Report on ECLSTS 2001 - York, PA

The ECLTS was a success according to Lewis and all but one of the vendors I talked to on Sunday afternoon. Lewis estimated the crowd for the three days at over 3000. Friday night and Saturday had good crowds and Sunday was fairly slow even with a craft show next door. There were several modular layouts at the show. They included New Hampshire GRS, Chesapeake, Allegheny & Blue Ridge, Susquehanna Valley GRS, Northern Delaware and the Central Connecticut G-Gaugers. There were lots of different engines and cars running on each of the layouts. A couple of areas were set up for kids to run trains and those areas were really popular. On the Susquehanna layout, Bob Santos had two modules that had scratchbuilt buildings, telephone poles and birds that were fantasic. Manufactures represented were ARISTO, of course, Bachman, Hartford, Marklin and MTH. Several new prototypes were shown at the show. USA Trains was not there, much to the disappointment of several people at the show. ARISTO’s new offerings included the 100 ton Hopper, the 53’ Evans Box, a fuel depot, the Doodlebug in NYC, of course, the RDC, new 40’ boxcars, upgraded RS-3s, SD-45s, the smoothside coaches and the new Vanderbuilt Tender. Rail King displayed their prototype of their new Hudson and had several of their new fine scale O gauge accessories. Hartland had two new prototypes of a trolley and railcar that were beautiful. They said they were looking for customer reaction and while I was there the reaction was very positive. They would be great additions to the hobby. Yogi had a booth and was giving free advice on scratchbuilding and next door Mac was weathering with an airbrush and both were very impressive in their seminars. On Saturday evening a group of big-trains listers gathered in the lounge of the Holiday Inn to meet with Father Fred and discuss the events at the show. Fred was attired in a clerical collar and presided over the early stages of the gathering. He was presented with a Dundee’s Honey Brown wall banner for the event and spent a good deal of time introducing people. They were about 50 people according to Nick, who spent time smoking cigars and counting people. As you can see, everyone was having a great time until several of us got hungry and left for dinner. Others have detailed what happened after that, with the bouncers and loud shouting. The pictures of Fred and Diane with stuffed animals are included to show that the meeting wasn’t just about trains. Reportedly, Lewis has tentatively scheduled the next ECLSTS for York for next year and several of us are already planning to attend. This year there were people from most of the east coast with visitors from California, Ohio and Colorado. As you can see from the photos, it was a great event.

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