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Thread: Pomona (Los Angeles) - World's Greatest Hobby On Tour, Feb 11-12 Pics (PART 1)

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    Default Pomona (Los Angeles) - World's Greatest Hobby On Tour, Feb 11-12 Pics (PART 1)

    On Sunday my friend Ryan (a fellow model railroader, who, despite being an HO scaler, is still my friend) and I carpooled an hour to Pomona, CA for The World's Greatest Hobby On Tour Show at the L.A. County Fairgrounds (Fairplex). The old Fairgrounds are a familiar gathering spot for Southern California model railroaders: It hosts the Great Train Show about twice a year. It's also the home of a 93 yea-old outdoor garden railroad that's a favorite among fairgoers when the County Fair comes up every September. And the place is also no stranger to trains: The Fairgrounds parking lot is home to the Railgiants Train Museum, recently known as the former home of Union Pacific's 4014 Big Boy locomotive, before heading off to get its makeover in Wyoming.



    Ryan and I attended the last World's Greatest Hobby On Tour show back in 2011, where it was at the Long Beach Convention Center, a place that was an easy Metro Blue Line light rail ride away. But since this traveling show only visits the same metropolitan area every 5 years or so, we made it a point to go, even if we had to drive an hour and pay $10 in parking.

    We were there mainly to visit the manufacturer booths. Walthers, Bachmann, Athearn, Kato, Atlas, ScaleTrains.com, Broadway Limited, NCE, Con-Cor and MTH. And there were also hobby shops and used train sellers too. And several modular railroad clubs of scales from G to Z.

    Here's some (mostly N-scale oriented) highlights of the show"


    Kato's booth had mostly existing items. Nothing brand new in N. They did say they're doing a re-release of the GS-4 Daylight steam loco with "Southern Pacific Lines" lettering on the tender and as-delivered 1940s paint. The said they've also updated the drivers.


    My friend Ryan chats with ScaleTrains.com's Joe Olvera. Turns out one of Ryan's friends also knows the ScaleTrains folks and even takes all their model marketing photos for them. I also discovered that half of the ScaelTrains.com guys actually live here in Southern California (they all worked for Athearn before), but the company is based in Tennessee where the owner lives and they have their main warehouse. On the table are their newly-released Big Blow Turbine loco and award-winning (well, for me they are ) 53' containers in HO and N. The Hub Group (green) container will be shipping towards the end of this month. Also, they said they will be announcing their first N-scale rolling stock and a new loco in N by this Summer. They also displayed their newly-announced GE ET44AC (Tier 4 Gevo) loco in HO, which made me insanely jealous (I hope this is one of the locos they will be announcing in a few months)!


    The Atlas booth was manned by consultant and former BLMA owner Craig Martyn, whom my friend and I had a nice chat with. As a consultant, he's required to staff the Atlas booth at a few train shows per year, so naturally he did the one close to home. Atlas continues to carry existing BLMA stock and will re-run some previously-released models, and even run some of them in re-tooled form. He's also getting married next month (congrats!) and told us a funny story of how he got a phone call from his contact from Norfolk Southern about an NS board member who was displeased at seeing BLMA literature with the NS Top Gons on one side and the People Mooning figures on the other.

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    Default Pomona (Los Angeles) - World's Greatest Hobby On Tour, Feb 11-12 Pics (PART 2)


    Not N scale, or any scale, but Broadway Limited showed samples of their "Choo Choo Shoes" kids' sneakers that make train chugging and whistle sounds
    when they walk. They said they're considering making adult-sized shoes, instantly giving me a funny (or horrifying) image of a bunch of foamers run around with them on at a railfanning event.

    N scale-wise, they showed an operating N-scale water tank with sound (Click here to watch it in action!), and I asked about their N-scale GE ES44AC GEVO with sound model, which will be released "later this year."


    Athearn will be releasing its Tank Train cars in N by May. They also will be re-releasing the EMD F59PHI locos (including one with the new Metrolink livery) later this year.
    In their HO side, they unveiled their "primed for grime" series of patched-paint and paint-faded rolling stock and locos. I asked if they would release them in N and they said that they plan to. I asked for a faded former SP loco with UP patches.


    Con-Cor had a booth and had a special sale of their HO and N containers (N scale containers were $4.50 each or 3 for $12). I didn't buy any, lol.


    It was a well-attended show with lots of families and kids (hopefully future model railroaders), and enough sellers to make people like us happy.
    The show even had TV spots here in the L.A. area, so they really got the word out. There was this hobby shop from Manchester, NH (Boston and Albany Hobbies) that had a large booth there and I bought a Trainworx 53' trailer van in Roadway scheme and a bunch of Fox Valley metal wheelsets. I also bought a 1oz bottle of gap-filling CA from the Zap booth. I had no idea their company was also based here in Southern California as well!


    And here am I, the intermodal freak, admiring an HO scale container port scene on a modular layout.

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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