Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
CONTACT: Jim Kelly, SGMA Publicist, Philadelphia WGHS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
STANDARD GAUGE MODULE ASSOCIATION DISPLAY SET FOR WORLDS GREATEST HOBBY ON TOUR TRAIN SHOW IN JANUARY
The Standard Gauge Module Association (SGMA,) the only national toy train club dedicated to the construction and operation of Standard Gauge (2-1/8” three rail track) toy train modular layouts, announces its participation at the Worlds Greatest Hobby On Tour train show in Oaks, PA on January 3 & 4 2009. The SGMA will help inaugurate a spectacular brand new venue for exhibitions in the mid-Atlantic region, the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, located at 100 Station Avenue, in Oaks, PA.
The SGMA plans to construct a massive rectangular- shaped operating standard gauge layout 32' wide X 72' long, with a smaller the inner layout 12' wide X 24' long. Up to six standard trains will be operational at one time.
A SGMA layout attempts to recreate all the excitement, color and sound that go with the operation of Standard Gauge toy trains from the "Classic Era" of model railroading, when massive tinplate Standard Gauge toy trains dominated the toy train industry. There is something very exciting, even magical about seeing, smelling and hearing a classic era Standard Gauge "Blue Comet" locomotive puffing smoke and going "click-ity-clack" while barreling at full throttle down a long length of Standard Gauge track. No other gauge toy trains create the same high level of
sensory (sight, smell, sound) overload.
Members of the Public are always welcome to bring and run their Standard Gauge toy trains on a SGMA modular layout. For those who do, the opportunity can easily become a life changing event as a SGMA layout can easily be the largest Standard Gauge layout on which they will ever get a chance to operate their Standard Gauge toy trains.
For more information about the Standard Gauge Module Association click here:SGMA
For more information about the Worlds Greatest Hobby Show on Tour click here:WGHS:
For more information on the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks click here:Expo
I'm not sure but I think this might be a bit of history in the making in 2009. Could this be the largest standard gauge layout ever?
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Joe makes trains in his spare time, he actually has a career and job in a highly skilled area. This guy's creativity and ability is outstanding; I wish there was a way to give him more time and resources to build these great items.
Whenever I see anything from Joe Finelli, Joe Mania, Jim Cohen or Dick Mayer and quite a few others (Bob Thon, John Harmon and so on) I marvel at their ingenuity and ability to make something out of nothing. With America taking some lumps right now in the manufacturing space, we need people like them. There's no disputing that what they do is amazing; they make the best quality, products that are very close to art and they do it with almost no help. Imagine what these guys could do if they had the resources to let their imaginations really go.
Keep up the great work Joe!
For those of you that have never seen a Lionel Army Train: Lionel produced an Army train around WWI. Details are a little sketchy around it, I seem to remember it coming in a few configurtions with a flat car, a passenger car, a plane, some army cast iron army men and so on. I have a Dick Mayer rendition of it and I think it is terrific. It wasn't really designed after any prototype, it was designed by Lionel to give kids with limited space some access to a military toy. Even the reproductions come in several different flavors and colors with many different items as add ons. When I run the reproduction flavor I have in O gauge it squeals around the track and sways a little bit. All told, it is really fun to watch. I have to imagine the standard gauge flavor above is no different.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The prices were actually pretty reasonable compared with some of the high prices we've seen in the last few months. I perused the parking lot on the way in and noticed quite a few out of state cars there.
I watched Mark Tobias do his magic for a bit. I noticed that the postwar stuff seemed to be pretty hot at this auction. The room was definitely not packed however I got the feeling that many folks were coming and going depending on the items being auctioned and the interest the bidders had in them.
All told, I really did enjoy seeing the smattering of prewar toys they had there. I took some Youtube video as well. If you want me to post it drop me a note in the comments sections. Also, check out that Russian Transformer below (green). I've never seen one like it; the design was really novel and it caught my eye. I'm not sure I'd want to drive any trains with it but it was boxed and definitely was unusual.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
It also is the time for a great train show in Springfield, MA. The Amherst Railways Society Railroad Hobby Show. It is fun even if you are exclusively prewar/tinplate. There are tons of parts dealers, train dealers and hobby dealers.
January 24th and 25th at the Big E Fairgrounds in Springfield, MA. My kids and I have been going since just after they were born and I gotta tell ya, they still like it.
See you there!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
I bid on 24 lots, but not many of my bids were serious and I didn't come even close on all but a few. I lost two lots that closed at my maximum bid to floor bidders including one C & F stock car that I really wanted. I did win this restored 1912. The 1912 was made for three years only, 1910, 1911, and 1912, and it's a pretty special loco, the forerunner of Lionel's great 42/402/408E series of electrics. Some of the closing prices are mind boggling like the Howard steeple cab that went for $24.5K. I think that now days auctions are NOT the best places to pick up trains at good prices. You're likely to be up against some deep pockets at high end auction houses.
Ok, so I guess quite a few of you don't care about my polls. If you are going to peruse the blog it would be really great if you could answer them. Come on, it's two button clicks.
Only 59 people responded to my poll on ballasting standard gauge track. Here are the results (above). Guess I'm going to steer clear of ballast for now....
Friday, November 07, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Photo: one of SGMA member Pat Rolland's creations running at Syracuse, a steel-bodied steeplecab on top of a Lionel chassis and motor
Sunday, November 02, 2008
A large part of the fun of running standard gauge trains at shows like Syracuse is watching the reaction of the public and especially, the interest that kids have in these big trains. Yesterday I watched a couple of young boys as they ran around the entire perimeter of our 60 x 36 foot modular layout chasing one particular train that was running on our outside loop. I think we've made an impression with a lot of people at this big train show.
Today the show opens at 9 AM and the joint Philadelphia area/Syracuse area SGMA team will be back running trains. Later on we'll pack up a bit before the show ends and start our 5-1/2 hour trek back to the Philadelphia area. This show has been a lot of fun to do and well worthwhile from the standpoint of attendance and interest.
Watch for a full recap with more photos and videos in the next issue of Tinplate Times that I hope to publish around Thanksgiving.