Posts Tagged ‘Great Train Expo’

Reporting from the Capitol… of California… the Great Train Expo in Sacramento and other Train Goodness

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

A few weeks ago we attended the Sacramento Great Train Expo. Usually I try to document the trip within a week or two but unfortunately my immune system was assaulted (repeatedly) which laid me up for awhile and I got behind on a lot of tasks. This ended up getting further compounded by another show. I apologize especially to those who I told would be making an appearance in this blog, please forgive me. Without further adieu… here’s my report on the Sacramento show and the accompanying trip!

My trip began with a flight from Southern Oregon to Burbank where I sat next to a nice woman who had been a teacher most of her life and we had a long conversation about a variety of topics. Here, I have to offer another apology as I lost her name and email address but hopefully she kept mine and will see this. As we discussed trains and travel, she asked me what the longest train route was and I admitted that I didn’t know but that I would find out and put it in my blog for her and my readers. A few days later, as Don and I were headed north from Los Angeles on our way to Sacramento we fortuitously heard a story on NPR’s Morning Edition on the Trans-Siberian Railway and I realized that was the answer to her question. To further flesh out the answer, someone has made a nice little page on Wikipedia attempting to document the longest passenger train journeys, the top 3 of which are all in Russia.

Trans-Siberian railway, photos by DAVID GILKEY

Trans-Siberian railway, photo by DAVID GILKEY from his NPR story titled 'Russia By Rail'

Once we arrived in Sacramento we made our way to the Cal Expo State Fairgrounds where vendors were in one hall and layouts were next door. As we were unloading the truck we could hear trains passing nearby blowing their whistles. Once we we were set up, I took the opportunity to visit the other vendors and layouts. I met Diane Rodriguez who is an artist and painter who brought many of her original works of watercolor and oil paintings showcasing locomotives and trains. She also sells prints and and cards of her works, you can check them all out on her website, www.dianerodriguezart.com.

Diane Rodriguez Art

Diane Rodriguez and some of her paintings - Photo by Cat Cook

Out of Ione, California, Comstock Construction were on hand showing off their Garden Railroad Structures. They only sell direct so you can contact them through the info on their website: Comstock Construction Their buildings are designed to endure the elements, “using water resistant adhesives, mechanically fastened joints with steel brads, or staples, and all California Redwood construction.”

Comstock Construction

Comstock Construction Garden Railroad Structures - Photo by Cat Cook

Among the layouts were the Diablo Pacific Short Line which is a non-profit organization that educates the public about railroading and the role of railroads in America. They are a modular layout with 500 feet of track and have members from hard-core modelers to youths just learning about railroading.

Diablo Pacific Short Line

Diablo Pacific Short Line - Photo by Cat Cook

Another large layout was provided by Coastal Valley Lines out of the Sonoma Valley, CA. I met two of the module designers, Allie and Joan. They and some of their designs are highlighted below.

Allie with her Coastal Valley Lines modular layout

Allie with her Coastal Valley Lines modular layout - Photo by Cat Cook

Allie's Snow-Themed Coastal Valley Lines Modular Layout

Allie's Snow-Themed Coastal Valley Lines Modular Layout - Photo by Cat Cook

Joan Fleck with one of her Coastal Valley Lines modular layouts

Joan Fleck with one of her Coastal Valley Lines modular layouts - Photo by Cat Cook

Coastal Valley Lines Stack Train

Coastal Valley Lines stack train in front of one of Joan Fleck's Module

Joan's Farm

Farm layout by Joan Fleck of Coastal Valley Lines - Photo by Cat Cook

Also at the show was Sacramento Valley N-Trak who model the greater Sacramento area focusing on fallen flags including Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, Santa Fe, Sacramento Northern, Tidewater Southern, and others.

Sacramento Valley N-Trak

Sacramento Valley N-Trak Layout - Photo by Cat Cook

I also came across this layout called the Rusty Spike Railroad Co. , a member of the Toy Train Operating Society (TTOS). I believe they will also be at the upcoming Toy Train Expo & Sale in Santa Clara, CA on Sunday March 4 from 9am to 4pm.

