WAMALUG: Show: February 26-27, 2000: Great American Train Show

Montgomery County Agricultural Center
16 Chestnut Street
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Building 6 (New Auditorium) Lower Level, Space 307

Jeff made the original announcement of our appearance at the show on rec.toys.lego and made another announcement on lugnet.org.us.wamalug

Jeff gave a wrap-up of our appearance in a post to lugnet.org.us.wamalug:

As you may've heard, WAMALUG displayed a layout at The Great American Train Show held over the weekend in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It was a *huge* success, and we tied for Third place (out of seven or so). We had one of the largest crowd draws, with some people hanging around for hours or revisiting us a number of times. Anyway, some of the major highlights of the show included:

  • Digital Command Control of the trains! This was fun, allowing us to individually crash, er *control* the trains, even on the same loop!
  • Larger layout! It was 120"x160", but this time we had a 120"x200" layout!
  • Motorized Crane! Not only was it motorized, it liked to do aerial acrobatics! Like, falling over... ;)
  • Attack of the 50 foot Minifig!
  • Rich Schamus' Blue Streak and Citrus Express!
  • Long Metroliner!
  • People saying it was the best layout at the show!
  • The double wide Train Bridge!
  • A kid offering to buy my Castle! After he was told it wasn't for sale, I decided to price it at $40,000. :)
  • The elevator in Rich's Tower plummeting to the bottom, eliminating the annoying protesters on board... :)
Tom eyes the new table arrangement as setup begins on Friday.

For our second show, we added two tables to the middle of our display to make the “long sides” of the display longer. The resulting yard was much more impressive and we were almost able to park all our trains at the same time! We also moved the inner loop from around the center of the tables out to parallel the outer track, giving us two main lines and a nice wide bridge for them to drive through.

Set up went very well this time. We seem to be getting the hang of things, and even with the new tables and changes to the layout, the whole thing only took us a few hours.

Kevin reaches to adjust the crane…
…and the crane moves around.

Most of the city and other areas were the same as our display at the Greenberg’s Great Train and Collectible Toy Show 2 weeks before. One of the big improvements this time was the crane. Kevin managed to automate the crane with 3 directions of movement which he used throughout the weekend to move things around the “under construction” tower—including several vehicles and minifigs :-).


The other big hit of the show had to be the jumbo-sized minifig affectionately named Larry. Larry was “on loan” (he needed to get out for a weekend, so we liberated him) from The Store and was a big crowd hit.

Our layout attracted continuous crowds over the weekend and a constant influx of amazed kids and adults. In the end, we won third place for best layout at the show! An award we are immensely proud of.

Highlights of the weekend:

Metroliner toy in profile. …back to the top of the page




Links to photographs