Thursday, March 14, 2019

Great Train Show 2019 Phoenix


This past weekend I attended with my HO modular club (AZMR) the Great Train Show at the Phoenix Fairgrounds. This show used to be called the Great America Train Show and when I lived back in Southern California I used to attend with my old club Orange County Modular Railroaders. Yes after years of being out of the hobby of Model Railroading I came back to it a few years ago.

The new club (or group of guys as we are not really a club) set up a 36'x36' layout to run trains on. Our group likes to run long trains and when I say long, I mean 80 plus cars! This layout set up had us running much smaller trains as dictated by the length of sidings.

Right side of layout

Left side of layout
As some know, I am working on (very slowly) a switching layout in my game room, it is really a point to point layout, so if I want to run trains in a larger layout I attend and operate on the groups layout. Nice thing is I am able to use locomotives that would not work on the switching layout due to size here.

Southern Pacific Railroad is my favorite and I model the time frame in the late 80's to 1996 when the Espee was merged with the Rio Grand Railroad. With that being said, one of the most iconic Espee Locomotives is the SD40T-2 Tunnel motor. When I used to do model railroading 20 years ago, no one was making this locomotive except in brass. But Athearn did finally release one and as soon as I heard about it, I knew I had to have one.

SP SD40T-2 
Also another iconic locomotive that was all the rage back in 1996 was the GE 39-8B (or as Espee designated them as GE 40-8Bs). My buddy Rick had an Atlas unit for sale so I bought it from him to add to my mainline road power.

Cotton Belt Dash 8
 Now one thing that you will notice is that both locomotives are very clean, this was not normal for the Espee as they rarely ran the locomotives thru the wash racks. now I intend to dirty up the Tunnel motor, but the GE unit will remain as it is as I am representing when it was first delivered.

The show was good, not as good as they used to be, but still not bad. It was busy on Saturday and Sunday saw a smaller crowd at the Fairgrounds. I got a lot of folks complimenting my train I ran as all but the Locomotives are weathered really well like the real things. In this day of ready to roll equipment, most model railroaders are not doing anything to their cars or locomotives to make them look weathered. It leads to a very toy like appearance as most buildings are weathered and the trains are not. So while my train looked beat up by the weather, it stood out from all other trains being run that weekend.

Here are a few more shots of trains being run on our group set up:

My locos together working the mainline.

A GP9 Rio Grande unit

ATSF Steam Locomotive

Amtrak out this weekend
So there you have it, another one of my many hobbies that compete for my pocketbook and more importantly, time.