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In the heart of Lancaster County’s Amish farmlands
|Make yourself at home in one of the 125 air-conditioned
rooms featuring microwave, desk, coffee maker and more.
Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, with
cable programming available for your entertainment. Housekeeping
is provided daily. Dip into one of the 3 indoor & outdoor pools
or enjoy other recreational amenities, which include a fitness
center. The hotel also features an arcade/game room, coffee
shop, free Wi-Fi access, free self-parking and more.
Satisfy your appetite at the hotel’s restaurant next door, which
serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or grab a snack to go at
The Bird-in-Hand Family Inn is part of the Bird-in-Hand family
of properties. The Smucker family invites you to create great
memories while you get to know our village, taste the farm-fresh
goodness of its bounty and experience the tradition of
hospitality and good food that has been passed down from
generation to generation.
Accommodations at the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn are a special BTOC
rate of only $129 per night (breakfast smorgasbord included).
Contact the Inn directly at 800-537-2535 for reservations and
mention the BTOC for this special room rate.
Complimentary scenic two-hour tour of Amish
farmlands included with your reservation. Contact the front desk
directly to make tour reservations.
|SPECIAL WELCOME EVENT
40 Years Havin’ Fun Runnin’ Trains All Aboard Party!
|Join the Big Train Operator Club for beer, wine and snacks
at the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn, as we start our 40th anniversary
celebration. Renew old friendships and make new ones. Watch the
trains run, wander the convention room, check out the vendors,
cast your vote in the Al Lentz Contest, get your raffle tickets
and more! Enjoy!
WILMINGTON & WESTERN RAILROAD
Vintage coaches pulled by a coal-burning steam engine
|The Wilmington & Western
Railroad was chartered in 1867 to move goods between the mills
along the Red Clay Creek and the Port of Wilmington, and
officially opened for freight and passenger service on October
19, 1872. Three passenger trains and a mixed freight train
operated six days a week on nearly 20 miles of track between
downtown Wilmington, Del., and Landenberg, Pa. Much of the line
ran through the Red Clay Valley, bustling in the late 19th
Century with farms, small villages and water-powered mills. In
the 1880s, the line was purchased by the Baltimore &
Philadelphia Railroad (B&P), a subsidiary of the Baltimore &
Ohio (B&O). Today, the Wilmington & Western Railroad continues
to operate regular steam- and diesel-powered tourist trains on
our full 10 miles of track between Greenbank and Hockessin.
The BTOC visit to the Wilmington & Western Railroad will feature
a chartered steam-locomotive ride on a full 10 miles of track
between Greenbank and Hockessin, DE. Box lunch included.
The turning point in the Civil War
|The Battle of Gettysburg has often been referred to as the
“High Water Mark of the Rebellion.” Many consider it to be a
turning point in the Civil War because the Union victory placed
the Confederacy on the defensive and ended Gen. Robert E. Lee’s
most ambitious attempt to invade Union territory. The
Confederates never again reached the military strength they held
at Gettysburg, yet the Civil War raged on for two more years.
More than 165,000 soldiers of The Army of Northern Virginia (the
Confederacy), commanded by Gen. Robert E. Lee, and the Army of
the Potomac (the Union), commanded by Gen. George G. Meade,
fought at Gettysburg. Neither Gen. Lee nor Gen. Meade
anticipated a battle at Gettysburg, but chance brought these two
forces together. Union forces eventually defeated the
Confederates after three days of fighting that resulted in
approximately 51,000 soldiers killed, wounded, captured or
missing, divided nearly equally between the two armies.
As part of the dedication ceremony, President Abraham Lincoln
traveled to Gettysburg to deliver what would become known as the
Gettysburg Address. In just 272 words, Abraham Lincoln defined
for the North, and for all Americans, the meaning, value and
price of freedom.
