Marion, OH RPM
I went to the Marion, OH RPM meet this weekend and had a great time. I haven't
been to all the RPM meets, of course, but Denis Blake has gotta have the best
location by far. He hosts the meet in the old Marion Union Station, which is
now a musem. There's a ton of historical stuff and signal equipment located on
the site, including a nice operating layout.
The station is surounded by three double-track mainlines and although I'm not
much of a modern railfan I thoroughly enjoyed the parade of trains going by the
depot. I was only able to attend the meet on Friday but I'm sure I saw 25-30
trains of all types.
There's plenty of stuff for the steam era fan to research there too--the Marion
Shovel Works, the Erie yard, all the industry that once kept Marion going. One
of the best things about the museum is the simulator for the old NYC tower that
governed the junction--it works, and you can go into the tower and "play"
signalman, working the levers on an actual timed scenario with a totally working
model board. It is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. If you're a steam
era guy this is something you've gotta come and check out--it is worth the trip.
We had a nice time and Denis was a great host. I saw about 400 models of all
types and I understand more came on Saturday. We had inpromtu slide shows and
the clinics were all excellent and held in an adjacent part of the building.
The local restaurant--The Shovel (the name comes from the old Marion Shovel
Works which was next door)--had great lunch and dinner specials and was 20 feet
from the depot. I spent a lot of time talking with Warren Calloway, Stan
Rydarowicz, and others--it was a nice time and I highly recommend it for those
that want a break from the ordinary RPM meet. That is, of course, after you
come to St. Louis in a few months...
2011 St. Louis RPM Meet Info: