Thursday, June 1, 2023

The Railway Modellers Meet

Last week, I attended the annual “Railway Modellers Meet” of the 7th Division of Pacific Northwest Region, NMRA, in Vancouver, British Columbia, thus called “RMMBC” for short. I had been invited to give the Keynote Talk for the meeting (see my post about some of the contents: ), which is mainly why I went, and I also gave a clinic in the clinic program.

It was a pleasant weekend in Vancouver, a beautiful city, and the meeting was quite a good one. The organizing committee, chaired by long-time friend Rene Gourley, did an excellent job of arrangements at the Simon Fraser University campus. It included two rooms of model displays, a manufacturers’ display room, two nice auditoriums for talks, and operating sessions at home layouts on the Friday afternoon and Saturday evening. Even their event graphics were well done!

I operated on Friday at Mike Chandler’s excellent layout, where I had operated before. His freelance layout is a delight to operate, as everything looks great and operates even better. My job this time was yardmaster at Java Yard, which you see below on the right. In the distance is Mike, behind the roundhouse, where he acted as hostler, and to his left, Ken Martin, reading his orders before leaving town with a train. Switch controls are on the fascia below.

Back at the university, I enjoyed seeing some very nice models in the display room. One I especially liked was a group of Pacific Great Eastern HO scale locomotives in the orange and green scheme they had in the early 1950s. One is shown below, PGE 561, an Alco (Montreal Locomotive Works) RSC-2, from Kato, painted by the owner, David Morgan and lettered with Black Cat decals (pronounced “dekkles” in Canada, as in England). Nice paint job, and nice subtle weathering, too.

There were several quite good clinics. One I enjoyed was by Seattle friend Burr Stewart, an interesting and stimulating talk about how to make layout videos, and various ways to post and share them. That’s Burr underneath the truly large screen used for the talks (totally in a good way!).

Saturday night I was lucky enough to operate at Scott Calvert’s outstanding Canadian Pacific Boundary Subdivision layout, centered on Nelson, British Columbia and its large yard. I have switched the west end of the yard in previous sessions, and this time drew the east end. Here is a view from my operating area. This yard keeps two switchers quite busy.

This was really a nice meeting, for beyond what might be expected from what was essentially a division meet. I certainly found lots of interesting and enjoyable aspects of it. I often advocate for attending NMRA regional conventions, but there are smaller events that are a lot of fun too. This certainly was one.

Tony Thompson

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