Saturday, January 14, 2012

Report from Schaumburg

The train show at Schaumburg went very well today. Attendance seemed to be good, and we had a lot of enthusiastic visitors. We handed out calendars and brochures and talked up the Museum as fast as we could. Here we see the morning crew: myself, Jon Habegger, and Buzz Morrissette. In the afternoon, Buzz had to leave and was replaced by Nancy Ring. It's not easy to compete with all the toy trains, but a good time was had by all! Expecially by the kids of all ages who got to ring the streetcar gong. They were probably driving the neighbors nuts!

By the way, there were several friends from IRM who were there as members of various model railroad groups: Bob Opal, Bill Thiel, Mike Pechous, Lee Evans, and maybe others.

So here's my scientific analysis of the comments we got by talking to the visitors. A lot of people had little kids, so it's not surprising that the most popular subject was Thomas. A lot of the people we talked to had been to Thomas before, had a great time, and were planning to return. That's a very good sign! Apart from that, the most common question, particularly among the adults, was whether steam would be running. Of course, we don't have a definite answer, but we said they're working as hard as they can, it's not easy, we're hoping it will be ready for testing, etc. But it's important. People in our area will drive down to Monticello, they'll fly to Colorado, they'll go almost anywhere to see operating steam. All I can say is that we support our friends in the Steam Dept. all the way!

Hey, you there! You have nothing better to do this Sunday. Come to the Schaumburg Convention Center and see some fantastic display layouts, buy a starter set for your grandchildren, buy some track or rolling stock for yourself, and stop in and say hello at the IRM booth. You'll be glad you did!

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