updated - December 12, 2020

Virtual Railroad Hobby Show

  1. Introduction:
Greetings to all of our loyal exhibitors.This first weekend in December is usually when we release our plans for the Railroad Hobby Show with regard to building locations, who will be attending and other special announcements.That part has not changed.Here are our plans for the Virtual Railroad Hobby Show – in outline form – to take place the same weekend as the “real and in-person” Show was to have taken place.
I wanted to stress here that I know how important this Show is to so many of you.This is our attempt to promote you.It’s a ton of work, but frankly, I don’t mind it at all; in fact, I enjoy it.If there is anything the Amherst Railway Society can do to help, we are here for you!Please read this through completely.There are a few things that we will need from you in the way of content and please be aware of the deadlines!
  1. The Plan(s)
  1.  The first Virtual Railroad Hobby Show will be January 30 and 31, 2021.  If this Show is successful, we would like to do 3 additional Shows throughout 2021.  Each Show will have a “theme” that will highlight particular groups of exhibitors.  This is our attempt to bring additional attention to all that attend the annual Railroad Hobby Show.  This first Show will highlight Manufacturers, Model Kit Companies, Scenery folks, Tools and Railroadiana.  EVERYONE is invited to attend each of the 4 virtual Shows (remember, if the first is successful, we will continue with additional Shows.)  Even though certain groups will be highlighted, I need to stress that you can be a part of all of them, if you wish.  I think you will get 4 times the exposure if you attend all 4 Shows.
  2. The schedule for the first and additional (tentative) Shows is as follows:
    1. January 30 and 31, 2021 highlighting as stated above.
    2. April 24 and 25, 2021, highlighting Non-profit, Historical Societies, Museums, Tourist Railroads, Art and Photography.
    3. June 26 and 27, 2021, highlighting Kids, Travel, Authors, Books, Publishers, Clothing and Crafts
    4. September 25 and 26, 2021 (ending just around the time to sign up for the “real” Show), highlighting Layouts!
  1. The Rules
  1. Any exhibitor who was invited to the 2021 Show can join any of the Virtual Railroad Hobby Shows (VRRHS).  The cost is $100.00 for the first VRRHS.  If you have already paid for the actual 2021 Show and have not received a refund and wish to participate, as we stated in the past, we will deduct that money from the payment and apply the remainder to the following year or refund the difference.  If the first is a success and we do decide to do more VRRH Shows, we will discount additional Shows if you have attended previously.  NOTE:  If you wish to donate goods to us in place of the $100.00 entry fee, please contact us as we will barter the entry fee with you.  Products that you donate will be raffled and/or sold and will go toward the operations of the Amherst Railway Society, Inc.  All products should be sent to Meaghan Royce, Show Office Manager, Amherst Railway Society, Inc., 42 Circle Drive, Monson, MA 01057-9543.  Also, layouts and Non-profits not selling merchandise or services that are not charged for attending the actual Railroad Hobby Show will not be charged for the VRRHS.  In other words, the same rules will apply here.  If you are selling product(s), you will be asked for a $100.00 entrance fee.
  2. The Virtual Show will be organized just like our booklet that is handed out each year.  However, this booklet will be virtual and therefore, interactive.  The booklet will include an intro from the Show Director and the President as well as ads if you wish to place an ad.  Standard ad rates will apply less 50%.  We are adding sponsorship levels as well (to be advertised in the booklet as well as our websites and Facebook page), as follows:
    1. Platinum Class Service ($1,000.00 or more donation)
    2. Gold Class Service ($500.00 – $999.99 donation)
    3. Business Class Service ($100.00 – $499.00 donation)
    4. Coach Service ($25.00 - $99.00)
  3. What’s new in this “virtual booklet” is a link to your website and more.  It is our hope that you highlight “Show Specials” for that weekend.  If you do NOT have a website, we will build a page in our booklet for you.  It can be as simple as contact info or your location at the next real Show.  Contact us for more information about that.  If you have a shopping cart linked to your website, we are recommending a discount code for that weekend if you choose, so that your “Show Specials” can be highlighted.
  4. What is very important to us is that we build content for that weekend.  What that means is the following:
    1. We need recordings of clinics/recordings that you have done.  We do not need the actual recording, just a link to them.  We will build pages of all clinic links.  Our hope is to have a huge amount of video for people to watch and learn.  Recordings can be new product releases as well.  Just let us know and we will organize the content.  If you are providing live/streaming or recorded clinics over the weekend of this first Show, let us know and we will help to publicize that as well (which includes the links to anything you are doing).  We also welcome recorded layout tours!
    2. In subsequent Shows, we anticipate that these links will follow the highlighted theme for each of the additional virtual Shows.  That is, for the second Show, we will have links to non-profit orgs, showing off what they are working on, membership info and more.  Still we will welcome any and all content and provide links to anyone who attends.
    3. Please remember that any existing ARS 2021 invited exhibitor can join any and all of these virtual shows.
    4. Amherst Railway Society will provide links to all of our “Show and Tells” to supplement the content.
    5. Throughout each day, the Show Director and other guests will make live announcements, conduct interviews, new product releases, and more!
  5. There will be NO cost for attendees/participants to join the Virtual Show.  It will be completely FREE to all attendees! 
  1. Summary:
We welcome any and all input/comments/ideas from you.We hope to see you at our first Virtual Railroad Hobby Show.Our objective is to get you more exposure and to let people know that you are out there!Here’s a summary of what we need from you:
  1. If you are an exhibitor attending, your deadline for letting us know is Friday, January 15, 5:00 pm EST.  Payments of money and/or goods/services must be made by Friday, January 22, 2021.
  2. If you intend to barter your entrance fee with product/services, items and services must be pre-approved by the Show Director or Treasurer in advance.  Give us a call or email so that we can document this properly.  The above deadlines are in effect for barter as well.
  3. We need content from you.
    1. Current contact info – this also gives us a chance to update our database if your info is outdated.
    2. Your web site (url), if you have one.  Your shopping cart as well (if you have one), along with a discount code (again, if you have one).
    3. Clinic info/links, whether they be resident on your website or on youtube, etc.  We need to organize and publish how to get to them.
  4. Any questions, comments or ideas, PLEASE CONTACT US as follows:
    1. Show Questions – John Sacerdote, showdirector@amherstrail.org or 860-243-0811
    2. Payment Questions – David Royce, treasurer@amherstrail.org or Meaghan Royce, showoffice@amherstrail.org or 413-267-4555 (office main number)
    3. Donation questions – John, David or Meaghan


