Clinic Table

This is a list of all of the rail oriented Clinics, so far. Many are presented more than once. To see the details including the day and times, click on a Clinic title. To see all of the Clinics being presented by a person, click on their name.

All of the Clinic information is cross-linked together, so that you can "click around" to follow items of interest. For example, each Clinic includes a number of "topic" tags to help classify the Clinics subject material. Each of these tags is clickable to see all of the Clinics with a similar tag.

The table can be sorted by clicking on a highlighted column heading, e.g. "Title".

Title Clinician Description Topics
3D printing - designing and creating them Barney, Bruce

Bruce discusses how he designed a log loader and brought it to life using 3D printing. He will cover 3D printing of complex shapes showing examples of his work.

modeling-3D-printing, prototype-modeling, RPM
8 bridges for the Columbia & Western Dance, Mark

The CPR's Boundary subdivision is notable for having nearly a mile of bridges. The clinic describes how models of 8 of these bridges were researched, designed and constructed in a variety of materials from styrene to etched brass. Focus will be placed on selective compression, model design for strength, piers and abutments, painting, and designing bench work to allow easy installation many years later. A video run-by across all the bridges will end the seminar.

bridges, LDSIG, N-scale, prototype-modeling, RPM
A Look at the Southern Pacific thru its annual reports: 1944 - 1969 Feeney, Dr Kevin

As a public company, the SP issued annual reports to its shareholders that are readily available today. These reports are very useful to modelers in that they contain information about RR operations, locomotives and rolling stock, facilities, paint schemes and various business dealings.

history, prototype-railroads, research, RPM
Achievable Realism Mindheim, Lance

A discussion of the elements that go into making our models and scenes more realistic. Simple, high impact ideas will be addressed. Emphasis on color treatment and scene composition.

prototype-modeling, RPM, scenery
Add perspective to your modeling Paul, Kermit MMR

Perspective is often used to add realism to our two dimensional painted backdrops. Museum diorama builders extend perspective to their three dimensional models as well. Although this technique is rarely used in model railroads, Kermit will show you how it can enhance your railroad's visual appeal.

The clinic will include historical background and principles of both two and three dimensional perspective. True perspective modeling is more than just placing objects of different scales behind each other in a scene. Many computer based drafting programs include a perspective feature making it easier to produce suitable model drawings compared to older manual drafting methods.

Examples will be included to illustrate how three dimensional perspective modeling can make your layout seem much larger than it really is.

LDSIG, software-cad, structures
Adventures in Dead Railing the HO/HOn3 Donner Summit McRee, Duncan

I have been a member of the Dead Rail Society for several years, a group in San Diego area devoted to running trains by wireless DCC and battery power. The availability of lithium-polymer batteries and smaller radios has made this method of running trains, common for many years in larger scales, available in the smaller scales. I recently converted my Donner Summit HO/HOn3 layout completely to Dead Rail and removed all the track feeders so there is no power on the rails. In this clinic I will discuss the pros and cons of this move and how it has effected operations both positively and negatively. I will also discuss the design and construction of the layout which is based on an HO version of the Southern Pacific and an HOn3 representation of the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad. Disclaimer: I am the owner of Tam Valley Depot which manufactures and sells the DRS1 radio system discussed in the clinic.

battery-power, electronics, OpSIG
An update on my 1892 Housatonic Railroad layout Bisgeier, Craig

Under construction since 2002, the Housatonic has been no stranger to upheaval and renewal. Craig will talk about his reasons for modeling something very different from the pack, how it changed the way he models and what the pros and cons of it are. Begun with precious little information, the layout has experienced both subtle and dramatic changes made over a decade, thanks to more and better information than was available when it all got started. Craig also shares why sticking to a specific set of givens and druthers from the beginning made it possible to make changes, expand and even re-design parts of the layout on the fly when new things were learned.

layout-design, layout-tour, LDSIG, OpSIG, prototype-modeling
Annual NMRA business meeting Getz, Charlie

The annual business and membership meeting. Come see your elected officials a work and find out what's in the NMRA's future.

Basic electronics for model railroads Jameson, William

Over the past 20 years, model railroading has moved into the electronic age, with the widespread use of DCC, computer control, and signaling. Learn the basics of electronic theory, what all the different components are and what they are used for. Some of the things that will be covered are the wire size for the layout, the different formulas that you will need (how to figure out what size resister to use for dropping the voltage to the headlight), and the tools that you will need to troubleshoot your railroad.

Basics of signaling and automating your layout Bronson, Dick

The essentials to consider when planning to add Signals or other Automation to your Layout. Includes information on the various kinds of signaling used by the prototype railroads, signal types, and manufacturers. Includes information from the LDSIG panel discussion; "Planning for Signals" presented at the 2009-2011 NMRA Conventions. Introducing The NMRA LCC bus for Signals and Automation.

LCC, signaling
Battery powered radio control for N to O scale - The Dead Rail Society Steinmetz, Pete

Pete Steinmetz and members of the Dead Rail Society will be discussing all aspects of operating trains with battery power and radio control. We are not scale specific, but will concentrate on O Scale down to N Scale. We will discuss locomotive conversions, sound or no sound, choice of equipment and components, companies that supply parts used in Dead Rail, companies that do conversions, batteries, charging, and safety concerns.

battery-power, radio-control
Behind the scene at Miniatur Wunderland Houzvicka, Frank

This clinic will take you behind the scene of the world's largest model railroad, Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany. You will see how they develop the scenes, structures, and figures for the layout; how they control the layout; how they keep the water clear and prevent a flood; how they control the scale model ships; how they maintain and control the hundreds of vehicles; how they control the aircraft; where they go after takeoff; and what's coming next.

foreign-railroading, layout-tour
Beyond Pratt: Designing and building better bridges for your layout Bisgeier, Craig

Everyone loves bridges on their layouts, but limited selection and unrealistic design of commercial kits mean many scenes are not as interesting as they could be. Craig Bisgeier, an avid scratchbuilder and modeler, believes that we can all do better modeling with basic tools and parts and a little information. Follow step by step as Craig explains the basics of truss bridges, basic bridge design, and what's available out of the box (and why most of it is awful) to the average modeler. Craig then goes through how to use commercial kits and parts to improve the looks of the off the shelf models, and how to make custom bridges that will stand out on your layout with just a little more effort. Emerging technologies like laser cutting and 3-D printing are also pushing the limits of what's now possible! The clinic ends with a humorous discussion of what NOT to do. Join Craig and see what you can do to improve your bridge modeling!

bridges, prototype-modeling, RPM, scratch-building
Big on Features, Light on your Wallet - an introduction to SoundTraxx new Econami line of decoders Ireland, Jarrette

Join Jarrette Ireland from SoundTraxx for a complete overview of all of the exciting new features and SoundTraxx classics found in the Econami line of decoders. This clinic will cover the new Hyperdrive 2, Flex Map technology, and current board formats. Designed with Value in the mind this new line of decoders are perfect for any scale from N to G. This clinic will cover the sounds found in steam, diesel, and electric versions of this decoder.

commercial-clinic, DCC, dcc-sound-decoders, New, sound
Big railroads in small spaces Wright, Greg MMR

Join Greg Wright as he describes how to fit a model railroad into any space and make it
look and feel bigger. Greg will share his ideas, his favorite reference material, and
use his Consolidate Republic Mining Railroad to illustrate his points.

layout-design, LDSIG
Both Sides of the Sunset Valley Story Chubb, Janet, Chubb, Bruce MMR

Married together for over 60 years, Janet has been caught up in the trials and tribulations with Bruce's obsession with trains. Together they have learned a great deal. It's this knowledge that both will be sharing including many pointers to the railroader and to the spouse on "How to make your love grow as the hobby grows." It's a two way street, this working together in life. Understanding and changes are required on both sides. This fast moving dynamic-dual all color presentation is designed to be entertaining and informative to both railroaders and non-railroaders. Attendance with your "significant other" is the best way to mutually benefit from observing "Both Sides of the Story." This is a presentation that everyone should enjoy attending.

