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I had a blast. Found some absolute bargains in multiple halls on Thursday, went back to the fairgrounds today, didnt spend too much more but did buy a few little things. I wasnt really looking for anything particular, but for some of the prices I saw, I wasnt going to leave things on the table either.  

The orange hall lobby was pretty full at the Thursday start, but it never seemed busy in the hall. The Blue and Silver Hall were jumpin' every time I went in there. My condolences to anyone who got stuck in the yellow hall, it was deader than dead in there.

It was a typical York for the group I go with. Lots of goofing off, pointing out things we "need" (its always better to spend someone else's money for them), and driving home with a pretty full trunk. I dont think I'll wear the Hawaiian shirt again though... they were meant to be funny, but way too much attention.

@MartyE posted:

I think it will be hard to judge with only 1 meet that is still happening within the midst of the current situation.

I was actually surprised and happy with the turnout Thursday. While not ground breaking it was decently attended.

Sure there were open spots, missing , vendors etc. but it was a good time. If it continues this way  I won’t be upset and write a diatribe about the decline of York. I’ll just go and have fun.

I would say that attendance was decent as well. Having this be only my 4th York, there is not much to compare it to at all in everyone else's yardstick or mile marker. I do think that yesterday and today had a good amount of people coming about every which way, though today there was most likely a bit more. How much, don't know. I do know that Tony in the Purple Hall had said that so far both days was busy for his sales straight through. Yesterday when I went through, I did get a moment to talk to him, but today early on he was so dang busy I let him be until I came back later around 2PM to chat a bit. I know that most of the passenger cars he had set up yesterday had been gone when I was there later today, so that is probably a good sign.

Some of the other things to consider is what you got as a bargain. Me being a person who can only judge by what others tell me, or by seeing prices at one table and another be different, I did manage to make a few good decisions on things. A few people had pretty high prices on a particular bunch of scale cars, and I went past two vendors and get the cheaper of the three prices. While this may not be extremely great type of deal, I consider what I picked out to be as such because of what I saved. I paid $10 less for what one car would have been if I bought at the slightly higher one, it would have been $40-$75 more at the high one. While I did not directly compare car to car prices, when you see everything range from $140-$180 for a car(that's one car), more than likely you will shop around. It was a good thing I remembered the vendor at the end of the hall who had the cheapest prices of the three, love that memory of mine.

I will have to see what else I find tomorrow for what time is left of York. I really have to take a wander around and see what else I want on my not list since I only had one item that hasn't showed up. See what comes, and hope to see you at some point in time Marty, whether it is tomorrow(if you're still here), or next October when I will be able to come again.

Answer: yes........a decent start as we emerge from the pandemic.......

Will it ever be the same be the same as it was in those large attendance years of 1995-2005? No, the demographics are against it. I joined TCA in 1983 and attended my 1st York as a 29 year-old that April. The York of the 80s changed in the 90s, and so on. Just like I never will be 50 again (I'm 68), I will enjoy York for what it is and I will adapt to its changes. I still had a blast. It was great catching up with old friends.......and, I met many new friends in person that I now have put a face with the name.....

Yes, I missed those who were not here (people, vendors and manufacturers) for whatever reason, including, unfortunately, death. However, I still managed to stimulate the economy, and I have filled my SUV with all sorts of  train stuff..........but for me, the true value of York is catching up with old friends, and, meeting new ones.....

AND........I want to thank the Eastern Division TCA for putting on a great show despite the issue surrounding us. Well done!!!

Peter

Last edited by Putnam Division

I’m sure there were the usual amount of postwar and prewar available. How was the availability of modern/new production trains? How about the presence of large dealers? What manufacturers were there? Any interesting updates from their displays? Somebody must have talked to them😉

Grybowski (sp) was the only big dealer.

There is actual some good reports here. I’m not sure what your looking for? The tinplate layout was definitely a highlight.

The one guy who had always brought tin plate stuff set up in the Purple Hall was not there this time around. He always had that wide variety of Commodore Vanderbilt's and such that always brought a smile to my face looking at them. In the member halls there was some of the usual folks I have seen before, some didn't make the trip though. I remember three guys in particular that would set up in the Blue and Silver Halls. Only one of the three was there.

