No. 11: 2016 St. Louis Railroad Prototype Modeler’s Meet

The tenth annual St. Louis Railroad Prototype Modeler’s meet was held on Friday, August 12th and Saturday, August 13th, 2016 at the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville, IL.

This year’s meet was a smash hit. Over 467 modelers attended (not including another 10-15 kids and wives, etc.) making it the largest RPM-style event ever in the U.S. Full admission for both days was just $25.00. We had 23,000 sq. ft. for hand-picked scale vendors, railroad historical societies, prototype modeling clinics, visiting prototype layouts, hands-on clinics and learning stations, and much, much more in the modern, professional Gateway Convention Center. About 2,000 models were brought by attendees and put on display on 60 eight-foot tables.


The models are the centerpiece of our meet, and the real reason we do what we do. Attendees brought 2,000 models, finished and in-progress, for display and discussion. All scales, gauges, and models from all eras were present including locomotives, structures, freight cars, dioramas, vehicles or other models. The core purpose of our event is to share and learn new techniques, and provide a forum where attendees can meet and get to know each other.

This year’s meet included clinics by Gene Semon, Ted Culotta, Roger Hinman, George Eichelberger, Tony Cook, Mike Wise, Michael Petersen and Nathan Holmes, Ed Hawkins, Jeff Eggert, Nick Molo, David Vaughn, Dave Roeder and Tim Costello, all discussing the prototype and how to model it.

Our vendors included Altoona Model Works, Badger Airbrush, Bear Creek Hobbies, Bethelehem Car Works, Bob’s Photos, Cannon & Co., CRM Hobbies, Ed Stoll Photos, Funaro & Camerlengo, Gateway Division NMRA, Jim Shaw Photos, Harbor Belt Lines, Horizon Hobbies, ICG Custom Decals, Iowa Scaled Engineering, Loksound, Mark Vaughn Decals, Mask Island Decals, Minuteman Scale Models, Mike Gruber Photos, Motrak Models, Moloco, Moon Dog Rail Cars, Norris Hobbies, OST Publications, Oak Hill Model Railroad Track Supply Co., Plano, Protocraft, ProtoLoads,, Q Connection, Rails Unlimited,, Spring Creek Model Trains, St. Louis Microtools, Speedwitch, Southern Car & Foundry, Tangent Scale Models, The Weathering Shop and Yarmouth Model Works.

Second Shot of Room

St. Louis RPM also features the largest annual gathering of railroad historical societies in the U.S. 17 Railroad Historical Societies participated this year, including the New York Central, B&O, Pennsylvania, Wabash, Missouri Pacific, C&EI, Nickel Plate, Terminal RR Association, GM&O, ACL, Seaboard, Central of Georgia, Illinois Central, CB&Q, Southern, and C&NW will be present, along with the R&LHS and the Barriger National Railroad Library. The Milwaukee Road and Grand Truck were last-minute cancellations. All these societies were present and more will be on hand to aid your modeling and research efforts. In addition, the very popular Railroad Historical Society meeting, once again run by the good folks from the MoPac HS, was held on Friday evening. Nick Fry from the Barriger National railroad Library gave a presentation on archiving and archiving materials.

We provided hands on clinics including a large airbrush clinic, hosted by Bill Welch and Badger Airbrush, demonstrating how to spray acrylics using many different brands of airbrushes. Dave Schroedle of offered hands-on weathering clinics all day, both days. And Jeremy St. Peter and the guys from were on hand too, doing live weathering demonstrations and showing attendees how to weather like a pro.

RPM 99

This year three prototype layouts were available for viewing and operating at the conference center. The magnificent Modutrak N Scale layout from Chicago was on hand with a 50 x 20-foot layout, Jim Canter’s Proto48 NKP traveling layout was operating in the lobby, and Chuck Graham and the Mudhens brought a beautiful HOn3 20 x 36-lopop layout. Bill Selick also brought the N scale Galesburg City Job—a 20 x 15 point-to-point ops layout.



Home layouts open for tour included Brad Joseph’s HO scale 1950-theme UP layout and Curt Regensberg’s Streator Connection, both in HO scale. Pete Smith’s museum-quality Sn3 layout was open in Shiloh, Ill. as well.

We hosted a number of after-hours social events, including the traditional Pre-RPM Meet BBQ and Social at Bandana’s in Collinsville and the “RPM Roundup” at the DoubleTree Inn next door to the Gateway Center. We also hosted a “PowerPoint and Pizza Party” at the center, along with slides and a few informal presentations on Friday evening. Coffee, beer and lunch and dinner were available at the center for attendees. A good time was had by all.

The meet was hosted by St. Louis modelers Dan Kohlberg, Lonnie Bathurst, Dave Roeder and John Golden, and co-sponsored by the Gateway Division NMRA.

Check out our 2015 and 2016 official event photos at

Another shot of the room

If you want more information on the 2017 St. Louis RPM meet, please contact John Golden at or Lonnie Bathurst at (217) 556-0314.

The crew at St. Louis are supporters of all RPM events. If you can’t attend St. Louis RPM, check out Joe D’elia’s RPM site for a meet near you at We strongly encourage you to attend, meet your fellow modelers, and bring your models.

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