On Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 January, the New England LEGO Users Group will be displaying their amazing Lego train/city layout at the 50th Annual Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show at The Big E Fairground in Springfield, Massachusetts.
About the Show
Every year late in January or early in February, the Amherst Railway Society holds its Railroad Hobby Show at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds (The home of The Big E) in West Springfield Massachusetts. More than 22,500 railfans and public attended the Show each of the past five years.
The event features real life railroads and scale model railroads, historical societies, travel agencies, art shows, flea market dealers, importers, manufacturers and photographers. Modelers’ exhibits will display outstanding handiwork on layouts ranging from the tiny Z scale which fits on a coffee table to a monster 80 foot N-Trak system. The Amherst Belt Lines, an HO scale model railroad empire, has become a show highlight. As of the 2011 show layout, it has grown to over 11 scale miles of mainline (650+ feet of mainline track) on 96 modules and has the capacity of multiple train operation. Live steam will also be shown. The Dry Hill Club will once again break records with 250+ car trains!
Commercial vendors and hobbyists will sell model railroad equipment, photos, slides, video tapes, books and other railroad memorabilia. New and antique railroad items will be on display and for sale. Major national manufacturers and publishers will attend this Show which was rated number one of the top three in the nation in a recent Model Railroad Industry Association manufacturer’s survey. Watch for new product releases by many of our fantastic manufacturers!
Proceeds from the show are used to promote interest in railroads. Donations have been made to various rail museums, historical societies, restoration projects and scholarship funds. Over $750,000 has been awarded since 1991. Organizations that have received donations include: the Fall River and Old Colony Museum, the 470 Club’s Boston and Maine diesel locomotive restoration project, the Boston and Maine Railroad Historical Society, the Chester Foundation Station Project and the Wiscasset Waterville and Farmington Building and Car Fund, just to name a few recipients. Trolley museums in the following towns have also received donations: Shelburne Falls MA, Warehouse Point CT, Branford CT and Kennebunk ME. We have also made contributions to the Boston and Maine 3713 restoration fund and the Flying Yankee restoration. If you wish to learn more about our grant program, please visit the Amherst Railway Society web site.
NELUG’s planed layout will feature multiple levels, several loops of running track with plenty of trains, and a detailed town area with much landscaping in view. NeLUG’s layout will be in the Mallary Complex, in the second half of the building along the main corridor.
BMR’s First Trip to Springfield
This will be the first time Brick Model Railroader has covered this event, and the first time I personally have gone to the show. So I’m pretty excited. Springfield is touted as one of, if not the largest model train shows in North America. So a train obsessed geek like me is probably going to be on over load. And it will be great to see NELUG’s layout again, spend time with some old friends, and maybe make some new ones. So if you’re attending the show, track me down and say hello.
I won’t be able to bring any of my own club’s (PennLUG) layout to display. But hopefully the folks from NELUG will have some yard space for me to display a few trains, and maybe get in some running time. Either way, I’m very much looking forward to this show. I’ll do my best to post photos to BMR’s Facebook page, and our BMR Instagram during the show. And look for a full report after the show.
See you there.