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Fall 2017 Train Shows

Dec 29, 2017 by Darrell

Season is off to a great start

With the Woodstock and Kitchener shows just 2 weeks apart this fall, we barely recovered from one before we were heading out for another, and it appears we were still setting up both shows while the crowds were showing up. None-the-less, the display looked better than it ever has, since we took all the lessons learned from our Spring shows and the Waverley Road showing in June to really step up our game. We say the display gets better looking each year we run, and when you compare it to previous years, that statement really hits home. We're celebrating our 4th year anniversary this fall, having first tested our display on tables at my workplace in Oct of 2013. You can watch that video here.

Now compare that to the video of this Fall's Shows.

Kitchener/Woodstock Quote of the Day(s)

quote startI appreciate how much work is involved in setting this up.quote end


GT3 Trains in the Beach, Toronto

June 7, 2017 by Darrell

A perfect way to end the season

On June 3 & 4, we ran our display in the basement of Waverley Road Baptist Church in the Beach, Toronto. We like doing this show for many reasons, one of which is the leisurely setup time, allowing us to fully flesh out the display and try new things. I also live close by, so am able to bring more stuff than when showing out of town. Many of our friends came by, and with the combined advertising in the Beach Metro, on Facebook groups, flyers posted in store windows, and signage down on Queen Street, we had a great turnout and met many new people.

We also gave away a FREE TRAIN as part of our effort to promote O Gauge railroading in the GTA. And the winner is: Linda T. from Toronto! Congratulations Linda and Family! Funny story there, Linda saw us 2 years ago in the Roundhouse during Doors Open. She and her family went back to the Roundhouse this year, but were disappointed to find we weren't showing. As luck would have it, they were in the Beach this last weekend, saw the sign on the street, and were happy to find us again! And then... she entered our drawing and WON. You gotta love coincidences like that.

Check out our video here.


Kitchener Model Train Show - March 19, 2016

Mar 20, 2017 by Darrell

This train show season got off to a slow start, with us having to cancel a couple of Fall shows, and the January Woodstock show not happening. So here we are at Kitchener, at what should have been our 5th show, and it's only been our 2nd since summer! All that to say we felt a bit rusty, with setup going well past the 10:00 starting time. None-the-less, we were in good form, with our latest format receiving positive feedback from kids and adults alike. We tried out a new "dogbone" elevated assembly, made out of black foamboard for now until we work out the kinks, and kept our crowd pleasers out on the table for most of the show. I tested a new sound unit in my Williams Dash 9 locomotive, and it performed rather well until near the end of the day. Turns out it had a short, which I'm trying to fix before next show.

Check out our video here. It includes footage from CTV Kitchener, who was also there shooting a segment with their camera crew. Watch the CTV News video here.

Kitchener Quote of the Day

quote startYou're a big hit with the kids, believe me.quote end


Save On Energy Commercial Update

Nov 7, 2016 by Darrell

A Million Views and counting!

Since June, the commercial we were involved in making has been playing on primetime TV, showing in movie theatres, shared on social media, and viewed on the web – with over 1,250,000 hits on Youtube, where our train ad is being viewed at a rate 3 times higher than any of the others in the series.

Regardless of your take on the ad itself or the politics behind Ontario energy policy, the fact that model trains have made inroads into popular culture again has to be seen as a plus for everybody in our hobby.

Click here to see the web campaign our train ad is part of. Our ad is (where else?) under the train in the lower right.

And, click here to see our own video of the making of the commercial.

As the success of this commercial proves, people are drawn to model trains. Whether it's kids jostling for a closer look, or adults reminiscing about the set they or their parents had, everyone is happy around O Gauge trains! If you want to engage, go O Gauge!

Want to draw a crowd to your next special event? Bring us along as an added attraction! We're available for events such as summer fairs, fall fundraisers, winter carnivals, etc. Contact us to start a discussion, as pricing will be determined through negotiation.


Doors Open Toronto – May 2016

July 31, 2016 by Darrell

Roundhouse Epiphany

doors open may 2016Every year that we've been involved, this show has been set up in a different location within the Roundhouse facility. This year, we were in the Toronto Railway Museum space itself, where people came specifically to see trains, and they were not disappointed! Being the only O-gauge display meant we were swamped with crowds all day, both days. Adults, both young and old, reminisced about train sets they or their parents had, and kids gravitated to our 30" high tables, where they got to see trains right up close! Some kids seemed to be there for hours while their parents watched from a seating area closeby.

