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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I were on the way to an auction this morning where some trains were being offered. We found the GATS entirely by accident. Perhaps some are interested in what we saw:

1) Same stuff, different day from two years ago. Not a lot of big stuff, but a surprising amount of LGB NIB.

2) Since we hit 'em early, the dealers were still in a good mood.

3) I scored an S ga gon and an O ga gon for reference purposes.

4) Lionel, old and new, nearly had to be kicked out of the way.

5) The Leggo layout wasn't nearly so large as last time.

6) The G gaugers were as polite as I remembered. They were running the bandwidth of scales.

7) The S gaugers had just one poor soul sitting in the midst of a running layout, staring at something fascinating in his lap while a steamer circled the track shedding one passenger car after another at about 10' intervals. Several people called to him, he awoke, looked at no one, arose and brought the engine, nearly devoid of a consist, to a prototypical screeching stop about two feet away from the first car to give up the game. I cheered, just to be annoying.

8) The ratio of old men to young men was much lower--that is, lots of men with young families were there, and I think that's an encouraging sign for the future. There were a whole bunch of kids in the early to mid teens there, looking at stuff. I think that's good, too. I got the wholly personal notion that effort was being expended to attract/cater to kids. I might be all wrong.

9) There was entirely too much BS'ing between good buddies and the dealers while potential customers looked on, and deals being cooked up right in the open between insiders.

10) Would I go again? Sure, in a couple of years. Hopefully, next time they'll advertise it better.

Les
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorta. They're saving on advertising though, I think. Think of it as the 'new economics'.


Les
 

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Hi Les

My wfe and I headed over to the St Charles show as I received a free admission ticket as part of the GR subscription.
My thoughts were very similar to yours.

I was happily surprised when I arrived around 11am to find a long line of people waiting to go in, good attendence is important to the future of this hobby,
also encouraging, as you said, was the number of youngsters there.

The G guage layout was impressive and whilst the number of sellers having G guage stuff was small, it was worth a visit
An enjoyable few hours.


Eddie
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Eddie,

Hm, we musta been there at the same time. Wife and I stood in a line for about fifteen minutes. I hadda pay $14, up front. Did you see that Model Power O ga steamer/passenger train for $60? I wanted that but FW got this grim look. And how 'bout that humongous red 'n black Dismal missing the railings and other stuff? $50. The seller said both power trucks worked. When I asked him what the voltage and current draw were, he said, in true GATS-seller style, "What?" I told him I was a rank newbie. He looked so relieved. Then he said, "Oh, less than an amp and 18V. But you really should get a 10 amp transformer." That engine weighed about ten pounds, at least. I went away.

Glad to see the young folks there, though.

Les
 

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It's Great Train Expo--GATS ceased to exist back in 2006. They DID advertise in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a day or two back--didn't read the others since or before, so I'm not sure on whether they did more. I do believe that they run television spots on Friday night, but I don't watch television either.

I visited the show, saw a LOT of large scale. Still looking for a Bachmann K-27 for under $700--for $599 I'd take one instantly.

Only bought an N scale boxcar though...for a lot less than an Aristo or USA one!

Does 18 count as a young guy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Posted By Robbie Hanson on 02/10/2009 2:34 PM
It's Great Train Expo--GATS ceased to exist back in 2006. They DID advertise in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a day or two back--didn't read the others since or before, so I'm not sure on whether they did more. I do believe that they run television spots on Friday night, but I don't watch television either.

I visited the show, saw a LOT of large scale. Still looking for a Bachmann K-27 for under $700--for $599 I'd take one instantly.

Only bought an N scale boxcar though...for a lot less than an Aristo or USA one!

Does 18 count as a young guy?








Robbie,

I can only go by what was printed on the tickets I paid $14 for: 'GATS'. But hey, correcting one's elders is a thing I'm used to--I have a grown son and daughter.
( Granddaughter thinks I'm so cool because I understand her. I should: I raised her mother.)


Not watching TV says good things about you. Reading the PD doesn't.


