Large Scale Central

What!? No National Garden Railway Convention!?

Holy Cowcatcher!

I finally convinced herself to go to the Americas next year and went to search for the northeast town hosting the NGRC 2024. Maybe do some Amtrak…


How are you guys handling it? Counselling? Medication? Adding Dampf- u. Reinigungsflüssigkei to your vaporisers? There’s no LSC support thread supporting those going through withdrawals?

Ok, breathe…
I think I’ve found a 2024 National Garden Railway Convention. But it’s only a Facebook page… I hope @Neil_Wiggins has left his web browser open as he might have some first hand knowledge. But I’ll see if I can find out more…

Here’s what I know so far… The 2024 New Zealand National Garden Railway Convention will be held January 20 in Carterton with attendees visiting at least 15 layouts. …and it’s summer there!

No show in 2024, 2025 is Sacramento and it looks like 2026 will be here in the NorthEast (Springfield, MA area) I’m hoping to have my layout to the point of worth visiting by then.

Thanks Dan,

The Northeast sounds interesting. I just googled garden railway Springfield and found Is the NELST an event people travel great distances to see or is a small regional show? How does it compare to the NGRC?

Hi Bill -

The NELSTS is a new regional large scale show, The first year was 2023 and was mildly successful. It is run by the same group that puts on the largest all-scales show every January in several buildings of the huge Eastern States Exposition site (NELSTS uses just one building).

NELSTS draws from the New England states and Eastern New York State. I would think not many make the trip from long distances.

I’ve never been to a National GR convention, but I think it is safe to say that the conventions have more events and layout tours. I don’t think NELSTS had any tours in 2023. Don’t know what the 2024 plan is.

Why no 2024? When will it be back in the Denver area?

No group made a bid to host the national convention in 2024… There really is no national organization and the National Conventions are put on by local organizations.

We thought about doing it in the Northeast but by the time we got involved there really was insufficient time to pull it off. My understanding is that the Amhearst group will put in a bid for 2026 which gives us time to make is an excellent convention.


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Hi Bill,

Keep breathing - it’s real and it’s on. Hosted by the Wairarapa club this year. Still taking late registrations but I think thats more to do with food planning etc. than any number restrictions.

There’s usu about 50 odd at each NZ convention, with a few foreign national thrown in… Not quite on the scale of a US Convention but a damn fine excuse to eat, drink, and play trains for a whole weekend.

PM me if you want to follow up and I can send all the details.



I had a short chat with Marc Horowitz some years ago after the magazine dropped back to seasonal releases and heard that many traditional hobbies were in decline.

It’s great to hear the word “NEW & LARGE SCALE” being used in the same sentence.

Thanks Neil. Looking forward to hearing more.

Mark is/was 100% correct though. Many years ago, while unemployed, I did extensive market research to determine if purchasing a Fn3 kit maker’s business would be a good investment. My conclusion then was that the hobby is “aging out” and in decline. This was borne out in the demise of LGB and Aristocraft and the massive reduction in new large scale products from Bachmann.

Same, Jon. I toyed with the idea of buying a couple Fn3 businesses, but it didnt make sense then, and it’s worse now.

I’m not in Fn3 and I still wonder if 1/29 was the best choice to make.

There’s definitely a lot more to choose from in 1/29 and seems to be supported by companies still but I’m not sure if I’d pick any 45mm gauge scale these days.

About the only thing keeping me from switching to a indoor scale is simply the space. Basements are pretty much none existent in the PNW. If I had a basement I would be hard pressed not to abandon 1/29 and move to O or S.

I switched from 1:29/1:24 to Fn3 while there was still plenty of new product to choose from. I probably would not make the same move today as there just isn’t enough out there now. Of all the Gauge 1 large scales, 1:29 is probably still the best supported with USA Trains still going strong and offerings from AMS and now Bachmann bringing back some of the Aristo line.

I doubt I’d enjoy working with anything smaller that O since I need to use OptiVisor magnifiers to work on the big stuff.

P.S. If you are willing to pay crazy prices, there still is a pretty good selection of NIB old stock and used Fn3 product out there. I laugh when I see a C-19 in the same used condition as one I bought for $300 selling for $700 or more.

If I had just started in large scale, I would probably do 1:29, or may be 2-rail O scale, because of the availability of product. By the time I was able to buy large amounts of rolling stock in Fn3, Bachmann was JUST at the end of their runs of things. I don’t have nearly enough of what I want/need, but the premium on used or NOS is just crazy. One of the reasons I’m deep diving in to 3d printing.

@ BD and Jon …You guys could still go into business if you would like to use a rubber ruler and mass produce Amtrash cause it sells !

Wish I could have worked with Charlie back in the day but we couldn’t come to anything but back and forth stupidity and BS …I loved and respected that man even if I had to listen how great the Regan years were to be in business. I said Charlie I was 12yrs old!!!

He always loved looking at my work and I loved talking BS with him especially! Charlie would ask me questions and I would answer him. Then he would say ok how do you plan on doing such and such? I said well it’s easier to just purchase your parts! Wonder how the F40 ended up in the list of future models back in the day in the hood ?

The Heavyweights won out because that’s what he wanted! They are an incredibly well made durable detailed model still available to purchase I believe ! That was like his last WHO RAH RAH IMO…ABCDEFG…8 is afraid of 7 because 789

I MISS ECLSTS at York in the alcove (Now you guys are gonna have to explain this to Bill because he started the thread )

That is some of my thoughts and I’m sticking to them. I REALLY miss York !

Yes, yes you will.

But first Rooster, I’ll need some help changing my LSC identity and tag line to something more appropriate… I’m thinking, maybe Forest, Forest Gump… ”Life is like a box of…”

No scratch that…
“LSC is like a box of train stuff".

Box of chocolates ?

Insert Rooster pipe here

I hear and obey.


Yes, yes you will

I’m still seeing if I can get Herself on an aircraft for the National Convention and thought we would look at landing at Gisbourne Airport and maybe catch a train….

…that runs across the runway!


Runway Grade Level Crossing

Here’s the web page

And here’s the railway page

@Neil_Wiggins you have some really neat Railways in NZ that don’t get enough attention!