With the addition of the Mallary Complex and taking more space within "Mallary South," the Railroad Hobby Show now has almost 10 acres of floor space, or close to a half million (500,000) square feet.  As large as the areas for exhibits are at the show, there is never enough space for all those wishing to exhibit.

All vendors and exhibitors must make their REQUESTS for Standby Status by submitting the WAIT LIST APPLICATION directly to the show office. Sending in your application, which then becomes part of the ARS permanent data base, does not guarantee you a space at the show. You must receive an invitation from the Show Director to exhibit at the show. Please do not confuse your listing on the Stand-by-waiting-list with an invitation to exhibit at the show.

To download a wait-list application, CLICK HERE. 


Who should apply to Exhibit?

Amherst Railway Society's Railroad Hobby Show is, first and foremost, a model railroad train show.  Since the purpose of the Amherst Railway Society is to educate and inform about our hobby and railroads in general, only exhibitors related to railroading will be invited to our show.  This includes real life railroads and scale model railroads, historical societies, artists, flea market dealers, importers, manufacturers and photographers.  According to our over 425 current exhibitors and our 200 exhibitors on our wait list, this consistent fact has made our show one of the most sought after shows in the United States.  To further reinforce that committment to railroading, we only allow the display and sales of railroad related items throughout the duration of the Show.


As an Exhibitor, what's included?

Amherst Railway Society's Railroad Hobby Show is a "table" show.  That is, we rent table space, not booth space.  Each table is 30 inches deep and 8 feet long and stands 30 inches tall.  Each table has access to electricity (if requested in advance at no charge) and one chair is included with each table.  Additional chairs can be made available upon request.  No additional or replacement display tables, racks, etc. are allowed without prior consent from the Show Director.  Refunds are allowed for vendor cancellations if requested prior to January 1 for that show year.  Call our offices for the latest table pricing.

