Monday, January 31, 2011

Amherst Rail Show

This past weekend was the Amherst Railway Society’s Big Railroad Hobby Show. As always, we had our booth in the Better Living Center by Door 9. It was quite interesting getting our booth set up, because it seemed that everyone who normally helps out was busy on Friday. Fortunately, David Lesniak had mid-term exams on Friday, therefore he had a half day of school. George Contrada was able to pick him up from school after finals and bring him down to the museum to load the van. It took them two trips with the van and one trip in my car (after I got out of work for the day) to get everything up to the Eastern States Exposition. This included information about the museum, the disappearing mountain layout, and sales items. We were joined by Mike Caputo to help set up. Later, Ted and Dave Coppola arrived with another van that had the big screen television in it and two ho layouts. By the time we were done, it was after 9pm.

Saturday morning, we all arrived bright and early to finish the setup for the show. The booth this year was one of the more successful booths in the recent past. We set up the disappearing mountain layout with a push button to make the train go, so there was some interaction for our younger visitors.

New this year was Ted’s HO Trolley Layout. This layout was set up so that there was a trolley on each end and they would pass each other on a long passing siding. Once the both trolleys got to the other end, they would start over again.

Dave Coppola brought back his half finished HO trolley layout complete with overhead wire. Also, he brought the simulation of the museum’s line that he created using Trainz. This was set up on the big screen tv.

Over the year, we have acquired many surplus scale trains that have been long stored in the attic. Some of them were donated to the museum to do with what we saw fit and others were acquired through Craig’s List and other means. Since they are not used by us, we decided that we could sell them to raise funds for the museum. That proved to be successful.

When cleaning up on Sunday, we found that we had less vehicles than when we brought everything to the show. Luckily after some creative packing, we were able to get everything in the cars and vans. I don’t know how we got some of the stuff in the cars, but everything just fit, although some passengers were holding things on their laps.

Back at the museum, we were able to quickly unload both the stuff from our booth and the stuff from the Connecticut Valley Chapter’s booth and head out for dinner.

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