Box factories Zeek, Jim MMR

Wooden boxes were the only and preferred package for shipping produce from fields and most orchards to retail outlets from the 19th century until the 1960's. Nearly a third of all pine timber cut in our nation, excluding that for paper, was used in this manner. This clinic uses photographs from the presenter's collection and experience as a machine operator in a Califonia box factory for illustration.

forest-products, industries, RPM
Braking, Switching, Running: Railroading with SoundTraxx Technology Ireland, Jarrette

From auto-synchronizing exhaust to full train line braking, learn how SoundTraxx Tsunami Digital Sound Decoders can enhance how you run your railroad. SoundTraxx rep Jarrette Ireland will use prototypical scenarios to demonstrate the many features built into Tsunami decoders for locomotives and rolling stock. He will also showcase the Tsunami SoundCar and its new Intelligent Consisting feature, which makes consisting a breeze with the "wave of a wand." Be sure to bring your DCC questions!

commercial-clinic, DCC, dcc-sound-decoders, Moved to new Room, sound
Bringing an F-unit cab home in 1:1 scale Muff, Nicholas MMR

See how I made the transition from BN 682 (ex GN 462D) in Tacoma to KCS #20 in my basement. I will show the project from scrapping to restoration of the F Unit Cab as a full scale "prop" in my basement. It makes for a fascinating and unusual story. Images and narration.

layout-tour, misc, New, prototype-locomotives, prototype-railroads
Building a layout in a hostile environment Hanley, Don

Overcoming environmental problems to build a layout in a garage while sharing the space with the family car, and wood working tools. Things to take into consideration including temperature change, dust and dirt, and how I solved the problems. The methods used are also applicable to basement layouts.

layout-construction, LDSIG
Building a Pegram truss bridge Van Arnem, Bob

Modeling an HO scale 216' railroad bridge with abutments based on a Pegram Truss design using CAD drawings, Central Valley bridge parts, and scratchbuilt styrene and brass components. In progress photos will be presented as the construction steps are discussed.

bridges, prototype-modeling, RPM
Building a realistic bulk oil dealership Thompson, Tony

Bulk oil dealerships in the prototype vary widely, and there may seem to be no two alike, but in fact there are a
number of features in common, which may be arranged in various ways. A number of prototype examples are
presented in the clinic, along with a detailed look at constructing an HO scale model incorporating the common
features of prototype facilities.

industries, LDSIG, prototype-modeling, RPM
Building an NMRA LCC Node using Commercially Friendly, Free, and Open Source Software Baker, Stuart, Racz, Balazs

Using inexpensive micro-controller development kits from some of the world's leading semiconductor manufactures (Freescale, Microchip, NXP, ST Microelectronics, and Texas Instruments); learn how to quickly build your very own LCC compatible node. In this class, each participant will create an LCC node, and then join that node to an LCC bus using CAN, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or USB. JMRI will be used in this class as a diagnostic tool.

The target audience is electronics hobbyists and manufacturers. Basic understanding of programming techniques in C, C++, and/or Java is recommended. Each participant is required to furnish their own PC running Apple OS X, Microsoft Windows, or Ubuntu Linux 12.04/14.04 operating system. Each participant will have the opportunity to take home a working LCC node and USB stick with the required tools and software.

Cost is $35 (a surcharge may apply depending on which hardware you chose). Limited to 20 participants.

Preregister at to reserve a spot.

You will be contacted after signing up to verify your choices.

Building brick structures with wood Simmons, Jimmy

Learn the basics of the Monster Modelworks brick building system.
Helps when building Monster Modelworks kits and scratchbuilding your own structures.
Learn basic kit building techniques and brick painting techniques

commercial-clinic, structures
Building the Oregon Coast Railroad in Virginia Thompson, Mat

The clinic details modeling my fictional Oregon Coast Railroad to be believable as a prototype railroad.

The clinic shows how using a prototype's history as a reality check can bring life to a railroad that never was. Photos will show how water features and layers of textured scenery duplicate Oregon's forest landscape. Other topics will include building a region and era appropriate car roster and the good and bad of kits.

The layout appeared in Great Model Railroads 2014.

layout-construction, layout-tour, OpSIG
Buildings on the Southern Pacific Cascade line, Eugene to Crescent Lake Barney, Bruce

Bruce will discuss the prototype research he did for a number of buildings located on the Southern Pacific's Natron Cutoff. He'll also talk about creating models of many of these buildings. This clinic will
include a number of never-seen-before historic photos of the Natron area (courtesy of Larry Castle.

prototype-modeling, research, RPM, structures
CATS: A CTC panel that grows Black, Rodney

This clinic is an introduction to the Computer Automated Traffic System (CATS). CATS is open source software built upon JMRI for creating and operating a modern looking CTC panel. The clinic will open with creating a CTC panel for John Armstrong's "minimum-size loop-to-loop" layout, and operated as a magnet board. It will progress to demonstrating how to add occupancy detection, turnout feedback, turnout control, and signal control, in a simulation mode. The clinic will demonstrate other features built into CATS, including train tracking, session recording, train status display, crew management, and rapid CTC panel development for module groups. For a preview, see the August 2010 NMRA Magazine or

CTC, JMRI, LDSIG, modules, operation, OpSIG, signaling
CB&Q's Pioneering Zephyr - The history of the first of the Silver Trains Williams, Mark MMR

The history of the CB&Q's Pioneer Zephyr, one of the first diesel streamliners. Learn how Ralph Budd conceived of an all-stainless steel, diesel-powered, streamlined passenger train, designed from the start to be the 'last word' in rail passenger travel.... the Zephyr. We'll begin with the early planning in the 1930's, follow the train through it's long history on various routes, and conclude with the train's permanent home in the refurbished Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

research, trains-passenger
Clinics that work at public events Hamilton, Jack MMR

We go to train shows to run trains and to have fun. Our visitors come to see the trains run and, if the opportunity presents itself, to learn something about model railroading as a hobby. How to impart that awareness in the short time window available has always been a problem. Jack is going to take you through three 'Make-and-take clinics' that lend themselves to public events, are inexpensive, have low manpower requirements, and turn out to be big draws for the visitors. Two of the clinics have been featured with good success at various PNR events while the third is imported from 'down under'. You will see what you need to put on the clinic, learn how it works, see the actual clinic set up, and leave with the list of materials and procedures so you can make of go of it at your next event. Learning how to prepare for and actually hold a public event clinic is critical to our NMRA recruiting effort and the continued success of the hobby.

CMRI 30th birthday celebration Neumann, Seth, Chubb, Bruce MMR

2015 Marks the 30th anniversary of the C/MRI system as described by Dr Bruce Chubb. This is a get-together with presentations by Dr. Chubb and some of the manufacturers supporting C/MRI and the proposed S-9.10 CMRInet standard.

In addition to the presentations there will be an opportunity for C/MRI users to introduce themselves and describe their layouts and projects.

CMRI, user-forum
Configuring Soundtraxx Tsunami decoders Thompson, Mat

Once you have an engine with a Soundtraxx Tsunami decoder, what do you do with it? This clinic will describe the Configuration Variables (CV) that control momentum and braking characteristics of Soundtraxx Tsunami decoders for both diesels and steam engines. Subjects include deciding how much momentum and braking to use, helping engineers to learn momentum and braking and how to choose settings that will work with engines that don't have Tsunami decoders. A complete configuration for movement control and sound will be presented with suggestions for change to meet particular layout situations.

Layout owners will learn how they help operators get used to brakes to include providing an 'Engine Card' so operators know the performance characteristics of the engines they are running. Another subject will be remapping throttle functions so operators do not need to look at their throttles constantly. Different programming actions for Digitrax, NCE and EasyDCC systems are explained as needed.

The clinic will conclude with an explanation of Tsunami consisting settings.

Considerations for those interested in modeling the 1980's Thomas, Gilbert

So, you're not a transition era modeler? Well, how about the 1980's? Boxcars are at their peak, the Staggers Act has deregulated the
railroad rate structures, and say "good bye" to the caboose - railroads are rapidly changing. Come find out what you need to know to model this era!

history, layout-design, prototype-railroads, research
Controlling 280 Turnout Servos Using Fascia Mounted Panels Judge, Robert

This clinic presents one solution to controlling a large amount of turnouts and crossovers using mounted servos. The servos are controlled using pushbuttons located on fascia mounted panels. The electronics needed to drive the servos and to provide led lighted track routing on the panels will be clearly explained and demonstrated. There will be a step by step procedure that shows how to map the turnouts from a sample branch line track plan to the panel push button controls and to all the electronics and logic needed for successful operation.

Creating a Scene from Start to Finish Brown, Bill MMR New
Creative structure kitbashing Koester, Tony

Model Railroader contributing editor Tony Koester recently added a large number of structures, many of them kitbashed, to his 1954-era HO railroad in preparation for the December 2014 MR feature on his railroad and a follow-up MR Video Plus shoot. He'll discuss disguising a kit's heritage, Americanizing European buildings, using a new roof to change a kit's appearance, making stores more realistic by doubling their length, and other ways to save time while enhancing realism.

kitbashing, structures
Cumberland West layout infrastructure Parks, David

The materials and methods used to support MRR operations. Topics include Hybrid NCE/Digitrax DCC, multi-line phone system; Color Position Light signals; computer controlled interlocking towers; automated running and integrated operations paperwork.

automation, DCC, layout-design, LDSIG, OpSIG, signaling
DCC basics Gurries, Mark

This clinic talks about the advantages of DCC over DC in operating and wiring your layout. It also covers the basic components used in DCC systems plus some basic notes on both decoder & layout wiring including mixing DC and DCC. Finally, a discussion about what you should think about in selecting a DCC system plus information showing pictures of various systems being offered. If you know nothing about DCC, this is the clinic to start with.

DCC decoder install Gurries, Mark

This clinic talks about the DCC decoder which is a device that must be installed in every locomotive for the DCC system to work. Part of the installation involves the electrical connections for the track, motor, lights, and in some cases sound. Picking the right decoder can make a big difference in how easy this will be. With so many to choose from, this clinic will help you sort all this out and get you going. This clinic is not a demonstration clinic.

DCC decoder programming Gurries, Mark

This clinic talks about the DCC decoder which is a device that must be installed in every locomotive for the DCC system to work. With the hardware installation done, now comes the most computer like part of the installation, programming the decoder. Programming the decoder correctly is critical to its success but it is easier than you think. However since decoders come with so many options to set, this clinic will help you sort all this out and get you going.

DCC, dcc-decoder-programming, JMRI
DCC wiring Gurries, Mark

This clinic talks about how the DCC system gets connected to you layout. It talks about the different type of wires used on the layout helping you understand what to do to maximize the success and reliability of the system. Both small and large layouts are discussed along with solving some unique wiring problems. No, you do not necessarily need to rewire your layout to enjoy DCC, but it helps to understand the big picture and know what to do when there is a problem.

