Clinics?? - we’ve got ‘em!

Pre-show Clinics 

Thursday and Friday, January 26 & 27, 2023
8:30 am to 5:30 pm each day 
(held at the Sheraton Monarch Hotel)
To Register for 2023 Thursday and Friday Clinics:  CLICK HERE

Model railroading is a fairly complex hobby, right?  So, we offer two full days of In-person clinics with experienced instructors. You come away with great insights into the latest modeling techniques, and inspiration for new modeling ideas. 

Plus, we package our clinics for maximum value. You get all the clinics you can handle, breakfast and lunch, and a two-day ticket to the Railroad Hobby Show, all for one reasonable price.

Here is the list of clinics for 2023 

American Flyer Repair
Block Signal Design with Azatrax
Conowingo Flat Car Build
Light a House Without Wires
Designing Prototypical Lighting
Designing a Reading Company Layout
Hershey and the Reading Railroad
Hotwire Foam Factory - make and take
HO Freight Car Tune-up
Introduction to DCC
Model Train Detection
North American Signaling
Reality and Model Railroading
Soundtraxx Tsunami
Soundtraxx Bluenami
TCS Universal Throttle
TCS WOWSound Decoders
TMB: Weathering Rolling Stock
TMB: Paint & Glues
USATC S-100: The World Wide 0-6-0
The Waterfall: Hands-on

(clinic times and details below)

Clinics Description by Clinician

Mike Baker

Painting 103: Weathering Locomotives and Rolling Stock

Friday 10:15 – 11:00 – Charles Room       

Bring life to that roster of locomotives and rolling stock. No piece of railroad equipment stay “factory fresh” very long. This clinic will explore the mediums, tools and techniques for weathering models. It will also cover some prototypical references and examples to illustrate what works on well detailed models.

Mike Baker

Paints and Glues

Friday    11:15 – 12:00 – Charles Room                    

This clinic will focus on some of the major elements for the model builder. Without paints and glues it would be almost impossible to fabricate and assemble models. A working knowledge of the properties of these products is essential. A detailed discussion of the glues and paints used by the modelers and some not so obvious options will be followed by a discussion on where, when and how to best use these products to achieve positive results.

Don Becker

MicroMark Tools and The New LaserArt by MicroMark Kits

Thursday 4:00 – 5:00 – Worthy Room

Don highlights some of the great tools available at MicroMark and offers some tips on becoming a better modeler. Additionally, Don will be introducing a new craftsman kit line: LaserArt by MicroMark.

George Bogatiuk

Soundtraxx Presents: Introduction to DCC

Friday 2:00 – 2:45 – Highland Room

Are you new to DCC? Are you finally getting around to building your own layout? Or are you just trying to get the most out of DCC? George will examine the history of DCC, explain the benefits of DCC and answer any questions that you may have.

George Bogatiuk

Soundtraxx Bluenami

Friday 3:00 – 3:45 - Highland Room

With the addition of Blue Tooth technology, the Soundtraxx Bluenami elevates the sound decoder to the next level.  It will be a game changer.

George Bogatiuk

Realistic Operating with SoundTraxx Decoders

Friday 4:00 – 5:00 – Highland Room

This clinic explores the basics of DCC sound decoders with on the Soundtraxx Tsunami.   Come see the new product features and unlock the potential of the Tsunami decoders.

Mike Byle

Reality and Model Railroading for an Engineer

Thursday 2:00-2:45 PM – Highland Room

Friday 9:15-10:00 AM – Highland Room

The presentation will cover some of my family background and how a lifelong interest in railroads has influenced my career and pastimes; from my first train set to complex real life design projects in under and around rail lines including Amtrak’s high-speed rail clearance improvement project, CSX double stack low grade in Philadelphia and many bridges and some of the unseen realities of rail infrastructure.

Mike Byle

Zen and the Art of American Flyer Repair

Friday 4:00 – 5:00 – Charles Room

There are many benefits of working in 1/64 scale.  While there is more to S scale than American Flyer, the majority of the S scale equipment available is either “Flyer” or based on “Flyer” designs.  Join Mike on his journey to improve the electronics and otherwise modernize vintage American Flyer equipment.


