ars logo

Amherst Railway Society

November, 2011

Ars logo

Amherst Railway Society, Home Page
Contact Us
Calendar of Events
Membership information and application including map to meeting location
Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show
 Amherst Belt Lines

Amherst Railway Society

January, 2012
Meeting Announcement

This month's meeting of the Amherst Railway Society is Tuesday, January17, 2012, 8:00 p.m. at the Amherst Middle School Auditorium.

“Museum Trains in Germany and Denmark”
by Joshua Redenz

Joshua Redenz, has been interested in trains since he was eight years old. While his family is from Amherst, he was born in Wisen Germany, a twenty minute train ride from Hamburg. Soon after becoming interested in railroads, he was able to take a cab ride in a steam locomotive at a museum near his home. Since then he has traveled to see trains all over Germany, Denmark and the northeast United States, videotaping and photographing trains. Joshua moved to Amherst last summer and has been an active member of the ARS this year. 

Joshua’s program includes pictures from:

2012 Railroad Hobby Show dates:
January 28 & 29, 2012

From the Treasurer

All donations to the Amherst Railway Society may be tax deductible. As Amherst Railway Society Inc. is a 501 C(3) tax exempt organization, your donations ( of either cash and/or property) may be deducted on your Schedule A, Form 1040 of your Federal income tax. Consider the Amherst Railway Society in your estate planning. Your gifts can be restricted or non-restricted (you can pre-determine how you want your donation used). Upon request, and proper documentation of course, the Treasurer will issue you a letter to be used as justification for you tax deductions

From the Clerk

Attendance last year averaged 80 people per meeting :

  • September 2011 (81) “Rail Transit in the Pioneer Valley " by Dana Roscoe
  • October 2011 (74) “Freight Car Futures” by Dan Bigda N
  • ovember 2011 (78) “Hurricane Irene vs. New England Central RR Disaster and Recovery " by Charles Hunter

Remaining meetings this year

  • (March 20, 2012) “American Locomotive Heritage Museum” by Richard Steinbrenner
  • (April 17, 2012) "Boston & Maine Operations---Sept. 1950" by George & Kathy Melvin
  • (May 15, 2012) "A Decade of Railroads ----the 1990's" by Buddy Winniarz
  • (June 19, 2012) “A Slice of the Cheshire" by Jim Dufour

<abel logo>From the AMHERST BELT LINES…

Time for the Main Event! Here it is – January 2012! Happy New Year to all! With the ringing in of the New Year comes the preparations for what is by far the largest show that the Belt Lines goes to in the season. The end of January brings with it the Amherst Railway Society, Inc. Railroad Hobby Show – our “home” show! We are once again setting up in the Better Living Center, and hope to assemble one of our largest layouts yet. This show requires all of our resources to assemble and prepare the layout for display to the public. Previous year’s layouts have had over 11 scale miles of mainline to run and this year should be just as amazing! If you are interested in setting up and operating on a large club layout, please come on out to the show and lend us a hand. We will have a general operations meeting Friday night around 6:00 PM to go over the basics of the layout. Private equipment is welcome, as long as it is DCC or RailLynx equipped and meets minimum mechanical standards. Setup of the layout will begin Thursday afternoon and continue on Friday. If you are interested in participating at the show, please let Alan, Clark or Jim know right away.

Email address:

Show Schedule Update for 2011-2012

The Belt Lines attends about six shows per year from September through April. Our schedule for 2011-2012 as we know it today is below. We have received formal invitations to all of these shows and are looking forward to attending each one. If you would like to mark your calendars for shows we will be attending, here are the remaining dates for the season in 2012:

  • January 28-29, 2012: Amherst Railway Society, Inc. Railroad Hobby Show – Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds, West Springfield, MA.
  • February 26, 2012: Worcester Model Railroader’s Show – Auburn Elks Club, Auburn, MA.
  • April 1, 2012: Nashua Valley Model Railroad Association RailFair ’12 – Shirley Middle School, Shirley, MA.

We will publish additional details as the show time draws closer. That’s all for this month. Remember… Modular Railroading is Fun!

<show logo>Message from the Show Director:

What’s New? The question that I am asked the most, every year! Here’s what’s new for 2012:

1. Model Railroading University; Bachelors Program

Maybe not totally new, but this year’s “Bachelors Program” is back by popular demand after 3 years. This is a 2-day clinic is brought to you by Miles and Fran Hale, and John Lowrance, all three Master Model Railroaders (MMR). This is sixteen hours of instruction in Layout Design, Bench-work, Track Laying, Wiring, DCC Systems, Turnout Control, and Decoder Installation. “This clinic provides the skills needed to take your model railroad to the next level.” Breakfast and lunch is included and this will be held on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition on the Thursday and Friday just before the Show (January 26th and 27th). This class is normally $950.00. The Amherst Railway Society has a special rate of $200.00 ( a $750 dollar savings) and this class is almost full, but there is still room for a few more. Please sign up at or by calling 816-588-2302 if you are interested. This class includes a pass to the Show!

