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26th Annual WNYRHS Winter Train & Toy Show
Review February 18th & 19th, 2017

by Art Toale

I am happy to report that we have come through another successful train and toy show season. Both the November and February shows turned a profit. I am also happy and somewhat relieved that the season is over and I can relax (somewhat) from that duty until July. These two shows are responsible for a good amount of income to the society.

My sincere thanks go out to: Mike Grabecki, Caryl Youngers, Adam Puchalski, Bob Kleinmann, Paul Vester, Keith Michael, Charlie Lamonte, Marty Laurie, Dave Mallory, Marty Visciano, Don and Barb Owens, George Specht, Alex Trank, Alan Olmstead, Dave Heckman, MJ Lewandowski and Bill Dudley. These people listed were responsible for setting up and breaking down the over 400 tables that we use for the show. They also take tickets at the main door and the Casino entry door to the Center, along with letting dealers in and out of their designated door at the South end of the building.

My thanks also go out to Joe and Steve Kocsis and Tom Stackhouse. They take care of contract negotiations with the Erie County Agriculture Society, Advertising, and making sure we have a certificate of insurance on file with the E.C.A.S.

As you can see there is a large support staff behind the scenes of these shows. Even with this seemingly large number of volunteers, we can still use more help, particularly in manning entry doors and taking tickets. We currently have to pay a Fair Ground employee to take tickets at the Casino entryway.

Barb and Don Owens stood at the main doors from start to finish both days of the show. With just six more volunteers it would be a lot easier to man the doors and all the door volunteers could get a break, not to mention saving the cost of paying a Fair employee.

       Last year the February Show had a winter weather advisory and this year it was in the 50's! This may have kept attendance down a bit but it didn't stop over 3000 people from enjoying over the 400 tables located in two buildings loaded with great things to see and buy. A big THANK YOU to all those who supported the Train Show and we hope to see you in November!

Our Society table was busy all day selling magazines, track maps, rolling stock and we still have a few copies of our   2017 Buffalo Railway Heritage Calendar . They answered many questions about our progress at the Heritage Discovery Center, our Depots and equipment. Most of our regular vendors were back for a chance to sell their inventory and many of our new dealers reported great returns on their tables.

The Williamsville Depot had a very successful "Silent Auction" and "Basket Raffle" for their 2017 Capital Fund Drive. Proceeds will go toward many new updates at the Depot and we again thank all those who contributed to this effort. One of our partner organizations at the Heritage Discovery Center, The "Erie Lackawanna Historical Society," had another great display and sales table.


Marty Phelps from the "Medina Railroad Museum"  had a great 18 foot traveling "Depot Trailer" constructed to allow their displays to travel to their many events in the area. Our Friends from the  "Niagara Frontier Chapter of the NRHS"  had another nice display highlighting their museum in North Tonawanda, NY.
The "Buffalo Model Boat Club"  had some wonderful scale models on their display table and our friends up north from the  "Niagara Railway Museum"  had another nice display table and again brought their 1985 CP Rail Woodings speeder.
Mark L. from the "Central Terminal Restoration Corporation Inc."  had lots of information about their many events scheduled this year and the possibilities of the terminal becoming a new Amtrak© station. The  "Model Railroad Club of Buffalo"  had an active display table with many members ready to answer questions about their club.
 "Cub Scout Pack #411"  from Hamburg NY., held a "Pinewood Derby" race with a top price of $100 donated by Niagara Hobby and Craft Mart. Carl Russo from 97 Rock did a live broadcast from the Expo Building and was the offical voice of the races.
The "Gowanda and Buffalo Model Railroad Club" again sponsored the "Thomas & Friends" free kids play area which was loaded with future "engineers" all day. "Skittles the Balloon Clown" captivated and entertained many families with his creative balloon sculptures.


       Again this year we had five great layouts provided by the "Flower City TinPlate Trackers" with their "O" scale layout from Rochester. The "Western NY Garden Railway Society" had their wonderful "G" guage layout with lot's of Thomas© to keep the little ones amused. The "Gowanda & Buffalo Model Railroad Club" continued work on the new addition to their "N" scale layout and the "Niagara Orleans Model Engineer's" entertained everyone with their great "HO" and "N" scale layouts!
Craig Vogel brought a "Velocipede" he beautifully restored for Mark Schleicher. This model, of unknown date, was built by the Kalamazoo Velocipede and Car Company.


The WNYRHS is proud to host a show that has dealers which offer something for everyone in the family. Over 80% of our dealers offer prototype or model railroad products for the serious railfan. Other dealers have products that appeal to women and children that may not have railroad interests but love toys, dolls, crafts or food. Below are some of the many, many different hobbies the dealers had to offer. We hope you enjoyed yourself and that we will see you for our wonderful  "36th Greater Buffalo Train & Toy Show" November 18th and 19th, 2017!
       Thanks again to all our dealers and friends who came to the show. And a hearty Thank You to all our Society Members who volunteered their time to help set up and take down tables, take tickets, man tables and answer questions. We couldn't have done it without all of you!

For More Information email   to Train Show at -
Or call   (716) 821-9360 and leave a message. 

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This page was last updated March 10th, 2017

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The WNYRHS, Inc. P.O. Box 416, Buffalo, NY. 14231-0416 is an independent organization and has no affiliation with any other local or national group.
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