Designing a signaling system with cpNode (CMRI on Arduino) Catania, Chuck, Neumann, Seth

Chuck and Seth will describe their experiences designing and implementing Model Railroad Signaling Systems and how they have used the cpNode system they developed, to streamline the process.
They will discuss power distribution and detection topologies, setting up signal locations, dividing the layout into blocks, cabling, cost optimization strategies and much more.

CMRI, CTC, electronics, LDSIG, OpSIG, signaling
Designing and building laser-cut freight cars Bisgeier, Craig

Craig Bisgeier, proprietor of, designs freight car kits on his home computer and has them laser-cut by a third party. He is able to create cars and structures he needs for his own layout, and sells extra copies to other modelers to help pay for his hobby expenses. And he wants to show you how you can do it too. We will go through the basics of the software, how to use it, and basic kit design. Then he will discuss available materials to work with, how to prepare a set of drawings for a commercial cutter that will save you time and money. He will show several examples of his work, including several car kits he's made as well as structures which would be nearly impossible to model by hand. Finally he will do a visual walk-through of how an average laser-cut car kit is assembled. By the time you leave you will have a good idea of how to get set up and start creating your own kits!

laser-cutting, prototype-modeling, rollingstock, RPM
Designing and building the T&NO in East Texas Johnson, Greg

The clinic describes the research, design decisions and construction techniques used in building my N scale railroad. Research elements include the use of Sanborn maps, photographic references, site visits and railroad timetables and artifacts. Construction techniques discussed include the unique use of Gatorfoam for all bench top construction. The layout was featured in Model Railroad Planning 2015 and N Scale Railroading Magazine in 2013.

layout-construction, layout-design, LDSIG, prototype-modeling
Detailing a transition era gas station Robinson, Gary

This clinic gives a brief introduction to the development of service stations, then describes the equipment and details that would be found in such a service station in the 1940-1960 time frame. The difference between 'service stations' and 'filling stations' will be discussed, along with detail changes appropriate to the type modeled.

industries, structures, superdetailing
Digitrax User Forum Ireland, Zana, Ireland, AJ

A.J. and Zana Ireland from Digitrax host their annual User Forum for Digitrax users. A brief presentation of new products for the past year is followed by an extended question and answer period.

commercial-clinic, DCC, user-forum
Document your layout! Jameson, William

This clinic is useful to ALL modelers, regardless of scale. The clinic will cover all the items that need to be documented. It will cover what to document and how to document it, for example; wiring, inventory, and other items that concern your layout that you need to have handy in an emergency. Do you know how much your model railroad is worth if you had to replace it? Do you remember how you wired the diode matrix for the yard or where all the isolated rail joints are? If you answered 'NO' to these questions, then you should attend this clinic

Easy to make flat car and gondola loads Keena, James

This is a hands on make and take clinic where James will demonstrate making flat car and gondola loads from readily available everyday items. Supplies will be provided so that each participate will be able to make and take their own lumber, pipe or railroad tie load.

car-loads, rollingstock, RPM
EduTRAIN update Blake, Bob

Come hear the latest progress in the EduTRAIN program.

Enjoy more modeling fun with silicone molds and urethane casting Johnston, Jeff

The use of silicone molds and urethane plastic to cast parts can be a boon to your hobby enjoyment. In many cases, when you have a need for duplicate parts, urethane castings will save you hours of effort. Clinician Jeff Johnston explains and demonstrates the step-by-step process in a fun and easy to understand manner.

molds-and-casting, prototype-modeling, RPM
Extreme Weathering Tousley, Donald

The clinic is designed to teach some fundamental principles and rules of weathering and illustrate by showing various techniques so that a modeler can effectively age rolling stock to 'extreme' conditions. (Previously titled "Weathering - 101")

prototype-modeling, RPM, weathering
Fabricating structure details with styrene Hopkins, Ron

Styrene, cover glass, and simple jigs are used to fabricate windows, doors, chimneys,
and corbels of specific prototype dimensions.

scratch-building, structures
Finer than fine scale - modeling the SR&RL in Proto 20.3n2 Providenza, Jim

Join Jim as he relates his adventures over the last 9 years working to recreate the 2 foot gauge Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes in his backyard in a combination of scale and gauge that has him scratchbuilding or kitbashing almost everything.

layout-tour, LDSIG, OpSIG, outdoor-modeling, prototype-modeling, RPM
Finishing and detailing structures Lewis, Dan MMR

This clinic addresses kit-bashing or cross-kits, super-detailing, scratch-built additions, and painting and weathering techniques with a variety of media, such as, wet-in-wet, dry-brushing, stains, the use of spray bombs, chemical reactions of alcohol and solvents, dry pigments, Prisma markers, the special treatment of windows (boarded, bricked, broken glass), brick mortar, etching metal foil, roofs, detailing, signage and the tools involved.

painting, structures, superdetailing, weathering
Freight Car Weathering with Ammo of Mig and Pan Pastels Steinmetz, Pete

Many people have heard of Pan Pastels as a painting and weathering medium. Adding products from Ammo of Mig enhances and adds detail to the weathering process. Ammo of Mig is the creation of world famous military modeler Mig Jimenez. I have taken the best of his products and used them in model railroad weathering. With a little practice, the results are very realistic. No airbrush required.

Getting Published - A guide to getting your photos and ideas out in our hobby Murphy, Dennis

Ever want to see your name in print? Want to see your photos in a magazine? Want to make a (VERY) little money while doing something very fun? Well. come spend some time with me. This clinic is an hour of easy talk on how to get your ideas and photos published. We will talk about how to put together a simple article, and I will give you some thoughts on how to present your ideas to a publication. We will also cover some ideas about photos and how to "package" your submission for the highest chance of actually being taken seriously.

hobby-media, misc
Getting started in DCC Petrarca, Bruce

Bruce will discuss the transition from a DC layout to running DCC. Emphasis will be on keeping things simple for the newbie, instead of exploring lots of exotic but rare needs. Discussion will include: system selection, wiring, locomotive selection, etc., with an eye toward the future.

Getting Started in Operations Weinheimer, Bob MMR

This clinic looks at issues a modeler might wish to consider when designing a layout for operations. Topics include setting an era and location, designing a car fleet, developing a train schedule, and dispatching systems.

operation, OpSIG
Getting the best from the Soundtraxx Tsunami Moignard, Mick

Come to this clinic to find out how to make the Soundtraxx Tsunami sing for you. While mostly about programming, and biased towards steam rather than diesel locomotives, this clinic offers a number of installation tips, and discusses locomotive operating strategies that will increase your enjoyment of your Tsunami-equipped locomotives. We'll even mention Soundtraxx's SoundCar decoder and explore how to make that co-operate and run with a Tsunami-equipped locomotive at the head of the train.

Hazardous material markings on rail cars Deis, Paul

You have observed the diamond shaped signs on rail cars. You may understand that they are there to warn of the possible hazards of the materials in that rail car. What you probably want to know is what are the correct markings or signs should be on the rail cars on my layout. With this clinic I will share with you a little history of the warning signs, now known as placards on railroad equipment. We will see what the correct placards are for what commodity in which era. We will start with the 1906 American Railway Association Regulations for the Transportation of Inflammable Articles and Acids and review the changes up to the current DOT regulations

hazmat, rollingstock, RPM
Highball to Indy, 2016! Studley, Steve

See what there is to do in and around Indianapolis. Indy is family friendly with many attractions and restaurants within walking distance of the convention hotel. A preview of layouts and prototype tours will be presented. You'll also learn about Indiana railroads of the past and existing railroad museums in the Central Indiana Division.

misc, New, NMRA
How loud is a locomotive? Is your sound in scale? Wright, Greg MMR

Join Greg Wright for a group discussion on how loud your locomotives should be as it travels
around your railroad. We are very careful to make sure we build our models to the scale
inch, but have you ever considered the scale of sound on your layout? What about forced
perspective with sound? You can do it with a scale rule and a little math. Join in for
an interesting discussion, you may find that you have your locomotives set too quiet.

How to judge the NMRA contest Hamm, Bob MMR

National Contest Chair, Bob Hamm, explains the Ins and Outs of judging the NMRA contest using the AP Judging Guidelines. Mandatory for new judges.

How to use and decorate the Chooch flexible stone walls and how to make the new Chooch Coal Loads in minutes O'Connell, Mike

Mike O'Connell of Chooch Enterprises will demonstrate, decorate and show all the tricks on how to use Chooch's new flexible stone walls, painting and weathering along the way. He will also show you how to use the new Chooch Coal Textures to make any coal load in any size and in any scale. He will show you how to paint and weather the new Chooch Cribbing Walls using the new Chooch/Americana acrylic paints for washes and overall color textures. Mike will also discuss the upcoming full line of flexible surface details, such as brick roads, timber and rock wall tunnel liners. Each attendee will receive a free Chooch wall sample.

car-loads, commercial-clinic, scenery
Installing and Working with Surface Mount LEDs Draper, Barry

LEDs have become popular in model railroading because they offer a bright, heat-free light source that should never burn out. Surface mount LEDs are tiny LEDs that can fit almost anywhere you need a light. But, how do you handle them, and how are you supposed to solder wires to them? Barry will show his techniques for working with and installing surface mount LEDs.