"... Saw a LOT of large scale..." Please define in some context--as compared to what? My eyesight is failing, I admit. What'd I miss that caught your attention? If you mean 'new in box', NIB, yeah, you're right on, but penury forces me to focus on used stuff.
So, what'd I miss that caught your notice?

"Only bought an N scale boxcar though...for a lot less than an Aristo or USA one!" This is, after all, a LARGE scale board. Yet I hasten to admit, from the many possible takes on my post, that I bought a 'mere' S ga gon, and an 'O scale' gon--but this is because I want narrow gauge, and narrow-narrow gauge to go with my 45mm (G-gauge, though no one can say precisely what that is) in 'F' scale, i.e. 1:20.3. (Though no one can say precisely what that is, once one gets to 'flange angles)
'. So I bought these because I wanted a contextual, or objective sense of the difference between the gauges.

18 counts as good, because I'm really happy to have the young folk aboard. Believe it or not, I like to hear what you have to say and sincerely hope you will continue to address my posts as you see fit.

Les
 

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Posted By Les on 02/10/2009 4:14 PM

Robbie,

I can only go by what was printed on the tickets I paid $14 for: 'GATS'. But hey, correcting one's elders is a thing I'm used to--I have a grown son and daughter.
( Granddaughter thinks I'm so cool because I understand her. I should: I raised her mother.)


Not watching TV says good things about you. Reading the PD doesn't.


"... Saw a LOT of large scale..." Please define in some context--as compared to what? My eyesight is failing, I admit. What'd I miss that caught your attention? If you mean 'new in box', NIB, yeah, you're right on, but penury forces me to focus on used stuff.
So, what'd I miss that caught your notice?

"Only bought an N scale boxcar though...for a lot less than an Aristo or USA one!" This is, after all, a LARGE scale board. Yet I hasten to admit, from the many possible takes on my post, that I bought a 'mere' S ga gon, and an 'O scale' gon--but this is because I want narrow gauge, and narrow-narrow gauge to go with my 45mm (G-gauge, though no one can say precisely what that is) in 'F' scale, i.e. 1:20.3. (Though no one can say precisely what that is, once one gets to 'flange angles)
'. So I bought these because I wanted a contextual, or objective sense of the difference between the gauges.

18 counts as good, because I'm really happy to have the young folk aboard. Believe it or not, I like to hear what you have to say and sincerely hope you will continue to address my posts as you see fit.

Les




It was advertised in the newspaper as Great Train Expo--my ticket says ""St Charles Convention Center, The Great Train Expo". According to www.trainshow.us, "GATS Limited, the sponsor of the Great American Train Show ceased business in April of 2006."

Post-Dispatch IS liberal--but is understanding opposing viewpoints not a good thing? I still do read some internet blogs about local news; but a paper newspaper(to this warped young guy) is more interesting to read than just internet news.

Five years ago, I could go to a show and see nothing but N, HO, and a heck of a lot of old Lionel. Any G is better than none in my book, even if it IS new in box. It at least shows that someone thinks there's a market for it, which has not been the case in the not-so-distant past. There were a lot of large engines, which is good; it shows that vendors are trying to support the scale, and they believe somebody will actually go to buy something that large. There being no G-scale oriented store in the area, I consider that to be perhaps the only way for someone in this area to see firsthand the equipment. Seeing it definitely increases the potential buyer base in the future, which the hobby desperately needs(or so I hear).


I started in N scale recently because I wanted some standard gauge to go with my 1:20.3 narrow gauge collection; it was cheaper to build a 3x5 or so foot layout, with a 2-8-2 Mikado, 4-8-2 Mountain, and 20-30 cars, than it would be to buy a single large loco in G. Not to beat up on G; it's still the ultimate if you prefer the larger size and greater detail. However, as the 18-year-old, a whole new set of standard gauge stuff in an incorrect scale(1:29) just rubs me the wrong way, and I can't afford $50 per boxcar if I wanted to. Again, no disrespect to large scale; it's still my first choice for modeling, but at this point in my life I cannot afford a total change in scale for something that expensive.


