The Rum River Model Railroad Club show in Princeton, MN this time. My home clubs show. It's very brave for a small club to put on a 2 day show but the Princeton club do very well and the show is well supported by the townsfolk.
There was a very varied selection of layouts in all scales. My favourite was a working display of vintage Lionel/Marx tinplate trains from the 1920's and 30's superb stuff that was well cared for and ran beautifully.
I was sited alongside an S scale American Flyer layout. Chock full of working accessories, like coal loaders, sawmills, level crossings, cattle docks. It was really amazing to watch them all and to think that these were all 50 or so years old. It's amazing what they created with electric motors, cams, pulleys and levers back then. I loved it.
Wingetts ran well on both days, though the Kadee couplers didn't work as well as they could, they still need some adjustment. Something to work on.
The atmosphere at this show is quite different to any other I've attended as an exhibitor. Everyone knows everyone and it really is a social gathering for the town. As a consequence operation was less strenuous than at other shows.
Being more relaxed allowed me to people watch while I was operating. I noticed that men just came up and watched the trains only some of them read the blurb accompanying the layout to explain the layouts operation. Whereas the vast majority of women read the blurb first and then watched the layout.
One thing I noticed with small children is that they were more interested in watching the trains when the cars on the layout were brightly coloured i.e Yellow CNW hoppers rather than brown SOO ones. The continual back and forth movement kept them quite occupied.
Once again all viewers were taken with the presentation of the layout, which begs the question.
"Why don't more exhibitors over here do it?"