Conowingo Models

Flat Car Build

Friday 9:15-1:45 – Highland Room

Conowingo Models will be conducting a hands-on build clinic for their universally useful flatcar kit in HO/On30.  Starting with the kit materials, the participants will be guided through the build process and leave with a new flatcar ready for revenue service. 

Space is limited and on a first come first served basis – sign-up sheets will be at the Registration Desk.

Conowingo Models

Craftsman Kits

Friday 3:00 -3:45 – Highland Room

Conowingo Models will be sharing their design philosophy behind some of their most popular kits.

Mike Dettinger

USATC s-100: The World Wide 0-6-0

Thursday 2:00 – 2:45 – Charles Room

The S-100 steam locomotive was both tough and easy to maintain.  The over 400 locomotives of this class were built in the US by Porter, Davenport and Vulcan and queue up in the UK.  After D-Day, these truly useful locomotives were sent to basically every corner of the world.  So popular, in fact, that over 300 copies were produced by Eastern European Builders.  This clinic assesses the features required to make a successful war locomotive, looks at the men who implemented this design, a discussion of HO vs OO scale and options for the modeler who would like to bring an S-100 to their own layout. 

John and Pat Ehrenreich

Beyond the Plywood Plains: Working with Extruded Foam – Hands-on

Thursday 10:15 – 12:00 – Worthy Room

Thursday 1:00 – 2:45 – Worthy Room

Friday 9:15 – 11:00 – Worthy Room

Many centuries ago, man discovered that the world was not flat.  It is time that model railroaders begin adding depth to their layouts and train displays. This hands-on clinic, limited to 8 participants, will teach the techniques required to convert the plywood plain to a more richly contoured landscape to better display your structures. Extruded foam is not just for building mountains – it can be used for structure foundations and even walls.

John and Pat will have 8 complete Hot Wire Foam Factory tool stations as well as glues and coating products for our students. We are holding extra sessions to accommodate as many students as possible.  Space is Limited – A sign-up sheet is available at the Registration Table on a first come basis. 

John and Pat Ehrenreich

Hot Wire Foam Factory: Glues and Coatings

Thursday 9:15 – 10:00 – Worthy Room

Hot Wire Foam Factory has a large selection of glues and coatings specially formulated to work with extruded foam.  The coatings can create a “hard shell” base for your scenery and provide extra tooth for the application of paint or ground foam.  A special sealer is also available, designed for outdoor applications, that provides protection against the elements.


Dan Mycio

The New TCS  WiFi Command System and the TCS Roadmap for 2023: New Products and More!

Friday 2:00 – 3:45 – Charles Room

Train Control Systems has a lot of exciting plans for 2023. Join TCS' Dan Mycio for an in-depth review of the new DCC ecosystem, and learn how you can easily integrate WiFi and LCC into your layout new or old! Dan will continue with a discussion of the latest and greatest products, as well as announcing new projects and goals for the coming year.

Dr. Michael Groves

Designing Prototypical Lighting for Realism

Thursday 11:15 – 12:00 – Highland Room

Friday 9:15 – 10:00 – Charles Room

You will learn the art of implementing scenery lighting in minutes, without wiring, using a revolutionary system.  Lighting scenery adds sparkle to the detail that you have worked hard to create.  However, for most of us this requires a lot of forethought and even then we end up with a wiring spaghetti.  In this talk I will cover advances in lighting, what led me to develop the Dwarvin fiber optic lighting system, and how to use it, and plenty of examples of customer usage.  A very high intensity light source allows the use of fiber optics for you to design lighting into your buildings, street lamps, cars, trees, … what ever you can imagine.

Dr. Michael Groves

Light a House in 30s Without Wires: A Novel Approach

Thursday 1:00 – 1:45 – Highland Room

Friday 1:00 – 1:45 – Charles Room

This clinic details the ease of lighting structures using the Dwarvin fiber optic lighting system.

Frank Haugh and Art Bumpus

Athearn BlueBox HO Freight Car Tune-up

Thursday 9:15 – 11:00 – Highland Room

Thursday 3:00 – 5:00 – Highland Room

Why this clinic? Reliable coupler operation is important for any railroad. This particularly includes consistently reliable uncoupling of railroad cars as well as reliable passage of these cars over numerous grades. Changes in elevation can be especially brutal in keeping your train together. So, adherence in taking the time and effort to insure cars work flawlessly in rolling, coupling, and uncoupling, will be well worth it.  Our goal is for you to learn some basis fundamentals of successful coupler installation which you can utilize in all your rolling equipment.