Rusty Spike

The Rusty Spike Railroad Co. - Photo by Cat Cook

Another group visiting from the wine country was the aptly named, Wine Country N-Scalers.

Wine Country Layout

Wine Country N-Scalers - Photo by Cat Cook

That’s it from the show, it turned out to be great even though my beloved Saints lost the playoffs that weekend (boo.) Our drive home was pretty uneventful. Except for this guy….

Overpass Northern California

The Keeper of the Overpass - Photo by Cat Cook

It was cold, clear, and beautiful out. I snapped a nice shot of Mount Shasta as from the warmth of the truck as we drove by.

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta January 2012 - Photo by Cat Cook

More blogs are in the hopper! Stay tuned… :)

 

Last weekend, Puyallup; This weekend, Medford!

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Last weekend we made the long, cold trek from Southern Oregon to Western Washington for the Great Train Expo in Puyallup. We are getting ready for the Medford show this weekend so this post will be somewhat sparse, the main purpose to share some pictures from the trip. We met lots and lots (and lots) of friendly railroad-lovin’ folks, many of whom signed up for our humble newsletter.

As we traveled north, the trees got bigger….

Mmm... Trees.... - Photo by Cat Cook

Mmm... Trees.... - Photo by Cat Cook

Just south of Portland, we stopped briefly at the site where Boone’s Ferry used to operate across the Willamette River. The ferry began service in 1846 as a raft operated by oars pulled by members of the Tualatin Native American Tribe and operated 24 hours a day. Later the ferry became cable operated and finally was decommissioned in 1957 after the Baldock Freeway Bridge was built.

Photo courtesy of Emery D. Aden, Wilsonville-Boones Ferry Historical Society, circa 1950. Photo of a photo on a historical marker sign at a rest stop in Oregon.

Photo courtesy of Emery D. Aden, Wilsonville-Boones Ferry Historical Society, circa 1950. Photo of a photo on a historical marker sign at a rest stop in Oregon.

Soon we crossed the Columbia River Interstate Bridge into Washington….

Crossing the Columbia River Interstate Bridge - Photo by Cat Cook

Crossing the Columbia River Interstate Bridge - Photo by Cat Cook

And we passed under a train beneath increasingly darkening skies….

Ominous clouds rally overhead as we pass under a train in Washington State - Photo by Cat Cook

Ominous clouds rally overhead as we pass under a train in Washington State - Photo by Cat Cook

We stayed at the Tacoma Dome Hotel which gave us a view of the Amtrak station and the freight yard with the port of Tacoma behind them both…

View of the Sound Transit Tacoma Dome Station, Amtrak's Tacoma station, and the freight yard near the Port of Tacoma - Photo by Cat Cook

View of the Sound Transit Tacoma Dome Station, Amtrak's Tacoma station, and the freight yard near the Port of Tacoma - Photo by Cat Cook

As usual with Great Train Expo events the show was quite large with many clubs showing off their layouts. First up, Puget Sound Garden Railway Society….

Part of the Puget Sound Garden Railway Society - Photo by Cat Cook

Part of the layout from the Puget Sound Garden Railway Society - Photo by Cat Cook

Next up, Longview, Kelso & Rainier Railroad Club

A little farm road crosses the tracks and goes under a trestle on the Longview, Kelso & Rainier Railroad Club's Layout - Photo by Cat Cook

A little farm road crosses the tracks and goes under a trestle on the Longview, Kelso & Rainier Railroad Club's Layout - Photo by Cat Cook

Next we have a scene from the Mount Rainier N-Scale club which appears to feature many Classic Metal Works vehicles

Just a small portion of the awesome layout that is presented by the Mount Rainier N Scale Club - Photo by Cat Cook

Just a small portion of the awesome layout that is presented by the Mount Rainier N Scale Club - Photo by Cat Cook

The next picture is one of the locomotives displayed by the Kitsap Live Steamers….

