‘m not sure how to write this show report up. I could start with a description of getting up at 5am Saturday, a quick shower, a drive to the donut shop to pick up treats for the setup crew, and then hissing through empty streets in moderate rains, hoping it would let up before it was time to unload the trailer I would shortly be rendezvousing with for setup.
Or the host of problems we faced, from inexplicable radio problems to a dead section of track to some scenery problems here and there. We should have brought the “Robert” button. Even though we were set up by eight, I didn’t get to run a train until 10am and really my runs were a couple of laps between crises.
Or even when one of our young members wanted something to run behind his Metro engine – I suggested my rusty beet train and he turned his nose up at it. I went out on the damp loading dock and cried.
The accidents were great. On Sunday, I went out with my mom for lunch in Deland. When I got back, everyone was talking about a club member who ran a signal and rammed another train, scattering them all over the place. There was even denial and concealing of evidence. Seems like a lot of work, since I know what running at a train show is like. You’ll be riding greens and then someone wants to tell you about his daddy who had a huge “train set” in his basement or asks how much it all costs and then you’re past the red board and plowing into a train. I know how easy it was since I did the exact same thing the day before, running a beet train into the back of the SP Daylight. They were digging corpses out from a mountain of sugar beats after that mishap. See, I admitted it.
And then there was the nuclear waste train with upright containers what wobbled and rocked its way halfway around the railroad before ground-zeroing right in front of the crowded Jacksonville Amtrak station. The response team bulldozed the wrecked (and hot) rolling stock into the parking lot so as to clear the mainline, while their frames melted and the asphalt bubbled. The joke here was that snowbirds debarking in Jacksonville stepped off the train and found themselves with an instant suntan. At least I can blame this for all my hair loss.
Another issue were the number of closeup photos members took. I realized while reviewing them that first night that parts of our layout were dusty from long storage. In some pictures, we looked like Pompeii. I can assure you that the next morning, at 8am sharp (when the doors opened to displayers) I was tending the layout with a soft makeup brush, dusting the drifts clear and refreshing the scenery. I’m still blushing over our appearance.
But overall, the layout ran as well as it could (we’ve had better shows as far as damage goes – we’ve got a repair list as long as your arm). But John W managed the show well and did a wonderful job. And the crews did a great job running interesting trains and letting the kids boomer across our division. I heard a number of people identify the various places we model (a complement in itself) and a club actually asked us to advise them how to get going with operations. So overall, Orlando N-Trak was the star of the show. The show organizers were pleased and the crowds pressing. And I have heard rumors that our sales table broke records on revenue (of course, it might have just been one of our salesmen talking customers into unconsciousness while the other picked their helpless pockets).
But overall it was a great show. We kept track of where we were deficiant and will fix those problems, and also will look into some inexplicable problems we faced. With this, next show will even be better!
I’ll close with a plead for book sames and then some nice submissions I got from various club members.
And below are your photos…