Railroad Enthusiasts Crowd the 28 th Annual Rogue Valley Railroad Show


Over 4,000 “kids of all ages” crowded the aisles at the 28 th annual Rogue Valley Railroad Show, held on Nov. 26 th and 27th, 2005. For these two days, the floor of the National Guard Armory in Medford , OR , was turned into a railroad-themed wonderland, filled with a myriad of railroad-related exhibits and displays.

The Rogue Valley Railroad Show is proudly sponsored and staffed by the five organizations that share facilities at the City of Medford 's Railroad Park : the Southern Oregon Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, the Morse Telegraph Club, Southwest Oregon Large Scale Trains, the Southern Oregon Live Steamers, and the Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club. All proceeds from the show fund improvements to the exhibits at the RR Park.

This year's show featured an eclectic collection of model railroad layouts, encompassing a broad range of scales, themes, and landscapes. Several N-scale modelers exhibited their personal efforts, including two beautifully-landscaped layouts by Bob Marcy of Grants Pass , and a three-train layout by Vince Oredson of Ashland that included structure models inspired by European castles. The White City Model RR Club displayed their N-scale line, complete with mountains, tunnels, and a harbor, and Loren Snyder of Medford exhibited a Z-scale layout featuring mountainous terrain.

A crowd-pleasing garden-scale layout operated by Southwest Oregon Large Scale Trains (SOLST) sported the largest operating models at the show. Their modular layout included a collection of entertaining scenes, such as an amusement park, wedding chapel, and auto junkyard. Saturday's attendees were encouraged to vote for their favorite exhibit, and the SOLST exhibit placed first in this “People's Choice” tally.

The Ashland-based Siskiyou Toy Train Club, runner-up in the “People's Choice' vote, had many attendees re-living their childhood days with their clever layout featuring O-scale Lionel trains. Gary Johnson of Central Point placed third in the balloting with an amusingly detailed N-scale layout featuring a winter fantasy scene.


Other crowd-pleasing exhibits included two large and detailed modular layouts: the Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club's “Pacific & Eastern Line” HO-scale railroad, and the Eugene-based A&P ‘N'-gineer's N-scale railroad. Attendees were encouraged to take the throttle and run the HO-scale train on the “Junior Pretzel” layout and to solve the “Switching Puzzle” layout.

Southern Oregon is home to three premier manufacturers of model railroad equipment – Kadee Quality Products of White City, Micro-Trains Line of Talent, and Campbell Scale Models of Central Point – and the show was very proud to host exhibits that highlighted their products.

But the emphasis was not just on modeling. Several fascinating exhibits highlighted railroad history. The National Railway Historical Society's exhibit featured a fascinating mix of railroad artifacts along with information about their restoration projects at the Medford Railroad Park . Show attendees took their turn sitting in two restored speeders once used to maintain track in the mountain West. The Southern Oregon Historical Society displayed photographs of the early 20 th century Rogue River Railway Company.

Meanwhile, the Morse Telegraph Club was busy sending free telegrams across the Armory floor or across the U.S. , and the Southern Oregon Live Steamers' display emphasized the recent expansion of their railroad line at the Medford Railroad Park . This year's show also welcomed back the “Operation Lifesaver” exhibit, with its emphasis on railroad safety.

Many lucky patrons took home a treasure, as sixty-nine prizes, ranging from restaurant gift certificates to large train sets, were awarded in a show-ending drawing. Furthermore, up to five door prizes were awarded during each hour of the show. Attendees also got a jump on their holiday shopping, as vendors stationed in the Armory's balconies offered over eighty tables with a cornucopia of railroad-related goods.

Media response was excellent, contributing to record attendance, with coverage on all three of Southern Oregon 's major network affiliates over the course of the weekend. Special thanks are owed to Southern Oregon Public TV for their participation and promotional efforts.

Thanks to the many volunteers who helped organize and staff this year's event, and to the over forty different businesses and individuals that donated a wide variety of merchandise and literature to the Railroad Show. Also, thanks to Boy Scout Troop 111, who once again provided valuable assistance before and after the show.

All proceeds from the Rogue Valley Railroad Show go toward maintenance and improvements to the exhibits at the City of Medford Railroad Park. The Medford Railroad Park is open to the public on the 2 nd and 4 th Sunday of each month, April through October.


The 29th Annual Rogue Valley Railroad Show is scheduled for November 25th & 26th, 2006

copyright © Rogue Valley Railroad show 2005