The BTOC visit to the Gettysburg National
Military Park will feature a 2 1/2 hour guided bus tour of the
Battlefield, plus a stop at the Gettysburg Museum & Visitor
Center to enjoy the film and view the 1884 Cyclorama. Box lunch
One of the original railroad routes in the U.S.
|he Northern Central Railway (NCRY) was a Class I Railroad
connecting Baltimore, Maryland with Sunbury, Pennsylvania, along
the Susquehanna River. Completed in 1858, the line came under
the control of the later Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1861.
For eleven decades the Northern Central operated as a subsidiary
of the PRR until much of its Maryland trackage was washed out by
Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The southern part in Pennsylvania is
now the York County Heritage Rail Trail which connects to a
similar hike/bike trail in Northern Maryland down to Baltimore.
Only the trackage around Baltimore remains in rail service.
During the Civil War, the Pennsylvania Railroad controlled
Northern Central served as a major transportation route for
supplies, food, clothing, and materiel, as well as troops
heading to the South from Camp Curtin and other Northern
military training stations. In 2013, Steam into History, Inc.
began operations between New Freedom and Hanover Junction,
operating a Kloke Locomotive Works replica of a Civil War-era
4-4-0 American type steam locomotive.
The BTOC visit to the Northern Central Railway
will include a 2-hour steam-locomotive ride through the
Pennsylvania landscape from New Freedom to Hanover Junction and
back, with time to tour the museum on the stopover.
Oldest, most comprehensive American railroad collection in the
|Located among Baltimore City’s historic southwest
neighborhoods, at the original site of the historic Mt. Clare
Shops, the B&O Railroad Museum is recognized universally as the
birthplace of American railroading. It was here within the
Museum’s 40-acre campus that Baltimore businessmen, surveyors,
and engineers set about building the B&O Railroad in 1829,
laying the first commercial long distance track, building the
first passenger station, and inventing America’s unique
Nearly 200 pieces of locomotives and rolling stock provide a
history of railroad technology from 1830 through the present
day, with hundreds of thousands of small artifacts that provide
a unique glimpse of railroading through tools, exquisite
time-pieces, fine art, presentation silver, uniforms, furniture,
and personal memorabilia. Additionally, an extensive collection
of scale models and toy
trains illustrate America’s long fascination with trains and
railroading. And the grounds of the
Museum includes significant historic structures, many of which
The Museum’s Roundhouse, originally constructed as a passenger
car shop, was designed by noted architect, E. Francis Baldwin.
Fully enclosed, it was the largest circular industrial building
in the world when completed covering more than an acre of ground
and rising 125 feet into the air.
The BTOC visit to the B&O Railroad Museum will
include a 2 1/2 hour guided tour, train ride and time
to examine the museum’s extensive collection, the railyard,
G-scale layout and more, on your own.
Box lunch included.
Explore the wonders of Lancaster County and Amish Country
|Ride like the Amish do? - Visit Amish country with a real
buggy ride to a private Amish dairy farm or other places. Feel
adventurous? - Go zip lining or take a hot air balloon ride
(it’s right across the street from the Bird-in-Hand Inn)! Want
more trains? Visit the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and see
the fully restored, historic Pennsylvania Railroad E6s Atlantic
steam locomotive No. 460, or take a ride on the Strasburg
Railroad. Taste a brew? There are 25 craft beer manufacturers in
the area. Shopping? There are plenty of outlet stores. Want to
see where the BTOC had its first convention? Visit the Red
Caboose Motel & Restaurant and see where it all began. Need a
roller coaster “fix”? Try Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park
or travel to Hershey Park. Hungry? Try a Pennsylvania Dutch
specialty such as a Whoopie Pie, a Fasnacht (fried donut) or a
piece of Shoo Fly Pie. Visit the Kitchen Kettle Village for fun,
food and shopping built around the “world famous” canning
kitchen. Or the local Farmers Market where you’ll find stands
overflowing with fresh vegetables, meats, cheeses, flowers,
herbs, baked goods, crafts, and gift items. And so much more!
More suggestions will be in the Spring issue of the BTO.
