Skip to main content

Help me understand the mentality of York TCA meet.

I just dont get how a person can attend two to three days at the York TCA meet? You have several buildings with just rows and rows of tables mostly used postwar O guage along with used MPC/LTI traditional trans and a sprinkling of modern scale and other guage trains.

After a while and a couple of run through table scans, dont you get bored and overwhelmed?  On days two and three start buying needless stuff for your layout? Do you find yourself staring at the dvds, clogging the various book dealers?  Do you start jiber jabering and telling "old war stories" of former display layouts. Model RR Shops, RRtrips of yesteryear to unknown dealers that look bored? Maybe you lurk at the display layout halls waiting for your next oppotunity to brag about your [ armchair] layout in the future?

At one point the money/budget has to run out...no?

Last edited by prrhorseshoecurve
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

We go on Tuesday and leave Friday evening. Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday are the bandit meets. Wednesday afternoons the TCA museum, the Pennsylvania RR museum and the like. In October we visited the Choo-Choo barn and had a great time. The Harley-Davidson factory tour is also fun.

Buying a lot of stuff and spending a lot of $ there is in the past for me - no more room on Warrenville or on the train room walls for display. BUT, that does not mean that the thrill of a hunt is gone, or that I still won't find somethings that I didn't know that I needed.

I like chatting with vendors and learning about trains I don't collect, Marklin, Bing, etc are examples.

Also, many friends (some that I only see twice a year) all stay at the same hotel. We enjoy the breakfast area each evening for discussions, show and tell, and our favorite adult beverages, possibly a cigar too. We all enjoy dinners together (last year there were 20 of us for one dinner.

A three night get-away with train guys is a great way to unwind.

Last edited by Rich Melvin

Different strokes.  Some guys just like to hang out and shoot the breeze.  Please don't let it bother you.

I can cover it in a couple of hours.  However, my interest is fairly narrow (modern, diesel only, midwest roads).  So I can blast past about 75% (all of the pre/postwar).

I will take a second lap on Friday morning just to see if I missed anything.

I just dont get how a person can attend two to three days at the York TCA meet? You have several buildings with just rows and rows of tables mostly used postwar O guage along with used MPC/LTI traditional trans and a sprinkling of modern scale and other guage trains.

It's a social event for me, I have more stuff than I could possibly run in my lifetime.  OTOH, I sometimes find stuff that I "need" anyway.  If you don't get it, then I'd go go home when you get bored.

York has something for everyone whether you attend one day, two, or three(or do the entire week). As John(GRJ) said it's a social event for quite a number of folks. If anyone doubts that, how many people do you talk to during your time at York? My first York in 2017(October), I spent a good number of minutes chatting with people at their tables and or just shooting the breeze as it were.

Also to say that no matter what your interests are, you typically find at least something of interest even if you don't buy. I can remember looking at some very old prewar items that had been at York which someone had brought up the manufacturer some time before York. I thought that was interesting to share on that person's post to show that the old items sometimes show up at York.

1). Tons and tons of trains, but nothin' ya want. Why don't they make something different?

2).  Now Marx sets and less common Marx are showing up, but this is my third pass, Friday evening, and they are still on the tables!

3).  At least, over at the Strasburg O scale show, a few structure kits show up.

For several years now, that has been the theme. Pan a LOT of sand and hope for a glint.

As a dealer in the Orange Hall, many of my customers will pass through to see what I have on the table. If there is time I usually engage them in a "what else are you looking for?" conversation. They will continue on to the rest of the show and if what I offer peaks their fancy, whether it is right away, after they have completed a thought of a place on the layout it will go with something else they find, or the spouse said "you know, you really want that", they will come back to my tables to make the purchase or order. My challenge is to always have something new on the tables so that they keep coming back.

It's a social event for me, I have more stuff than I could possibly run in my lifetime.  OTOH, I sometimes find stuff that I "need" anyway.

I'm with John on this one! While I have attended York in an "official" capacity for a number of years (representing OGR, and before that Greenberg Publishing and then Kalmbach Publishing), there are some occasions--more now than in the past--where I go mainly to be on hand to show that OGR is interested in the event and to spend more time just enjoying the York Meet for what it is to a hobbyist. Like John, I already have far more trains than I can possibly enjoy in this lifetime, with even more on the way at some point, so buying is not at the top of my list of things to do. I most enjoy meeting with advertisers, dealers, authors, forum members, and subscribers, including a good many friends in those ranks who I only see face-to-face once or twice a year.

As a dealer in the Orange Hall, many of my customers will pass through to see what I have on the table. If there is time I usually engage them in a "what else are you looking for?" conversation. They will continue on to the rest of the show and if what I offer peaks their fancy, whether it is right away, after they have completed a thought of a place on the layout it will go with something else they find, or the spouse said "you know, you really want that", they will come back to my tables to make the purchase or order. My challenge is to always have something new on the tables so that they keep coming back.