We're convinced as never before that this type of model train display is the perfect drawing card for kids and adults alike. The lower height of the tables, the scale and speed of the trains, along with the history of these trains as a toy from a bygone era, make it the perfect combination of entertainment and nostalgia. Everyone is happy around O gauge trains!

Now, just think how we can make it work for you! If you want to engage, go O gauge!

Click here for the video.


Our Commercial is up and running

June 21, 2016 by Darrell

commercial shootRecently we worked on a commercial, where we were contracted to set up our track and scenery on location and run our trains during the shoot.

We did this over two days in February, working with the production designer and a crew of over 50 people. The experience was both tiring and exciting, but more importantly we were very pleased with the results.

That commercial is now playing, on TV and on YouTube. Click here to see the finished product!


We B Train Techs

March 15, 2016 by Darrell
GT3 got it's first professional gig with the hiring of John and Darrell as Train Techs for the TV commercial called "Save On Energy". Our club was contracted by the production company to set up a train display on pre-built tables, run it and trouble shoot it during filming, and take it down quickly so the location could be returned to the owners – in other words, very much what we do at every train show!

Click here to see the finished product!

Also here's an interview we did for a local Toronto newspaper. Enjoy!


Waverley Road Church display- Feb 2016

Feb 19, 2016 by Darrell

waverley feb 2016Wow! What a weekend! We had all day Saturday to set up, and for some stupid reason it took us ALL DAY! Granted we had many visitors during this period, like Paul from the commercial production company that hired us (more on that above). Then on Sunday, we ran the display for 4 hours while the church hosted a warming station and other activites in the building. Consequently, LOTS of people came specifically to see the train display, then stayed for some of the other activities. This was a great start to our push to give GT3 more exposure outside of the train community.


Woodstock Model Train Show - Jan 2016

Jan 12, 2016 by Darrell

2016 got off to a great start with our appearance at the Woodstock Train Show. Despite the rain and snow, the crowds were huge, possible thanks in part to Rick Mercer plugging it on his show.

We ran a slightly new layout (only done once before), so set-up took longer than expected, which made things a bit sparse scenery-wise. Regardless, we had some good conversations, made some sales, and picked up a couple of things for ourselves.

Lots of people said they missed us at the November Kitchener show, so we were sure to confirm our attendance at the upcoming March 20 show.

Woodstock Quote of the Day

quote startThe layout looks fantastic, as always.quote end

Brampton Model Train Show - Oct 2015

Oct 14, 2015 by Darrell

We started off the 2015/2016 Season with a first – our first appearance in Brampton under the GT3 banner! Being the only O gauge display there meant we were constantly fielding questions about O gauge trains and layouts. People genuinely like the larger trains, but fear they don't have adequate room, or adequate budget, to be able to enjoy them properly. As always, GT3 is there to prove otherwise! We talked to so many people, more than usual. I was so hoarse the next day, I thought I was coming down with a cold. But it was just from so much talking!

Brampton Quote of the Day

quote startGT3. GT3. GT3.quote end From an enthusiastic young fan. That's branding, baby.

Doors Open Toronto - John St. Roundhouse - May 2015

June 16, 2015 by Darrell

Still our favourite show, we once again took Toronto by storm, wowing and electrifying audiences with our display, newly expanded to accomodate 8 trains running at once. This year the model train displays were set up in the Leon's portion of the Roundhouse, yet crowds were as plentiful and enthusiastic as ever. Lots of curious adults and ecstatic children crowded our display, with the occasional grabby hands touching things they shouldn't.

We had two full days of running trains, entertaining guests, talking about our hobby and shooting video. Many old friends came by, and some new friends were made. Exhausted by the end, we felt we had earned the kudos we received.

See the video here.

Roundhouse Quote of the Day

quote startYour display is perfect for this type of audience.quote end

Kitchener Model Train Show - March 15, 2015

Apr 5, 2015 by Darrell

Kitchener in March is where we decided to try our expanded layout idea, and wow, what a success!  More people than ever stopping in front of our tables, and so many people congratulating us on a very well-done display!

