Origin of the Theme

For those of you who have not attended the St. Louis Railroad Prototype Modelers meet in recent years, some time ago we introduced a feature known as the theme for the RPM meet to appeal to dedicated modelers of any background or level of interest. The Theme helps us define a specific topic or area of interest in railroading that we choose to offer to our visitors that year. We invite industry experts and knowledgeable and talented modelers to present clinics with a focus on this year's theme.

Previous Themes

Past years have featured popular topics and titles such as our study of the vast business of "Grain - A Coast-To-Coast Industry", "Moving People - An Overview of Our Nations Passenger System", and the one-word title that says it all, "Coal". Most recently and for our 15th anniversary of STLRPM, we looked back, and forward as well, at the concept that helped shape the content of the RPM's across the country, "The Kit". We spanned the post-war efforts of our hobby's leading model manufacturers and our mom-and-pop operations to study those mysterious boxfuls of delight that continue to this day, challenging builds and providing hours of enjoyment. Expert modelers and industry leaders in kit production presented clinics that included topics on about every material from basswood to 3D printed models, and from freight cars to vehicles and structures. Attendees enjoyed a fun-filled two-day walk through a depiction of decades of history, that included manufacturing technology and a showcase of the best of today's kits offered.

2023 Theme

How do we top that? In 2023 we present - "The Layout - A Weekend At The Theatre". While some RPM'ers prefer to focus only on building models of railroad equipment, and not building a layout, almost everyone strives to create that inspiring scene that depicts something prototypically relevant to the RPM community. Our goal for this year's STL RPM is to provide a vast array of clinics that can walk you through all aspects of creating that stage on which you build your prototypical theatre. We want to help you create scenes that explain the "why" of what you do. Our task is to engage the leaders in our hobby to show you the "how" to accomplish just that.

Our preliminary clinic line-up for 2023 likely includes: Jim Panza with a clinic on flat cars paired with Mont Switzer, with a clinic on flat cars loads, Dennis Eggert on his new MRP layout, Dave Roeder on the basics of getting a DC layout going from start to finish, Tony Sissons on detailing an NW diesel locomotive, and Brian Banna on a MoPac diesel. This is a short list of who has agreed to come and give a clinic so far. We will add to this list in early February 2023 as we engage other prospective clinicians. So be sure to join us this July 28th, and 29th, in Collinsville, Il., for the 16th annual St. Louis Railroad Prototype Modeler meet.