by John Golden Photos by the author
The 2012 St. Louis RPM Meet, which was held on Aug 5th and 6th at the Gateway Convention Center, was a great success. The meet was hosted by John Golden of O’Fallon, IL, Dan Kohlberg of Moro, IL, and Lonnie Bathurst of Litchfield, IL. The 2012 meet was the first time the St. Louis RPM community joined forces with the NMRA’s Gateway Division. The RPM and NMRA communities in St. Louis have always worked together in the past, but 2012 was the first year that the two groups publicly joined forces and collaborated on events. That fine tradition will continue with the 2013 RPM meet this August.
The foundation of our event is the attendee model display area. RPM encourages attendees to bring models of all scales, gauges, sizes and eras for display and discussion. There are no contests or awards. The purpose of bringing models is to share your best techniques, show others how you built a model or solved a particular modeling problem, and learn new modeling techniques from others. In 2012, our attendees brought over 1,000 models of all scales, eras and prototypes for discussion which were displayed on 36 full tables. We almost matched out 2006 meet figures, when modelers displayed well over 1,200 models.
Previous meets were held in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2012. Career and family obligations of the meet organizers precluded meets in the intervening years, but we anticipate that St. Louis RPM will be held on an annual basis from now on. Our clinicians in 2012 included Chuck Hitchcock, Ed Hawkins, Keith Jordan, Rob Adams, Nick Molo, Mont Switzer, Clark Propst, Tony Sissons, Matthew Herman, and Dan & John Kohlberg. Topics included layout development, layout operations, freight cars, research topics, area studies, and other topics pertinent to the prototype modeler. We also had 65 tables of hand-selected vendors that provided models, parts, photos, books, memorabilia and other merchandise to our guests.
On behalf of our vendors and friendly manufacturers, we were happy to present over $5,000 in door prizes in 2012, including locomotives, sound systems, freight cars, and a wide variety of detail parts, gift certificates, and other items. Every one of 170 attendees that stayed for the late Saturday giveaway won at least one door prize. Some won two or three. Also, as part of admission, every attendee was presented a new copy of Railroad Prototype Cyclopedia #1 at the door, thanks to Ed Hawkins and the RP Cyc. Publishing Co. Thanks Ed!
Our 2013 meet is shaping up, and we’ll provide more details on clinics and layout tours as soon as we can. In the meantime plan to attend the 2013 meet and bring your models for display and discussion. It’s a great place to make new friends, meet manufacturers, teach others about your models and learn new modeling skills. That’s what St. Louis RPM is all about!
The 2013 St. Louis Railroad Prototype Modeler’s Meet (RPM Meet) is scheduled for Friday, August 2nd and Saturday, August 3rd at the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville, IL. This is the seventh annual St. Louis RPM Meet, and will feature the same great combination of clinics, hands-on workstations, hand-picked vendors, historical societies and evening layout tours that have made St. Louis RPM the second-largest RPM meet in the nation.
Contact John Golden at Golden1014@yahoo.com (812) 929-7181, or Lonnie Bathurst at Bathurst@litchfieldil.com (217) 556-0314 for meet info and layout tour reservations. More photos of the 2012 meet, and other St. Louis RPM meets, are posted at http://www.pbase.com/golden1014.