Large Scale Central

ECLSTS for 2023 and beyound

Many of you know to the Sprilgfield show held yearly in MA. It is one of the largest train shows in the US.

This show is run by the Amherst Railway Society.

Its show director for this show is John Sacerdote .

John has been approached to run future ECLSTS shows.

John has asked me to help figure were best to put on the show and to help him understand the key players who if they attended would make the show sucessful.

If John believes that the show will be sucessful he will agree to manage it,

John will be at this years show and looks forward to any and all input reveived.



I always thought that York, PA was a great place to hold it, but the last few years there, there always seemed to be problems securing the dates… Haven’t been to the ECLSTS since they moved to MD…
I probably don’t see myself going to the show anymore on a regular basis…

Wow, that would put a new twist on everything. I’d love to travel up there, at least every other year. And see your layout Stan, and Bob’s, and others up there.

I wonder if a small layout tour could be arranged in conjunction with the show.

Jim and I have no desire to go to MD. I think York got expense also.

York was about at the limit of a one-day drive. I wonder if the Albany area would be a good choice?

Not with their current standings IMHO :sunglasses:

I “HIGHLY” appreciate and respect how Star Hobbies took over and made the ECLSTS happen for “US” the past couple years. They are great company to deal with and I highly recommend them. However back to Mr. Ames original question. I “personally” would like to see Charlie Ro along with RLD Hobbies attracted to the show but that is my cup of tea.


I agree. Glad that Star stepped up to keep it going after the 2020 disaster. Bringing the show a little further North might entice me to go back. Anyplace along the I-81/I-83 corridor in PA or NY that would be big enough to support the big traveling layouts, yet affordable enough to allow the promoter to make a profit would work or me.

The York fairgrounds were ideal, but the last time I went (2019?) it was depressing because it was so empty.

The big draw of the ECLSTS of years gone by was seeing new product from manufacturers and getting deals on new / old stock that they needed to move.
Those days are over and from the looks of things are not coming back.
No need to name all of the manufacturers that have gone by the way side but the few that are remaining only two have made any new product (not re-paints)
It has taken AML 6-years (?) to produce the GP60 and USA trains only new locomotive you need to mortgage your house to purchase.
Piko has made some great products…if you like there Euro productions.
So what’s left?? The last few shows I attended I seen the same vendors bringing in the same product they couldn’t sell from the previous years.
This show cannot survive as a stand-alone show anymore, I had said years ago it should have been consolidated with the Amhearst show in Springfield as that gets the most foot traffic of any model train show I have ever seen… I got roasted on this very forum for even mentioning it.
The best part and only reason I attended the last few ECLSTS was to see the friends I had made on this very forum, times are changing and this show will need a drastic change for it to survive in any capacity.

The Allentown Fairgrounds already hosts two train shows, Spring Thaw in February and First Frost in November. their website is The venue is similar to York. It always gets a big turnout because it is ideally situated off I-78 and draws from Philadelphia and New York/New Jersey.


Speaking selfishly… I sure like Allentown, since it doesn’t require going though toll hell near NYC, making it more easily accessible for us “southerners.” It’s a really neat railroady city!

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Let me build on this.

A major draw of the show is the variety of both large and small dealers and the manufacturers.

So who are the most important dealers that we would all like to see there.


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I would guess the major dealers are RLD, Star and C Ro. If you could get some more like Reindeer Pass that would add to the fun, and make it maybe worth a trip from the west side of the country

I thought Trainworld and Nicholas Smith were major dealers also…

While I was happy that the show moved closer to me in Maryland, I did not get a chance to patronise the show in 2020 or 2021 due to COVID. One of my favorite manufacturers is now gone (Hartland Locomotive Works) and in my modeling era (wood burning steam of the late1800’s) is not well covered outside of LGB. With 4 locos on my roster I am now just fitting out the fleet with rolling stock and passenger cars. While I may expand in the future I will not need a large infusion of track until I potentially retire in the next 7 years. And even then I may need to downsize the layouts footprint.

So, what do “I” think the show should entail? Of course displays. That provides inspiration which would drive sales.

As far a vendors / manufacturers, all the usual suspects: USA Trains, RLD Hobbies, Reindeer Pass, Bridgewerks, Bachman, LGB, Piko, Star Hobby. Would Train-Li consider returning after their move west? Is Nicolas Smith (was that their name) who used to always have “new old stock” still around? The last ECLST I was at in York they barely had anything If my memory serves.

Also I believe open space for technology demonstrations and seminars should be provided. With the exit of a number of manufacturers, engaging the MakerSpace community to put on demonstrations of 3D printing, Arduino and RaspberryPi projects that serve the hobby could be beneficial. And to the vendors and manufacturers, no, 3D printing will not divert from your business. I see it as augmenting your business with detail and piece parts.

Also attract vendors / presentations form the “Garden” section of Garden Railroading. Arboretums, nursery and other sellers of the green stuff. Also see if any hardscape manufactures can be lured to the show.

What I do not want to see is any more home improvement vendors selling shower systems or solar systems. Nor do I want to see an aspect of a “flea market” with people selling track pulled right from the ground, wires dangling.

Star Hobby rescued the show from obliteration and kept it on life support. I am happy to see they have the future in mind by seeking out a new operator.

Regarding the “where”, for me, it has to be a day trip from where I live on the Delmarva. I won’t do multiple days, or overnight. If the goal is to make it a destination show, it has to have after show hours activities.

And, lets face it, the hobby is in decline. And with the housing market they way it is and the conversion of available housing from ownership to rentals, the chances of expansion are grim. And its a loss since the growth could be driven by demonstrating the ability for people to express their creative sides. Renters will not invest in developing a garden railroad layout.

And for the clubs who put on displays, maybe have them a couple of times a day put on a talk on what they are all about, how they are setup and what they get from their clubs and layouts.

Just a few thoughts.

Not sure if Nicholas Smith is still in operation. Last York ECLSTS they really didn’t have much to offer. How many un-tapped channels of new old stock remain in the hobby?

All great points, Win.

Besides Star, I don’t recall any major vendors or manufacturers at last year’s ECSLST, so I’ll be happy to see some life breathed into it a week from now.

Something that sort of bugs me was there last year, as it is every year: vendors of really, really used equipment, but asking like-new prices. I mean, if Ebay is far cheaper for a nicer product, why bother? OK, just a small nit… it’s their business. And it was great that at least THEY showed up last year.

And I’d love it if Train Li and Reindeer Pass came, those were always my fave’s at York.

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Good post, Win. I agree on the “Stop with the outside of trains” vendors. The last RV show I went to a couple months ago, more than 75% of the vendors there were for mini blinds or windows or kitchens. It might pay the bills, but they’re annoying.

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Since their move (Train-li) to Nevada they haven’t ventured to any shows that I know of.

Will John be identifiable at the show to take in perspectives?