St. Louis RPM Meet Report
The 2013 St. Louis Railroad Prototype Modeler's (RPM) Meet was held on Friday, August 8th and Saturday, August 9th at the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville, Illinois. The two-day event was co-sponsored by the Gateway Division, National Model Railroad Association, and featured clinics, modular layouts, vendors, historical societies, attendee model displays, hands-on weathering seminars, and home layout tours.
295 modelers attended and brough over 1,300 models of all scales and gauges for display. Prototype and modeling clinics were provided by Barry Karlberg, Pierre Oliver, Rob Adams, Dave Schroedle, Dave Roeder, Nelson Moyer, Bruce Smith, Mike Cougill, David Lehlbach, Ed Hawkins, Tim VanMersbergen and Brian Banna. All day hands-on weathering clinics were provided by Dave Schroedle of Protoweathering.com (check out Dave's website at http://www.protomodeler.com/index.php?/page/index.html) and The Weathering Shop. The Weathering Shop crew uses St. Louis RPM as their annual gathering, and a dozen Weathering Shop guys from around the country attended the event to demonstrate and teach weathering, and also to display and sell their artwork. The Weathering Shop’s online resource is available at http://theweatheringshop.com/.
Steve Cerka brought a 20-foot portable layout for operations, and Clark Propst brought an eight-foot table-top layout specifically designed to be displayed and operated at RPM meets. Clark's lightweight layout depicts the actual Allied Mills/Wayne’s Feed mill on the Milwaukee Road in Mason City, circa 1958. Clark designed short, 30-minute operating sessions and about a dozen attendees took the challenge on Friday and Saturday.
85 tables of hand-picked vendors also attended the meet, including Tangent Scale Models, Cannon, Moloco, Plano, Yarmouth Model Works, Rails Unlimited, Funaro & Camerlengo, Railshop Ltd., ICG Custom Decals, Badger Airbrush, Protocraft, Stan Rydarowicz Models, Moon Dog Railcars, Fox Valley Models, Lake Junction Models, Norris Hobbies, Q Connection, Spring Creek Model Trains, ProtoLoads, Mask Island Decals, OST Publications, Weathering Solutions, Motrak Models, Iowa Scaled Engineering, and others. Photo dealers—a specialty at RPM meets providing views of specific engines, rolling stock and scenes—included Big Four Graphics, Bob’s Photos, Mike Gruber Photos, Joe Collias Photos and Ed Stoll Photographs. Thanks to all our vendors for helping us ensure a successful event!
In addition to the vendors, St. Louis RPM this year's event year’s meet included historical societies representing the New York Central, Wabash, Milwaukee Road, Missouri Pacific, Chicago & Eastern Illinois, Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, Nickel Plate, Pennsylvania, Chicago & Northwestern, Illinois Terminal, and Terminal RR Association railroads. The Barriger National Railroad Library was also on hand this year, advertising the Barriger Library’s famous photo and artifact collection available to the public at the University of Missouri, St. Louis (UMSL) downtown. The Barriger Library website is http://www.umsl.edu/mercantile/barriger/index.html, and photos from John Barriger’s personal collection are now online at https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/sets/.
Numerous club and home layouts were on display as well, including the Litchfield Train Group’s 44 x 55-foot HO scale layout in Litchfield, Ill. which was open on Thursday afternoon. Three additional layouts in St. Louis’s western suburbs were open for viewing on Friday evening, including Don Morice’s beautiful Illinois Central transition-era HO scale layout, Herb Koenig’s HO-HOn3 Colorado Rocky Mountain Railroad, and Eric Brooman’s famous Utah Belt RR. The layouts hosted over 160 RPM guests. Other home layouts were open for private tours and ops sessions as well, including MMR Dave Roeder’s Webster Groves & Fenton layout. A virtual tour of Dave’s layout and other St. Louis are layouts can be found online at http://www.gatewaynmra.org/model-railroad-layout-tours/.
You can find more information on the 2014 St. Louis RPM Meet at http://home.mindspring.com/~icg/rpm/stlrpm.htm. The official St. Louis RPM photo site can be found at http://www.pbase.com/golden1014. We are working hard to upload photos as soon as possible. The NMRA’s Gateway Division website can be found at http://www.gatewaynmra.org/default.htm.
Thanks to everyone for making this a great annual gathering! Planning for the 2015 St. Louis RPM Meet-—the ninth annual gathering-—is already underway. Exact dates that best fit the modeling community and the Gateway Division are still to be determined but we expect to host the meet again in late July or early August, 2015. If you'd like to be a vendor or bring your historical society or modular layout, or if you want more information, please don't hesitate to contact us, John Golden at Golden1014@... or Lonnie Bathurst at bathurst@....