Interfacing a computer to your model railroad Chubb, Bruce MMR

Bruce explains how easy it is to interface a computer to your model railroad. Focus is on the Super Mini-Node that greatly improves I/O distribution and significantly reduces system cost. Up to 128 nodes can be distributed all around your layout making wiring a snap. Simply connect any device directly to the nearest node. Only wiring between nodes is a single 4-wire cable. Applications focus on reducing layout wiring, prototypical turnout control, broad range of signaling systems, staging track control, lighting, animation, automation and interfacing to DCC. The result can greatly increase your railroad's prototypical realism and hobby enjoyment.

automation, CMRI, computers, electronics, signaling
Introducing NMRA LCC - NMRA Layout Command Control Priest, Stephen, Baker, Stuart

This is a discussion of what the new NMRA LCC standard is and what it does. Topics that will be discussed include:

1. A brief description of LCC, and how it enables development of MRR products.

2. How does LCC complement the existing NMRA DCC standards?

3. How does LCC interoperate with existing alternatives?

4. What distinguishes LCC from layout automation and control systems that have preceded it?

5. What are the next steps for the NMRA LCC standard?

Introduction to prototype research Freeman, Henry

Learn how prototype research can improve your layout's design and operations. Discussion includes tips for researching time and place, types of prototype documents, ICC valuation records, the National Archives and the Library of Congress holdings, Sanborn Insurance maps and other sources of information in a digital world. Freeman's article Research in the Information Age appeared in Model Railroad Planning 2002.

layout-design, LDSIG, OpSIG, prototype-modeling, research, RPM
Iron and Steel: the industry Geiger, Doug MMR

The steel industry has a rich history and formed the backbone of America's growth. And from moving raw ingredients to delivering finished product, steel has been an integral part of railroading. This clinic will provide you with a basic understanding of steel making processes and vocabulary. It will give you a guide to the inner workings of rolling mills and some of the specialized railroad equipment found in and around a steel plant. Many references (both prototype and modeling) will be presented to enable you to accurately add this fascinating industry to your own layout. Although mostly a prototype clinic, modeling ideas will be injected as the presentation develops.

industries, prototype-modeling, RPM
Iwata airbrush 101 (session A) Grossman, Tom, Houtz, Alan

Learn basic airbrush skills to apply to your scenery, backdrops, locomotives and rolling stock, track and structures for a natural weathered look.

This highly informative one hour "Hands-On" workshop teaches you the basics of airbrush operation and maintenance. Topics will include airbrush types, air sources and paints. Attendees will learn basic airbrush techniques, practice simple control exercises. Note that there are 20 available seats for students. Spectators are welcome. The class will consist of 15-20 minutes of technical information followed by 30-40minutes of hands on painting with an Iwata Eclipse gravity feed airbrush. All materials and supplies provided.

There is No Charge for this event.


Sign up is required!

Contact Tom Grossman at 719-268-9848 or send him email at

airbrushing, commercial-clinic, painting
Iwata airbrush 101 (session B) Grossman, Tom, Houtz, Alan

Learn basic airbrush skills to apply to your scenery, backdrops, locomotives and rolling stock, track and structures for a natural weathered look.

This highly informative one hour "Hands-On" workshop teaches you the basics of airbrush operation and maintenance. Topics will include airbrush types, air sources and paints. Attendees will learn basic airbrush techniques, practice simple control exercises. Note that there are 20 available seats for students. Spectators are welcome. The class will consist of 15-20 minutes of technical information followed by 30-40minutes of hands on painting with an Iwata Eclipse gravity feed airbrush. All materials and supplies provided.

There is No Charge for this event.


Sign up is required!

Contact Tom Grossman at 719-268-9848 or send him email at

airbrushing, commercial-clinic, painting
Iwata hands-on weathering workshop Houtz, Alan, Grossman, Tom

Learn basic airbrush skills. Airbrush your scenery, back drops, locomotives and rolling stock, track and structures for a natural weathered look.

This highly informative three hour "Hands-On" workshop teaches you basic and weathering airbrush techniques, what air sources to use, and what materials are compatible. The different types of paint available today and their uses, what working surfaces are suitable, their preparation, and the simple maintenance procedures that are required. Attendees will learn basic airbrush techniques, practice simple control exercises, and practice weathering. Attendees may bring their own piece of rolling stock or structure to weather, or one can be provided. Note that there are 20 available seats for students. Spectators are welcome. The class will consist of 30-45 minutes of technical information followed by two hours of hands on instruction with an Iwata Eclipse gravity feed airbrush.

Instructor: Alan Houtz

There is No Charge for this event.

First come first served!

For information, call 1-262-567-3190

airbrushing, commercial-clinic, painting, weathering
JMRI DecoderPro: A conceptual overview Madsen, Greg

Greg will present a conceptual overview of DecoderPro and the Java Model Railroad Interface (JMRI). Rather than dive into lots of technical details and how to use DecoderPro, Greg will explain what it does and why you would want to use it. While specific examples are based on the Digitrax system, the concepts are applicable to all DCC systems.

dcc-decoder-programming, JMRI
JMRI overview and current status Bronson, Dick, Madsen, Greg

JMRI (Java Model Railroading Interface) is a "state of the art", open source program for model railroad hobbyists. JMRI is a suite of tools distributed via a single download. The presentation is targeted to show you the areas that JMRI may help you. Ken will briefly cover DecoderPro, PanelPro and Operations so you get a clear idea of the many features the software may provide.

JMRI, signaling, software-layout-control
JMRI user group meeting Bronson, Dick

This session will let users and developers of JMRI meet and explore possible directions for JMRI. Share your successes and problems with the group. Help the developers focus on the future features for JMRI.

JMRI, software-layout-control, user-forum
Layout design for signaling Black, Rodney

The use of signals will enhance any layout. This clinic will discuss how signals can be used on a layout, from what signals do to where they are placed, and how they interact with segments of the layout.

layout-design, LDSIG, OpSIG, signaling
Layout design with a passenger train emphasis Clark, Robert A.

Track plans suggest how passenger terminal and main line layout design elements can be pulled together. Terminal layout design elements such as turning arrangements, express and mail facilities, and coach yard components such as car washers, servicing platforms, Pullman and commissary buildings, and craft shops will be covered. Main line elements discussed include junctions where trains are reassembled and through stations with passenger car setouts.

layout-design, LDSIG, prototype-stations, RPM, trains-passenger
LDSIG boot camp Henderson, Byron, Neumann, Seth

An intensive 4-hour session on track planning sponsored by the Layout Design SIG. Discover how to refine vision, concept and purpose; select layout footprints and schematics; draw accurate and useful plans; create efficient and engaging yards and industrial areas; make best use of staging tracks; maintain space for people; and avoid common track planning errors.

layout-design, LDSIG, OpSIG
LDSIG panel: What would you do differently? Neumann, Seth

I will moderate a panel of 4 or 5 local layout owners, SIG Tour hosts, and pose a series of topics about lessons learned about design, construction and operation. We usually record this so we can share the transcript in the LDJ.

layout-design, LDSIG, OpSIG
Lighting HO scale vehicles Muff, Nicholas MMR

Downtown Kansas City on my layout is designed for night, as well as day viewing. The streets are filled with over 150 vehicles, all but a few of which have working headlights and taillights. Even motorcycles are lit. I will share my techniques.

layout-lighting, LED-lighting
Loggers and logging railroads Hauff, Steve

Logging railroads were the mainstay of railroading in the Pacific Northwest for many years. Many thousands of miles of logging lines snaked their way into the dense timber. This is a quick overview (occasionally truthful) of the railroads, the train crews and the men who harvested the timber.

forest-products, logging, prototype-railroads, RPM
Manufacturing - how, what, when, where, and why Smith, Don, Huberman, Dan

Introducing the new Canpotex 4300 cu. ft. 3-bay hopper, decorated for PDX 2015. The release of
this car is timed to coincide with the opening of the new Portland Canpotex potash facility.

Don and Dan Huberman of North American Railcar will will share with you the details of how
the Canpotex hopper is manufactured.

commercial-clinic, rollingstock
Measure your diesel horn Frey, Robert

Part 1: This clinic shows how to measure the continuous (RMS) sound level of your Diesel Horn with a Sound Level Meter. There is a proper way to report your Meter results to others.
Part 2: Measuring the true (RMS) voltage driven by a DCC Sound Decoder into a speaker system. Then calculating the wattage of the measured (RMS) voltage based on the impedance of your speaker(s) (4, 8, 16, or 32 ohms)

electronics, sound
Meet the Leaders Getz, Charlie, Headon, Fred MMR, Hamilton, Jack MMR, Kooning, Clark MMR

An informal meet-and-greet session where you can hobnob with current NMRA officials.

Meet the Prez - the president of the NMRA that is... Getz, Charlie

Meet Charlie Getz, the NMRA president. Bring your questions.

Meet the TrainMasters TV crew Fugate, Joe

TrainMasters TV - a top-quality internet TV channel for model railroaders - come meet the TMTV crew and learn about the new video projects they have on the drawing board. With over 100 new video titles produced so far - here's your chance to ask questions and let your voice be heard on what YOU would like to see TMTV put to video.

commercial-clinic, hobby-media
Micro color cameras for your trains Murphy, Dennis

Have you ever wanted to actually ride inside your trains? Have you wanted to see exactly how "real" your structures and scenery is? Well, now you can with these fun wireless Micro Color Camera. I will walk you through some of the fun and trials I have had with them.

