Thursday, June 30, 2011

NMRA National Convention, Sacramento

Next week I’ll be at the NMRA National Convention in Sacramento, giving three different clinics (on waybills, SP freight car modeling, and on PFE operations), and participating in other activities, such as the RPM display room. It’s always a good gathering of modelers, and registrations already exceed 1500 (we hope we may get as many as 2000, and have planned for that many).
      I’ll be reading e-mail and checking web sites during the week, so I won’t be altogether out of touch. I’ve been asked if I would put up any of my clinic handouts in the form of posts, and I will likely do so after the convention. One possible source of such topics is the National Train Show (NTS), which runs from Friday July 8 through Sunday the 10th. Some manufacturers do show new products at the NTS, so it’s possible there will be some news of that kind.
      I will also report anything else which seems to me to be of interest to the topic of this blog, probably while I’m there or as soon as I get back on Sunday, July 10. This could stem from clinics, meetings, or even hallway conversations. That’s part of the attraction of an event like this: the social interactions are a major piece of the event, and an important reason why I’m looking forward to the convention.
Tony Thompson


  1. Tony,
    It was a pleasure to meet you and to attend all three of your clinics at the National Convention in Sacramento.

    As to the Convention, the clinics were informative even to my wife. The tours of the layouts were great. I especially liked the tour of the SP Shops and who could forget the amazing SP cab forward #4294 at the California State Railroad Museum.

    As a newbie, my dreams are to model the SP in 1953 -- as you do. However, I'm a bit overwhelmed with the daunting realization that much of what I've learned and done so far is only about railroads and railroad modeling in general and not about the SP specifically but I'm learning.

    Your clinics, your books, this blog, all the other SP aficionados I got to meet and talk to, and the myriad of books I'm beginning to read all point to the fact that I have a long way to go before modeling the SP appropriately as I wish to.

    Thanks again Tony for great information as always and thanks to all who contributed to a great convention -- my first of many.

    George Corral
    La Grange, KY

  2. Thanks for the kind words, George. It was fun to meet you and talk with you in person. I thought the convention ran very smoothly (though I'm biased, having served on the convention organizing committee). I will say that not all NMRA conventions are as oriented to "learning from the prototype" as this one, so I can't promise that future conventions will all be as rewarding as you found this one.

    I'm glad to think you are finding research an enjoyable part of the hobby. I certainly think so, and believe me, it's a never-ending quest. I'm always learning new stuff, and some stuff which came up in connection with the convention illustrates that; I'll be posting about it in the next days.
    Tony Thompson