Observations From October 2016 York Train Meet

Someone was posting that there was a noticeable decline in internet chatter following the October 2016 York meet.  So here are some observations, rumors, hearsay that can possibly be used to increase the York internet chatter.  Keep in mind that most of these topics could be a separate thread so I am trying to minimize the threads but cover the same ground. 

- Experience.  Overall I had a great time.  It's kind of a vacation experience and fairly relaxing for me.  If you have never been, I highly recommend that you go at least once. 

- Future York Shows.  If the past two years are any indication then surely York won't last past 2017.   Okay, I apologize, but I had to get that in there for the "York is doomed/ O scale trains are doomed" people.

-  Hot.  Drove up from the south expecting some cooler, or chilly, or cold weather.  Most days were in the 86 - 87 degree F range. 

- Rain.  Very little compared to what the folks two mountains west of York were getting.  We dodged a bullet on that one.  Some rain on Friday at 3pm, heavy for just a few minutes, and that brought some cooler temperatures.  Overall a very acceptable rain count.  Worst I remember was the deluge in 1989.

- Layout.  Man you should have seen that National Capital Trackers modular layout.  28ft x 117 ft, 3 levels.  Most impressive I have ever seen.  That layout alone was possibly worth the admission price.

- People.  It did not seem to me to be as many people as October 2015 York or April 2016 for that matter.  But we will know when the attendance numbers come out.  Hopefully you enjoyed this last closed York, cause next April it's gonna be considerably more crowded in the parking lots and a couple of the halls.

- Sacks.  I saw very few people carrying sacks of merchandise that they had bought and were carrying around until they could drop it off.  In previous years I seem to remember having problems negotiating some points in the aisle due to people with bags of trains effectively blocking the aisle.   This year, I made a point of trying to visually memorize some of tables with higher prices and kept checking those tables during the three days to see if items were gone (aka sold).  As I expected, the merchandise on those tables didn't change and no increase in the gap space either.  I am convinced some people just enjoy going to a train show and displaying their goods.

- Tables.  There seemed to be more empty tables in all of the halls this time.  I know some table holders will spread out over empty tables, but I am just going by the little tags that said "see the hall captain about purchasing this table" or something to that effect.

- Food.  I've never eaten any of the fairgrounds food, but when you leave the Red Hall heading for the White Hall the tempting aroma is hard to ignore.

- Age.  Wow, I think the average age of the York attendee was at least 65 and that could probably include those people in the middle school a couple of blocks away.

- Strollers.  Did not see one.  Saw a bunch of scooters and canes, but no strollers.

- Aisles.  Had very little problem getting through the aisles of the member halls and no problem in the dealer halls.  

- Kneelers.  Didn't see anyone taking a knee during the national anthem on Thursday or the opening music of the other two days.  Saw some people not put their hat or hand over their heart, but maybe their heart really doesn't belong to this land, so that's understandable.   Or it could have been bad manners or arthritis.

- Bargains.  I was fairly pleased with the variety and prices of the merchandise.  I always go with an open mind and buy things that are just too good of a deal to pass up.  I did have a hopper car I was looking for.  One member's table always has the same one for sale.  But this York it was $95.00 instead of $90.00 ( I'm sure due to increased handling and table space charges).  I later saw one for $75.00, but I eventually settled for the one at $40.00.

- Public.  The announcements before the train show opening every morning included a notice that the meet will be open to the public in April 2017 on Saturday for the dealer halls only.  Now this person said they were the President of the EDTCA.  Probably some on the OGR are still doubters, but that was what he said.  The dealer hall hours will go until 4pm on Saturday instead of 2pm.  There will be no change to the member halls, at least per the president of the EDTCA.

- Announcements.  There was no noticeable decrease in the number of announcements over the P.A. system concerning cars illegally parked, imminent towing, group meetings, Friday ice cream social, Saturday morning coffee/doughnut, York badge holders for sale, or future meet pre-registration opportunities.

- York RR.  Best I could tell the York RR was on time every morning with the proverbial horn blowing.  Very fitting considering the nature of the current fairground visitors.

- Shuttles.  One shuttle was air-conditioned and the other one was not.  So I usually waited for the air conditioned shuttle.

- Admission price.  Bout the same as before.  Still not going to be able to make those " I'm not going to York until it's free and someone else pays my travel expenses" people happy.  Of course, this subject is usually a separate thread or sub topic in some York threads.  If that's your train, then I think it just kept on rolling by, for this York at least.

- Advertising.  I have read many complaints on the lack of advertising for the York show.   Given it is a closed show, open only to members and guests, I pondered what could EDTCA do to enhance the advertising coverage.  They do mail a multi page booklet to every past attendee, but could they do more ?   The answer is yes.