One of the locomotives on display from the Kitsap Live Steamers - Photo by Cat Cook

One of the locomotives on display from the Kitsap Live Steamers - Photo by Cat Cook

Next is the Seattle, Pacific & Eastern Railway layout (sorry couldn’t find a link to a site for them)…

Cotton used as smoke on the Seattle, Pacific & Eastern Railroad - Photo by Cat Cook

Cotton used as smoke on the Seattle, Pacific & Eastern Railroad - Photo by Cat Cook

Also attending was the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie, Washington who offer scenic train rides and birthday parties. For more information or to become a member visit www.trainmuseum.org.

Northwest Railway Museum layout - Photo by Cat Cook

Northwest Railway Museum layout - Photo by Cat Cook

Next door to the museum was the United Northwest Model Railroad Club who will be hosting their 21st Annual Train Show & Swap Meet February 4th & 5th 2012 at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe WA. For more info visit: Monroe Train Show

Monroe Train Show is February 4th & 5th 2012 in Washington

Monroe Train Show is February 4th & 5th 2012 in Washington

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! We hope to see some of you at the Rogue Valley Railroad Show this weekend at the Medford Armory. It is open November 26th from 10am – 5pm and Sunday November 27th from 11am – 4pm.

Rogue Valley Train Show 2011 is this weekend, November 26th & 27th

Rogue Valley Train Show 2011 is this weekend, November 26th & 27th

P.S. If you are in the market for tools for your modelling needs you can see Galloway Tools at many Great Train Expo events plus they sell online as well at www.gallowaytools.com. Nice folks!

P.P.S. We also met a gentleman who has some very nice High Def train videos on YouTube, you can visit his channel here: YouTube Hi Def 1080p Railroad Video Channel

Klamath Train Show 2011 and Two New Train Videos from 7Idea Productions

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Just over a week ago was the 2011 Klamath Model Railroad Show & Sales Event hosted by the Klamath Rails Club at the Klamath County Fairgrounds. Last year we had freezing rain but this year it was sunny and warm all weekend which made for a comfortable and happy event.

Rock formations modeled on the Klamath Rails Model Railroad Club layout (Photo by Cat Cook)

Rock formations modeled on the Klamath Rails Model Railroad Club layout (Photo by Cat Cook)

At the show I met Greg Jones of the Klamath Rails club who pointed out the rock formations he made on the club’s traveling layout. He explained his process for making the rocks included using the Woodland Scenics rock molds (shop here:Woodland Scenics Terrain and Landscaping Products) with fast-acting drywall compound you can buy at any hardware store. He gave me some examples to show you the rocks before paint is applied.

Rocks made by Greg Jones of Klamath Rails Model Railroad Club using Woodland Scenics rock molds (Photo by Cat Cook)

Rocks made by Greg Jones of Klamath Rails Model Railroad Club using Woodland Scenics rock molds (Photo by Cat Cook)

Returning this year was Robert Gavora with his Fine and Rare Books. He carries a huge collection of fascinating tomes on railroading. If you can’t attend shows in the Pacific Northest to see for yourself check out his website: www.robertgavora.com.  Here is my latest purchase, this fabulous book of Kinsey logging railroad photographs. In the early 1900s Darius Kinsey traveled around taking pictures of loggers with their locomotives, the photographs were then sold to the loggers. I’m pretty sure he has more copies of this if you are interested.

My newest book on logging railroads by Darius Kinsey (Photo by Cat Cook)

My newest book on logging railroads - Kinsey Photographer: The Locomotive Portraits edited by Dave Bohn (Photo by Cat Cook)

Another returning pleasure was getting to chat up Aaron Bentson producer of 7Idea Productions’ excellent railroad videos. The Klamath show allowed him to show off his newest production, MRL Montana Mainline Part 1: Jones Junction to Helena (click here for Blu-Ray). This release comes hot on the heels of his previous new release, Coal Trains of the Powder River Basin, out on DVD & Blu-ray last month.

