GTA Train Shows - November 2007

Category: Trains
Sun, 25 Nov 2007, 12:04

Train show season is well under way in the Greater Toronto Area. Two shows I try not to miss are the Pine Ridge Railroaders show in Whitby and the Toronto Christmas Train Show. This year, the shows were just a week apart in November.

The first one up was the show in Whitby. I usually bring my daughter along to this one, but this year I also brought her step so she could have a better view of the trains. Some clubs, such as the Belleville club, provide steps for the young kids, but most don't. When we got there, we first circled the room visiting the vendors. I knew what my daughter's attention span was like, and so I had to pace our visit carefully. Even before we were done with the vendors, she started to pull me towards the layouts.

The Whitby show usually has layouts from the clubs east of Toronto, such as the Soper Valley Club and the Belleville club. H0, N, Lionel, and even Z were represented and filled the whole gymnasium of the Father Leo J. Austin School. Just before we checked out all the layouts, my daughter started to get antsy and insisted on heading home.

With the demise of the Toronto train show put on by the Canadian Railroad Historical Society, the Toronto Christmas Show has become the premiere annual train show for the city. This year, the show took place in a larger exhibition hall at the International Centre, which made the show seem less cramped than before. But then, I did arrive later in the day. Normally, most model rail fans seem to try to get to these shows early to snap up the bargains.

S-scale locomotive

There was no way my daughter could handle a big show like this, so she stayed home. I arrived about 2:45PM and made my first circle of the room checking out the vendors. I ended up back at the beginning after 45 minutes of shopping.

garden railroad locomotives

The club layouts for this show were almost all different than the Whitby show. The old "Ontario and Eastern" layout has new owners and is now called the "Ontario and Quebec". It's been reworked a bit, but it's still a treat for the eyes. The Ontario and Eastern club has a new layout, but this time the modules form a point-to-point layout, not an oval. It's an interesting concept for portable modular club layouts. But still, most people enjoy watching trains run. It's hard to get as much action on a point-to-point layout. Sure, most railroad operations are point-to-point, but most stations are through stations, and most trains run past without stopping.

narrow guage layout

Other clubs attending ran the gamut from N-scale all the way up the live steamers. Narrow gauge was represented by the "Narrow Madness Gang" and had a nice collection of small layouts. These layouts are fun to watch, but I don't think there's any risk of me catching the narrow-gauge bug.

narrow guage layout

Once I had seen everything, bought what I wanted, and took a few dozen photos, it was almost 5:00PM. I then had to get back to reality and face the hectic late Saturday afternoon traffic across the city.

Cheers!

Hans

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