2. Iwata Air Brush “Early Bird Clinics”

On Friday (another early start) Iwata Air Brush folks, will be there to give two clinics on the techniques of airbrushing. This course is a must for anyone who really wants to learn the basics from one of the top airbrush companies in the world! This early bird course will be offered at 1pm and 3pm on Friday and you must RSVP to be in the class as they only allow 12 people per class as this is completely hands on! The course will also be repeated again on Saturday and Sunday. There is no charge for the course. NOTE: The Friday Clinic is filling fast so please let us know if you wish to attend ASAP (RSVP )

3. “The Electric Trains”

This is a folk-band! And, these guys are great! A 4-piece acoustical and electric guitar band that sings about – you guessed it – trains! Check out their web site at and get a sampling of how good they really are….you will not be disappointed. Watch for them on Saturday and Sunday as they perform 4 shows a day on the Amherst Railway Society Presentation Stage! The Electric Trains 4. “Railroad Maggie, The Railroad Clown” Yes, you heard me right….a railroad clown. Maggie is a graduate if the Ringling Brothers clown school and actually lived on the Ringling Brothers Circus Train for three years while she performed with them. Maggie will be performing throughout the day on the new Amherst Railway Society Presentation Stage. Maggie will be looking for children of all ages to help her with her act, so stop by for the fun…and surprises! Railroad Maggie

5. The Show Configuration.

Don’t you just hate it when the Show is exactly the same every year? That’ why we try to mix it up – just a bit – for each Show. This year, the famous “Bleacher Clinics” have moved to the Mallary Complex along with all other clinics. It makes it so much easier to find and it also frees up a great deal of space in the Young Building for some exciting new exhibitors (more about that later). We’ve added the Amherst Railway Society Presentation Stage – located in the exact center of the BLC, so that “The Electric Trains” and “Maggie, The Train Clown” can perform! Please note that this stage is also where we will be making presentations of grant awards. This will be the first year for the “Founders Award,” a $10,000 dollar grant awarded to a deserving non-profit organization. Stay tuned for that one!

The Show is once again full. Check out the listing of exhibitors on the web site. You will notice that those who are new are color-coded in RED and those that have been relocated are color-coded in BLUE. For a complete list, do not hesitate to visit . New exhibitor highlights include 39 new participants. Headlining the list is Ron’s Books, a long-time dealer of train-related books…most of us have known Ron for many years and it is a delight that we have his company participating this year. Also, make sure you stop by to visit these new folks as well: Cut-it-Out, Day Signs, New England Free-Mo, the Sn2 Modular Narrow Gauge Layout, The Train Geek, Backdrop Junction, the Amtrak Police and so many more (too many to list here)…again, check out the web site for the complete list of new exhibitors. Watch for the new Scenic Express Display – it’s basically a store within the Show, complete with clinics and “how to” demonstrations throughout the day. They are located in the BLC. Be sure to check in on the repeat of the JMRI clinic, entitled, “What is JMRI?” This clinic will be brought to you by Ken Cameron, Member of JMRI Developer Team. Folks, this clinic is absolutely state of the art and all DCC interested people should attend… Special note and reminder that Ken Cameron is on the development team for this new java-based software that will help you program your decoders and much more! This is as good as it gets.

For our exhibitors, the exhibitor’s lounge is back as is the Saturday evening dinner that we now host for an average of 225 people. Remember, any registered volunteer is a guest of the ARS and can attend. If you are a volunteer at the Show, please join us for a great dinner. We continue with our affiliation with the Baystate Children’s Hospital and Baystate Health Foundation. Once again, we are holding a special raffle to raise money for the Children’s Hospital. The Amherst Railway Society is raffling off a 4 X 8 foot O-scale layout. Built by our friends at Model Rail Scenes, this layout is a “flying up and over figure eight” style layout! We have raised over 14,000 dollars in our first 3 years in working with our friends at the Baystate Health Foundation! As we have for the past 2 years, we are also inviting “kids with cancer” to attend our Show as our guests, so you may see some of them at our Show. This year, we are again helping the Greater Springfield Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Having these groups at our Show is a wonderful thing to see! I have said this before and I continue to have no problem saying it: These are the moments that make this all worthwhile for me. I remain proud to be a part of what we do. I look forward to seeing you at this year’s Railroad Hobby Show!

John Sacerdote, Show Director

From the Trip Director:

For more trips, see the calendar page.

airs rail logo.pngvolunteer ARS.pngairs rail logo.png

to Volunteer for the 

Amherst Railway Society
2012 Railroad Hobby Show

We need volunteers who are serious about helping with the Largest Show in North America! Please click here to complete the sign-up form and return to us ASAP.

All Volunteers are eligible for
Available Jobs Include:


  • -Signs, including table numbers (mostly in the am)
  • -Tables and chair set-up and placement (all day long; coordinate with Boy Scouts in evening)
  • -door monitor/traffic control (all day long, but in shifts)


  • -door monitor/traffic control (all day long, but in shifts)
  • -tables set-up and placement (Friday am only)
  • -barrier providers/set-up (all day long, but in shifts)
  • -hands on volunteers
    • -kids layout setup and breakdown
    • -kids layout operation
    • -test tracks
    • -time savers
  • -reception center set up
  • -Floor Manager (monitor vendors and assist and supervise with set up)


  • -reception centers (greetings)
  • -post office (Stroh bldg)
  • -hands on layout operation and supervision
  • -door monitor/traffic control (extras on doors 3,5,7 in BLC)
  • -treasury (special volunteers requiring approval)
  • -Floor Manager (monitor vendors and assist public during show)

CLOSE JOBS AVAILABLE (Sunday afternoon)

  • -door monitor/traffic control/door guard (no vehicles until notice; in shifts)
  • -break down of reception center (late afternoon)
  • -collection of signs, numbers, easels, homasote boards, AV equipment (late afternoon)
  • -Boy Scouts assistance and coordination of table and chair breakdown (late afternoon)

For more information or to return the volunteer form, contact:

Doug Moore, Coordinator at
or call the show office at 413-267-4555
or send your form to: Amherst Railway Society:
P.O. Box 247
Monson, MA 01057-0247
or just bring your completed form to the Next Meeting!!!

Amherst Railway Society
P. O. Box 2351
Amherst, MA 01004-2351

Copyright (c)2012 Amherst Railway Society