In Memorian, Remembering Donald Brill, Our Train Buddy

Donald Brill
Longtime toy train collector, Donald Brill, promoter of the Northwest Jersey Train-O-Rama, the Dover Train Show, and member of METCA’s Board of Directors, died April 11, 2013, at age 73. He was very active until recently, living and enjoying his passion–as a train enthusiast.

Don had almost lifelong ties to the Dover community, serving as a member and former usher at Sacred Heart Church for over 50 years. His ties to Dover included a career as a Police Officer with eventual promotion to Detective.
He was instrumental in starting the Drug & Alcohol Juvenile Awareness Program for Dover H.S. students and also served on the Board of Education for 28 years.

But perhaps Don is best known, to his legions of ‘Train Buddies’ and to the thousands of toy train collectors who attended his Dover Train Show for the past 37 years, for being a train enthusiast. His early shows packed the Dover H.S. Gym and soon grew into the auxilary gym across the hall. In its heyday the show outgrew the two gyms, that’s when Don expanded the show into the school cafeteria with tables spilling out into the hallways. At its peak, the show had room for over 400 vendor tables. When the hobby began to decline and his show began to shrink in both size and attendance, Don never lost his enthusiasm for the toy train hobby.

He was a regular visitor to other area train shows and an enthusiastic supporter of the hobby. It was always reassuring to see his Red Ford Van parked outside a train show, because I knew somewhere inside the show I’d meet up with and talk trains with Don. Looking back, his contributions to the hobby are enormous! He truly was an Icon in the Toy Train Hobby. Our deepest sympathies to Don’s family and friends.

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” –Robert Lewis Stevenson


  1. Jay Rabbitears says:

    I started attending the Dover shows in the 1980s. Don’t forget his extra shows at the National Guard Armory. I don’t think the hobby is in decline. The dealers are killing the shows. They sell their best “old stuff” online and bring junk to the shows. They don’t give good prices on the new overpriced “made in china” stuff.

  2. Michael Brill says:

    Thank you for the excellent & precise write-up. You were spot on Mr. Stevenson!

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