Micro Macro Modularity: using the modular concept in layout design Ingraham, Paul

Integrating the modular concept with other layout design tools allows modelers to create prototypical layouts that can evolve for a lifetime. It helps focus the modeler's attention on the essential functions of a railway. Applying the concept to internal elements on the layout further enhances the concept. It is the best combination of practicality and value for money for today's mobile lifestyle.

layout-design, LDSIG, modules, Moved to new Time
Model Railroad Hobbyist: Fun with trains Fugate, Joe

Come dialog with the hobby's leading all-digital magazine staff about this hobby we all love - having fun with trains! Learn about exciting new things coming from MRH, and get your questions answered or make your requests known for things you'd like to see covered on your specific hobby interests. We'll also be having some special give-aways!

commercial-clinic, hobby-media
Model Railroader's Wisconsin & Southern project layout: From concept to finished model railroad Grivno, Cody

Project layouts are a rich part of Model Railroader's history. Associate editor Cody Grivno gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the HO scale Wisconsin & Southern, the magazine's 2008 layout. In this clinic, Cody talks about the field research he and senior editor Jim Hediger conducted. Over the course of several months, the duo photographed locomotives, rolling stock, structures, and rail-served industries along the WSOR system. In addition to field research, the staff was able to learn more about the WSOR through its website, which contained a list of industries served, inbound and outbound traffic, aerial photos of select industries, and a detailed locomotive roster.

With the research complete, then managing editor (now Model Railroader Video Plus producer) David Popp designed the track plan and the staff selected industries to model. Once the layout was complete, an operating scheme was developed that provided plenty of on line action, as well as interchange with the Milwaukee, Racine & Troy.

commercial-clinic, layout-design, prototype-railroads, research
Model Railroads go to war Kempinski, Bernard

From the primitive 19th century iron horse to the thundering diesels of today, railroads have played an important part in enabling, changing, and sometimes inciting warfare. This talk is an overview of how railroads served in America's wars, and how to apply this information to design and build operating model railroads. Starting with the Crimean War in 1855 and extending to current times, the talk features prototype photos, maps and plenty of examples of world class modeling. It puts special emphasis on the US military in the American Civil War, WWI, WWII and Gulf Wars.

history, LDSIG, prototype-modeling, research, RPM
Modeling & Operating with Track Scales Ferenc, Jim

Every division yard and many large industries weigh freight with track scales. Based on 15 years operating experience on my HO Scale C&S Railway this clinic shows how to model railroad track scales. It includes traditional and modern scales, track arrangements, scale houses, and scale test cars. It also explains how to systematically integrate weighing into model railroad operations, including freight movements, scale certification, and car card/way bill systems.

animation, commercial-clinic, structures
Modeling Asian Railways in N scale Ingraham, Paul

Asian railways are more than bullet trains! See model temples, rice paddies, a Taiwan branchline. Locate equipment you can adapt for that Korean or Thai railway you've always craved! Whatever your prototype or scale, you're sure to gain insight into finding sources for the unusual. Be sure to visit the LD/OPSIG room to see the AsiaNRail modular layout that accompanies this clinic presentation!

Cancelled, foreign-railroading, layout-design, LDSIG, modules, N-scale
Modeling Blast Moignard, Mick

Drink at the firehose: 60+ modeling tips in 60 minutes. Tips from the UK, but applicable world-wide, cover layout building ideas, soldering, general modeling, DCC, painting and finishing models, and ideas for when it all goes a bit stale. Take some of these tips home and try them for yourself straight after the convention.

Modeling from Train Sheets ... because half the time it was too dark to take photos Forsyth, Stuart

This clinic shares the fascinating results of analyzing Cajon Pass trains sheets for May 1-7, 1945. Learn what a train sheet is; the FileMaker database built to analyze them; and what the sheets reveal-including the numbers, lengths, tonnages and speeds of the trains operated, and the types, numbers and assignments of the engines used to haul them. See a day in the life of a steam helper and the Summit operator. Learn how the railroad was run and the engines you need to model.

LED-lighting, OpSIG
Modeling the October season McGuirk, Martin

For the modeler who's tried to capture fall colors on a layout but found the results less than convincing. Although the focus is on Eastern US and Canada autumn scenery, many of the techniques and materials apply to any season or region of the country. Clinic will cover the importance of a believable overall color tone, modeling fields and pasture land by effectively blending static and other grasses to avoid a "golf course" look, background trees, and foreground trees "two ways."

prototype-modeling, RPM, scenery
Modeling the Pacific Coast Railway's San Luis Obsipo facilities in N scale Knapp, Tom MMR

A description of the narrow gauge Pacific Coast Railway's facilities in San Luis Obispo, California, and the construction of a sectional layout in Nn3 modeling these facilities WITHOUT COMPRESSION; includes a discussion of Ultra-Light benchwork construction and hand-laying of Code 40 Nn3 track.

history, layout-design, LDSIG, N-scale, New
Modeling the State Belt Kaufman, Bill

I was interested in the State Belt as a possible prototype to model long before I wrote the book, but the research influenced the layout. What did I learn and how I applied it to the layout is the subject of the clinic. I had two goals: recreating the San Francisco waterfront and realistic operations based on WWII. I made choices both about the design and about the operations to make this idiosyncratic fit into a 12' by 12' footprint.

layout-design, layout-tour, LDSIG, prototype-modeling, research, RPM
Modeling with light: Scale model animation for model railroading Bunza, Geoff

Layout lighting was once relegated to headlights, coaches and "whole house" lights. The availability of bright, tiny, light emitting diodes (LEDs) and other new technology opens opportunities for modelers that go beyond the norm. This clinic will look into combining these LEDs with "new" materials and electronic control expanding modeling options even more. These dynamic lighting techniques can enliven scenes and layouts in a big way. Come and find out how to light your way!

animation, electronics, LED-lighting
Modeling with movement: Scale model animation for model railroading Bunza, Geoff

Making things move is virtually synonymous with model railroading. But making things move realistically can go way beyond movement on rails. This clinic will review different mechanisms and means to add movement to scenes, buildings, cars and models to add visible "life" to your layout. Small, scale, smooth mechanisms can be built at low cost using a variety of techniques. Come see how you can move your world!

animation, electronics
Modeling with sound: Scale model animation for model railroading Bunza, Geoff

The use of sound in model railroading goes beyond DCC sound decoders in locos and cars. DCC sound decoders can also be customized for other models. Creating background layout sound has become easier to create, customize, and implement too. This clinic will explore your options for adding sound to your models and layouts, using different approaches, techniques, sources, and players. Come and find out how you can make some new joyful noise!

animation, dcc-sound-decoders, electronics, sound
My experience with 3D printing - not for the faint of heart! Van Gilder, Chip

Over the last two years, I have been exploring the world of 3D printing, how it works, what it can possibly do for me in my modeling experience, some of the complications, some of the short comings, and how I can exploit this technology.

modeling-3D-printing, RPM
N-ovations in N scale Fowler, Don MMR

Don's photo presentation will showcase his completed 16' x 20' DC/DCC N scale model railroad depicting Southern Pacific's operations in California from 1971 to 1996. Special features include an operating scale track, drive-in theater, signals, grade crossings, talking hot box detector and night lighting. His discussion will cover design concept, construction methods, special features and lessons learned throughout the process.

animation, layout-tour, Moved to new Time, N-scale
NCE DCC clinic Gurries, Mark, Schutzer, Mark

Presentation and discussion of all the various NCE DCC products, demonstrations, and Q&A.

DCC, user-forum
NMRA 2017 Orlando - So much more than Mickey Thomas, Gilbert

The 2017 NMRA convention is just two short years away. Although Mickey is in our backyard, our convention promises
to bring so much more - more clinics, more layout tours, prototype railroads unique to Florida, non-rail activities
galore and a great time to be had by all. Come hear about the exciting activities we have planned for you.

misc, NMRA
NMRA LCC (Layout Command Control) from the user's perspective Harris, David, Racz, Balazs

This clinic is a series of demonstrations on how to set up, wire, and configure layouts using LCC hardware. We focus on the user benefits of LCC, and how working with LCC hardware looks for a typical modeler, from unboxing to an operating layout.

The examples we will cover are the following:

1. Simple accessory control with output devices: turnouts, signals, un-couplers.

2. Creating fascia-mounted panels with input devices.

3. Creating software panels using JMRI.

4. Adding block detection with input devices.

5. Configuring a railroad crossing with detection, signaling and sound.

6. Configuring ABS signaling.

7. Modular layouts: automatic discovery of module sequences for ABS signaling.

LCC, modules, NMRAnet
Nn3 - an Overview Knapp, Tom MMR

An overview of modeling narrow gauge in the "small scales" (1:148-1:160); history of Nn3; commercially available motive power, rolling stock, track and controls; track-laying techniques; modules; example models for viewing.

N-scale, New, prototype-modeling, RPM
Now it can be told, the "secret" layout in the Land Down Under Paul, Kermit MMR

This is the story of a secret O scale layout in Australia where I provided a control system to automatically run up to twenty trains at a time for the owner's enjoyment.

The owner was a private individual and all who worked on the layout were sworn to secrecy.
Since the layout was built in the late 1970's, perhaps fewer than forty guests have seen it.
The late John Armstrong visited once while I was there and he remarked "Even for me, this is a bit over the top".