Cat Cook and Aaron Bentson showing off 7Idea Production's latest releases (Photo by Don Cook)

Cat Cook and Aaron Bentson showing off 7Idea Production's latest releases (Photo by Don Cook)

As usual the Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club made the trek to share their traveling layout. Here’s a closeup of a portion featuring ‘fiber’ trees and an Athearn ready-to-run truck (buy it here: Athearn HO Ford C-Series with Van Body – California Motor Express CME). We will see more of them next month at the Rogue Valley Train Show November 26-27 2011 at the Medford Armory in Medford, OR.

Athearn RTR Truck on the road of Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club Layout (Photo by Cat Cook)

Athearn RTR Truck on the road of Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club Layout (Photo by Cat Cook)

Our next show is a big one, the Great Train Expo up in Puyallup, WA on November 19th & 20th 2011 at the Puyallup Fair & Event Center. Hope you can make it!

Great Train Expo – Portland, OR & Observations from the Road

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

We just got back from the Great Train Expo in Portland, Oregon. It was our first time attending this show and it was fabulous, we are definitely planning on doing this show every year! Luckily most of the snow melted from the storm that passed through the day before we were set to leave so we made it up north without any problems. We arrived and got our booth set up with an assortment of new inventory including Walthers models, DVDs from TSG Multimedia, Woodland Scenics landscaping materials and figures, and lots of new shirts and hats among other goodies.

Cat Cook at The Short Line's booth at the Great Train Expo, Portland - Photo by Don Cook

Cat Cook at The Short Line's booth at the Great Train Expo, Portland - Photo by Don Cook

The show was at the Portland Metro Expo Center which is in North Portland across from Hayden Island and along North Portland Harbor. We stayed nearby at the Courtyard by Marriott from where I snapped this photo looking across the harbor at Hayden Island and Vancouver, Washington. You can see some of the Vancouver-Hayden Island Bridge in the background. This bridge (also known as the North Bank Bridge, the Columbia River Railroad Bridge, and BNSF Bridge 9.6) was constructed in 1908 and is a double-tracked swing through truss bridge. It is 2,808 feet long and has it’s longest span at 492 feet.

Hayden Island - Photo by Cat Cook

Hayden Island - Photo by Cat Cook

Of course there were lots of vendors and layouts. Those showing off their layouts included Rose City Garden Railway Society, Beaverton Modular Railroad Club, Longview Kelso & Rainier Railroad Club, Cascade Z Modelers, and the Portland Lego Users Group.

Cascade Z Modelers' Layout - Photo by Don Cook

Cascade Z Modelers' Layout - Photo by Don Cook

On the way home we passed this 1904 Baldwin 3′ Gauge locomotive painted in honor of the ongoing ‘civil war’ rivalry between the University of Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers. It can be seen from Interstate 5 as you pass the Keizer Station Village Shopping Center, just north of the 45th parallel which is halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.

U. of Oregon/Oregon State Civil War Train - Photo by Cat Cook

U. of Oregon/Oregon State Civil War Train - Photo by Cat Cook

North of Roseburg we passed the new 6-million dollar Winchester Rail Switching Yard for Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad that opened in September of last year.

CORP's Winchester Rail Switching Yard - Photo by Cat Cook

CORP's Winchester Rail Switching Yard - Photo by Cat Cook

A bit further south, here is the North Umpqua River Bridge (also known as the Winchester Railroad Bridge and North Umpqua Railroad Bridge) built in 1906. It is on the Central Oregon & Pacific railroad in Winchester, Oregon.

North Umpqua River Bridge - Photo by Cat Cook

North Umpqua River Bridge - Photo by Cat Cook

Finally, just before we crested Sexton Summit we passed a couple of CSX Intermodal containers on trucks.

CSX Intermodal on I-5 - Photo by Cat Cook

CSX Intermodal on I-5 - Photo by Cat Cook

And then, we were home just in time for the next snow storm to pass through! We are looking forward to the next show on our agenda: the 23rd Annual Willamette Cascade Model Railroad Club Train Show & Swap Meet in Eugene, Oregon which is happening April 9th & 10th at Lane County Fairgrounds. We hope to see you there!