Friday, February 23, 2024

Springfield 2024 - the Amherst Railroad Hobby Show

Every year in January, much of the model railroad hobby gathers for a few days in West Springfield, MA, home of the long-running Amherst Model Railroad Society's massive 'Railroad Hobby Show'.  It's a big deal in the hobby:  this year, attendance over two days included more than 26,000 tickets, many people attending both days.   Here's a link:

And, here's the map they publish - this year with the Onondaga Cutoff mentioned in name!

For the first time, thanks to a suggestion by Lionel Strang from A ModelersLife podcast, I decided to get a table for the Onondaga Cutoff.  After attending the show it was a really neat experience to be part of it officially!

I made the trip north with Ralph Heiss, a historian and modeler and close friend from NJ.  We set up our booth and got ready for the show.  

Visitors from around the world come for this one.  Here we have NMRA member Martyn Jenkins from Brisbane, Australia at the booth, with Ralph and I.  And more local visitors, too - hundreds and hundreds of people stopped by to say hello.

Matt Paquette and Rodney Kantorsky, both fellow hobbyists who share my fascination with signaling, stopped at the booth as Saturday continued.  

A wonderful gift came from good friend Dave Magill, who arrived at the booth with a relic from the days we model on the Onondaga Cutoff - an Albany Division T-shirt from his collection when he worked the division back in the 1990's.  Talk about a treat!  Complete with classic 90's pastel coloring, this one is a keeper for sure!  

While the show takes a lot of time and energy to pull off, it is very rewarding and a way to help grow the aura of the OC while meeting many fans that have enjoyed the railroad for decades.  It happened a few weeks back and I finally made some time to make a post.   We will be doing this show again, and if you haven't been able to be present at the weekend, give it a try.  It is a fantastic intersection of the people that make the hobby work!  

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, it is THE show to attend. I've been fortunate enough to have attend the Amherst Show since 1998. Only missing 5 shows since then!!! As you've noted Dave, this is a tremendous opportunity for hobbyists to meet w/one another, learn about the latest products from multiple mfgs., and to enjoy Fellowship w/one another. For your readers who haven't attended, I HIGHLY recommend considering the 2025 show!!!