Video courtesy of Ben.
Held Sat. & Sun. November 2-3, the Laramie Train Depot Open House is an annual event organized by CoWLUG’s Wyoming stronghold, Stuart. He had several things to say about the success of this year’s exhibit: “Since it is a community event, CoWLUG shared space in the building with N scale, HO scale, O scale and 027 layouts. Our portion was approximately 17′ x 14.5′ and was by far the most complete of the rail layouts. Great scenery folks!”
Stuart provided a list of New/Notable features:
- Duane’s dropped table with river (3×3 baseplates) with 2 rail bridges and a car bridge
- a 3×7 baseplate raised section (~22 bricks off the surface with buildings, 2 train tunnels)
- Lester’s elevated railway
- Stuart’s 4 interactive arcade style buttons. The buttons activated:
- Lester’s elevated rail way
- Lester’s steam plant
- Lester’s steam punk building
- Lester’s fantastically geared ATM and Duane’s helicopter on top of a very tall building.
These buttons were specifically set up to allow the smaller visitors to interact with but not touch the layout.
- PF IR controlled trains (both PF and 9V powered rail from the same controllers). Stuart hacked the PF lines to accept wall warts so we weren’t running 9V trains on batteries.
- The Doofenschmirtz Evil Inc Building courtesy of Duane Hess’s Eeeeeevil Build Table (lots of fun comments about this one)
- MANY new builds by various members My guesstimate is that we had 50% new builds.
And notable returning
- The Duplo touch table on Sunday with motorized Duplo trains (Thanks Lisa for organizing and watching this! And thanks to Sam & Star for helping out here too.). This is our 3rd year for a Duplo touch table.
- The reopened and now CC standardized Luigi’s Pizza
The Laramie Depot Open House also boasted a microscale train ornament set designed by a former LEGO designer, Joel Hoornbeek. This set of an engine and 3 cars was used as a fundraiser for the Depot.
Stuart’s best estimate is that 800 people attended over the course of the weekend. He explained that CoWLUG helped advertise and prep the community for the event: “We reserved and filled a display case at the Albany County Public Library. Lester and I filled the case with a Western scene that was 4.5 baseplates x 1.5 baseplates and designed as a visual scavenger hunt with a list of items for the passers-by to find.”
Additionally, there was immediate, positive feedback from various people including serious model train buffs. Stuart: “On taking my son Asher to school after the weekend, I had feedback from parents about how their kids not only loved the exhibit, but went right home and started building. I think that’s where I can count our greatest success for this event!”