I never thought I would be one of those people who chase after trains just watch them go by and / or photograph them. It started out quit innocent, a friend of mine sent me an email several months before about the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Societies up and coming passenger steam train excursion from Buffalo to Corning and back. I thought wow a passenger Steam train in Buffalo, We have to be a part of this. As I explored the web I discovered that the cost per ticket was out of the family budget. So I placed it on the “Bucket” list.
Summer is coming, and before we know it, the Fair will be here. And I truly want to run my Chessie engine at the fair. It looked so good pulling Gary Schneider's heavy weight coaches at the February train show. But that engine was sidetracked with unknown issues during the February train show. As some may know, I bit the bullet big time last year and had 6 engines upgraded with the Revolution control system.
It’s Monday morning as I start this paper and another York road trip is in the books. But what a trip it was with the Little Red Wagon. Just to make it clear, the Little Red Wagon was a Christmas gift from my wife who thought this would be a great gift for me when I go shopping! Or bring trains into the Fair, or the Event center, or......
believe that the club did it again - a master display to entice young and old. I did some quick statistics on the show and I believe in a day and a half, the club track crew laid down about 360 feet of track, with trains running on about 290 feet, the rest in sidings and a small fiddle yard. The signal crew laid down about 500 feet of wire, often slightly ahead of the track crew, other times behind them. The electricians laid down about another 150 to 200 feet of wire for building lights. There were 5 working track signals.
The 24th annual Train & Toy Show is just around the corner. it's one of the local railroad events that I really look forward to. This February show will be extra special to me as the November 2014 show was cancelled because of The Snowvember storm also called The Wall of Snow. I enjoy watching the youngsters as they take in the sights and sounds at our clubs operating layout. My son Sam and I bring along a few pieces of our fleet to operate. We have a new engine that we are anxious to put thru all of it's paces for the first time.
Once more our club pushed the boundaries of performance at the Erie County Fair. And I believe that we did something this year that has never been done at any train show in Western New York, or for that matter, on the East Coast. We ran two trains on one track in opposite directions! Dave Downs even talked about this activity on the radio, telling people when we would be doing this. At one time, I saw Dave Downs and Gary Schneider running two trains, with Dave both being an engineer and the “tower” man, throwing the switches as appropriate.
One of the features of garden railroading that I have experienced is the wide group of people that you become associated with throughout the country. Because of a friend in Austin Texas, I have been very busy planning the Austin and Buffalo Railroad. This is a fictions railroad connecting Buffalo, New York, with Austin, Texas. This railroad will have one “yard” in Austin, TX, and one in Buffalo, NY. When they are both up and running, the idea would be to send cars back and forth for maximum enjoyment of a “transcontentinal” railroad.
The clock is ticking towards midnight and my term to serve the club as president is nearing its end. Gary Schneider will pick up the reins and lead the club for the next year. I wanted to pen this last note as president to summarize my feelings about the great club and look at the things that have happened over the last 12 to 36 months.
It’s the middle of the Botanical Display schedule and Santa is here. And so are an army of children! Deciding to spend the day at the Gardens, I brought in a lawn chair to be comfortable and some refreshments for the day. I set my chair up off to the side of the traffic pattern so that I could watch and listen. The comments I heard were: “Wow! Isn’t this cool!” “Look, it’s the Gardens.” “The filling station is on fire!” “There’s Thomas!”
Thanksgiving time is just around the corner. The holiday season is on us, with Christmas advertisements and displays already hitting the airwave, newspapers and store shelves. It is a great time to sit back and reflect on the past, the present and the future. If you are reading this corner, you are interested in trains. I would ask of you who open up the world of model trains and layouts? Was it your grandparents (probably your grandfather with grandma looking on with smiles), your parents (again probably your father), or an Aunt or Uncle? (When I was growing up, women had taken to the work force with the men overseas. They kept the trains running. Maybe even your big brother. Did someone in the family work on the railroad, or maybe a neighbor?
Summer is over, fall is here. It’s been a long summer for the garden railroader in Western New York. The 29th national convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, a 30 day display at the Botanical Gardens in June, an 11 day, 12 hour a day manned display at the Eire County Fair, and 5 open houses, two of which were for members only as they are railways in development. And that brings me to the point of this message. The benefits of club membership.
We have come to the last week in August and there has been a tremendous amount of activity in our club this month. This included a week of activity setting up for the fair, 11 days of 2 shifts a day, tear down, followed by two open houses on August 24. At times there were 6 to 8 people at the fair, with several spousal teams working together, others just dropping in as they were at the fair with their families and thought they would check in and see how things were going. And they were going great!
It’s the middle of the fair, 5 days behind us, five days to go! And what a layout! I want to congratulate everyone who provided the new buildings for the show. Oh, that’s right, no provided any new buildings. But I have been told by annual visitors that they really enjoyed the new buildings this year. And then I have to break their bubble and tell them these are all buildings that they have seen before with one excepFon, the small house on the hill by the granary (the smaller scale makes the silos seem much taller).
It’s the end of July and the summer is half over! A lot to do in the wonderful days of June, July, and August. For the Wester New York Garden Railroad Society member there are open houses to visit, train trips to be taken, layouts to be maintained, and the County Fair to get ready for. Let’s look at open houses and what they offer to the Garden Railroader. We all have dreams of that perfect layout in the backyard (one of the magazines refer to this form of modeling railroading as an armchair modeler). A passenger train rushing to its desRnaRon, passing a freight train on the siding, waiRng it’s turn on the mainline.
Welcome back to the President’s corner. I have one thing on my mind this month, and that is the activity in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 5th through the 9th. It was the 29th large scale national convention organized by the Cincinnati Garden Railroad Society. Though I have been in model railroading most of my life, and have attended many conventions/trade shows over the years, this was my first (at 70 years) train convention. It was a great event attended by several members of our club. The convention activity can be divided into four activities: 1) backyard tours of local Garden layouts, 2) workshops and seminars, 3) vendor’s floor, and 4) the social activity.
My wife says at 70 I am still a little boy in a toy store when I walk into a hobby shop with trains, or go to the fair and run trains. And that brings me to the last major event that club members participated in – the York show, in York, Pa. We have about 36 members and 17 of us were at the show. It was my first time and it truly was a candy store for train fans in G scale. It was my first time there, and it will not be the last! For those that have not attended or were unaware of this event, it is held in the York fair grounds in a building that has a central lobby entrance, and then two halls on either side, each about 1⁄2 the size of a football field.