hospitality” was experienced by 50 plus live steamers, enthusiasts and
spectators at the G1MRA US Southern Group gathering, June 5 & 6, 2015.
Held in conjunction with a regional NMRA convention, the steam up offered
a gauge 1 showcase for modelers in smaller scales to move out of the
basement and indoor train room into the sunlight of real steam.
Meeting trackside at
Southern Steam Trains in Travelers Rest, locomotives and consists of
passenger and freight cars navigated an elevated track system of
approximately 174 feet with a 10 ½ foot minimum radius. In anticipation, the
roadbed and rails were tuned for smooth and safe running.
Each morning as
locomotive fires were being lit and water boiled, a Brandbright Resilent
Diesel (battery powered) checked the right of way and honored Richard
Longley’s (Brandbright UK) retirement. Up and running then were a broad
spectrum of trains, literally representing the world railways and
manufacturers such as Accucraft, Aster, Reigner, Roundhouse, and
personally crafted home shop built locomotives.
Fueling a spirit of
conviviality in the summer sun was an abundance of snacks and soft drinks,
iced coffee and lots of bottled water. The gathering was truly a reunion
offering affirmation, inquiry into how locomotives are assembled and
serviced. The welcome was extended to visitors, some of whom were viewing
for the first time steam in the garden. All of our guests
as they returned home to Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and
South Carolina found inspiration and encouragement for their endeavors.
expressed to Jim Sheppard, who served as our official photographer; Geoff
Humphries, who supplied the US and UK flags. Barry Robertson, retired
British Railway engineer and who resides in Favershan, Kent, England
provided a full size perspective on the romance and realties of
railroading. Steve Baker continues as G1MRA US Southern Group’s “chairman
for life” committed to simplicity in administration (no rules and no dues)
…other than membership in G1MRA UK.
For the evening
benediction on Saturday after the crowds dispersed, a Rishion “Pichi Richi”
Coffee Pot built by Paul Trevaskas in Australia, navigated the right of
way to to confirm no strangers were left behind. All in attendance, who
literally were “south of somewhere” were on their way home.