Skip to main content

@dk122trains posted:

Iam having a great time the crowd on Thursday was lighter but for me it's the details that make the RR and I found them. It was great to have Jack Pierce back from Canada If you are starting out this is a great time to build a roster at reasonable prices.  Best deal I have seen to date a 4 pack of MTH railking Amtrak superliner cars for 175 in excellent shape and Mr Muffin had the new Mohawks for 1400. I luv York and my Railroad family. Folks the show is evolving just like everything else in life and for me reminding me of the 80s when I started coming and was the members meet to trade and sell and greet. The vendors and manufacturers came later and piggybacked on the members success not the other way around.  Now their economic model has changed with the internet etc. Long live York!

Don....totally agree......I can’t say it any better!


Yup, I agree too. October was very light compared to what I experienced in 2017 for my first, and through 2019 it seemed about the same for me. Last year's October was a welcome breath of fresh air as there was plenty of elbow room and more importantly, was easier to find and talk with your friends. I know my other York's it was nearly impossible to see anyone else for any period of time, if you did you were both running to see if you could find the next deal.

Last October I spent a good portion of talking taking it as downtime to recoup just a little. The other York's I was trying to work my way through what crowd there was. We all know that things are changing, York is evolving just like Don said. So will the hobby. With the new blood coming in(those younger folks), things seem to be in good hands I'd say.

I actually was rather disappointed yesterday, having been able to gauge my view since I first started coming in 2017. Back then, York was a place where many of the vendors showed off their new or planned offerings. Miller Engineering, in particular, always had something great. Charles Ro had one of the nicest selections of new merchandise that one could buy right then and there. The allure and success of on-line retailing certainly has had its effect on the "brick and mortar" approach, and this includes our hobby with its declining consumer base -- not to mention the expensive pricing! I saw a previous post that York should be relegated to once a year in October. I agree and would think a once-per-year event with lots of "bells and whistles" (being close to Christmas and Chanukah) would be exactly what this needs. I think TCA could also work hard to show potential vendors (and those who used to come) that this venue for selling is a good valued-added proposition to whatever success they already have with internet sales.

So I did make it today and happy to be there, along with Mrs. Z, who is a good sport about this show.  That said,  the attendance was way down compared to pre-pandemic.  The purple hall was shocking to me personally.

I only bought a few things,  but I learned a bunch by seeing things in person.   Seeing T rail and super O train gave me an appreciation for what they really are.  Same thing with seeing "new marx" tinplate cars actually next to other equipment,  previously I couldn't visualize the size.  There were lots of things that nearly and there were deals to be had.  Train World had some nice deals on 70 ton switchers.  The displays by Altoona Model Works and East Coast Enterprises were amazing.   

The folks from Atlas had a modest display but were really nice and had some catalogs.

The biggest thing I noticed was lots more looking than buying,  and lots of empty space.  There was some of the usual suspects you will find at any show,  including a gentleman on an electric chair trying to drive just a little faster than those around him could get out of the way, 1 individual with a nausea inducing amount of cologne, and of course a few people ignoring the arrows in the blue hall.  By large though, the crowd and vendors were polite,  many of the member sellers were looking to deal, and the bonus to smaller crowds was lots more room to breathe and maneuver than what I saw in 2019.


The one thing I was looking for that I didn't see much of was mth o gauge tinplate.   I have been hunting a red 256 from mth for a couple years without success- if you see one please let me know!


Images (5)
  • 20220429_122516
  • 20220429_132707
  • 20220429_132307
  • 20220429_134904
  • 20220429_104808
Last edited by jhz563
@CBQ_Bill posted:


Your map shows US-30 runs through York PA.

Is that the famed Lincoln Highway ?

Whose RR tracks are those running past the fair grounds in the map ?

Thanks in advance !!!

Hi Bill. Yes that is part of the Lincoln highway.   Route 30 is actually quite long.  It runs through much of the southern tier of PA, including the northern edge of the city of York.

There are tracks all over York.   I think these belong to a local shortline.

@jhz563 posted:

Hi Bill. Yes that is part of the Lincoln highway.   Route 30 is actually quite long.  It runs through much of the southern tier of PA, including the northern edge of the city of York.

There are tracks all over York.   I think these belong to a local shortline.

US 30 runs coast to coast. Atlantic City to Astoria, OR.
OB Train content. For UP fans it parallels the UP through much of Wyoming and Nebraska.


It seems like the same people complaining about  crowded isles in the past are now complaining about the lack of people and vendors today?

Yesterday and today, I saw every imaginable toy train from the pre-war, post-war, modern, and electronic (bluetooth and wifi) eras.  Its just amazing.

The new thing for me was getting to chat with the toy train youtubers (sp?).  I am looking forward to their York videos this week.