By simply extending the overall depth, we were able to run another loop around the outside as well as a separate staging/turnout track, giving us 8 trains running in total! The energy level of the whole layout went up by 50%, it seemed. And so did the trouble-shooting.

Lots of planning beforehand allowed us to set up very quickly, with custom made table inserts that fit over top 18" gap between the tables, pre-wired switch and power connections bundled together in a harness, and carefully wrapped track bundles.

We brought our "A" game, and even with the added complexity of setup, we were up and fully running by start time, with only minor scenic elements being filled in after the crowds started to come by. Exhausting, but well worth the extra effort!

See the video here. From now on, wherever space permits, this will be our new format.

Kitchener Quote of the Day

quote startSo, did you guys get here at midnight to start setting up?quote end

Woodstock Model Train Show - Jan 3, 2015

Jan 15, 2015 by Darrell

GT3's fall/winter season started with a good show in Kitchener on November second, and then Woodstock at the start of the New Year. Woodstock was where we debuted one year ago, so it was a good opportunity to celebrate our anniversary as a club and take stock of how far we've come in a year.

We like to keep it interesting for everyone, including ourselves, so the layout changes with every show. Improvements in our track plans, scenery and trains keep things fresh. It was great to see the kids, families and our train show friends taking it all in.

I brought a great selection of new Williams locomotives and Lionel and MTH rolling stock to show off, and John added new scenic elements he’s been working on. Having been off for the summer, our tubular set up took a little more time and needed a bit more management than usual, so we had no time to take video for our GT3 YouTube channel.

Thankfully, Sean from Persuasive Productions was already there shooting video for the show organizers, Jackie and Ian, and was able to provide us with some of his footage.  Sean captured some great shots, which you can see edited together here. 2015 January - GT3 at Woodstock Train Show - 1 year Anniversary. You can also catch Sean's Woodstock overview video on the Ontario Collector's Shows YouTube Channel. Be sure to check out the Collectorshows.ca website for all upcoming events.

Woodstock Quote of the Day

quote startToot, Tooot, Toot!quote end From a young fan on his new wooden train whistle.

Toronto Railway Museum, Doors Open Toronto - May 24 & 25, 2014

May 28, 2014 by John

blue jays vs godzillaWow! What can I say? The weekend was fantastic. Gorgeous sunny weather, tons of people enjoying the Toronto Railway Museum... toy trains and beer at the Steam Whistle Brewery and the Blue Jays winning another two games at Rogers Centre!.

Darrell added new roads to our display and I had fun with Roberto Alomar and Brett Lawrie bobbleheads vs T-Rex!

With Darrell's improved elevated loop, we had seven trains running on our layout.

(Additional note: we hadn't realized until later that this was by far the best setting we've ever had the pleasure of displaying in. Watch the video and you'll see what we mean.)

See the video here.

Toronto Railway Museum Quote of the Weekend

quote startDad! Look at all the trains! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!quote end

Getting ready for Doors Open Toronto - May 24 & 25, 2014

May 12, 2014 by John

We are very excited to participate in the Doors Open event at the John Street Roundhouse. Our layout will join other model train displays in the Event Hall at Steam Whistle, just one of the attractions at the Toronto Railway Museum's Doors Open Toronto experience.

I've overhauled my Lionel ZW transformer and am selecting some fine examples of tinplate trains to run. Darrell has some unique surprises for his layout.

read more...www.gt3trains.com/upcomingshows.html

Woodstock Model Train Show - April 2014

April 24, 2014 by Darrell

It was another fantastic show at Woodstock, where we made our inaugural appearance back in January! Bit more of a pleasant drive this time around, however. It's so nice to arrive when the sun is up.

Setup was much easier this time around. We must be getting our setup process down to a system. This is good, because once we have all the kinks worked out, we can start getting a little more complex with our display. I even tried an elevated section on my layout!

See our YouTube video here.

Woodstock Quote of the Day

quote startYou guys are having way too much fun.quote end

New YouTube Video: Kitchener Model Train Show - March 2014

April 3, 2014 by John

Darrell has put together a nice YouTube video of the Kitchener show. Featured trains include Darrell's Santa Fe Alco PA A-B-A passenger set, a Union Pacific GP7 and RS3 hauling the "yellow banana" freight train and his custom Schnabel consist pulled by three CN GP7s.

