About twenty club members from The Great Falls Model Railroad Club attended the Amherst Railroad Society train show at the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts, on Saturday and Sunday, January 26 and 27. This is the first year that the club has participated in the event with a railroad display. The double helix designed and built by Ralph Luby and Dick Rubin was exhibited at the show for the first time. The club logo was proudly and prominently displayed, giving credit to our club.
Those who operated the layout had fun with the children by stopping the train about three inches from their noses and calling, “All aboard!” and then slowly starting the engine again. Two of Ralph Luby’s friends from Michigan attended the show. One of them had brought some eggliners with sound. These created quite a hit when they
were added to the layout.
Dick Rubin has been planning for this event for nearly a year. His physical condition, however, prevented him from going to the show. Tom Coulombe was asked to make arrangements to be sure the layout got to West Springfield and that there would be enough help to set up and monitor the helix layout. Tom got blue table coverings from the Auburn Mall, hauled the equipment to Massachusetts, helped set up and tear down the helix layout, and monitored it during the event.
Many club members stepped in to help at the show. Even with five people, it took four hours to set up the helix layout. With six people, it took only two hours to take it down. Club members who helped monitor and/or set up and tear down the layout are as follows: Ed and Brenda Leslie, Tom Coulombe, Ray Parent, Ralph Luby, Ken Nettleship, Carmen Anastase, Jerry Johnston, Nancy Weeks, Bryce Weeks, and Travis Johnson. Other club members who were seen at the show include Maurice and Collette Fortin, Jay Calnan, Dick Holman, Roger Plummer, Peter McKenney, Larry Cannon, Colby Miles, John Robertson, and Bob Willard.
Over 20,500 people attended the train show, and the show director mentioned that he had received many favorable comments about the interesting and unique helix exhibit. The club has been invited to participate again next year.
The club wishes to thank all the members who attended this event and helped make our first inclusion in the train show a success.