There was a decent amount of K Line stuff, MTH, Lionel, whether it was early K Line, MTH, Lionel, pre-electronics, or right up to some high end, it was there. A few of the JLC Series engines, some decent pre-war, some Ives I did notice. One thing I thought was just out there was a flattened Boxcab Electric 248(?) in the Blue Hall. It looked as though it had been put in a vice and crushed on the top part. The seller had it out there sitting. I guess someone would buy it if they wanted to work on it.

I’m sure there were the usual amount of postwar and prewar available. How was the availability of modern/new production trains? How about the presence of large dealers? What manufacturers were there? Any interesting updates from their displays? Somebody must have talked to them😉

Maybe it was just me, but I felt like their wasn’t a lot of newer offerings compared to the flood of postwar stuff,….the bandits were overflowing with postwar and a lot of prewar….probably due to a lot of the big dogs staying home. Probably was the same amount of postwar as usual, but now it really overshadowed everything cause of the lack of the bigger vendors,…..I’d sum it up as it sure was postwar paradise for some of those guys, and that’s good,….I still had a great time, and managed to find a couple of goodies,….maybe with this big “ release of energy “ those certain sites will calm down now,…..we’ll see,….

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

Maybe it was just me, but I felt like their wasn’t a lot of newer offerings compared to the flood of postwar stuff,….the bandits were overflowing with postwar and a lot of prewar….probably due to a lot of the big dogs staying home. Probably was the same amount of postwar as usual, but now it really overshadowed everything cause of the lack of the bigger vendors,…..I’d sum it up as it sure was postwar paradise for some of those guys, and that’s good,….I still had a great time, and managed to find a couple of goodies,….maybe with this big “ release of energy “ those certain sites will calm down now,…..we’ll see,….

Pat

So it sounds like there was not a large presence of current manufacturers or larger dealers. I would find that disappointing since I am no longer purchasing postwar and I am now looking for new, scale 3-rail trains of the kind that has been manufactured in the last few years.  No updates or insights from train companies?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…. Somebody really smart wrote that.

That is my take on York, October, 2021. The best of times and the worst of times. I'm sure everyone will have their own opinion, but I have mine. It was great to be back and see friends I haven't seen for a couple of years. I'm a snowbird (winters in Florida) and the last train gathering I had before COVID was the OGR 50th birthday party at the NJ HiRailers, immediately following York, October. 2019. That was 2 years ago. The DCS dinner on Wednesday night was a wonderful last minute surprise. Thank you Dave Hikel for scheduling that and putting in the effort to make it happen. The meeting was very informative. That was my first time at the Eagles Nest and it was a nice place to have a meeting. Peter's breakfast on Thursday was much like they have always been. The Round the Clock dinner took good care of us and it was wonderful to see so many people who had always attended these breakfasts. The OGR Thursday night dinner at Quaker State was well attended. Once again we filled up the back room to overflowing. And were well taken care of.

It seemed to me that on Thursday and Friday there were lots of empty stalls where there used to be vendors. Even in the Orange Hall with it's new spread out layout.  Lots of big dealers were missing, like Charles Ro, Trainworld, Nicholas Smith, Mianne, Trainworx, Z Stuff and others. Or maybe I just missed them. The postwar 736 you saw in the white hall 6 years ago was still there. And the 2344 and the GG1, etc. Lots of postwar stuff. Two rows of tables were missing in the blue and silver halls. The aisles in those halls didn’t seem to be any wider, but the dealers had chairs behind the tables. And there were still empty stalls. The other member halls were a mixed bag. The yellow hall was a pleasant surprise. I recall when it was jam packed before there was an orange hall.

Why fewer vendors? Some combination of current economics, the internet, COVID and a changing business model. More and more built to order and special order items. Perhaps the time when you could come to York and compare prices on fairly new items has passed.