Important switching operations keep John busy with a Marx #1998 U.P. Alco S3 switcher using the Marx automatic upcoupler system with Marx plastic and tin 3/16 scale freight.. Meanwhile, a 1934 Joyline passenger set, 1954 silver NYC passenger set, and 1935 silver lithography passenger set run on the upper mini-layout.

Kitchener Model Train Show - March 2014

Mar 22, 2014 by Darrell

The Kitchener Train Show on March 16 was another successful day for us and also proved to be a valuable testing ground for new improvements. We added the GT3 signage which could be seen from across the room, and two staging sidings that allow us to pre-set a consist while another train runs on the main loop.

A phantom electrical short and one uncooperative locomotive kept us troubleshooting for a while, but through it all, a great crowd of enthralled kids and curious adults smiled as they enjoyed the display.

Kitchener Quotes of the Day

quote startDid you put this all together this morning? And do you have to take it all down tonight?quote end Darrell - "Yes. it's possible to build all this in 2 or 3 hours."

quote startI'm going to build this mini pizza layout for my grandchildren. Do you have a trackplan?quote end John - "Great! The trackplan is on our handout flyer and website."

Kitchener Model Train Show Prep

Mar 9, 2014 by John

We are busy preparing for the Kitchener Model Train Show and Sale, this Sunday, March 16. Also, Darrell has uploaded a new video of his Schnabel car project to the YouTube Channel and an article on his Bridge Over the Stairwell on our Creative Projects page. John has added more info on his Circuit Breaker Gizmo Box article

GT3 Website Launched - Feb 2014

Feb 23, 2014 by John

Our website is up and running at gt3trains.com. We'll post more news, photos, articles, and downloads soon.

If you've visited the old club's site at www.triplerailmodelers.com, it now auto-directs you to our GT3 website. If you are looking for Triple R Modelers click --> www.triplermodelers.ca.

Remember to bookmark our new site! GT3 can be accessed at gt3trains.com OR www.gt3trains.com... ( the www. is not necessary :)

GT3 Website Rebuild - Jan/Mar 2014

Jan 23, 2014 by Darrell

After the smashing success of our appearance in Woodstock, its full steam ahead for our website renovations. Once things are on track, we'll switch the site over to a new web address, get the new GT3 logo signage printed and be ready to roll for the Kitchener Model Train Show, Sunday March 16, 2014.

Woodstock Model Train Show - Jan 2014

Jan 12, 2014 by John

Greater Toronto Toy Trains inaugural appearance was a fantastic success! In accordance with Murphy's Law we experienced some technical glitches but we adapted, improvised and overcame to put on a great show!

Woodstock Quote of the Day
quote startIf there was a prize for best layout, I'd give it to you guys!quote end

We received tons of great feedback, and encouragement from everyone which we appreciated very much. Our display even made it into the Woodstock Sentinal Review!

Greater Toronto Toy Trains is born - Oct 2013

Oct 26, 2013 by Darrell

John and I discussed what we might do after the the closing of Triple Rail Modelers, 3RM, the club which we had been with for the past few years. Rather than try to start another modular club from scratch, we opted to make a display that used our existing inventory of tubular track and accessories. We also realized we could incorporate John's mini Triple Pizza layout that he already had at home.

Envisioning a 24' x 5' traditional tubular track layout that could easily be set up on six 8' tables, we did a proof of concept test at my work location, utilizing every available empty table and desk in the place.

With the Triple Pizza layout as the centre piece (on a solid foundation of real slate rock, no less) we assembled our pre-planned track concepts on black theatre curtain as our table base, which highlighted the track dramatically. We were surprised at how easily things came together, but were even more mesmerized by the shear spectacle of 6 trains running simultaneously, each operating flawlessly on track that was set up mere minutes earlier.

“This can work!" we agreed, and GT3 was born.

See the video here.

Do you have Comments, Questions or Feedback?

We'd like to hear from you.
email us: gt3trains@gmail.com

Old Updates

Jan 26, 2014 by John

When our News Updates page becomes full, previous news articles will be available on the
Old Updates page.