I journeyed to metro-Philadelphia last week for the RPM Valley Forge railroad prototype modeler meet. A winter Nor’easter was threatening but passed through a couple days before the event. I arrived on Thursday afternoon to participate in an operating session that evening.
Steve Salotti hosted a session on his HO scale New York, Susquehanna & Western set in 1949. I pulled yard duty for the first half of the session then took a local out to work the mainline west and return to Little Ferry yard.
I’ve operated on Steve’s layout a few times and always enjoyed the sessions and working with the rest of the crews. A model railroad comes to life as people move passenger and freight trains along to work the rails.
A second layout was the focus for a Friday morning session. Bob Zoella hosted on his HO scale Conrail Conemaugh Line set in 1978. The layout represents part of Conrail that wasn’t far from my hometown of Indiana, PA, and I really enjoyed working as the Etna yardmaster. I enjoyed it so much that I forgot to snap any photos! It is very easy to be consumed with the tasks during a session and time can fly right by.
Event activities began at the hotel just after dinner that night. I set out several models in the display room and many other people were doing the same. Over a few hours, the table space filled right up with some really nice work. I also attended a couple of presentations that night before turning in.
Unfortunately, my weekend took a turn the next morning as I awoke feeling odd. A sight headache the night before had grown into a constant, dull, throbbing headache and my stomach felt queasy. I went to breakfast but realized that could end up disastrous. I ended up spending most of Saturday sleeping in my room. I felt a little better late in the afternoon and hung out in the model display and vendor rooms. I snapped a number of model photos. You can enjoy them at this gallery.
My stomach recovered by the banquet time and I was able to enjoy a presentation afterwards. The headache hung in there to Sunday morning but I was able to make my presentation without a problem.
It’s pretty crummy traveling a distance to attend a special event and falling ill, but those were the cards I was dealt. I missed seeing many friends, as well as several presentations. And so it goes. It could have been much worse. I traveled to West Virginia Sunday afternoon and visited with my daughter and her family. Monday morning, I felt fine and drove back to metro-Nashville.
I almost forgot to mention the new freight car kit that was selling. Funaro & Camerlengo has released a modernized version of the Delaware & Hudson Seley design twin hopper. These reflect prototype cars upgraded in the 1930s.
RPM events are popping up all over the country and in Canada. Many focus on presentations and model displays. Attending an RPM is a great way to learn more about the prototype and model techniques, as well as to network with other modelers. Check out the RPM event calendar that is a resource page on my blog. I try to update this calendar each month. I hope to see you at an upcoming RPM!
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