AMHERST BELT LINES
HO Modular Railroad
Copyright © 2004, Amherst Railway Society
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|Amherst Belt Lines Module Coordinators|
|Sudro Brown||Alan Rice||Clark Huber|
At the time this newsletter is being written there is just over a week before Thanksgiving. That can only mean one thing it must be nearly time to plan for the Amherst Railway Society Big Railroad Hobby Show coming up at the end of January 2005! At a time of the year when children are counting the days 'til Christmas, the Amherst Belt Line module coordinators have already started counting the days to the show which is a very scary thought indeed! There are a little over two months before opening day and, as usual, there is SO much to do! So, we will skip any further fanfare and get straight to the work at hand
Instead of going through the usual schedule and recap of the year so far we can do that later in this newsletter lets get right down to the main event. By now we should all know the drill on this one right? For anyone who has just joined us, or is reading about this show for the first time, let's go through some of the normal red tape. The Amherst Railway Society, Inc., of which the Amherst Railway Society HO Scale Modular Layout (a.k.a. the Amherst Belt Lines) is a Special Interest Group (S.I.G.), produces what is probably the largest two-day railroad hobby show in the Northeast, if not the country. During this show, the Amherst Belt Lines produces its largest layout of the show season. We won't say that the layout is a record breaker, because it probably isn't, but we have produced layouts with over 15 scale miles of mainline running for this show. The show will be held from 9:00AM to 5:00PM on January 29 and from 10:00AM to 5:00PM on January 30, 2005. Note the change in time on Sunday. The show is held at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts, in the Better Living Center and the Young and Stroh buildings. Details of the show are available on the Amherst Railway Society's web page www.amherstrail.org so we won't repeat them here. Setup of the buildings and for layouts will begin on Thursday, January 27 around noontime. Our goal this year, as in years past, is to have all of the modules in the building and on their feet by close of business on Thursday so that they can all be connected and leveled on Friday. This can only run smoothly with your help, whether you have a module in the layout or not.
If you have a module (or modules) you would like to display in the Amherst Belt Lines layout at this years show, please contact Alan by not later than December 15, 2004. It is important that you notify Alan by this date, as we would like to have the layout plan finalized by the first of the year. A preliminary plan is in the works even now, but your input is needed to make it final. If you have previously notified him that you plan to participate with a module, please confirm your plans to attend with him by email, voicemail, telephone call, FAX or letter before December 15, 2004. If you know of someone who would like to participate with (or without) a module this year, or did last year and may not be on the mailing list, please let him or her know about this deadline so that they may participate in the show. If you have a NEW module (one that's never been in an ABEL layout), or a module that has had significant changes to track configuration, you must send Alan a track plan and the industry or siding information for that module. If you have a NEW module or have made significant electrical changes to your module(s), let Alan know so that we can make arrangements to inspect the module before the show. Unless one of the module coordinators or their designate waives the inspection, a NEW module will not be in this year's layout without the inspection. We will not repair modules at the show this year. If repairs are required, the owner will have until close of setup Thursday night to make these repairs or the module will be removed from the layout. We will install wiring harnesses that are supplied by the club if your module requires one; please let us know before the show if you need a harness. We may ask for permission to make some modifications to your module that will assist in future operation and setup of the layout; we will try to contact you before hand about these modifications. Remember, we will not assume your module is coming to the show. If you want Alan to include your module in the layout, you MUST contact him by December 15, 2004!!
Our policy regarding module delivery is that all modules must be in the Better Living Center and on their feet on Thursday, January 27 by 11:00PM. If you are unable to get your modules to the show by this deadline, let Alan know when you sign up your module for the layout. Exceptions will be made to this rule only for exceptional circumstances. We have a large number of people involved in the setup of the layout on Friday and waiting for a module or module set to arrive is not good use of our time. Good planning can minimize the effects, but we must know ahead of time that a module or set will be late. If you have not arranged for the late arrival of your module the space will not be available when you arrive on Friday morning!
The Amherst Railway Society Show Committee has asked that anyone associated with the layout have an exhibitor badge provided by the Amherst Railway Society, Inc., and has asked that we provide a list of names to have on file at the show office. We did fairly well in honoring this request last year, but could do better. If you and/or your guests or family are planning to participate at the show with the Belt Lines, whether you will bring a module or not, you will need to provide Alan with this information by December 15, 2004. Parking passes for parking on the Fairgrounds property on Saturday and Sunday will be available at the layout on Friday on a first come / first served basis. Since the quantity of passes is limited, before asking for a pass please consider if you can make alternative arrangements for parking during the show.
Last year we called a meeting of all operators and module owners on Friday night to discuss operations and special instructions for the layout. Feedback from that meeting was very positive, so we plan to do the same this year. The agenda will include operating rules, special instructions, DCC regulation and much more. As with last year, pizza will be served.
We are looking forward to another great layout this year. Remember to get your information about participation into Alan by December 15.
With our 2004 show dates now complete, the following dates need to be marked on your calendar for 2005:
We are actually a little premature in announcing the Worcester and Little Rhody shows as we have not received the official invitations. We are mentioned as the entertainment portion of the Worcester show on their web site, so we believe that it is a pretty good bet they want us there! There is the potential for another show in April in New Hampshire, but nothing has been firmed up at this time. Reserve the dates now to avoid clogging the calendar with other unnecessary things to do on those days!
September found the Belt Lines in Hollis, New Hampshire for the Pepperell Siding Model Railroad Club show. This was the second year for Pepperell with the new location and date and the show was well attended. As with last year, all of the layouts and vendors were in the Gymnasium of the school. The Belt Lines assembled a generous 20 x 34 layout which featured the Bock Mining Company and Western Power. Many tons of coal were hauled during the course of the show without incident. Bolton Junction received a new look for Pepperell with the addition of the structures for Bolton Mills, Durable Pump and Bolton Farmers Supply, thanks to Stan Slowik. Stan took the buildings back after the show to add some additional details and signage. It is amazing how a few structures can bring a module to life.
Munsey Farm module!
We'd like to thank John Clemons for hosting the group at Bedford again this year. Thanks also go to Steve and Mary-Lynn Belforti, John and Dana Bock, Sudro Brown, Sudro Brown II, Mike Cormier, Jim Fenner, Clark Huber, Phil Johnson, Dave and Tommy Kmetz, Abbot Lahti, Tom Lowry, Jim Mayo, Gary and Jan Munsey, Alan, Kim, William, Kaylee and Madison Rice, Doug Scott, Stan Slowik, Wes Warner and Jim Whitman, for their efforts in making these shows a success. We would also like to thank the Bedford Boomers and the Pepperell Siding Model Railroad Club for continuing to include us in their shows and allowing us to help them promote their organizations and the hobby of Model Railroading.
The Worcester Model Railroader's show will be held at the Auburn Elks Club in Auburn, Massachusetts. This is a one-day show that literally is only one day for the Belt Lines. Setup will start at around 7:00AM on Sunday morning and the doors open at 10:00AM. We have generally gotten trains running by the time the doors open, but it is always a challenge. If you are up for the challenge, please feel free to lend a hand. If you want to bring a module, space is very limited so let Alan know right away!
We will provide an update for both the Worcester and Little Rhody shows as more information becomes available and our participation is confirmed.
That is all for this edition of the Modular Mumblings. Remember that the deadline for the Amherst Railway Society show is early this year December 15! See you in West Springfield.
Have a Happy "HO"liday Season!
Modular Railroading is FUN! Alan, Clark and Sudro
Amherst Railway Society, Inc.
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