Monday, January 28, 2019

Springfield 2019

Wow - what a wonderful weekend! What can you really say about North America's (and maybe the world's??) largest train show that can even scratch the surface of conveying what it's all about? It's, of course, HUGE - and there are many vendors - many beautiful layouts - and, literally, tens of thousands of people. And some of those people comes from HUGE distances to attend, for it's an annual pilgrimage for just about everyone in the hobby - and on the Bucket List of anyone not fortunate enough to have attended yet.

The show is so large and, in many senses, so overwhelming, that I typically only attend on Saturday. And it's a long day - out of the house by 6:30a to meet folks for breakfast, and not back til about 11p after capping off a wonderful day at the Steaming Tender restaurant.

And this year, I had an extra special treat - a bunch of the guys from the A Modeler's Life podcast were able to visit, joining friends BillC, Mike & Mel who were staying the weekend! I've told many times before what I fan I am of Lionel Strang's show, but to get to meet some of the folks in person for the first time was very cool (though I tended to recognize them first by their voices rather than their looks %^) And as if that wasn't enough, we all left later in the evening to go visit the New Haven Society of Model Engineers' layout, hosted by friends Lou and Kaylee.

We were up&at'em again early the next morning for our annual breakfast and show arrival. Since my locomotive roster is all set and I have enough freight cars for now (at least until Bill gets his layout going...), I didn't have any huge quests this year. But since I've started scenery & structures, I definitely wanted to be sure and stop by the Tichy booth and Scenic Express.

It's always a long, exhausting, but wonderful day at the show - and I had to motor to get through it all in just one day. My only two regrets are that I never seem to have enough time to really enjoy the layouts on display, or - even worse - get to spend much time visiting with folks. But I did get to meet some of the regular - and some new - Valley Local followers. And that's always very cool, to run into folks that see and appreciate what I'm trying to accomplish with the layout.

After the show, we hightailed it (well, as much as we could considering the traffic) to dinner where we did thankfully have some time to visit and enjoy each others' company. All in all, another wonderful day! I'll let a few pictures fill out the story . . .

Deb's AML-famous brownies just put in the oven, along with some cranberry bread in case the brownies didn't hold out...

Some of the AML crew, with BillC and Mel in the background

Some more of the AML crew, with BillC and Mike in the background

With Tom in line at the Big Shew

At the Scenic Express booth - I really should have gotten some of this, just cuz

LOVE little scenes like these - and just may not be able to withstand the temptation to get something at the Bar Mills booth next time...

A nice farm scene for some inspiration/motivation for scenery efforts on my own layout...

The Steaming Tender Parlor Car Dinner Gang

And - last but not least - The Haul/aka Booty (though I forgot to include the Big Tichy Assortment I bought to help with some scratchbuilding efforts). You can tell that I'm focusing on scenery & structures now - though I couldn't pass up some fun reading too.

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