2017 National Train Show In Orlando, FL

sumgai Aug 9, 2017

  1. sumgai

    sumgai TrainBoard Member

    My first National Train Show.

    Venue: West Concourse Orlando Convention Center
    Record heat wave in Florida, hottest since 2011
    Date attended: Sunday August 6, 2017

    $10 parking. A hike in the heat to the entrance of the West Concourse

    inside the West Concourse - nice and cool, my wife remarked "it reminds me of an airport" True, but airports have people movers for long distance (walking) travel. We went by escalator to the second level, where we walked the whole length of Exhibition hall WC - Empty and Dark. Then we were at the back (front?) of the Western Concourse where we then walked the entire width of Exhibition halls WD1 and WD2 (both unused.) Finally we came to exhibition hall WE. Remember, we had just walked the length and girth of three 180,000 square ft unused exhibition halls to get to exhibition hall WE, what a hike! On our walkabout to WE I watched the folks leaving as we passed them. Shoppers rushing home with bags laden with their train treasures? no, just one gentleman who was carrying a MTH starter set.

    We paid our $28 admission and into the promised land we went. Clearly third day fatigue had overtaken the exhibitors. i've seen more life from "The Walking Dead" zombies. But it was still a weekend day and an option for cabin fever vicitims who needed a respite from four walls and four kids climbing them. So a goodly showing of families to see the trains. We hadn't noticed the binocular rental stand as we came in at first, but we soon appreciated their need. Scale model train displays have expanded outward from walls of plexiglass at trainboards edge; to spiked steel horizontal stanchions extending several feet from tables edge, joined by a rope barrier on the ends to prevent even Gumby from stretching his arm to touch the tables themselves. Mission Accomplished! Scale model trains well protected, no touchy, no feely. no fun for kids.

    Luckily, LEGO was there, a hit for both kids and adults alike. The LEGO trains did look more suggestive than prototyical; but it took me a few moments to realize that a railroad empire had been created out of those square plastic blocks! Awesome.

    A quick stop at the $10.25/slice pizza vendor for some much needed energy for the return trek to our car, one last lap around the exhibitors, and then a long walk back to the entrance. Bucket list: "attend NTS train show" tic'ed as done.

    I wish i could share with you that every family leaving the show had a ready to run train layout box tucked under their arms to begin their own adventure in the "Worlds Greatest Hobby." But i suspect that the Lego train layout just cemented the parents minds to stay the course with Legos for their kids; and for the kids that express an interest in trains, just buy a LEGO train expansion pack. All that protection around the scale model train layouts just left an impression that the scalers were just too delicate and expensive for children to own and play with. How you cross the barrier between "child! - stay at arms length!" and "lifelong hobbyist?" i haven't a clue.
    BoxcabE50 and Kez like this.

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