And there were the missing people. Lots of them. We know some of them passed and others were just too concerned to attend York. I spent time at York with a Physician who told me about a lot of the COVID deaths he witnessed and with a mortician who told me about the realities of burying and cremating people during COVID. Really depressing stuff. And there we were, a crowd with an average age above the norm generally without masks. I know I'm vaccinated and I hope others are too.

On a more positive note, the dealers I spoke to said they were having a great show. I'm glad for them. Two years of somewhat pent up demand should do that.

On the annoyance side, I drive out from NJ and came out Rte 30. I got to Strasbourg about 9:30 on Wednesday morning and decided to stop at the Museum. It was closed. Apparently it opens at noon. I don't know it's hours during the year (how many members go to the Museum the third week of January?), but it seems to me 8 hours a day during York week should be attainable. I'm sure someone (or many) will tell me why the Museum can't do that. No problem.

Bottom line -- thank you TCA and ED for coming back.

Gerry

@gmorlitz posted:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…. Somebody really smart wrote that.

That is my take on York, October, 2021. The best of times and the worst of times. I'm sure everyone will have their own opinion, but I have mine. It was great to be back and see friends I haven't seen for a couple of years. I'm a snowbird (winters in Florida) and the last train gathering I had before COVID was the OGR 50th birthday party at the NJ HiRailers, immediately following York, October. 2019. That was 2 years ago. The DCS dinner on Wednesday night was a wonderful last minute surprise. Thank you Dave Hikel for scheduling that and putting in the effort to make it happen. The meeting was very informative. That was my first time at the Eagles Nest and it was a nice place to have a meeting. Peter's breakfast on Thursday was much like they have always been. The Round the Clock dinner took good care of us and it was wonderful to see so many people who had always attended these breakfasts. The OGR Thursday night dinner at Quaker State was well attended. Once again we filled up the back room to overflowing. And were well taken care of.

It seemed to me that on Thursday and Friday there were lots of empty stalls where there used to be vendors. Even in the Orange Hall with it's new spread out layout.  Lots of big dealers were missing, like Charles Ro, Trainworld, Nicholas Smith, Mianne, Trainworx, Z Stuff and others. Or maybe I just missed them. The postwar 736 you saw in the white hall 6 years ago was still there. And the 2344 and the GG1, etc. Lots of postwar stuff. Two rows of tables were missing in the blue and silver halls. The aisles in those halls didn’t seem to be any wider, but the dealers had chairs behind the tables. And there were still empty stalls. The other member halls were a mixed bag. The yellow hall was a pleasant surprise. I recall when it was jam packed before there was an orange hall.

Why fewer vendors? Some combination of current economics, the internet, COVID and a changing business model. More and more built to order and special order items. Perhaps the time when you could come to York and compare prices on fairly new items has passed.

And there were the missing people. Lots of them. We know some of them passed and others were just too concerned to attend York. I spent time at York with a Physician who told me about a lot of the COVID deaths he witnessed and with a mortician who told me about the realities of burying and cremating people during COVID. Really depressing stuff. And there we were, a crowd with an average age above the norm generally without masks. I know I'm vaccinated and I hope others are too.

On a more positive note, the dealers I spoke to said they were having a great show. I'm glad for them. Two years of somewhat pent up demand should do that.

On the annoyance side, I drive out from NJ and came out Rte 30. I got to Strasbourg about 9:30 on Wednesday morning and decided to stop at the Museum. It was closed. Apparently it opens at noon. I don't know it's hours during the year (how many members go to the Museum the third week of January?), but it seems to me 8 hours a day during York week should be attainable. I'm sure someone (or many) will tell me why the Museum can't do that. No problem.

Bottom line -- thank you TCA and ED for coming back.

Gerry

Great report. Thank you

I went for the day yesterday and had a blast! This was my first York in 2.5 years (missed the last one for my honeymoon). Some additional observations:

-While there were less dealers, I noticed that there was more operating layouts than I've seen there before (at least 9, including dealers with trains running on small layouts). As the dealer halls are now open to the public, this is a HUGE benefit to the hobby!

- Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. I'm sure most people were able to support smaller sellers, and I heard lots of people just glad to be out. I also heard a lot of positives about the wider aisles in the halls (hint hint EDTCA)

-What surprised me the most was the amount of younger people that I saw. Being 31, this is always something that I watch as I don't want to be "The Last of the Mohicans" in this hobby. I say many people my age or younger (not including the young children that were here with parents).

If nothing more, York was a success for a sense of normalcy and for stimulating the next generation of the hobby.

Last edited by CarGuyZM10
@superwarp1 posted:

13,000-15,000 if memory serves

Your memory is failing you.  Per Clem's Primer, between April 2015 and October 2018 the registration has typically been in the 10,000 to 11,000 range, topping 11,000 only in October 2015 and April 2016.  The April 2019 registration was 8,779, the first time it dropped below 10,000 and the October 2019 registration was 9,207.

Not sure how they would be counting the registrations this time around, as my badge was for April 2020.  If they simply added the April 2020 and October 2021 registrations together, they are probably over counting the totals, as I would suspect that some who registered in April 2020 did not attend. 

It was good to get back to the show after two years and see friends and familiar faces. The absence of some of the big guns as respects manufacturers and vendors was disappointing. I have a pretty bad hip so in addition the lack of shuttle buses limited my access to some of the halls and there were few places excluding the concessions to sit down.

Unlike previous years I could not find a list of participating vendors on the website and I’m hoping this was not done with the intention of withholding info that might be detrimental to attendance.

@harmonyards posted:

I wasn’t disappointed for one second,….it was great getting out even if just to look at all the cool postwar,….I think every 2343 Santa Fe F3 ever made was in York this weekend,…which I thought was kinda neat,…..overall it looked like prices bounced all around, but the majority was priced to move I thought,….

Pat

Agree totally!

Peter

I was at the the Eastern Division TCA meeting at 0800.

Paid attendance as of Friday PM was about 9400.

Dan, the Eastern Division President, said that if they get 40% of the TCA membership at York, that’s a success. TCA total membership is a little over 18,000.

I would say 50% is a success.

Getting 9,400 is not surprising since that is about what what York attendance has been trending the last few years. But TCA membership down to 18,000… now that is a surprise.

Any reports from the Lionel display?

There is a bunch of stuff posted everywhere. Look up on post your York pictures here, look on Lionel's FB page or their YouTube channel. If it ain't in any of those, you're not looking hard enough.

@harmonyards posted:

I wasn’t disappointed for one second,….it was great getting out even if just to look at all the cool postwar,….I think every 2343 Santa Fe F3 ever made was in York this weekend,…which I thought was kinda neat,…..overall it looked like prices bounced all around, but the majority was priced to move I thought,….

Pat

Yup yup Pat. There was quite a bit of stuff that I always look at in awe no matter what it is. Despite me moving at a fast pace, I kept my eyes moving looking at everything. I surprised myself by remembering where some things were just by plain old recall I guess. I stopped and looked at things that I just found amazing, including some non O scale stuff. Now I didn't buy that stuff, just found it amazing.

Every York I've attended I talk a heck of a lot. 2017 I talked up a storm with anyone selling(dealers mainly), chatted with a few people on the forum, 2018 I did more of the same, but increased talking to fellow forum folks. That is pretty much how things continued with me. The only things that is usually a disappointment to me, is either not talking to someone I had a chance to, or not finding someone I've wanted to just chat with.

All in all, I'm never really disappointed in what goes on at York as long as I'm able to attend. I even came home with more money than I usually do, and I even stopped at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and picked up a mug and a few books. And yes, one book was on the New York Central, lol. Hopefully there's a Dreyfuss in there.

It was a great show, the SGMA Layout was a highlight for me.   My best deals came out of the yellow hall, Mike’s brown box standard gauge in like new condition ( the prices were so good I paid full price and felt really good about it ).  The gentleman I purchased from said sales were very good.  The other people I purchased from that were set up in the yellow hall said the same thing.  I think if you have unique and fun items people will find you.  
    I made several purchases in the orange hall and the dealers were very positive and upbeat about the show overall. The silver and blue halls were busy upon opening Thursday.  I noticed that there was a lot of MPC but I also saw a lot of TMCC and early Legacy at very good prices.  I had no trouble spending my budget for the all the shows that were missed because of COVID.  

