Re: Prototype Rails

Richard Hendrickson

Andy Carlson asks:

What is & where are Prototype rails? (The one Brock alluded to) Andy
of SO Cal
Andy, Prototype Rails is an annual prototype modeling event which I
initiated. The first meet was held at Cocoa Beach, Florida last Jan 12 and
13 at the Hilton Hotel. Bruce Smith refers to a similar Savannah prototype
modeling meet as the first of such meets. This is not really true, I think,
although, frankly, I have not attended others than the one at Savannah and
RPM meets at the NMRA National. If we group all prototype modeling events
together...which I prefer to do... I think Naperville is the oldest and most
well known. Others that I am aware of are various ones held in California
and Pittsburgh. I think Bill Welch was involved with another one in the
You initiated it? Gee, Mike, for some reason everyone on the Prototype
Modeler list seems to be under the impression that Jim Six put it on. I
wonder how they got that idea? Seriously, the RPM meets at the NMRA
National have been taking place since 1985, though NMRA support for them
has varied widely according to the inclinations of the local committees.
In recent years, the meets at Atlanta (thanks to Scott Chatfield), Kansas
City (thanks to Keith Jordan) and Madison. WI (thanks to a number of people
on the local committee) have been, in my opinion, especially successful.
San Jose was sort of a bust, but that wasn't because the NMRA folks let us
down but because of the anti-social behavior of some dissidents in the RPM
group. I will add that the NMRA Pacific Coast Region has had RPM meets at
every convention since the late 1980s, and is having another one in San
Luis Obispo next weekend. Pete Solyum's meet in Southern California has
also been going on for a long time, though I don't know exactly when it
started. So Naperville isn't the oldest, but it's probably the oldest
stand-alone meet and certainly the best known and most strongly supported.
Of course, it helps that there are a lot of prototype modelers in and
around Chicago and that the windy city is pretty easy to get to by air from
almost anywhere in the country. It's not even hard to get there by rail,
if (like Jeff English) you refuse to travel any other way.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520

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