Well said. If I am going to invest my near non-existent spare time in building a structure, I am going to want it to be of something meaningful to me composed of materials and details that might help counterbalance my less-than-stellar artistic skills. At York I always stop and talk to Todd and see what he has on the table. It takes me a long time to decide how I will design and implement what I want to build, and talking to Todd always improves my thinking.

Last edited by Norman R

Takes me all afternoon on Thursday and most of Friday morning to walk through everything, and even with that I miss a lot.  I always see something that's new to me. 

Don't forget the layouts and various special-interest gatherings - Ives, Marx, Plasticville, paper, SGMA, etc.  Many of the meetings take place during meet hours.  I like to go back and linger at the layouts and talk with the presenters - many are spectacular, and even if a particular layout isn't my cup of tea, it's important to show support and encouragement to the folks who go to the time and effort to set up at the meet.   

My daughter and I make it a whole week. We drive down on Sunday (530 miles).  I do all the bandit shows. We go to Gettysburg do the antique shops. We go to Lancaster and do the outlets. Sometimes we go to Strasburg to have lunch. We go to the Christmas tree shops. There is a great one about half way to Gettysburg on route 30 that has all German ornaments, nothing under $25. We like Round the Clock Diner, We like Cheddar's, the Olive Garden and more. We have 2 tables in the Blue Hall Thursday & Friday. we drive back to Maine on Saturday after breakfast at Round the Clock Diner. I have been a TCA member since 1976. I am 93 years old, and will be 94 on April 27th. I have only missed about 3 meets.  End of the story.

Last edited by eddie g

York is 5 football fields of trains.  It is almost everything that has been made.  You won't find many modern HO and N scale trains, but you'll probably find everything else.  It takes me a half day to walk through the entire show.

Plus, there's a lot of apres train activities, like the bandit meets.  I usually work in some railfan sightseeing.  On my return from Fall York, I always stop at the East Broad Top.

Big show for O gauge trains, all types, pre, post, LTI, MPC and modern. Not a sprinkling on any mentioned. It is a HUGE event that takes a good day and a half to circumvent the entire show besides talking to friends who I see once or twice a year.
The mentality of going to York? Looking forward to it once you leave in fall or spring and start to anticipate the next one! It all starts with Eddie G making the official countdown.

I’ve been attending York since joining TCA in 1992 and missed it once for illness and the 3 times it was shutdown for the pandemic. I think this is York # 60 or so and never been bored going there. That’s sheer nonsense being bored at York!

Last edited by Ted Bertiger

Eddie G., you are an inspiration.

I've been to the York Show twice, and am going to the upcoming York show in April 2024.

It's a 3 and one-half to 4 hour drive for me to go to York, not nearly as far as Eddie G's drive, but it's still a big deal for me. I do not relish going on long drives.

The 1st time was in the mid-1990s when I went with my wife and young family. I went for 3 days and 2 nights (Thursday thru Saturday), spent 1 afternoon looking at all the trains by myself while my wife took the kids somewhere for their enjoyment (maybe it was Hershey Park), and the rest of the time I was with my family going on the train ride through the Amish country (I most remember the pretty young Amish girls smiling flirtatiously at me), and visiting the Choo Choo Barn in Strasburg. The Choo Choo Barn was my favorite thing. I loved their layout, and bought Kramer Products O Scale baseball figures, which I still cherish and which are still on my layout:

20190831_053217-2

I also went with my family to the PRR Museum and TCA Museum.

The 2nd time I went to the York Show in October 2022 from Thursday thru Saturday with a local model railroader buddy. The trains were fine, and I bought a couple of them, but what I most enjoyed was the comraderie with many of my fellow OGR Forumites. This included meeting them in person at the Round the Clock Diner, having dinner with them in the evening and bumping into them at the show itself.

In April 2024, in addition to admiring the trains and layouts (my goal is to admire and not buy because I also have way too many trains), I again most look forward to the comraderie with my Forum friends. This time I plan to go with my wife, and again will stay from Thursday morning thru Saturday. I also plan to do something special that a few of you already know about, but I will otherwise not disclose so it's a surprise.

I share my York experiences to show the various things to do and places to go to in the York, PA area. I have never been, and don't expect to ever be, bored there. Arnold

Attachments

Images (1)
  • 20190831_053217-2
Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

I can make it though all the halls up and down ever aisle in about one morning if I keep up my pace. But sometimes it's nice to lollygag and really look at things closely. I'm not as knowledgeable on prewar stuff, and while I don't collect it, I like to find things I didn't know about. Honestly, I doubt there is an event or place anywhere else in the world where you can see so much history of the toy train industry.

I also really like the hotdogs and kraut at the Orange Hall concessions stand.

Last edited by rplst8

You got me pegged!

I am even getting parts together so I can have a “giraffe car hospital”.