October will be even better with Lionel and the other vendors attending.

Well I rounded out my day with a lap of the white, red, silver, and blue halls and several laps of the orange hall.  I also stopped by Altoona Model Works at the suggestion of @jhz563 and found their structures to be really amazing.

Maybe Lionel could partner with them to make a model of the Altoona engine test plant with a kit to make it come to life with Legacy/TMCC.

I finished the day sitting in the cafe area chatting with a few members after spotting @Traindiesel and @gunrunnerjohn.  I didn't catch everyone else's name because the hall was a bit loud and some youngster was working the throttle pretty hard on a nearby display.  If you were sitting there, apologies for that and tag me if you're reading this so I can put a name to the face next time!

I will say this York wasn't as grandiose as those in the past, but it was the first I attended alone as my Uncle couldn't make this one and it was nice to make a few acquaintances along the way.

P.S. I picked up this sweet Altoona PRR station replica from Iron Horse Engraving.  I took notice of a replica 5550 keystone there too and chatted with the proprietor about the ambitious T1 Trust project of which he seemed about as big of a fan as I am.  Can't wait to see that project steam up!



Images (1)
  • IMG_20220429_204310552_HDR

It was the best of Yorks, it was the worst of Yorks.  (Sorry, couldn't resist)

Crowds were down, but that created more opportunities to browse at leisure and talk with people.  Got to bend Stu Rankin's ear - it's a shame that his term is ending soon - I hope he runs again in a couple of years.  Prices were all over the place - some folks still think it's 2005, while others priced their stuff to sell.  Got to meet David Carse and buy the Arno Baars book - David is a great guy and putting the book together is a real service to the Standard Gauge community.  The SGMA meeting was over the top - lots of amazing pieces on display.  Spent some time talking with the guys from Hatton's (big UK distributor) - they were disappointed by the turnout, but I encouraged them to not judge York by this meet - hopefully, they'll come back in October. 

A big disappointment was the NE(?) corner of the Orange hall.  IMO, putting Hatton's and CTT there was the kiss of death for both.  ED could have done a MUCH better job by putting the Nat'l Capital Trackers and/or SGMA layout in that area - both groups wanted to be there, and ED's position that there isn't enough space is BS - there was plenty of room for at least one, and probably both layouts, and it would have driven foot traffic to the back of the hall.

Hoping for a strong October.  I have my badge already.

I got home from the show today and I thought I would offer my perspective.


This was my 2nd York show, (my first one was last October).  When I came in October, I came for Thursday only and I was pretty overwhelmed by the scale of the show and pretty exhausted by the end of the day.  It was a bit much to try to cover in one day. That being said I really enjoyed it and found pretty much everything I was looking for.

Fast forward to this weekend (i.e. the April show), I decided to come up for 2 days and spend 2 nights in York.  This made a big difference in my show experience.  I started off Thursday morning with the forum breakfast at Round the Clock Diner.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know several forum members including Bill, Jeff, Mark, Dave, Paul, Alan, gunrunnerjohn and several others.  The food and the conversations were great!  It was neat learning everyone's background and seeing what phase of the hobby everyone was in.

After breakfast I killed a little time before the show began.  When the show opened at 12, I started in the orange hall.  It definitely seemed less busy than the fall show, but I thought it was nice because you could walk around without feeling crowded and I had the opportunity to talk with some dealers which was also nice.

I finally got to meet Steve from Ross switches after buying switches from him 2 years ago. Super nice guy and very helpful with layout planning as well as making a top notch product.  I highly recommend them! There were a couple dealers I had planned to stop by and see and then there were others that caught my eye as I was walking through.  I stopped at F and N hobbies and bought some scenery materials from them.  They were one of only maybe 3 booths that I saw in the whole show that were selling scenery products and they had a nice selection of woodland scenics products.  Across from them was Ed's trains and he always has a nice selection of Corgi diecast products including trucks, busses and fire trucks. 

I stopped by Seaside hobbies and found a set of 5 Williams B and O passenger cars for a good price.  Next to them was Trains and Things and I found an MTH railking PRR crane car that they gave me a good deal on.  I stopped at trainworx and picked up some light bulbs and a few other replacement parts.  Neely's train shop had a can motor I was hoping to find to fix a General Christmas engine I have.  After spending a couple of hours walking the orange hall, I decided to check out the blue and silver member halls.  I walked through both of them completely at a decent pace but did not find anything that caught my eye.  That pretty much concluded Thursday and by that time I was pretty exhausted.

After a good night's sleep I was ready to start again on Friday morning.  I started in the red and white halls and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of nice products the members had in there.  I found a brand new Lionel sanding tower and a new Lionel coaling tower kit for a good price.  I also picked up some o scale figures. 

