I’ve been a member of the PCRRHS for a few years now, but I had never attended their annual convention. That changed this weekend, and I’ll be attending many more conventions in the future.
The Western New York Railway Historical Society hosted the convention at their Heritage DiscoveRY Centre project. Fittingly, Joe Kocsis presented an overview of the HDC project and other WNYRHS initiatives. The HDC project has a bold vision to transform a vast swath of brownfield lands on the Buffalo River into an educational/recreational site. Among their impressive artefacts, WNYRHS is restoring Buffalo Creek Alco HH-660 #43 and the control board for the Frontier Yard hump tower.
In typical fashion, there were presentations each evening by knowledgable locals. John Spring presented an overview of the TH&B that the members appreciated. Penn Central was 75% owner of the TH&B, so the presentation was deeply relevant to the members’ interests. Chris Martin presented an investigation into some interesting Penn Central rolling stock, including company service cars. Neal Keirn presentated on the Falls Road during the PC/CR transition period, Gary Sample paid tribute to Conrail, and Ken Kraemer provided an overview of the entire Buffalo and Western New York area during the Penn Central era.
The daytime itinerary combined a self-guided tour and a guided bus tour. Some highlights included the Model Railroad Club of Buffalo and a visit to the Buffalo Southern Railroad in Hamburg.
The bus-tour part of the convention had us visiting Buffalo Central Terminal, the WNYRHS’s Lehigh Valley depot in Williamsville, the Railroad Museum of the Niagara Frontier in North Tonawanda, and the BR&P depot in Orchard Park.
Overall, it was an excellent event, and I took advantage of the opportunity to make new friends, get back in touch with a couple of old friends, and have a few laughs. If you’re a prototype modeller, I highly recommend joining the historical society for your prototype. Even if you’re into freelance modelling, I expect you could gain great insight by being a member of a society that covers a prototype that is similar to your imagined road.