I think we should quit making comparisons to York past. I personally don’t care how many people had shown up at a given York or how many will show up at the next one. I    witnessed a lot of smiling faces, handshakes, hugs and friends reuniting for the first time in what feels like forever.  There will always be the glass half empty people but for me “my cup runneth over”    

I didn't know what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised.

Number of RVs was WAY down.  However, the parking was packed on Thursday and Friday.  More people than I expected on Saturday morning.

Halls were crowded on Thursday and most of Friday - very normal.  I thought that the number of members with tables was pretty good, considering that many of them are in the vulnerable demographic.  My impression was that most stuff was priced to be sold rather than just to be admired.

Got to meet our young YouTube stars, Chris and Jason - nice guys.

Orange looked a little empty due to the missing big dealers; however, I didn't really miss them - it gave me more time to talk with folks and look deeper at the old and unusual stuff.  The lack of big dealers also meant that the Standard Gauge Module Association was able to set up a huge layout - they ran some beautiful and unique items.

Not sure what meet the naysayers were attending - overall, it was a very positive experience. 

@gmorlitz posted:


...

On the annoyance side, I drive out from NJ and came out Rte 30. I got to Strasbourg about 9:30 on Wednesday morning and decided to stop at the Museum. It was closed. Apparently it opens at noon. I don't know it's hours during the year (how many members go to the Museum the third week of January?), but it seems to me 8 hours a day during York week should be attainable. I'm sure someone (or many) will tell me why the Museum can't do that. No problem....

Can't speak to Wednesday, but I visited the museum on Tuesday, and they opened at 10am as usual.  Actually saw a couple of non-TCA families with kids there!

I was disappointed to learn that the RR museum across the road is closed on Monday and Tuesday, so had to come back on Wednesday.

@harmonyards posted:

Maybe it was just me, but I felt like their wasn’t a lot of newer offerings compared to the flood of postwar stuff,….the bandits were overflowing with postwar and a lot of prewar….probably due to a lot of the big dogs staying home. Probably was the same amount of postwar as usual, but now it really overshadowed everything cause of the lack of the bigger vendors,…..I’d sum it up as it sure was postwar paradise for some of those guys, and that’s good,….I still had a great time, and managed to find a couple of goodies,….maybe with this big “ release of energy “ those certain sites will calm down now,…..we’ll see,….

Pat

I was happy to be at York, mostly because I got to see many of the friends that I haven't seen since Oct 2019. I was sad that many didn't come but I totally understand. I missed the big dealers as most of my train budget is spent on the modern era, Lionel Legacy in particular. Their absence did force me to do something I hadn't done in probably the last 20 York Meets, I actually went through every hall. 11,000 steps, 5.5 miles. And, as my friends used to say, as long as you come home with one nice find it was a good York. I came home with two beautiful Milwaukee Road Atlas O woodside reefers, already added to my layout, and in doing so spent an enjoyable half hour talking to Bob Lavezzi of the NY Society of Model Engineers.

IMG_7808

For me it wasn't quite as good as past Yorks, but it was certainly good to be back and hopefully it's the start of the full recovery of the greatest train meet in the world.

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Last edited by NYC Fan

I’m sure there were the usual amount of postwar and prewar available. How was the availability of modern/new production trains? How about the presence of large dealers? What manufacturers were there? Any interesting updates from their displays? Somebody must have talked to them😉

I spoke to Ryan K. at the Lionel display with regard to my one big complaint. I showed him catalog photos and photos of production items and asked how the heck the paint colors got so screwed up. He told me that decisions were made at the factory where an order for graphite colored smokeboxes were produced as a light gray. I asked what they were doing about it and he told me that color samples now have to be sent to Lionel and approved before production begins.

@NYC Fan posted:

I spoke to Ryan K. at the Lionel display with regard to my one big complaint. I showed him catalog photos and photos of production items and asked how the heck the paint colors got so screwed up. He told me that decisions were made at the factory where an order for graphite colored smokeboxes were produced as a light gray. I asked what they were doing about it and he told me that color samples now have to be sent to Lionel and approved before production begins.

