This past weekend, the Bay Area LEGO Train Club took part in the Great Train Expo in Pleasanton, CA. We had a large train and town display – the largest we’ve ever done, in terms of square footage of table space, using all 28 club tables plus 3 more that Bruce made for himself. My pictures for the event can be seen on Flickr (slideshow).
This coming weekend, I’ll join members of the Bay Area LEGO Train Club (a subgroup of the Bay Area LEGO Users Group) at the Great Train Expo in San Jose. We’ll put out a large train layout, about 25×25 feet, with lots of trains, a city, and the usual stuff. Come on down and say hi. It’s at the Santa Clara County fairgrounds in San Jose. Admission is $7 for adults (good for both days) and kids under 12 get in free.
And then, I’ll be driving up to Seattle next week for BrickCon! A friend of mine happens to be moving to Seattle for the first of October, so I’ll be borrowing/ferrying her car up, while she follows up in a van she’s borrowed from a friend of hers, which I’m driving back home in. Sounds complicated – wish me luck! Anyway I’ll be coming up with an assortment of MOCs, though probably not as much as I took to Portland for BrickFest this spring – I’m carrying some of her stuff up, and anyway I ought to be able to see out the rear window.
This past weekend (March 21-22), the Bay Area LEGO Train Club did a show as a part of the Nor-Cal Division of Train Collectors Association Cal-Stewart Meet. We set it up Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and then the show was open to TCA members all weekend, but only open to the public on Sunday March 22.
This was probably the largest layout we’d ever done – we’d used all 28 tables in our club inventory before, but when we did it was to make the depth larger. This time we kept the depth at a maximum of 5 feet and went with a larger footprint.
Friday night we got a little desperate for track and baseplates, but we got enough reserves Saturday morning. With a great last-minute idea by Loren to add a lake next to the campground, and Bruce’s construction zone, we were able to cover the bare wood before the show opened. In the end, it turned out pretty good.
One nice thing about the trackplan for this show was the use of a “wye” on the outer loop and track leads in both directions on the inner loop, enabling trains to be switched in and out of the yard on both loops in both directions without “hand of god” operations (except for those locomotives that can’t go backwards…). It was also visually interesting to have one of the main lines run behind the downtown instead of having both loops run side by side all around.
We had some great publicity for the exhibit by the Bay Area LEGO Users Group at the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto, CA for the last few weekends.
There were television coverage by two different local stations, articles in the newspaper, and lots and lots of word-of-mouth advertising. We got several new members in the club and lots of people signing up for our club mailing lists or taking business cards home.
I was sick for most of the last two weekends, but did go on Sunday (the last day) and shot some video footage. However, a couple of other club members took photos of the crowds and sent them to me with permission to post online, so I have done so in a Flickr photoset. Please check that out by clicking the photo above, or view it as a slideshow. You can also view all my photos from this exhibit (or as a slideshow).
Next year, we’re not sure if we’ll be able to have the exhibit at the museum! The room is just not big enough to accommodate that kind of crowd. However we’ve already started talking about alternatives that would scale better, so don’t worry… we’ll still have an exhibit. We’re also talking to another museum about having an exhibit this summer but haven’t announced any details yet.
The next public event by BayLUG is our meeting at MoAH on Saturday, February 21 (note: originally scheduled for Sunday the 22nd, but the date has been changed due to a schedule conflict). Hope to see you there!
Today was the second and final day of the Great Train Expo at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. I was there with the Bay Area LEGO Train Club. I had taken some pictures yesterday, but today I was much more prolific and uploaded almost 80 new pictures which I added to the existing photoset. Click the picture or check out the slideshow to see all the pics.