The Magic of the Railroad Hobby Show

The Railroad Hobby Show has the extraordinary ability to pull together the many facets of the railroading and model railroading hobby – probably better than any show in the country.

For over 50 years, we’ve seen the magic that happens the last weekend in January when we all get together to share our fascination with steel wheels on steel rails.

Except we couldn’t in 2021 – get together…

Yet, we learned a lot in 2020 by taking our monthly meetings online through our Show & Tell programs. We gained a greater appreciation of the Internet as an informational tool – and as a sales tool.

So, in 2021, we decided to take the Railroad Hobby Show online. We drew on technical expertise that resides within the Amherst Railway Society and partnered with Virtual Railfan to put together two shows that would benefit our exhibitors – just like the in-person show in West Springfield.

On January 30 & 31, and again on June 9, the Amherst Railway Society put together the first ever virtual Railroad Hobby Shows (vRHS). Three sessions of all things railroad and model railroad – 20 hours of air time. 

The results:

The shows drew 65,000+ viewers

Exhibitors made sales – lots of sales. In fact, during the January show, two exhibitor websites crashed from sales overload (both recovered within an hour)

Recorded sessions are posted on our YouTube channel and are drawing thousands of additional views

The point:

2020 was a difficult year for many in our hobby, and the Amherst Railway Society felt the need to step up and help. 

For those that participated, it’s clear that the magic of the Railroad Hobby Show works not only in West Springfield, Massachusetts …but online, too.