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aussteve posted:
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- Public.  The announcements before the train show opening every morning included a notice that the meet will be open to the public in April 2017 on Saturday for the dealer halls only.  Now this person said they were the President of the EDTCA.  Probably some on the OGR are still doubters, but that was what he said.  The dealer hall hours will go until 4pm on Saturday instead of 2pm.  There will be no change to the member halls, at least per the president of the EDTCA.

Good report and observations!

I do think I clearly remember them stating the public admission is both Friday and Saturday, just no public on Thursday, no?

-Dave

I thought the TCA booth in the Orange Hall lobby entrance was a great addition.  

Lionel brought a whole bunch of branded goodies for sale at their booth at very nice prices.  Kinda of a pre warehouse/open house sale.  Sales were definitely brisk.  

That was two new things I saw at York for the better.  BigRail 

 

 

 

richabr posted:

I do think I clearly remember them stating the public admission is both Friday and Saturday, just no public on Thursday, no?

No, Sat. only.

Interesting.  Someone on another thread who mentioned attending the Saturday business meeting referred to admission information that was supposed to be offered either for one day or two. I wasn't there, so I have no way to know what was stated at the meeting, but the info was very detailed.

If it's not true, it's not true.  I guess we will have to wait to see the public advertisements for April.

-Dave

The dealer halls will be open to the public FRIDAY and SATURDAY. The public can buy either a one day pass for 14 bucks or a two day pass for 20 bucks. This will cover a family of 1-??. First timers will have the option of going to the Silver hall and registering as Guest and get in all the halls for 22 bucks as before. Dealer hall only attendees will be given wrist bands, color will determine if they can go one or both days. As before only badge holders can get into the member halls.

At this point advertising will be in the publications offered in the York area. Also expected will be mentioning of the changes in OGR and CTT magazines in the various columns. Also an ED board officer fluent in Social Media will be posting the opening to the public, on Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc, etc

No idea what the manufacturers will be doing to promote the show at this time.

Pete

That sounds like as good a start as any to get the word out.  I hope it's successful for the vendors, the TCA and the Eastern Division as well as the members.  I know I'll be there in April as I'm already registered!

Brian

President, Chief Executive Officer

Penn American Railroad

"Serving the Basement"

 

Northern Central High Railers

Tri-State HiRailers

 

Eat, Sleep, Run Trains, Repeat !

eddie g posted:

I am not very happy that the orange & purple halls will be open to the public in April.

Eddie, you certainly are entitled to your opinion.  But you've got me curious, are your tables in the member halls or the dealer halls?  Also what is there about having the public in the dealer halls that will impact your York experience?

Not what you think will happen or might happen, but what will the negative impact be of having new additional people in the halls.  I'm also struggling with the idea of what will the TCA do with these people if they up and join TCA and start coming to York regularly. 

If you are a dealer with tables in the dealer halls then maybe I can understand.  But you certainly have the ability to remove sensitive merchandise from the tables when the public comes or put it under a plexiglas cover.  Just trying to understand some of the negative aspects of this York public thing.  Thanks in advance

We all should use York as an opportunity to recruit new members.  TCA is doing the right thing.  We need to increase membership as well as interest in the hobby.  You would not believe how many people are not aware that Lionel is still around producing toy trains, let alone the other manufacturers.  Maybe we all do live in a different world that no longer exists.  I grew up in the 60s and 70s, well after the first golden age of trains.  I can't explain why I like trains but I know that I have for almost as long as I can remember.  A TV commercial certainly locked in my love of toy trains in the early 70s.  Now there are no commercials about toy trains.  Everything is on the Internet.  But if you don't know what to look for you probably won't find it.  So I think the TCA is 100 percent right in trying to get the word out and opening the doors to the public.  I hope it works.  BigRail

aussteve posted:

If you are a dealer with tables in the dealer halls then maybe I can understand.  But you certainly have the ability to remove sensitive merchandise from the tables when the public comes or put it under a plexiglas cover.  Just trying to understand some of the negative aspects of this York public thing.  Thanks in advance

You guys act like the public are a bunch of marauders coming to pillage. Why don't we see how it goes. Just because you wear a TCA badge doesn't make you a Saint. 

This post may be followed up by an overly graphical repetitive answer.

MartyE posted:

...  You guys act like the public are a bunch of marauders coming to pillage. Why don't we see how it goes. Just because you wear a TCA badge doesn't make you a Saint. 

Marty,

This is only an extension to the same kind of thinking that led to disallowing photography for so long.  There's still an "old guard" thinking so-to-speak that wants to "protect" member holdings.  But York has out-grown the days where each member could actually be vouched for.  So equating membership with automatic integrity has been a false sense of security for  years now.  It's time to give public attendance a try... but I'm just not sure York is set up to be attractive to the general public as it currently is organized.  It's a terrific show for people already in the 3-rail segment of this hobby.  But how well it will DRAW the general public remains to be seen.  Lots of subtle (and not-so-subtle) changes will need to happen to make the grand vision a reality, IMHO.  And those changes won't happen overnight.