Peter

Ya know, this business of a “giraffe car hospital” does not surprise me in the least. In a post from last year, Peter shared photos with us from his successful neck surgery on a giraffe that enabled it to take its place back in the livestock car and ride the rails again with the rest of the herd. Not sure what he did - anterior cervical discectomy & fusion? Anyway, the point is that even broken giraffe cars will not be left behind as Peter sucks up all the inventory at York. He’ll buy busted stuff and fix it up. If I want to walk away with any kind of giraffe car I gotta get there early.

@Norman R posted:

Ya know, this business of a “giraffe car hospital” does not surprise me in the least. In a post from last year, Peter shared photos with us from his successful neck surgery on a giraffe that enabled it to take its place back in the livestock car and ride the rails again with the rest of the herd. Not sure what he did - anterior cervical discectomy & fusion? Anyway, the point is that even broken giraffe cars will not be left behind as Peter sucks up all the inventory at York. He’ll buy busted stuff and fix it up. If I want to walk away with any kind of giraffe car I gotta get there early.

....as with any complex case, the clinical situation dictates the technique of repair.......  

Peter

True I also have more trains than I can run in a lifetime.  But I still have a wish list of trains that I am looking for.  As has been said many times I need just one more train just one more train.  It is a great time to meet and talk to other people in the hobby and get new ideas.

Before I was a table-holder in Blue Hall, I would do Thursday and Friday and then head off to Lancaster to spend the weekend with friends.  To me, with a meet of this size, one day is not enough.  I almost always found things on the second day that I missed on the first (as others have said, this meet can be overwhelming, even to a seasoned York veteran ).  Now I even occasionally find stuff on Saturdays that I missed on the first two days -- one memorable find was a car that I've been wanting for a while that I got for $50-$100 less than what people on eBay have been paying for it.  I figure that, as the sometimes-overwhelming excitement I feel at the beginning of the meet tapers off, things I missed the first time or two start to stand out more.

Since becoming a table-holder, I've also started going to the bandits, first for one day, now two.  It sort of primes the pump so I am not too overwhelmed by the time the meet itself starts.   We also spend the afternoons and evenings of the bandit meet days visiting hobby shops, museums and the like.  I would go for all 3 days if I could get my employer to offer more vacation time for its long-term employees.

But I am not there to just shop.  It is also a social event where I get to see lots of online friends in person, and hang out with some of my club members who make the trip and our extended group of friends who share table space with us in Blue Hall.

Andy

I typically go on Thursday and Friday. I don’t know anyone that is into trains, so I always do the show alone. I do enjoy chatting with some of the vendors as I browse. I don’t need to have anything, but some items just beg me for a ride home. I did promise myself I would finally buy my Hellgate bridge last fall, and I kept that promise. I also enjoy looking at items that I know I will never buy, whether it is wrong scale, wrong style, or too darned expensive. I find the items interesting, so looking at them does not bore me a bit. Trains are my hobby, so seeing things I haven’t seen before, and hopefully learning a little about them, is all part of the deal.

I have not been to York since before the pandemic. It’s getting to be a long drive 550 miles one way. This time I’m going to be selling and roaming around talking to people I have not seen in years. After this show I’m not sure how many more times I’ll get there so I’m going to make the best of this one. The social event is what I’m looking forward to. See you all there.

This April I will be spending 3 days at York.  It's been a long time since I've been able to do this. Why do we do a lot of things?  As I get older, not as old as some of you yet, I realize that I must make time for things I want to do and enjoy.  York is one of them things even if I buy nothing.  TRAINCATION. 

Everyone say it together...

TRAINCATION

Sometimes you have to take care of you.  Spend time with friends and the things you like to do.  Work will be there after a few days of PTO. 

I believe it was the GoGos who sang  "Traincation, all I ever wanted,  Traincation, had to get away."

W-F for us, but it isn't all train show.   Bandit one day, then Thurs/Friday are 1/2 day at the show.   We sight see the other half.  We are in Texas, the northeast is still fun for us.   The Gettysburg self driven tour was great.   I would suggest reading "Killer Angels" about the battle of Gettysburg before the tour.     My wife says don't miss the Creamaries.

My son lives in Connecticut which gives us extra incentive to drive up.  For those complaining about the drive, it is 20 hours for us.   

For me as a seller I hate all the prep work. I organize and list all the items for sale. Sunday morning we load the trailer and by Sunday night I'm on my way from sunny Florida. 1100 miles later on Wednesday at 8 am we unload and display up to 400 locomotives, finishing when they kick us out. I try to hit round the clock that night or early Thursday. Thursday full day of selling and then dinner with my crew and good friends. Long Friday and another great dinner with friends. Saturday a few sales and pack everything up and load trailer. Drive off and arrive back in FL late Sunday. What goes through my mind?  1- I must be crazy to do this  2- I LOVE time with friends that I only see twice a year (and miss those who are no longer here)   3- I must be crazy to do this

Add Reply

Post

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

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×