modelling, but we hope they will be open to Japanese additions.
 
Our biggest hope for maybe recruiting other likely suspects will be when we can bring our little layout to non-railroading conventions.  I regularly run miniatures games at Sci-Fi cons and gaming cons around the region, and sometimes at Anime Boston.  Bringing our layout as a scenery board to play games on, and then playing trains between gaming sessions may be enough of a starter seed to lure in others.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

JRM May be doing Ttrak at otakon this year. They’ve wanted us there for a long time, but the logistics and 4 days to staffing for long hours is a hard prospect for a small club. We shall see. We get a lot of anime folks at train shows and big festivals like the sakura matsuri, so there should be a lot of interest, just not quite sure what it will be! 
 

cheers

 

jeff

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
serotta1972

Virtual Railfan on Youtube is streaming it live.  I've never been to a train show here in Northern California that ever had any of the major model train manufacturer present, why is that? Seems like they have a lot of big trains show in the East Coast that always have Atlas, Kato, Athearn, Lionel, Bachmann, MTH and others exhibiting their new products.  A little envious.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

The big annual train shows that move around the country usually have manufacturers at them as well as the world’s greatest hobby on tour train shows.

 

jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Cat

Back home now and happily exhausted after a long day and very successful recon and cattle raid.
 
The New England T-Trak folks are super friendly, encouraging, and happy to play trains with anybody who shows up with modules and/or trains!
 
Without being on a shopping hunt for many flea market items, going Sunday was much much nicer than going on Saturday.  The slightly shorter day was more than compensated for by the much lighter crowds and ease of moving around the buildings and seeing everything without getting blocked out by the mobs.  We were actually quite done a half hour before the closing bell.  Our shopping hunts were successful: at one club's flea market booth, we asked after the Walther's Transfer Table and one of the members there has one at home, two towns away from us (arrangements to be made later).  Also picked up another in-production Walthers building at a good price.
 
There were some Japanese trains running, plus a nice shrine module on an N-Track layout.  I'll post photos of these and a few more items that really caught our eyes on the morrow when I can focus a bit more on sorting and uploading pix.
 
Now, it's whisky time!

Edited by Cat
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Scoobster28
On 1/25/2020 at 5:06 PM, DanielMackay said:

Did come home with the seven car E6 Komachi by Kato and an eight car suite of Taki 43000s, both nicely-priced courtesy of Bernie Kritzer of National Capital Trains out of Springfield VA, who had an impressively large collection of Japanese trains available at the show (and any Kato track product you might want). 

 

I ran into Bernie's table too and purchase a Kato D-51 (#2016-9) and a set of passenger cars (10-034). I only found two vendors selling Japanese prototype trains at the show, and looked long and hard for them.   

Share this post


Link to post
Cat

Just uploaded an assortment of Japanese modelling and other inspirational photos:

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Scoobster28

Thanks for the great pictures!

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...