The owner passed away last year, hence the clinic title. Eight minutes of a recent professional video will be included.
The scope of the layout plus a very large 1/32 scale collection was most impressive.

The train collection and parts of the layout were willed to the Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich, QLD Australia for public display.

OpenLCB User's Group Meeting Baker, Stuart, Racz, Balazs, Harris, David

LCC is a subset of OpenLCB protocol standards, and is designed to be 100% compatible and interoperable with OpenLCB. The OpenLCB group's mission is to push the boundaries model railroad control. Work within the OpenLCB group is on the leading edge of technology. Once an OpenLCB protocol has been documented, prototyped, and thoroughly tested, it becomes a candidate for adoption by the NMRA as part of the LCC standards.

This meeting is to discuss topics related to next generation model railroad control with the architects of OpenLCB and LCC. This is an open forum and a chance for users to discuss their ideas with the developers.

OpenLCB/NMRA LCC - Overview and Current Status Baker, Stuart, Harris, David, Racz, Balazs

A high level discussion of how OpenLCB and LCC work, followed by a discussion of the current status of the OpenLCB working group and LCC standards.

Operations 101 - becoming an operator Lewis, Dan MMR

If you want to begin operating, this clinic is for you! It covers how to run a freight train, reading a Timetable, how to perform on-line switching moves (both facing and trailing point spurs), communication systems, clearances, OS-ing, yard operations (classifying cars), running passenger trains and guest etiquette.

operation, OpSIG, TTTO
Operations 201 - Preparing to host operations Lewis, Dan MMR

This clinic is a Two-Part presentation directed toward the hosts of operating sessions. While it is largely oriented around Timetable and Train Order operation, much in the clinic will be applicable to other systems as well. In Part 1 the clinic addresses towns, yards, stations, staging and connecting to the larger railroad world, industries and types of trains. In Part 2, it addresses car forwarding, the ops jobs (road crews, yardmasters and dispatching), balancing the schedule and what operators take for granted (but you shouldn't).

operation, OpSIG, TTTO
Operations on the Pennsylvania Southern Weinheimer, Bob MMR

The Pennsylvania Southern is a freelance layout set in 1980 in western Pennsylvania. Topics for discussion include layout philosophy, train scheduling, train operation, dispatching, and supporting paperwork.

layout-tour, operation, OpSIG
Operations with Virtual railroading Blake, Rich

In this clinic we will explore the world of Virtual Railroading on the computer to enhance your model railroading experience. Many of the skills and requirements of the NMRA Chief Dispatcher AP can be accomplished on railroad simulators including practicing operational methods, study of prototype routes, building time tables and track schematics. We will focus on each of these subjects as they relate to model railroading with live demonstration and open discussion.

OpSIG, virtual-railroading
Outdoor Railroading - Taking the hobby to new dimensions Lovely, John

An introduction to outdoor railroading. Scales, gauges, engine/train types, building equipment, clubs, and activities.

Pacific Fruit Express operations Thompson, Tony

Understanding PFE involves far more than its refrigerator cars. The way the company did business, the ways it managed its many facilities, including shops and ice plants, and the ways refrigerator cars were built, serviced, repaired and operated, all form a complex and interesting story. Both for the historian and for the modeler, this presentation provides a detailed and inclusive view of these matters, along with some car fleet information.

OpSIG, pacific-fruit-express, prototype-modeling, reefer-operations, research, RPM
Pains and pleasures: Prototype modeling the Sugar Pine Lumber Company Johnston, Jeff

Jeff and Pam Johnston model the Sugar Pine Lumber Co. / Minarets & Western Rwy. circa September 1927. In this clinic Jeff presents a look at what it takes to be a prototype modeler of a relatively obscure company. Historic photo and blueprint research, location visits, use of existing models, plus kitbashing and scratch building are all part of the run package.

forest-products, logging, prototype-modeling, research, RPM
Painting a brass Southern Pacific cab-forward steam engine Hall, Edwin MMR

Ed will show how to paint a Southern Pacific AM-2 Cab Forward. Discussion will include preparation of the brass for painting including simple solder techniques, disassembly, painting, making sure all electrical connections are intact, re-assembly and testing for proper operation

brass-models, painting, RPM
Painting and installing rock castings for prototypical realism Walker, Roger MMR

In this clinic I will show how to use acrylic paints to realistically color Plaster of Paris rock castings. I will then show how to blend various castings together to make geologically realistic scenery. Finally I will show how to blend the rocks with vegetation and talus to complete the scenery

Passenger terminals and servicing facilities: Prototype examples Clark, Robert A.

This clinic supplements my Layout Design clinic, focusing on the wide variety of facilities needed to service passenger trains at terminals, illustrated with track diagrams and slides of coach yards, Pullman buildings, commissaries, car washers, and mail and express buildings. Switching of terminals is described. A handout includes specifications for servicing platforms and utilities such as compressed air, steam, water, and electricity.

LDSIG, OpSIG, prototype-stations, research, RPM, trains-passenger
Phones for Ops - updated! Neumann, Seth

Seth Neumann will review the requirements for an operations communications system and take you through the design process and show you how to implement a reliable telephone system for dispatching any era from the 1870s through the 1980s using your choice of inexpensive telephones or period equipment. The emphasis this year is on low cost electronic replacements for hard-to-find vintage parts.

electronics, OpSIG, telephones
Photography - Beyond Snapshots Comstock, Charlie

Charlie shares how to move from snap-shot quality layout photography to photos that look like the real thing. Updated!

Photoshop Elements as a modeling tool Burgess, Jack MMR

The computer program Photoshop Elements can be just as useful in modeling as a Dremel tool or NWSL Chopper. This clinic will present ideas about using this program to enhance scanned prototype and layout photos, make scaled signs from graphics available on the web, and even make simple interior details. Some techniques are extremely easy (why didn't I think of that) while others are more complex.

A four-page clinic handout is available online at

photography-video, signs, software-photography, tools
Placeville, CA: A complete district, to scale, as one layout Zeek, Jim MMR

The earliest attempted crossing of the Sierras by rail terminated in this town in late 1887. By 1900 two large saw mills - one of which later built a connecting branchline - along with a box factory, fruit packing sheds , a foundry, and farms were all shipping products, while mines, businesses and farms were importing machinery, fuel, and supplies. From 1915-1953 traffic expanded up to two trains daily of 20-30 cars each in late summer and during WW II. Presenter illustrates with photos and maps.

forest-products, layout-design, LDSIG, prototype-railroads, research, RPM
PNR board of directors meeting Highsmith, Michael

The Pacific Northwest Region annual business meeting.

PNR membership meeting Highsmith, Michael

The Pacific Northwest Region annual membership meeting. Come meet your regional officials.

Populate your passenger trains Lovely, John

Add (virtual) passengers to your passenger trains.

Portland's Steel Bridge Hauff, Steve

A brief history of the century-old Steel bridge which crosses the Willamette River in Portland. The bi-level bridge is rare in its design, with the lower level capable of telescoping into the upper level. The railroad occupies the lower level while trolleys, traffic, and light rail have crossed the upper deck.

bridges, RPM
Prototype maintenance of way cranes and derricks Bunza, Geoff

This Clinic will explore the breadth and history of prototype Maintenance of Way Cranes and Derricks
and provide some modeling notes and references to models created over the years.

m-o-w, prototype-modeling
Prototype modeling the Pacific Northwest Chubb, Bruce MMR

Research for modeling and operating the SVOS was conducted with the aid of more than 60 members of OPSIG, LDSIG and SP, SP&S, NP, UP and GN Railroad Historical and Technical Societies. With their assistance, a 5-drawer file cabinet is packed full of prototypical information now in use to accurately model every station, industry, tunnel, bridge, trestle and the general overall railroad right-of-way and its operation. For example, over 250 prototypically based structures are being created. As a thank you for the efforts expended, Bruce illustrates what is being accomplished and the resulting excitement achieved via prototype modeling.

layout-design, LDSIG, prototype-modeling, prototype-railroads, research, RPM
Railroad Flagging - Visual communication on real railroads. Lovely, John

How the real railroads use visual communications past and present. Add these to your model operations to have more fun.

operation, operation-prototypical, OpSIG, signaling
Resistance soldering: The basics Butts, Gary

This clinic will feature a brief review of resistance soldering theory followed by a practical demonstration of various soldering techniques using both pencil and tweezers type resistance soldering apparatus. We will discuss the use of solder flux, solder paste and normal wire solder. Following the demonstration we will have a "hands-on" solder session for those that would like to get some experience using the equipment.

brass-models, soldering
Reviving Strathmore as a modeling material Chandler, Mike MMR

Through a slide presentation, Mike Chandler will demonstrate his techniques for scratch building structures with Strathmore, a model building material once commonly used in our hobby. Far from being 'old hat' Strathmore offers certain advantages over more contemporary materials particularly when constructing models of buildings with wood exteriors.

