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There has been conversation this week on the MTF in regard to Atlas not attending the upcoming York Meet. The discussion enlarged to the Meet itself and it's future. Emile said it best when he remarked that this Meet will be around for a long time. I also commented why the York Meet's importance goes much deeper that the O-Gauge train suppliers.

It is not often discussed as to the importance of the cottage industry guys and how they impact this Meet. My first York Meet many years ago, I was in search of a large turntable. All I could find on-line at that time was the Bowser turntable that had mixed reviews and it was smaller than I wanted. While at that York Meet, I found Vernon Peachy who displayed his 36" turntable that was built like a rock. Vernon quickly had a new customer and at that same meet, I purchased an eight stall roundhouse. That Meet made a believer in the importance of the York Meet.

Since then, I have purchased many products from the cottage industry guys, most of which only sell at the York Meet. Jack Pearce with his beautiful lighted vehicles and detailed passenger car diners, Stan the Tank Man, Miller signs, and the list goes on. I put the cottage industry vendors high on the ranking as to why the York Meet is so good.

Sure, it is nice to see the new train products from the major suppliers, it is also nice to see if Charles Ro, Gryzboski, Nicholas Smith, etc. have bargains, and then walking through the member halls (cottage industry sellers are there also) to see what is offered, but thankfully there are the cottage industry guys who have those very special items that make out layouts unique.

I have found that the best of the best are at the York Meet and nowhere else compared to other train shows that tend to be mostly catered to HO enthusiasts. So if this Meet is on your to-do list, you should go out of your way to make it happen.
 
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Hi Brian. I have to agree with you. I am constantly searching out online vendors who are not O gauge train suppliers. Maybe one day I will get to York and see what's what. By the way is there a preferred season, spring or fall?

Regards,

Gary.
 
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I like them both, Gary. Usually, the same vendors.
 

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Well stated BRIAN! YORK will still be around for quite some time. I have seen vendors come and go at the meet some I really miss, like VINCE's TRAINS, along with our own ANDRE GARCIA. Really like going and seeing what VINCE had brought with him to YORK. I had purchased a MTH F7s NS DAP set off him along with my Legacy S3 Milwaukee Road. He had told me that he would sell in excess of $32K at the meet. I also enjoy spending time in the members halls, not only looking what they have atop the tables but rummaging under them too. As long as there is this meet I'll be there.

PS END FOR YORK REGISTRATION ON LINE IS MARCH 9th!!!
 

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I don't have the years experience with York like many on these train forums, but I have been to both the spring and fall York meets a couple of times in the last 3 years. I also attend the show at the Big E and went to Allentown for the 1st time last fall. I have never found visiting the manufacturer booths to be all that interesting, so not having them at the shows wouldn't deter me from going. Frankly, the times I have stopped to engage with one of the manufacturers the responses are always the same - "The delivery for that item should be coming soon" and "Huh, I haven't heard of that being a problem from anyone else." I may be exaggerating slightly, but you get the gist of it.

In order, this is what I like to see at a show - big dealer displays (lots of the new stuff and always a deal on something I want to buy), club layouts (appreciate the work, love watching the trains, guys like sharing tips, and get some cool ideas for our home layout), cottage industry vendors (all the things you add to the layout to bring it to life - buy all of this stuff at shows), and then collector tables mostly for older rolling stock and used track and switches. Throw in a hot dog and I'm happy.

I go to these things with holes burning in my pockets; I'm there to buy stuff. The worse shows are the ones where you don't find anything to buy. I've only been to one of those - local event with about 10 tables. And if I'm ever in the market for a box of 3 railed rust, mold caked steam engines or single axle boxcars, I know where to find those, too.
 
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I haven't paid too much attention to the cottage industry guys in the past but with all the major work on my layout done I'll be looking for details and oddities that add interest this year so I will be looking closely at the cottage industry guys and members tables.
 

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There are a lot of folks at York who make and sell custom and specialized products. I used to sell coal and other loads at York and Allentown, as well as some of the local shows. Sales were good for a few years, but then sales plummeted. I went back a few more times with the same result, so I just go to walk around and visit friends.
 

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Since then, I have purchased many products from the cottage industry guys, most of which only sell at the York Meet. Jack Pearce with his beautiful lighted vehicles and detailed passenger car diners, Stan the Tank Man, Miller signs, and the list goes on. I put the cottage industry vendors high on the ranking as to why the York Meet is so good.
And I haven't been able to sell you any of my custom product. ;)
 

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Good thread PTC. Buenos Dias from Isla Mujeres.

Heck with the manufacturers at York. It is nice that they are there but we have gotten to know many of the “cottage industry” folks and it has resulted in great products and almost always a lower price. Scenic Express, Al/Millhouse, Steve at Ross, Steve Nelson/Mr Muffin, Vickie and Harry Hieke, East Coast Ent (bridges, etc), Bridge Boss, and many more. Have to mention Andre again.

There are many more. And you get to know other train folks as an added bonus.

If all the manufacturers leave, York is a viable event unless the lost income makes it impossible for the sponsor to make ends meet.

Thanks Brian. 18 sails yesterday, 82 and sunny now.
 
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Rub it in, Bill. But, one plus for us today, it is not snowing. Our pups like climbing the snow mountains in the yard. Cooper thinks he is king of the hill.
 

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What you said Brian is exactly why I like to go to York. The unusual, unique, great ideas, different ways to assemble, that's what makes me go. I do like the cottage vendors, I have bought a lot of stuff from them.. I looked and looked for the NYC Superliners and Emile found them for me last fall. K-Line bombardiers came form the Fall show of 2017.

Then there is the friendships. I have been unable to go for a couple of the recent shows, but truly look forward to seeing everyone this April.
 

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For the masses that have the room & ability to have a layout, the “Cottage Industry” is absolutely needed. The major players, i.e Lionel, MTH, etal, do not produce the unique accessories, or scenery products, to make each layout unique. I think there will always be a good market for the Cottage Industry guys to survive, for quite a while. Good topic as usual Brian.
 
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