Then I went to the purple hall which for this show was only layouts.  There was plenty of empty space in the hall, but it was nice walking around the layouts without feeling crowded.  The Eagle Line Railroad (Tally Ober) was beautiful as always with lots of action and adventure.  The Washington and Old Dominion club had a nicely detailed S Scale layout and the Lebanon Valley rails had a nice showing as well. 

I finished my time at the show by going back to the orange hall and walking through again.  It's amazing what you miss after going for a second look.  I left around 12:30 and was very pleased with my show experience the second time around. 

My takeaways are that from talking to people who have been going to York forever, the shows now do have a little different feel.  The spring show definitely seems lighter than the fall show, but for me that made it more enjoyable because it was less crowded and easier to talk to people.  It seemed like there was a lot of postwar product, even in the orange hall.  There was plenty of modern stuff as well, but maybe not the latest and greatest product offerings.  Supply chain issues are still creating some problems.  Glenn Snyder display systems said that due to an an aluminum shortage, most of their products are delayed upwards of a year.  It seemed to me that  certain railroads were not represented very well in the whole show (i.e. I saw very little Western Maryland products).  Maybe people are holding onto some of the more rare or obscure pieces and the show has more of the common items?

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the show and I would still highly recommend attending, especially if you have never attended before.  It is an experience not soon forgotten!  If you understand where the show is now and temper your expectations, it will probably make it more enjoyable.  In the end, even if you don't find that particular item you're looking for, the people are what make the show.  It is neat to get to know and talk to people who have the same love of trains that you do.  In my opinion train lovers are still some of the nicest people on the face of the earth!

*If I have time, I might put a highlight video together of my show experience.



Images (1)
  • 20220429_102815

The glass is half full; the glass is half empty; York is different than it used to be; I'm the same as I used to be I never change; the halls are empty, YADA, YADA, YADA.

Don said it so well. I've been coming to York since 1992. Back then, the bandit shows preceded York and were a big deal. That sure changed. Back then, I was in an acquisition mode and looking for anything that seemed even remotely reasonable to me. Not at all like that for me anymore. And remotes were brand new. Mike was a train dealer, and if I recall correctly his display was under the grandstand. MTH was making engines for Lionel. Everything has evolved over the years, and all of us have opinions as to whether it has gotten better or worse.

People, ENJOY WHAT WE HAVE! My life has changed and York is now a Fall event for me. I promise you that I will enjoy it. And get to know the people. They are a large part of York and the ability to communicate with them on this Forum is a HUGE improvement over 1992. So people, have fun and keep the pictures coming.


It was a great show.  EDTCA did another great job.  I found everything I wanted except the PWC Rio Grande F3s outside of the set.  I also bought many things I wasn't looking for which is why I go. 

Yes, it wasn't 1978, 1985, or 1996.  But it's still by far the greatest train show on earth.  You can keep all the other big time public shows.  I see more at York than 10 yrs of the other shows.

It is going to continue to shrink and settle into a new normal.   It's called change, just like the cell phone and internet.   

If it turns into a social event, then York will disappear.   EDTCA doesn't rent those buildings, tables, security, et. al for nothing.  If you're not spending a ton of money to support the vendors (including the member table holders), the vendors will(are) quit coming.

Gerry summed up York exactly how I view it now. Been going twice a year since 1992 missing it once in 2018. Still one of the best shows around no matter what the yada, yada, yada talk is.
I am no longer in hyper buying mode but go to look for 1 or 2 or 3 particular niche pieces. And I found another boxcar there in the White hall to add to my Kraft/ Nabisco collection. Bingo! Then, after walking around the Orange hall, a vendor had a very old Kraft Velveeta box using it for parts. I asked him if I could buy the box since I did work for the company for many moons. He said just take it and I thanked him. That will be added to my remnants!
Regardless, whatever you read, see and hear, make it a point to attend a York meet at least once in your lifetime to experience the event before we shovel dirt on you 6 feet down.
A lot of us are friends here due to attending York and never regret the friendships made from folks around the country.
Just my added 2 pennies!

I have never been disappointed at York and this year was no different.  Chatted with Dan Danielson, but no purchase as I live close to Toy Train & Collectables in Manassas, VA and buy my equipment at the store.  At Stockyard Express section found the last two (elusive) Nickel Plated Streamline passenger cars needed for a 7-car consist and a MTH flat car w/Sherman Tanks.   Also picked up a very unusual outside-braced Southern Pacific of Mexico (SP de M marking) made by Crown.  Plan to add it to the WWII Sante Fe military consist as the sliding car door is marked "!Peligro! Explosivesos" with two skull and crossbones images. Looking forward the the October show.

Add Reply


OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
800-980-OGRR (6477)

Link copied to your clipboard.