Train lovers, welcome to my blog. I cherish your presence. Sometimes you will hear me extol the joys of being a locomotive lover and train hobbyist; other times you will share in my everyday life. Blogs are personal and I intend to tell all to willing readers. Aficionados out there know as much about trains as I do, if not more. So, today I will relate what happens on the road when I go to model train conventions.
I look forward to them and they are not as frequent as you might think. I drop everything and run. They are usually a long drive or plane ride away, necessitating a hotel stay for a night or more. This can get costly. The last one I attended had reserved a block of rooms, but by the time I signed up, they were sold out. The best they could do was put me in a room with someone else. I accepted as it was going to help maintain that dwindling budget.
I was in for a surprise. Not only was my room occupied by a rowdy traveling soccer player, but the floor I was on housed the entire team. You can imagine the raucous laughter. I could hear the beer cans pop. They must have won the game, or so you would think. I didn’t think anything—I got out of there fast. I wasn’t going to have my model train show derailed by soccer. Oddly enough, as I grabbed my bag and headed out to quieter territory, one of the players invited me to join them. Still wearing his soccer cleats (they looked like this), he held up a beer can and grinned ear to ear. “We won!”
No, I did not stay. I gave my excuses. I didn’t have to make them up as the model train convention was about to open to the public. I needed as much time as I could get. There were endless booths of cars (passenger and freight) and locomotives, plus all the accessories for your layout like figures, trees and scenery, track, lighting, buildings, and more. Every collector can use one new item. If you want a wood ore car, an army diesel locomotive, flat car kits, or scratch supplies—you got it. That’s what I love about these conventions. There are displays of old and rare trains, but a plethora of new stuff you can buy.
Each convention has a different focus, so you don’t get the same old thing. As with any hobby, there are advancements and innovations—always something new and tempting. As for me, I like the traditional approach. I like to make my own models although when a great one appears intact, I find a way to add it to my collection. I have trains I run in my “train room” and those I keep in glass-enclosed cases. I am proud to say that I have some rare pieces.