We will be supplying a kit, Kadee couplers, styrene shims, and sundry materials to learn techniques and modify your car. The car, along with the supplies, will be yours to take home at the end of the clinic. We will only be supplying these items to participants with the tools listed below. If you wish to audit the clinic, you are welcome to attend and enjoy the slide show.

As there is no extra charge for this clinic, we request you bring the following tools with you. It is important that you bring all of the items.

  1. A cutting matt
  2. Hobby knife with a fresh #11 blade. (Available at a hobby store or Hobby Lobby)
  3. A small file. (A pack of various file available at Harbor Freight Tool for $2.99)
  4. Small piece of sandpaper- 150 grit suggested
  5. #0 Phillips head screwdriver
  6. Small straight blade screwdriver
  7. Liquid styrene cement and applicator. A small paint brush works well
  8. A pin vise (Available at Hobby Lobby)
  9. Small tweezers

Optional tools to consider, but not required.

  1. Optivisor or similar hands free magnification device if needed for close up work.
  2. Task light if you need additional lighting.
  3. Small razor saw.
  4. Small pair of needle nose pliers or Kadee coupler pliers if you have them.


Rob Hinkle

Researching and Designing a Reading Company Layout

Thursday 3:00 – 3:45 – Charles Room

Friday 3:00 – 3:45 – Worthy Room

The clinic will focus on the research and design inspirations that went into the layout under construction.  A brief overview of the Reading Company, followed by discussions on determining where and when to model, using various railroad and non-railroad sources and showing off some railroad paperwork will be discussed.

Rob Hinkle

Hershey and the Reading Railroad

Thursday 9:15 – 10:00 – Charles Room

Thursday 4:00 – 5:00 – Charles Room

Friday 4:00 – 5:00 - Worthy Room

The clinic will focus on the history of the Hershey Chocolate Factory and associated industries. Starting with a discussion of the history of Hershey Chocolate, discussion of the chocolate process, details on raw material shipments, finished products and how to model everything.


John Parsons

Model Train Detection and Its Uses

Thursday 10:15-11:00 – Charles Room

Friday 11:15 – 12:00 – Worthy Room       

Model train detection, what it is and what it's good for -- A survey of train detection methods with pros & cons and example applications.

John Parsons

North American railroad signaling for railfans and modelers

Thursday 11:15 – 12:00 – Charles Room

Friday 1:00 – 1:45 – Worthy Room

North American railroad signaling for railfans and modelers -- A beginner's guide to trackside signaling.

John Parsons

The Azatrax Signaling System

Thursday 1:00 – 1:45 – Charles Room

Friday 2:00 – 2:45 – Worthy Room

How to design and install a model block signal system using the Azatrax signaling system.


     1. Register in the Shopping Cart for a one or two day pass.
     2. Fill in all of the information, most importantly, the credit card information.  Repeat the process for each person attending.
     3. That's it....

Pre-show clinics are held at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Hotel (1.62 miles - 3 minutes from the Eastern States Exposition firgrounds)
One Monarch Place
Springfield, MA 01144
The 2-day program includes the following:

- Breakfast and lunch both days
- Free parking at the hotel, if you are staying at the hotel
- All the clinics you can get to - based on schedule and availability
- A two-day ticket to the Railroad Hobby Show (a $27 value)
$ 112.00*

* Special Note: There is also a one-day clinic program for $73.00.

To Register for 2023 Thursday and Friday Clinics:  CLICK HERE

There's More......

Clinics Offered on Saturday and Sunday - AT THE SHOW!

Clinics offered by Manufacturers, exhibitors and experts)

Saturday, January 28, 2023 - YOUNG CLINIC ROOM (the "quiet" clinic room!)