Now that's a good answer, and good news.

It was good to get back to the show after two years and see friends and familiar faces. The absence of some of the big guns as respects manufacturers and vendors was disappointing. I have a pretty bad hip so in addition the lack of shuttle buses limited my access to some of the halls and there were few places excluding the concessions to sit down.

Unlike previous years I could not find a list of participating vendors on the website and I’m hoping this was not done with the intention of withholding info that might be detrimental to attendance.

I wouldn't attribute any nefarious motive to the lack of a vendor list - some of the decisions were made at the last minute, and the registration folks were really busy scrambling to make table arrangements for the folks who needed them.  All of the ED volunteers did a tremendous job under trying circumstances.  I personally thanked Diana Hood, and I hope that others did the same.

The amount of volunteer effort that goes into making York enjoyable is tremendous, and the ED folks deserve our appreciation.

I liked the wider aisles - made it much easier to move around and spend time looking at the items.

I missed the Yellow Hall, not realizing it was open....so, what was in it?  Age slowed , l only looped the other halls once each day, Thurs. and Fri. Bought absolutely nothing, but saw several uncommon Marx sets that l would have grabbed ten years ago at the asked prices.  Even though l have gaps, l have balked at prices and backed off on collecting.  Sure hope these various train shops do continue to produce short runs of unique and less ccommon roadnamed cars, and steam locos!?,  from steam era.  As usual saw no interesting structure kits on fairgrounds, but the Indy O scale show had nothing l wanted, either.  Wedding attendance prevented Strasburg O scale show attendance.  ( Can't get people trained to not die or get married in April or October!) But had to pay for a more expensive hotel, so shorter stay offset some of that.   Hope all of you had better luck, and were able to rent a U-Haul to get finds home.

I enjoyed my time at the 2021 York Show.It was nice to see people that I have not seen since the October 2019 show and I enjoyed the Thursday night get together at Quaker Lube Restaurant. It was definitely different at the show itself given that some of the dealers who showed up in the past were not there and Atlas did not show up as well either.It was nice to see MTH Parts and services there even though it was different not seeing their display that they brought in years past. I bought very little with the exception of some MTH figures and the white MTH Christmas Flat Car with trees from Just Trains. Times have certainly changed since I started going in the late 90's in regards to the demographics of the show.

Due to life getting in the way, I have not been to York in about 15 years.   A close friend of mine that let his TCA membership lapse attended with me and he renewed his membership.   We had a great time and I got some fantastic deals.   I bought two NOS MTH six car sets at Just Trains of Delaware booth that I have been looking for a long time, (LV and Reading) fantastic prices.   I also bought about another dozen pieces of rolling stock at the show.    Had no luck with my bucket list of Atlas 628's, but couldn't find them at York 15 years ago either when they were more recent production items.... Saw some gorgeous weaver stuff on the cheap, but hard to find the metal trucks for them now so I passed on Weaver this trip.   The vendors I chatted with said that they were doing great on sales!   We had a great time!!

"So has York made a good recovery"

IMHO, a resounding YES!

9,400 huge smiles (seen in the eyes of those that ere masked) lots of merchandise for sale (I got everything on my wish list (PostWar Southern "B" unit, 209 New Haven Alco pair and an American Flyer 17B transformer) plus other items including a Rock Island Alco  2031 pair (It seems that I've been on an Alco roll having bought a boxed silver 2023 Union Pacific a week before York).

Had a great time at the Bandit meets before the main event too.

It was great having dinner with out of state friends that I have not seen in two years and hotel evening gatherings (with out favorite drinks) in the hotel's breakfast area.

On Thursday, when they played the National Anthem, in the area I was in one person started singing, then another, then all of us!. Most had tears in their eyes by the time the song was over!

April hotel reservations and York badge already in hand, looking forward to then.

The sad part: About a half a dozen train friends were not there, having passed over the last 2 years. Only one from Covid, most of the others from some form of cancer. God Bless them and the others that are no longer with us.

Last edited by Lionelski

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