Running cattle and other beasts Lewis, Dan MMR

This clinic addresses the prototype practices of railroading and livestock. It will cover the distinctive features of stock cars, stockyard structures (corrals and loading chutes), special conditions and railroad rules for stock-handling (feeding, watering, rest stops), stock days and stock extras, seasonal movements, the large stockyards (Chicago, Omaha, Milwaukee, etc.) and stock selling and buying. The clinic climaxes with tips on modeling the stock traffic and industry.

livestock, prototype-modeling, RPM, structures
Sawmills Zeek, Jim MMR

An in depth look at their physical plants, machinery and how logs become lumber illustrated by photographs from the clinician's collection. Your presenter has studied Foresty at Oregon State, grew up in the industry and has worked as a machine operator for MIchigan California Lumber Co. and Sierra Pacific Lumber Co.

forest-products, logging, New at one Time, prototype-modeling
Scenery - Making it real Comstock, Charlie

Charlie shares some of his techniques for building highly realistic scenery on his HO scale Bear Creek and South Jackson layout.

Scenery using geodesic foam Talviste, Mike

Goedesic foam sceney

Cancelled, scenery
Scratchbuilding a trestle based on the prototype Van Arnem, Bob

Modeling a 207' long, 73' high frame trestle in HO scale. Cutting stock basswood on a table saw and detail photos of bent and stringer construction are included. Slides of the second and fourth subdivisions of the Camas Prairie Railroad, taken on a Hi-Rail trip in August of 1993, will be featured.

bridges, prototype-modeling, RPM
Scratchbuilding an animated coal mine Ferenc, Jim

Monarch Mine on my HO scale C&S Northern Division needed a removable tipple structure with moving hoist cables to cover its live-coal loader mechanism. This clinic shows how to scratch build a very large animated coal mine tipple, headframe, and boiler house to match prototype photos from the 1930s. Techniques include strip wood, styrene, and brass construction, and finishing with painting and weathering. Simple electronics and motors bring the model to life.

animation, structures
Signaling your layout with DCC for control/operations Waterstreet, David L.

A discussion of the fundamental processes and steps necessary to design and build/install a successful layout railroad signaling system - basic to advanced.

Presentation will include the methods and hardware variations (options) needed to install and operate various prototype signaling systems. Included will be our experience and lessons learned having done/assisted/advised on several layouts in the Pacific Northwest and west coast. Time will be allotted for questions and answers during and following the presentation.

DCC, electronics, LDSIG, OpSIG, RPM, signaling
Signaling your railroad - Parts 1, 2, & 3 Chubb, Bruce MMR

Part 1 - Fundamental Concepts - Prototype and model

Bruce expands upon Signaling Made Easier series in MR and the Railroader's Application Handbook to cover adapting prototypical signaling to model railroading. ABS, APB and CTC signaling are discussed along with their impact on railroad operations. Clear differentiation is established between block and interlocking signals and speed versus route signaling. Signal placement, compatibility with DCC and how to drive different signal types are addressed. Bruce explains how to use the SMINI card coupled with the power of the computer to reduce layout wiring and system cost while maximizing system flexibility and prototype fidelity.

Part 2 - ABS, APB, turnout control, and grade crossing systems

Bruce explains optimized block occupancy detection and its application to Automatic Block Signaling (ABS). Then, Bruce clarifies how the prototype utilizes "Traffic Sticks" to determine directional movement across block boundaries to set up Absolute Permissive Block (APB) signaling thereby providing protection for bi-directional operation on the same track. The importance of "traffic sticks" in setting up grade crossing warning systems is discussed along with its utilization with a new Prototypical Grade Crossing Control (PGCC) card. Additional coverage includes prototypical turnout control and protecting hand operated switches in signal territory.

Part 3 - Centralized traffic control systems

Bruce explains CTC operations and how it can smooth traffic flow on your railroad. Typical operational scenarios are explained. Straightforward programming techniques make it is easy to "cut-paste-and-change-numbers" to set up a highly accurate C/MRI-based CTC system for any model railroad. Utilizing a standard set of callable subroutines makes the programming easy while maximizing prototype fidelity. Additionally, setting up entrance-exit interlocking plants is discussed along with using dynamic graphic interactive displays to emulate modern dispatching operations.

CMRI, electronics, RPM, signaling
Silver Thread to the West - The history of the California Zephyr Williams, Mark MMR

The history of the CB&Q's California Zephyr, one of the last great named passenger trains. Learn how three great railroads cooperated to provide fast, comfortable, family-friendly service from Chicago to Oakland and San Francisco in some of the most stylish passenger cars Budd ever manufactured. We'll begin with the early planning in the 1940's and conclude with the last scheduled trip prior to Amtrak taking over the route in 1970.

research, trains-passenger
Simple layout operations, TTTO for guests Smith, Lowell

Tips for setting up a successful operating session for guests, using Time Table & Train Orders, that will keep them coming back for more. I have hosted over 100 sessions over the years taking what would be complicated and making it FUN.

operation, OpSIG, TTTO
Slow orders - Dangerous track ahead Petrarca, Bruce, Petrarca, Linda

Based on our well received article in Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine (Dec 2012), this clinic will look at preparation for future catastrophes (death, fire, flood, etc.). What you do now may impact you or your family for decades. Don't miss this lively discussion.

Small Layout Design - Beyond the Timesaver Henderson, Byron

Over the years, many small layouts have been designed to focus on maddening puzzles and tricks. But these can rapidly become boring and repetitive. However, operation on small layouts can be challenging, fun, and prototype-inspired. The key is taking care to include layout design "best practices" even in small layout design. Join a custom layout designer for new ideas in small spaces.

layout-design, LDSIG, OpSIG
SP's Cascade crossing in HO scale: Design, construction, and initial operation of a dream Decker, Bill

The clinic describes the design process for a basement-filling dream layout focused on the prototype Cascade Line of the Southern Pacific. Occupying 2400 sqft of basement, it features of the route from Eugene to Cascade Summit and Crescent Lake. The design process will be described, including trade-offs and challenges, followed by construction and initial operations

layout-design, layout-tour, LDSIG, operation, OpSIG, prototype-modeling, RPM
Sunset Valley Oregon System updates and operation Chubb, Bruce MMR

Bruce and his crew of 38 are modeling ten prototype railroads operating in the Pacific Northwest in 1955. Features include the SP from Portland to Dunsmuir using the Siskiyou line, SP's Coos Bay branch, SP&S from Portland to Eugene, independent logging and mining operations, and the NP, GN, SP&S and UP operations into Portland. The system includes 7 classification yards. Up to 120 trains operate during a 24-hour simulated day. Prototypical fidelity with the system designed for super realistic operation is achieved. This fast moving, all color presentation provides an exciting status update and operational overview of this monumental effort.

layout-design, layout-tour, LDSIG, operation, operation-prototypical, OpSIG, prototype-modeling, RPM
TCS WOWSound DCC - Take prototypical sound and operation to a new level Stenzel, Norm

Train Control Systems will explain and demonstrate their revolutionary WOWSound Decoder. The only sound decoder with True CD Quality sound. Both Steam and Diesel versions will be demonstrated. Using features including Auto Adjusting BEMF, Audio Assist[tm], Keep Alive[tm] and others TCS will show how to make your locomotive sound and run just like the prototype.

commercial-clinic, dcc-sound-decoders, OpSIG, RPM
Techniques for great scenery Spangler, Rob

I'll be covering scenery techniques successfully used on my own layout and others I work on. I will address backdrop/3-D scenery integration, fascia, landform design and construction, color, texture and ground cover. I model the interior west, but the information can be useful for any prototype.

backdrops, scenery
The B&O in Cumberland Parks, David

A video of the Cumberland West railroad layout. It is structured as a 1953 style railroad promotional using the layout as if it were real.

layout-tour, layout-video, OpSIG, prototype-modeling
The Columbia & Western: Designed for Operation or "2500 vertical feet into a two car garage!" Dance, Mark

This clinic describes the Columbia & Western railway designed to replicate the CP's Kootenay divisions. The layout has 7 scale miles of mainline and a two mile branch in 350 square feet. Focus will be placed on track planning, on the double mushroom design and construction, and on various other mechanical features including swing gates and an indexing table. Finally the lake barge used to move complete trains between levels will be described.

layout-design, LDSIG, N-scale, OpSIG, prototype-modeling, rail-marine, RPM
The European N scale convention Houzvicka, Frank

For the past several years the organization 'N Club International' has held a European N scale convention in Stuttgart, Germany, in conjunction with the trade show 'Modell Bau Sud'. Clubs from as many as nine countries set up their modules in a huge interconnected layout. This clinic will provide an overview of the skill and variety displayed by the clubs from across Europe including: Austria, England, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.

foreign-railroading, layout-tour, modules, N-scale
The first two years of the HO scale St. Louis division Priest, Stephen

Stephen M. Priest, MMR and editor of Railroad Model Craftsman will be speaking about the first two years of the HO Scale St Louis Division. This railroad is 3400 square feet and is about 1/3 complete. It features the Santa Fe Railway in 1978. The route is fictitious although the Santa Fe did repeatedly try to acquire and or build a line from Chicago through St Louis to Kansas City. We are building the railroad as if one of these attempts early last century had panned out. The railroad features state of the art benchwork, wiring and hand laid trackwork from Fasttracks. It also features innovative lighting with 100% LED use for all illumination both in structures and in rolling stock. Electronics planning will include DMX lighting and sound allowing time of day and night to be computer controlled. DMX can also create such effects as thunderstorms that roll across the layout from end to end featuring lightning and thunder. The railroad is being built by a group of 15 modelers in the Kansas City area under the direction and design of Stephen M. Priest, MMR. Join us for a look at a new railroad for a new century.

layout-design, layout-tour, New
The Northwestern Pacific - Challenges and rewards of modeling a prototype railroad Merrin, Ed