Phones and InternetExtra Needs such as a phone line and hard-wired access to the internet are available directly through the Eastern States Exposition Offices.  Please call 413-205-5018 and speak with a representative of the Eastern States Exposition Staff to reserve a phone line or internet access.  Wi-Fi access to the internet is provided FREE each year, and is password protected (passwords are available at the Show).

RV Service - Exhibitors with RV's/Campers/5th Wheel Trailers can stay on the grounds of the Big E.  Please call 413-205-5018 and speak with a representative of the Eastern States Exposition Staff to reserve your spot and learn more about these details.

Drayage (shipping and receiving) - The Amherst Railway Society does work with a company(s) to assist with shipping and receiving of goods, booths, booth decorating, etc. Please do not hesitate to contact the Show Office to learn more about this service.  The Amherst Railway Society is not responsible for receiving or shipping of any goods to/from exhibitors.

Extras (Pipe & Drape, Carpet, etc.) - Contact the Amherst Railway Society to learn more about these extras. 

Display Tables - Only layouts, collectors/modellers (whose sole purpose is to show their projects) and non-profit organizations are allowed display tables.  There is no charge for a display table.  Any exhibitor that is not in the above 3 categories must pay for all tables used.  For more information on qualifying for a "display table," contact the Show Office.

Cancellation/Refund Policy - Amherst Railway Society will refund your money (in its entirety or in part; please see the "Terms and Conditions" portion of your contract for details) if we receive a written notice of the cancellation prior to December 31st of the year just before the Show (example: you must cancel before December 31, 2020 for the January 2021 Show.)  There are no refunds if notice is received after December 31st of the year just before the Show.  ARS reserves the right to withhold up to 30% of the amount to handle time and expenses related to this refund.


How to move up on the Wait List

Tradition with any wait list usually means, first come, first served.  This is not the only factor with regard to our WAIT LIST.

Vendors, Layouts and Not-For-Profit Organizations are invited to our Show from the wait list based upon the following factors:

  • What is in the best interest of the Show (what will help this show grow - in quality).  What will our visitors see that will make the experience more enjoyable.
  • What will our visitors see that will help inform, educate, or perhaps get them more involved in the greatest hobby in the world!
  • Length of time on the Wait List.

As you can see, we value our visiting public highly.  We encourage all vendors to constantly update their WAIT LIST APPLICATION so that we can consider all of the above in your behalf.

Please remember that our show is strictly an invitational show. We do this to insure optimal balance among vendors, layouts, and not for profit organizations. Invitations are given each year and there is no guarantee that any vendor, layout, non-profit organization or participant will be invited back the following year.  Further, the Amherst Railway Society reserves the right to cancel any contract and/or not "renew" or invite back any participant at any time.


Material used on displays

Fire Prevention Regulations have been updated by the West Springfield Fire Deparatment and the Fire Prevention Officer.

The list of regulations has been updated and can be downloaded by CLICKING HERE.

The West Springfield Fire Marshall tests all materials used in displays at the Amherst Railway Society's Railroad Hobby Show unless they carry manufacturer's certificates certifying that they are fire retardant. "Fire retardant" for the layman means that the material if ignited will go out, that is, that the material will not self-sustain flame. "Fire retardant," fire resistant," and "fire proof," while technically distinct terms, have the same meaning for the layperson. Manufacturers of fire retardant materials attach certificates certifying that fact to the materials. There is a store in West Springfield that sells spray bottles of fire retardant for those whose display materials do not pass the Fire Marshall's test. For vendors who are uncertain, we suggest checking with their local fire departments if they have questions about materials they plan to use.

We know of two dealers of fire retardant and one dealer of fire resistant fabric in the area. They are:

Retardent Dealers:


Mass Fire Equipment Corp.
57 York St.
Springfield MA 01104
Product name 'CeaseFire'

Fire Control Co.
St. George Rd.
Springfield MA 01104
Product name 'CeaseFire'


Fire Resistant Fabric Dealer:


Osgood Textile Co., Inc.
333 Park St.
W. Springfield MA 01089

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