Criticism is definitely welcomed--I'm a young guy and I still have much to learn about the world
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Robbie,

The N gage is good, if money's tight. Have you thought any about scratchbuilding? Since I'm an ORT (Old Retired Guy) I have a bit of a problem with the smaller scales--seeing them! So I got into LS knowing it'd be a build-as-you-go proposition. About the time I thought I'd start buying track, brass shot thru the roof. So I did the following line of reasoning:

1) I like early RRing Ca 1875 +/- up to pre-1900. But in that era, you're doomed to scratchbuilding.

2) I like scratchbuilding. I'm handy that way, and never could do it with my 1948 Lionel set. (Too expensive).

3) By about the 1850's, I gather, wooden rail with strap-iron on top was about gone on all but the backwoods lines. But that's the kind of line I want to build, no modern Dismals and heavy passenger cars.

4) Some fiddling with 12 ga house wiring (solid copper) when flattened, yielded a plausible-looking 'strap iron' for the tops of some wooden track, like a few of the early logging lines. So there, got around that problem.

5) LS engines are $$. So I bought a bunch of el cheapo New Blight, Echo, and Sci Fi Toys RR stuff, rolling stock and engines. Also some injured and dead Bachmann 10 wheelers, by hunting bargains on Evilbay. Now I have a supply of parts and engine blocks, admittedly, not first-rate, but they'll do for awhile. So you see, there are ways to get around the 'no money' problem. The downside is you have to learn skills. But those skills will do you all your life.

Now, if you wanted to let your mind run along those lines, (pun intended)
you have several advantages on me: eyesight, dexterity, stamina and enthusiasm. This last is the most important of all. You might say, "I don't have any tools." Well, buy some hand tools and learn to use 'em. You'll benefit greatly in real life. And you don't need power tools if you have patience. Hand tools do extremely well, though I'd be the first to recommend an Asian bench mount (small) drill press as soon's you can afford one. If you actually start looking for one, I can give you some pointers since I own one and am a retired tool and die maker. Not all drill presses are created equal. Also, there are many, many folks on this board who will help you every step of the way, they've helped me.

The reason I settled on F scale was, it was the biggest I could get and still have a small indoor layout. 7/8th is just too big for me. Also, I had an expensive disaster with HO right after I retired: I bought a whole bunch of kits, and found I couldn't see the darn things to assemble 'em.

And last, about understanding the other guy's point of view. That's fine so long as you don't also buy the line that says, "You gotta accept me the way I am." No you don't gotta. Your opinion and views are no less valid, in the general run of things. Now, if you hold that the world is flat, you're gonna get grief. But I think you get what I mean.

Les
 

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Sounds good to me!
Nope, not much scratchbuilding yet--I'm interested, have plenty of decent quality tools available(table saw, band saw, drill press, etc.) but haven't taken the time. Plan on doing so at some point in the future.

I settled on F scale because, after riding behind it in 1998, I just HAD to have a K-27, and it had to be numbered 463. (didn't hurt that my uncle was seriously into American Flyer and had convinced my own parents to spend some money on a good deal of LGB locomotives and track). Eleven years later, I still don't have a K, and now that I have a job and could potentially afford an Accucraft one, they stopped making it. Oops. I do have a Bachmann 2-8-0 with Sierra sound and a train of AMS freight cars, along with the brass caboose(that I paid $350 for a month before they announced the $125 plastic one).

I may have to get in contact with you--I have a dead Bachmann 4-6-0 that I disassembled in an attempt to fix it...it's in pieces but may be useful to you. Have a few other broken items, but perhaps someday I'll get around to swapping in some new gears and fixing some stuff. Probably after college.

Dismals; I thought according to Thomas and Friends it was "Diseasels?" Either works, I suppose...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
'Dismals' is easier to type than 'Diseasmals'.

You were riding behind a K27? An F scale one?

I really like S scale, but alas ... can't see it that well to work on it.

I'd be interested in your broken stuff, that's my meat & drink, fixing stuff to make it useful again. Just at the moment I'm broke, howsumever. Check doesn't drop until 3rd of the month.

Now, I plan eventually to have a tramway. I haven't settled on the gauge, point of fact, I'm going up to the kitbash board and post a question about that. I really like the stuff being done over on the microlayout site.

Les
 
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