Sunday, November 21, 2010

WGH Show Day 2

Ah, the joys of owning a small layout. Inside 2 hours after the show closes we are home and the layout is unpacked out of the car and I can reflect on another day at the show.
Another interesting day. I awoke with a pounding headache. Not quite a migraine but awfully close. It took well into the afternoon for it to clear. I was thankful for my wifes help to take over some operating duties on the layout while I took it easy at times.
Then there was the issue of actually getting to the hall. No problem you'd think as we had a room in a hotel just across the road. Well just walking there was a problem. Freezing rain in the night had turned the roads and paths into a skating rink, it was a very hairy walk to the hall.
It was difficult to forget about the conditions even after the door opened because attendance was low. People certainly took their time getting in. I cant say i blame them the newspapers say there was some 300 accidents in the metro area.
So to the show, how did the layout perform? Just as well as the previous day. So I can't complain there. Over the two days I'm very very happy with the performance.
The reaction of the public was very much the same as yesterday too. Many were very taken with the presentation. The proscenium arch received countless favourable comments.
The real big surprise came around lunchtime. Two guys stood looking at the layout taking in the scene, passing comments and chuckling to each other. People can chuckle, I don't mind. Just don't make snide comments about the layout to my face. Then one of them spoke.
"You've got a couple of very special guests here today"
"Oh really" said I kind of expecting a joke of some sort.
"We used to be the owners/managers of Phillips recycling"
To say that I was flabbergasted would be a colossal understatement. They had been looking at the photographs I had on display and had been comparing them to the model. They were very positive in their appreciation of the model and I learned quite a bit more about the prototype location. For instance, when applying for planning permission from Saint Cloud city council to build a structure to house a new shredder, they built an N scale model of the premises to show the council so they could see how its construction would affect the surroundings. Needless to say the council appreciated being able to see the plan in 3D and rubber stamped the application in minutes.
I also learned about the marks painted on the ends of the wheel axles, White, Blue and apparently Orange. The colours, as I knew, signified different weights of wheel. White for 50lb wheels. Blue 75lb and Orange for 100 pounders. I remarked that I had never seen any Orange marked wheels before. That is because the 100lb wheels are wanted and can be sold on quickly. Once they get a wagonload of those 100lb wheels they are shipped out straight away. The other weights are not so popular and thus lie around the site for longer lengths of time. This was invaluable information and something that I hope to incorporate onto the layout at a later date.
Meeting these guys was very special and made me very proud of the layout indeed.
Really, you can't top that and the rest of the afternoon passed rather uneventfully by comparison.
However there is more. During one of my afternoon breaks I took a look around some of the traders looking for something to buy. You HAVE to buy something at a model railway exhibition don't you? Well I do...
I was very surprised to see the Atlas Trainman plus Genset switcher for sale. I'd been wanting one for quite some time and had been getting rather fed up with the delays to the delivery to the shops. It looked like a quite beautiful model in the photographs A truly modern up to date prototype, suitable for my modern up to date layouts. I had to have it. It was on sale too. So it was a done deal. I rushed it back to the layout to try it out. I was not disappointed. It looks great and ran as well as it looked. I think that after the layouts reception over the weekend it deserved a treat. Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it...
So all in all I couldn't have had a better weekend for the layout and it doesn't stop there as it is also appearing at the Rum River Model Railroad Club show at the historic Princeton Depot next weekend.
So to close I want to thank Randy Bachmann and his crew at the WGH organisation for putting on a great show and I hope to see them again in another 4 years or so.
But an even bigger thanks goes out to my wife for helping out allowing me to take breaks especially today when I had my pounding headache.


  1. Thanks for a great write up of the WGH meet. Very momentous indeed, and I'm not surprised that the layout was so well received.

    I would have asked the Phillips Recycling guys to consider putting in some roof vents to match your model. :-)

    And how wonderful to have them explain the color coding on the wheel axles. I wish the owners of the prototypes I'm working on were still around to ask a few questions.

  2. Hey Ian,
    James Willmus here. One of the many people who have seen this layout of your's at the WGH show. You may not remember me but seeing that layout has made an impression on me. Going to college in few years, micro layouts seem to be the answer to space problems. Good luck to you and Your layout.
    -- James Willmus.