The Largest Toy Train Meet West of the Rocky Mountains
[ Cal-Stewart Schedule, Location & Services]
The Cal-Stewart meet offers a tremendous variety of trains and fun in a spacious setting.
When you throw a party and everyone comes, you know it's a success. That's the best way to describe the annual Cal-Stewart Train Meet held in Southern California, and sponsored by T.T.O.S. Southwestern Division (T.T.O.S. Southwestern Division is an independent club, not affiliated with the Toy Train Operating Society). To call Cal-Stewart merely a train meet is hardly descriptive of this gathering. The three day event begins with the annual Friday night cocktail party. The exhibition hall is open for trading on Saturday and Sunday, to all toy train, model train, train and toy enthusiasts and their guests. More than 3,000 people normally attend during the three days.
A seasoned volunteer staff work out the details, including assigning the 450 tables, setting up the auction area, placing operating layouts, and setting up the toy train display and train race area. Though planning is year-round, the work begins early Friday morning, so, by the time that the doors open at 9 a.m. Saturday, everything is ready to go. Manufacturers previously attending and showing off their latest trains have included Lionel, MTH, Bachmann, Atlas O and Sunset Modelsí 3rd Rail Division.
The variety of trains and accessories being sold is amazing! You will find splendid, pre-war Standard gauge trains just waiting to go home with someone, and perhaps nearby will be some funky 'G' gauge cars carrying everything from a gazebo load to a tropical forest. But there are more things to see than just tables of trains. All shows include a highly detailed themed train display that includes memorabilia, old advertising and paper, as well as extensive toy model trains and models of the real prototypes.
Also, there are many operating layouts in action. These layouts represent the full range of the toy train hobby. Spectators stand for long periods in awe of the colorful operating trains. Highlights normally include 'O' gauge, HO gauge, Standard gauge, American Flyer Module type, radio-controlled 'G' scale LGB, Command Control, and the SW division's club layout.
Various "how to do" seminars are held on both days of the train meet. These cover topics such as locomotive maintenance, modular construction methods, basic wiring, and home layout building. Did you ever attend a toy train race or a toy train demolition derby? The Cal-Stewart train races are a real kick. Although no one bets with money, it's still fun to root for your favorite locomotive. Two 40-foot-long, tracks give the engines lots of room to get up to speed, and the final 15 feet are not powered, to keep locomotives from flying away! Different categories of locomotives, such as steam, diesel, Train Masters, and GG1s, are designated to pit fairly similar locomotives against each other. Both tracks are powered by one throttle of a classic Lionel ZW transformer. With the power wide open, a voltmeter is used on each track to assure a fair race. Two out of three runs are counted and engines are changed from one track to the other to keep things fair. The winners receive prizes. The demolition derby is a favorite with the kids and almost anything goes. On a 40-foot single track, two locomotives are started from each end, racing toward each other at top speeds to end up in a collision. The strongest survive and come back to compete again, and ultimately win a prize.
The train auctions held each afternoon of the meet capture a big crowd. A highly experienced and veteran staff runs this auction.
Raffle tickets are sold all during the 2 day train meet event. And to wind up the big party, on Sunday afternoon the drawing for these prizes is held. Cal-Stewart is an exciting weekend. Several thousand adults and children participate in this family event each year. The Cal-Stewart meets draw a crowd from throughout the United States. It's well worth the trip, so be there this November!
The Cal-Stewart meet brings train collectors and operators from all over the world with a large variety of items. There are table after table of toy trains for sale. The Southern California meet is the larger of the two meets because of the population density in the Los Angeles area.
The Cal-Stewart Train Meet is open to all toy train, model train, train and toy enthusiasts. The Cal-Stewart train meet always starts with unloading/setup (no trading) and the Friday night party. The trading hall activities begin promptly at 9:00 AM on Saturday. Every year's activities will include the train races, the daily auctions, the manufacturers' displays, the operating layouts, plus a large number of sellers. There will also be a very special display.
T.T.O.S. SW division is looking forward to seeing all of you who are interested in toy trains at our Cal-Stewart meet this November!
T.T.O.S. Southwestern Division
1108 West Palm Ave.
Burbank, Ca 91506
©Copyright 2016 T.T.O.S. Southwestern Division - All Rights Reserved.