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Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show
Amherst Belt Lines
Amherst Railway Society
Railroad Hobby Show
Every year late in January or early in February, the Amherst Railway Society holds its Railroad Hobby Show at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds (The Big E) in West Springfield Massachusetts. More than 19,000 railfan and public attended the Show each of the past three years.
The event features real life railroads and scale model railroads,
historical societies, travel agencies, art shows, flea market dealers,
importers, manufacturers and photographers. Modelers' exhibits will
display outstanding handiwork on layouts ranging from the tiny Z scale
which fits on a coffee table to a monster 80 foot N-Trak system. The Amherst Belt Lines, an HO scale model
railroad empire, has become a show highlight. As of the 2005 show layout, It has grown to 15.8 scale
miles of mainline (960 linear feet) on 78 modules and has the capacity of multiple train
operation. The Southern
New England O Scalers will show its huge O gauge railroad with 100 car
freight trains and 7 unit diesels. Live steam will also be shown.
Commercial vendors and hobbyists will sell model railroad equipment,
photos, slides, video tapes, books and other railroad memorabilia. New and
antique railroad items will be on display and for sale. Operation Lifesaver, promoting railroad
safety for the public, will be featured. Major national
manufacturers and publishers will attend this Show which was rated number
one of the top three in the nation in a recent Model Railroad Industry
Association manufacturer's survey.
Proceeds from the show are used to promote interest in railroads. Donations have been made to various rail museums, historical societies, restoration projects and scholarship funds. Over $267,526 has been awarded since 1991. Organizations that have received donations include: the Fall River and Old Colony Museum, the 470 Club's Boston and Maine diesel locomotive restoration project, the Boston and Maine Railroad Historical Society, the Chester Foundation Station Project and the Wiscasset Waterville and Farmington Building and Car Fund, just to name a few recipients. Trolley museums in the following towns have also received donations: Shelburne Falls MA, Warehouse Point CT, Branford CT and Kennebunk ME. We have also made contributions to the Boston and Maine 3713 restoration fund and the Flying Yankee restoration.
For more information about the Amherst Railway Society's Railroad Hobby Show, please see the Railroad Hobby Show Website.
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