Hartford Hosting National Model Railroad Convention
July 06, 2009
HARTFORD— - More than 1,000 model train enthusiasts are expected in the city this week for the annual convention of the National Model Railroad Association.
A committee has been planning the convention for five years. It began Sunday at the Connecticut Convention Center and will culminate Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the 19th Annual National Train Show, which will be open to the public. It's the first time the national show, which is held in a different city each year, has been in New England.
The convention will include clinics and seminars on model railroading topics; visits to museums such as the Danbury Railway Museum, the Railroad Museum of New England in Waterbury and the Shoreline Trolley Museum in East Haven; and a rare ride on the Griffin Line from Hartford to Bloomfield.
The line, once considered for a rail connection to Bradley International Airport, is part of what was the Central New England Railroad. The route carried passengers and freight from Hartford to points west via a bridge across the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie. The Griffin Line is now exclusively a freight line.
Convention-goers will also travel the region — from Boston to Albany and in between — visiting model train layouts in people's homes.
About 860 people have registered for the convention and 200 walk-ins are expected, said Vin Gallogly of Trumbull, who led a committee of about 50 that organized the convention.
"Anyone who's a model railroader who wants to enhance their skills should come in," Gallogly said. "Anybody who plays with a train in their basement ought to come in."
Information about attendance is available on the convention website, www.hn2009.org.
The National Train Show opens to the public at noon Friday and continues to 6 p.m. It is open 10 a.m to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The show includes 145,000 square feet of everything from operating model train layouts to manufacturers' displays to retailers selling model trains and other merchandise. There will also be a model train display constructed with millions of Lego and Duplo blocks, and free appraisals of model train items.
Admission is $12 for adults; $11 for people 65 and older; $6 for children aged 6 to 12; and free for children younger than 6. A two-day ticket is available for $22. For more information visit the show's website, www.nationaltrainshow.org.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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