I have been giving this issue some thought, and also remembering why we ended up in York Fairgrounds in the first place. So I will poke this tiger again. This is both reminiscing and a bit of brainstorming.
I went to the first ECLSTS sometime in the 1990s. It was organized by Lewis Polk as a promotion for the large scale train hobby and his own AristoCraft Trains company. It was held in the height of summer (July or August), and if you had told me that the location was Nowhere, NJ, I would have believed you. The hall was nice enough, but the attendance was dismal. Lewis was very disappointed and posted on the forums at the Aristo web site that he did not think he would try another ECLSTS. A bunch of us started replying to his post urging him not to give up, but to give one more try using the York, PA fairgrounds. As a selling point, we noted that York was within reasonable driving distance of Hershey, Lancaster, and Harrisburg. All three locations offered activities for family members who may not want to spend a whole day with model trains. Lewis agreed to try it, and the attendance began to grow. Apparently the summer months were too heavily booked, so the last weekend in March became the ECLSTS date.
Now, I am not knocking Timonium. I have enjoyed train shows there, but I don't know whether there are many activities around for other family members. What would people think about using the Lebanon Valley Expo Center, near Lebanon, PA? The expo center offers the same access to Hershey, Lancaster, and Harrisburg that York did, only these towns are now closer to the Lebanon Valley Expo Center. The expo center is also used for Cabin Fever, so many of the live steam crowd are already familiar with it.
Your thoughts? I will email this idea to the ECLSTS site if enough folks think it is worthy. No skin off my nose either way.
While York is a good show site, I would be happy to see Timonium used as well. The show has been treated poorly by York recently, and I understand wanting to find another venue. I could not list all the "family activities" near Timonium, it is only 15 min north of Baltimore, B&O RR museum, inner harbor, museums, art galleries, all a city has to offer.
Now Lebanon, I attend Cabin Fever there every year, and talk about way far away from anything, yes it is near Hershey, but a pretty remote place otherwise. My vote would be Timonium.
I knew that Baltimore was close, but did not know it was that close. I also seem to remember that the light rail service (aka trolley) came out that way. Would you happen to know whether there is a station or stop close to the Timonium fairgrounds? That would really be an asset.
Thanks for the information and the link. Should be a help to other folks.
I stay with a college buddy who lives north of Lebanon, PA when I come up for the show. It will mean an extra hour's drive for us, but it could be better for others. I just hope Mike will still bring the steam tracks once the show has to move. I really enjoy boiling water with the gang.
P.S. Well, statistics show that there have been 253 views on this thread, but only one person saw fit to input anything to my proposed idea. I will monitor things for another week, but at present it looks like I don't need to send in any suggestions to the ECLSTS site.
I live halfway between York and Timonium, so the move is a moot point to me as far as distance ;-)
That said, I feel that there would be far more opportunities for families to do things in Baltimore than Lebanon. I go to Lebanon for Cabin Fever, and also for the radio control swap meet. It's a fine venue for both. But as noted, it's pretty much in the middle of nothing.
Timonium Fairgrounds has many hotel choices nearby for folks staying over, more restaurant choices than you could imagine from fast food to fine cuisine, and great access. It's right beside Interstate 83, 3 miles north of the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), has bus and light rail service, etc. As noted previously, Baltimore has all the attractions a large city can offer.
If the above is the criteria on which the venue is judged, I would have to opine that there's not really a comparison.