Spend the day at the convention hotel with these special events
|In response to comments and suggestions from members, the
BTOC convention will include a special all-day Saturday
celebration at the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn. No early bus
departures... no rushing to get back to the hotel... just enjoy
the multiple happenings at your leisure. And plenty of time to
get ready for the Farewell Banquet that evening, featuring an
assortment of Pennsylvania Dutch specialties.
Set up a G-scale layout on the lawn at the convention hotel...
as complex or as simple as you like and be eligible to win a
fantastic prize! Enter your own layout or come out and watch the
FREE Ice Cream Party!
Chocolate.... Vanilla... Strawberry... Relax and enjoy your
favorite home-made ice cream flavor with all the fixings. Free
for all BTOC convention attendees. PLUS, as part of the Saturday
Ice Cream Party, there will be special raffle drawings for a
variety of spectacular and unique prizes, donated by various
G-scale manufacturers. (Must be present to win.)
BTOC Locomotive Drag Races!
Join the fun and excitement of the first official BTOC Drag
Races! Enter your BTOC/LGBMRRC motor-powered vehicle (sorry, no
modifications allowed) and race for prizes and the title of “BTOC
Drag Race Champion”. Or watch and root for your favorite.
Everyone is invited to participate!
|Joe Hylva Memorial Trivia Contest - Enter the “World Famous”
BTOC trivia contest and
test your general train knowledge against other club members,
with a chance to win great prizes!
Al Lentz Award Contest - Show off your modeling/kit bashing
skills or enter any G-scale related item, and win a prize!
Winner chosen by popular vote of members.
• Free Goody Bag Car
• Nightly Raffles
• Convention Room
• Farewell Banquet featuring a Pennsylvania Dutch Buffet
• Special door prize for all registered members
...and much more!
Bag Car with Registration!
|This unique goody bag car produced by Hartland Locomotive
Works especially for the BTOC, is a red gondola with black
convention graphics and metal wheels, celebrating the 2018 40th
anniversary convention. The perfect add-on to the convention
set. It is only available to the first 60 registered members!
The car will be in the goody bag you’ll receive when you sign in
at the convention. Sorry, only one per registered member.
Don’t miss out on this special, limited-edition car!
|Place your order when you register. Shirts will be in your
goody bag which you will receive
when you register at the convention. Only the number ordered by
the deadline date
will be produced.
PLEASE NOTE: There will NOT be any t-shirts for sale at
The Bird-in-Hand/2018 Convention t-shirt is gold with black
anniversary logo on the
back and a special “We are 40!” on the front. High-quality, 50%
pre-shrunk jersey knit. Available in Women’s sizes S—3X and
Men’s sizes S—5X.
Form to order).
All sizes just $20.00/ea.
T-SHIRT ORDERS MUST BE RECEIVED BY MAY 1, 2018... No orders will
be accepted after that date! ORDER NOW!
|Pre-Order your Plymouth/2019 T-shirts now...
2019 convention t-shirts are available for pre-order with the
enclosed Registration Form BUT must be received by May 1, 2018!
Only the number ordered by that date will be produced. There
will NOT be any additional t-shirts for sale at the Bird-in-Hand
convention! The Plymouth Convention T-shirt is jade green, with
dark blue convention logo on the front, and BTOC logo with
“Havin’ Fun Runnin’ Trains” on the back.
Available in Women’s sizes S—3X, Men’s sizes S—5X. High-quality,
50% cotton/50% polyester pre-shrunk jersey knit.
Form to order).
ALL SIZES: $20.00/ea.
Shirts will be in your goody bag which you will receive when you
register at the Bird-in-Hand/2018 convention. NOTE: Additional
t-shirts will be available for order, prior to the 2019
convention in Plymouth, MA.
|Take part in the
|One of the big challenges that we are undertaking is to set
up enough track to completely surround the fish pond that is
located in the back of the Inn. It was measured at approximately
1185 feet. The challenge is to bring enough track to surround
the pond. We would welcome any and all attendees to bring
whatever they can in the way of track. One of the limitations is
that the engines must run on battery power. Be sure to mark your
track with your name.
Click Here to see a video of the path around the pond.
here to view or download the Convention Schedule
HERE TO REGISTER