David

You guys act like the public are a bunch of marauders coming to pillage. Why don't we see how it goes. Just because you wear a TCA badge doesn't make you a Saint. 

I guess the question is how many of the public will take advantage of the one time guest rule. IMHO, that is a big unknown.
I have to agree with Marty about the TCA badge.  But there is a process to mediate transaction disputes between TCA members.

C.W. Burfle

I for one didn't have much luck finding most of the items on my "want" list and a few of the items I did manage to find were priced way too much so I passed. The highlight of my York trip was meeting and spending a little time with Rich Melvin and talking about NKP Berkshire # 765. I wish him well in his retirement. 

Rocky Mountaineer posted:

Marty,

This is only an extension to the same kind of thinking that led to disallowing photography for so long.  There's still an "old guard" thinking so-to-speak that wants to "protect" member holdings.  But York has out-grown the days where each member could actually be vouched for.  So equating membership with automatic integrity has been a false sense of security for  years now.  It's time to give public attendance a try... but I'm just not sure York is set up to be attractive to the general public as it currently is organized.  It's a terrific show for people already in the 3-rail segment of this hobby.  But how well it will DRAW the general public remains to be seen.  Lots of subtle (and not-so-subtle) changes will need to happen to make the grand vision a reality, IMHO.  And those changes won't happen overnight.

David

Agreed but I will say this, the current EDTCA leadership has been doing a great job of trying to keep York going strong.  They are trying.  We need to encourage and support their efforts.  It may not be 100% of what we perceive the changes should be but they are doing something.  I for one applaud them.

This post may be followed up by an overly graphical repetitive answer.

Guys, relax.  I was only stating the obvious option of removing sensitive, delicate items from the table if you had handling concerns.  I never said anything about public marauders, their leader Attila, or their scorched earth policy.  Most local TCA shows are open to the public after an hour or two anyway. 

The major problem is going to be parking, and traffic control inside the halls for the 40,000 new attendees (per our reliable sources) .  The directional arrows on the floor will become very important next April.

And the 47 or so people commenting on this OGR subject won't be affecting the outcome anyway.  Most of us are GUESTS of the EDTCA at THEIR semi-annual division train meet.

Let's just have some fun.  Heck, I was pretty upset when they took lead out of the gasoline.  Now days I hardly ever think about it.

Add me to the list of those who welcome the changes and think it will expose more young people to the hobby. Then again, there is nothing I like better than seeing families using our layouts as a photo op!

 

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B&O Bill

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aussteve posted:

....................................The major problem is going to be parking, and traffic control inside the halls for the 40,000 new attendees (per our reliable sources) .  The directional arrows on the floor will become very important next April........................

They might even have to install those "silly arrows" (as defined by some here) in the wider back half of the orange hall! 8-10 feet wide may not be enough for the new crowds. 

I foresee Purple becoming more popular than Orange for the mere fact that you will still be able to walk around.  The dealers in Purple will run out of product to sell due to all the new eager buyers.

(all tongue firmly in cheek to go with the 40,000 new attendees quote )

-Dave

Some personal interaction at York:

In the Blue Hall, came upon a postwar Lionel 2457 caboose in excellent condition with the original box and inner packing for $32..I said to the seller, "gee, that's a great price". Gave him 2 twenties and he gives me a ten. I say, "but it's $32.". He says, "you can have it for $30.". I hand him 2 ones and say, "so I can sleep tonight".

Returned to the booth selling Diecast Direct cars on Friday morning. "I bought this model yesterday, and noticed half the windshield was popped out". "We are sold out of that model, but we can ship you a replacement". Got it on Monday.

I still have not heard a reason why the dealers in the member halls would be upset or against having the public come into the dealer halls.  Forget the marauding hordes, what would the member halls care?  

If the 40,000 attendance forecast does come true, then parking will be hard on everybody.   Surely we can fit another 500+ cars in one of these pictures.IMG_20161021_083704652_HDRIMG_20161021_083708217_HDRIMG_20161021_083711812_HDR

I'm already looking forward to York in April 2017, just to see what happens.  Hey Eddie, what about you.

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I attended York for my 1st time and enjoyed every hall. I enjoyed it so much that I joined the TCA. I even found items on my want list at great prices. Opening it to the public will be great as I've been telling fellow train collectors who had no idea of this meet and are planning to attend with me in April 2017.

AEM-7's FOREVER!!!!!!

 

TCA Member# 16-72265

 

 

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