The 2017 Trolley Meet is set! The 23rd National Trolley Meet will be held on Friday and Saturday May 19th and 20th in the Charles Hall of the Allentown Agriplex on the Allentown Fairgrounds in Allentown, PA. Thursday May 18th will be a layout-only setup day. The selection process for this meet has been long and painful. If you have been reading my remarks regularly you know of many of the twists and turns this has taken. Thanks to all those who submitted possible venues for consideration. Many different locations in the general Philadelphia area were investigated and considered. Some did not meet our needs space wise or budget wise. Some simply were unresponsive. The location selected, while somewhat distant from Philadelphia, is an excellent venue and quite affordable. Many of you might know this location as the site of the “First Frost” and “Spring Thaw” train meets. The management of the Agri-plex understands train shows and caters to their needs. The East Penn BOD made a site visit on Monday May 16th and checked out the suitability of this hall. The Agri-plex has two halls, a large one (45,000 sq ft) and a small hall (15,000 sq ft). We will be in the small hall. During our show a Holistic Healing event will occupy the large hall and should be a docile neighbor. Factors influencing the selection were the quality of the space, the size of the space, the availability of our primary dates, the generous amount of free parking, and cost. While the lack of public transit from outside Allentown to this site makes our meet very “car dependent”, it is no worse than our shows at Oaks. Also, quite honestly, our last meet couldn’t have been more “transit friendly” and we did not see a tremendous increase in attendance because of that. The proximity of I-78 should make this site very convenient for those traveling from New York and New England as well as those coming from the West. We will investigate methods to make this site more accessible to those in the Philadelphia area who rely on public transit.
So now that we have our site, let’s get to work making this our best meet ever. We will be looking to our members in the greater Lehigh Valley area to help with presentations and layout tours. Our theme for this meet is “Deck Roof Trolleys” and the early LVT St. Louis cars come to mind as a great image to publicize our meet. Allentown has a rich transit history that we can explore and promote with this meet. I welcome ideas from all of you to help make this a very successful event.