Prototype modeling at the National Train Show 2009

Yesterday, my wife and I took the bus up to Hartford to attend the National Train Show. The trip to Connecticut’s capital was quick on the comfortable Megabus and the drop-off location behind the Wadsworth Atheneum turned out to be very convenient since it is within minutes of the new convention center on the banks of the Connecticut River.

There were a number of exhibition layouts that I had previously seen at the Amherst Railway Society’s annual Railroad Hobby Show, so it didn’t take a lot of time to zone in on colleagues focusing on protoype modeling.

My first notable stop was the booth of North American Railcar Corporation which is producing scale models of modern era Hawker-Siddeley cylindrical covered hopper cars. The workmanship, paint job and level of detail of their models was impressive and I am looking forward to seeing more of their work. When you visit their website, be sure to check out the prototype information page.

Another inspiring display of craftsmanship, was the collection of steam era freight cars by Connecticut-based Speedwitch Media. Along with several magnificent books on prototype modeling, they offer highly detailed resin kits and parts for various types of cars from that era. Even though I am neither modeling steam era nor American prototype, I am itching to get my hands on one of these kits.

Since moving close the site of the former 60th Street Rail Yard in New York City, I have been thinking about modeling an urban freight terminal some time down the road. Seeing Tim Warris’ Central New Jersey Bronx Terminal was therefore the highlight of my visit and is a wonderful encouragement for possible future endeavors. I haven’t seen a layout that offers nearly as much switching fun in such a small space in a long time. The track work is absolutely phenomenal and it ought to be since Tim is a co-founder of Ontario-based Fast Tracks Model Railroad Tools & Supplies. The only thing that I found missing were the tie plates…

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