2009 Amherst Railway Society – Railroad Hobby Show

A very well built scene on a modular layout at the 2009 Railroad Hobby Show in West Springfield, MA.

I’ve been back from the 2009 Railroad Hobby Show for a couple of weeks now and have finally gotten some time to look through the photo’s I took and write down my thoughts about the event. The show was good, but I was more impressed with the 1/87 Vehicles meet that occurred on Saturday after the main show had ended. There was some seriously impressive modeling there, some of which I have photo’s of below the cut.

Rapido’s new wide-vision caboose.

One item I was especially interested in seeing was Rapido’s new wide-vision caboose. I have no need for one, but the interior and undercarriage detail is really exceptional, and it was neat to see in person. There were a number of manufacturers there showing off their products. I walked away with a Tangent Hopper kit, and took special notice of the Moloco display which had some very interesting detail parts available.

New HO scale EMD SD70ACE’s from MTH.

Also present were representatives from MTH, who had their new HO scale SD70ace’s on display. If I ever feel the need to get a model that modern, I will wait for the Athearn, still though, the MTH version isn’t as bad as I had been led to believe, though it doesn’t hold up to some of the other major manufacturers in molded detail.

An unfinished, but nonetheless impressive, scene on the Dry Hill Model Railroad Club layout.

Most of the layout’s aren’t particularly interesting to me, however this scene on the Dry Hill setup was very impressive, it’s huge and built like a battleship. The curves at this end were also super-elevated which really complimented the trains they were running.

A Mack Granite snow plow unit by Ralph Ratcliffe. Photo by Tom Murray.

Saturday evening after the show, we drove over to the Days Inn in Chicopee and took a look at the 1/87 vehicles on display there. The modeling was exceptional, and I was pleased to see a number of creations that I’ve seen before in photo’s. Ralph Ratcliffe’s display really caught my eye and I spent a good bit of time there photographing the stuff he’d brought.

A Mack dump truck, model unknown by Ralph Ratcliffe. Photo by Tom Murray.

The level of detail and accuracy that goes into most 1/87 vehicles is pretty impressive to me, not having to build operational models really seems to motivate model builders to incorporate more into their creations, an attitude that model railroaders just don’t seem to share as often.

A Kenworth T800 tractor by Joe Enriquez. Photo by Tom Murray.

This T800 that Joe Enriquez built is not only highly detailed, but is weathered just right, it’s not shabby the way a lot of railroad equipment looks, yet it doesn’t appear to be brand new. Instead, each component looks as though it’s made out of the same material as the prototype, with a light coating of dust on the tires and underframe. That’s what I would like to achieve with the Mack tractor I built.

A Mack tractor and lowboy trailer by Ralph Ratcliffe. Photo by Tom Murray.

Another unique, well built model by Ralph, the Mack cab looks to be a Resin casting that’s been painted well enough to hide the fact that there’s no glass in the windows.

A Mack Granite dump truck by Joe Enriquez.

This Mack Vision dump truck features scale brake lines and a scratchbuilt frame, theres some more information about this and other models by Joe on this page: http://www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com/Enriquez.htm. There was a lot of other stuff, much of which I didn’t get photo’s of, including a fully detailed garage, and dozens of custom painted cars and trucks by Hungarian modeler Balazs Borbely (http://www.garage87.mlap.hu), and a completely scratchbuilt crane by Denis Doucet. Overall, a good show this year.


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