Written by Charles Bartel, President WNYGRS
April has come and so has the tax man. After York, I sure wish I could claim my train expenses as medical expenses for my addiction! I went to York to buy some more track and split jaw connectors.
I managed to stay out of vendor booths and headed right to the BTO booth to help man it. That lasted just long enough for Bonny to find some “deals” and my will power went right out the window. Needless-to-say, I came back with more cars and three new engines (two egg liners and an RS-3). Got a Laser cut wood kit for only 20% of the list price. Couldn’t pass that up!
But again, some of the gems of the show were not the deals with the vendors, but the socialization with old friends and new acquaintances that I hope become old friends. We talked of layouts, old, new and ones in construction (and you know where that places me). We talked of conventions, open houses, and train picnics. Along the way we talked of our kids, grand kids and great grand kids. Had dinner Thursday night at the Lindon Dinner with members of the Tide Waters Big Train Club. We were a small group totaling about 15. Had a great dinner and conversation. Though most WNYGRS members went home on Friday, I had another great dinner with BTO members and more of the Tide Waters Group. All in all, it was a great weekend.
Looking forward, from our monthly agenda, May is going to be a busy month for the club. On the 12th, we’re invited to participate in the Mini Makers Fair. I have asked for two tables and hope to have a good selection of engines, cars, and models of buildings to show off our great hobby. Of course, we will also need to have a few members around to answer questions and explain what we do. And hopefully it will lead to an association with the school where we can help them to introduce a whole generation of children to this hobby.
Mike Flynn will be kicking off the building contest with his seed money at this month’s meeting. We have a few members who have signed up, but could sure use some more.
On May 19th, we will have the portable display set up at the Orchard Park Depot for National train Day! There will not be an opportunity to participate in the Touch a Truck event this year due to the construction that will be underway. As I write this, Gary Ludwig tells me they are within days of signing the contract. Gary says it’s been 20 years of planning, dreaming, and working to get to this point. It will be a new station when they are done with it.
And then we are into June. The second busiest month for us. We will have the summer display at the Botanical Gardens. I have been in contact with the Gardens and they are looking at security cameras to be installed. They have also asked us to join a planning committee to help select themes etc. for coming years.
We will have a fair planning session on the 13th of June. Gary Ludwig has put together a few track plans for Dave to consider and Rich Dulski has tossed one into the ring for consideration. I am enthusiastic about the fair, as in two of the layouts that Gary has done he has the inner loop in an over and under track plan which will double the length of the run from the yard around the layout twice, and then back into the yard. I think this will be a major change for the layout comparable to moving Thomas down to the floor level and making it easier viewing for the children.
We will also have a short presentation to the Alden Historical Society Presentation on the 14th about our club and hobby.
And there are two conventions in June, the National Garden Railroad Convention early in the month in Atlanta, and the Big Train Operator Club two weeks later at Bird in Hand, PA. We have members going to both conventions. Where the National is doing a lot of layouts tours (which I love as it gives one ideas), the BTO will me more hands on, joint construction. As of this week, members of the BTO have pledged enough track and material to go around a pond, a little over 1,110 feet! Battery power only due to the long loop. In addition, there will be smaller layouts running throughout the hotel. And on Saturday, there will be a railroad building contest that will add a few more trains running. The last time they did this was in Hershey 5 years ago. There were some really neat train sets assembled. One had two loops, with a diamond between the two loops (one track was elevated so the tracks only crossed at grade at one point). The electronics were built in such a way that when both trains arrived at the diamond at the same time, one train took priority and the other had to stop and wait.
I look forward to all the activities and the interaction with club members and the public. I hope you too will find May and June interesting months.