Clinics offered by Manufacturers, exhibitors and experts – Open to all levels

Start time Description Location
10:30 AM “Adding Battery Radio Control to your HO, S, O & G Scale Engines”
by Don Sweet and RCS of New England
 Young Clinic Room
12:00 Noon LayoutCommandControl / JMRI Combined Overview and Update by Ken Cameron, a member of the LCC and JMRI Developer Teams Young Clinic Room
1:30 pm
Passenger Service is Prototypical on Small Switching Layouts
By G4 (John Gardiner)
Young Clinic Room
3:00 pm
Young Clinic Room

Sunday, January 29, 2023 - YOUNG CLINIC ROOM (the "quiet" clinic room!)

Clinics offered by Manufacturers, exhibitors and experts – Open to all levels 

Start time Description Location
10:30 AM “Adding Battery Radio Control to your HO, S, O & G Scale Engines”
by Don Sweet and RCS of New England
 Young Clinic Room
12:00 Noon LayoutCommandControl / JMRI Combined Overview and Update by Ken Cameron, a member of the LCC and JMRI Developer Teams Young Clinic Room
1:30 pm
Passenger Service is Prototypical on Small Switching Layouts
By G4 (John Gardiner)
Young Clinic Room
3:00 pm
Young Clinic Room

Young "quiet room" clinic descriptions 

“Adding Battery Radio Control to your HO, S, O & G Scale Engines”
- by Don Sweet and RCS of New England

Find out just how easy it is to add Radio Control and Battery power to your Engines and equipment, featuring the RailPro systems.

LayoutCommandControl / JMRI Combined Overview and Update

- by Ken Cameron, a member of the LCC and JMRI Developer Teams

This clinic will provide a basic introduction both JMRI and LCC. It will also discuss what has been introduced for both over the last year and anything ‘right around the corner’. Explanations of the concepts and directions for each project and current statuses will be presented. Over the years people expressed missing one or the other topic when done split on different days. This combination is to help everyone get what they asked for.

LCC is an evolving standard to provide a multi-vendor interconnection for all your layout parts for the next 30 years. Its basic concepts and features will be explained. The fundamental differences between it and the many vendor specific systems will be highlighted.

JMRI is FREE computer software for enhancing performance and enjoyment of many aspects of our model railroading hobby. It’s DecoderPro feature makes it very easy to program DCC decoders and get the most out of these devices. The PanelPro tools focus on the layout, including panels (virtual or physical) and signaling. Other sections of JMRI like Operations, wireless control and other new developments will also be covered.

Hands on demos and one to one discussion will be available at the JMRI/LCC help desk in the Stroh Building.  Also in the Malory Complex, at the Free-mo layout, there will be a set of modules using LCC for signals and controls at a junction and interchange configuration.

Passenger Service is Prototypical on Small Switching Layouts
- By G4 (John Gardiner)
Small, freight-oriented switching layouts are an extremely popular modeling subject. But few are aware of a dozen fully prototypical examples of freight switching lines being integrated with frequent passenger service. This fun, engaging, and fast-paced presentation will recount those examples, demonstrate them in action with two prototypical track plans for a 12x13 room, and show how passenger service can be porto-freelanced or added to an existing layouts.
A sequel to an extremely well-received NMRAx and Indy Junction presentation on modern transit systems, this standalone clinic focusses on the most freight-intertwined type of modern transit, Diesel Multiple Units, and evinces that they are already tightly associated with popular modeling topics. Piko’s recent release of a DMU model with DCC and Sound now makes examining modern transit as a modeling subject both timely and practical, and the findings should appeal to most modelers. DMUs fit prototypically on all layouts, from switching shelfs to basement-fillers. DMUs are an infrastructure-light mode of transit and can be added to layouts with minimal modifications. And, whereas passenger trains throw a wrench into the plans of dispatchers, the high frequency of DMUs lobs a toolbox, possibly justifying two dispatchers for the same railroad.
This presentation is intended for a broad audience, not just transit aficionados, and is ideal for anyone modeling diesel-era freight railroads, mainline or shortline, and for any layout size. 


Mini Demos/Clinics offered throughout the day
(by experts at their exhibit areas)

Hot Wire Foam Factory is a manufacturer of Styrofoam cutting, sculpting and engraving tools as well as foam adhesives and coatings.  They will be located in BLC at tables 40 B&C.

stop by "Bar Mills" in the Young Building, Section 79


Questions about the Amherst Railway Society's annual Railroad Hobby Show
should be directed to the show office at: