Above: A Pennsy freight passes through Stu's Yard module during the 2014 National Train Show in Cleveland, OH. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

Highball to Cleveland 2014
MPRR Club Trip Archive

Highball to Cleveland 2014 Photo Gallery

Above: Bill Evans enjoying the 2014 National Train Show. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

Below: An overview of the layout. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

Above: The first place award from the NMRA. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

Below: Group photo in front of the layout. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

Article By: Jim Spavins

Cleveland, OH - For the summer of 2014, the club decided to make some changes to its summer railfan trip. Instead of the usual trip to Ohio and Pennsylvania, the club decided to bring the HO layout out to the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, OH, for the National Train Show. In all, eleven members participated in the event. We brought a 16’x36’ HO layout groomed just for the show.

The week long adventure began on Tuesday July 15 as the group spent the day with a pleasant drive out across Pennsylvania where we stopped overnight just short of Cleveland. Wednesday was the big setup day as all of the vendors and layout owners paraded in and out of the convention center in preparation of the big show over the weekend. The crew spent much of the day setting up the layout and by the time the convention center closed for the evening, the layout was almost ready to go.

Thursday turned out to be a free day. A portion of the members going on the trip, made the trek out to Fostoria to visit the new railfan park. The rest of the members stayed back at the convention center to groom the layout for the show. Both groups had a great time and were plenty rested for the show to start on Friday morning.

When we arrived at 7 am on Friday morning, we discovered that the contest judges were already taking a look around at the layouts. We just had enough time to turn on the layout and show off all the new animation and lighting effects a number of members had worked hard preparing for the show. It was a bit chaotic and we were a bit worried at how our layout had been received. However, a few hours later before the awards were to be announced, we had a heads up that someone from the club should be at the presentation. Well, sure enough, we took home first prize in the group category! It was exciting for the all the members, as everyone who had made the trip plus many who couldn’t, had put in a lot of hours to make our layout stand out for the show. It was truly a group accomplishment. We then went out to Berea Union Station when the show closed to celebrate.

Saturday and Sunday were filled with operating the layout and talking to folks at the show. We had a lot of fun and the organizers of the event were great to the club. It was our second time at a National Train Show (the first was in Hartford in 2009) and it is something we hope to be able to attend again in future…Highball to Indy 2016, anyone?

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