Over the last decade I have been building and operating a medium sized garage layout based on the 1958-1960 Northwestern Pacific in Northern California. Several previous clinics covered the design philosophy of producing an operating, not static, representation of this prototype. This clinic extends the discussion to specific areas, largely equipment and scenic issues, where special effort was required to achieve this goal.

layout-tour, LDSIG, prototype-modeling, RPM
The SP&S 700 and the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association Sedaker, Steve

An overview of the SP&S 700 history, the role of the PRPA, it's relationship with the city of Portland, the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation and the local community. The operation and care of the locomotive (including supporting equipment) as well as its operations over the past years since restoration will be covered.

live-steam, prototype-locomotives
The Spruce Production Division Hauff, Steve

In 1918, the US Army embarked on a project to secure aircraft grade spruce for the production of military aircraft. This clinic focuses on one of the Division's more ambitious projects, the construction of 39 miles of mainline railroad, 70 miles of logging spurs and two sawmills in Clallam County, west of Port Angeles, Washington.

forest-products, logging, prototype-railroads, RPM
The State Belt railroad Kaufman, Bill

Begining with a couple crooks in the 1860's (Crooks in San Francisco? Say it isn't so) the clinic tells the history of the railroad that ran along San Francisco's Embarcadero from AT&T Park to Fisherman's Wharf and the Presidio. From 1892 to 1992, the State Belt serviced the piers and industries all along the waterfront. It only existed to switch cars and spent a part of the 1920s and 1930s trying to convince the Supreme Court of the United States that it wasn't a railroad at all. The quintessential switching road in a historic location.

LDSIG, prototype-railroads, research, RPM
The USMRR Aquia Line: Modeling a Civil War Railroad Kempinski, Bernard

An in-depth look at the background, design, construction and lessons learned in building a model railroad layout of the US Military Railroad Aquia Line in 1863 in Virginia in O Scale.

layout-construction, layout-design, LDSIG, prototype-modeling, prototype-railroads, RPM
The Willamette locomotive Hauff, Steve

From 1922 until 1929, the Willamette Iron and Steel Company of Portland, Oregon built a series of 33 geared locomotives in direct competition with the Shay. This clinic tells the history of the Willamette and its evolution through its production history.

geared-locomotives, prototype-locomotives, RPM
Thinking outside the box: Designing the B&O Chicago Terminal RR Freeman, Henry

How do you model an urban railroad that served 500 industries with 60 switch crews a day in a 500 square foot space? This clinic includes the process of compressing elements of the 1956 prototype, the creative solutions to maximizing the available space for the HO-scale design and a look at the prototype research. You may find out that you have more room for your railroad than you think.

layout-design, LDSIG, prototype-modeling, RPM
This is your first NMRA national convention Hamilton, Jack MMR

Congratulations. You managed to find your way through the registration package, survived TSA (if you flew to get here), found the hotel, and actually got a room. You have cleared the Convention Registration Desk and received you 'packet'. Now what happens? Come join with other 'first timers' to meet bond with others in your predicament and get some practical guidance on how to survive the next week and get what you hope to get out of the convention experience. There will be some hints and tips about scheduling you convention time, working in the meals, and figuring out how to get some sleep in places other than clinics. This gathering will also introduce you to a few people you may need to find throughout the week and provide you some points of contact for convention assistance.

Time saving fleet weathering Klettke, Kevin

This clinic will focus on realistic weathering for those you can't or don't have the time to spend many hours per car when it comes to weathering a freight car fleet. I will be showing time-saving techniques for achieving good looking, realistic results using a variety of mediums. Some highlights to include weathering an entire 18-car, HO scale unit coal train in a handful of hours. Paint fading without an airbrush. Underbody weathering and many other miscellaneous time-saving tips.

painting, rollingstock, RPM, weathering
Train Dispatching Elements Kang, Rick

Train Dispatching (the issuance and modification of authority to occupy main track) is a critical piece of railroad operation. How can you apply this to your layout as a modeling element? We introduce and discuss essence of basic systems, clarify several misconceptions, and explain application to variety of layout types.

operation, operation-prototypical, OpSIG
Train Dispatching Elements - extended Kang, Rick

Rick provides more information regarding Train Dispatching building on his Monday evening presentation. He will also expand on topics where there were questions in his previous (Monday) presentation.

New, operation, operation-prototypical, OpSIG
Truck to rail pulpwood transfer yard Robinson, Gary

This clinic describes the layout, purpose, and operation of a truck-to-rail pulpwood transfer yard operated by International Paper during the 1990s in the US Southeast. This yard was one of many such yards in operation. Structures, machinery, trucks, and special-purpose railcars will be examined, and modeling suggestions will be presented.

industries, LDSIG, OpSIG, prototype-modeling, RPM, structures
TTX - An unnoticed giant Hobbs, Paul

Trailer Train was formed in 1955 by Pennsylvania Railroad and Norfolk and Western Railway to provide a pool of flat cars for the emerging Trailer on Flat Car (TOFC) business. By 1960 Trailer Train was operating autoracks, later also containers. Renamed TTX in 1991, the company is today operating more than 200,000 cars, one of the largest fleets in North America.

prototype-leasing, research, RPM, trains-freight
Update on the Nickel Plate Koester, Tony

Model Railroad Planning editor Tony Koester recently completed a lot of scenery, including various types of farm crops, and structures for his 1954-era HO railroad in preparation for the December 2014 MR feature on his railroad and a follow-up MR Video Plus shoot. He'll discuss recent enhancements such as automated interchanges with 'foreign' railroads, automated 'Interlocking in a Box,' more realistic but easy-to-use waybills, timetable and train-order operations, digital-photo backdrops, and weathering with PanPastels.

backdrops, layout-tour, LDSIG, operation-prototypical, OpSIG, RPM, weathering
Using Sanborn maps and aerial photos for layout design Morden, Bruce

Layout design based on research from Sanborn Insurance maps, aerial photos, railroad maps, and USGS topographic maps. Some examples that I used on my model railroad as well as some areas close to the convention will be presented. Sources for your own use and exploration will be provided. A great way to study the prototype for design and operation.

layout-design, LDSIG, research
Using SketchUp and rapid prototyping Burgess, Jack MMR

How to use the free 3D drawing program SketchUp to make drawings and get the parts 'printed' using rapid prototyping technology.

A four-page clinic handout is available online at

computers, modeling-3D-printing, software-cad
Using your digital camera to enhance your modeling (Part 1) Brown, Bill MMR

This clinic will take participants through a variety of modeling projects that can be enhanced through digital photography - from creating photo backdrops, signage, structures, and several structure enhancements, etc. Some photography tips will also be discussed.

hints-and-tips, photography-video
Using your digital camera to enhance your modeling (Part 2) Brown, Bill MMR

This clinic is an in depth extension of the concepts shared in Part 1. Participants will be taken step by step through the use of software to stitch and edit photos for the creation of photo backdrops, photo structures, signage, structure enhancements, and many more photo projects.

hints-and-tips, photography-video, software-photography
Utah Colorado Western update Nicholas, Lee

Introduction and tour of the UCW. Views of recent changes to the layout including new dispatcher and agent office, moving and construction of a new active staging area (aka. The Mole) and changes to the layout. How the agent uses Flex-Bill to generate switch lists, wheel reports, and manage customer waybills. Staging trains using barcodes generated in Flex-Bill.

layout-tour, LDSIG, operation, OpSIG
Weathering freight cars Keena, James

This is a hands on make and take clinic where James will demonstrate various techniques for weathering freight cars. Various weathering supplies will be available for use during the clinic. Each participate will be provided a freight car to weather themselves. Clinic will cover the use of paints and their applications as washes, stippling and dry brushing. Includes the use of alcohol and India ink washes and wet and dry application of weathering powders

RPM, weathering
Westside Lumber Company adventures - 1960-1963 Muff, Nicholas MMR

My friends and I made several trips to the Westside Lumber Company before and after the mill closed. Finally we built our own powered railcar and travelled the entire length of the line from Tuolumne to Camp 45 and Camp 40. We took over 1000 photos.

forest-products, history, logging, prototype-railroads, research, RPM
What's happening at the resurrected Railroad Model Craftsman Priest, Stephen

When RMC was forced to close their doors, Stephen Priest took over and brought it back to life. Check out what's happening at this hobby magazine icon.

Cancelled, commercial-clinic, hobby-media
What's in my toolbox Hamilton, Jack MMR

Every modeler starts with a few basic tools and gradually grows a 'tool box' of items that work for them and make the quality of their modeling better. Along the way, they may find unique uses for items commonly found around the house but seldom in the workshop. They also have the pleasure of spending money on those 'perfect' tools that turn out to be a flop. Jack, a self-confessed tool junkie, will go through his very unique collection of tools that he has accumulated over 50 years of modeling. You may be intrigued by some of the unusual finds, his sources, and his advice on some tools that are just not worth it. As an added incentive, this clinic has door prizes for a lucky few.

What's new at Model Railroader magazine? Besougloff, Neil

Behind-the-scenes look at Model Railroader's yearly project layouts plus new products available from Model Railroader, concluding with a Q&A session.

commercial-clinic, hobby-media
You thought prototype research might be fun Hobbs, Paul

Researching the prototype railroads can enhance our modeling in many ways. We will explore and review many available
resources, their significance to the industry, and usefulness to our hobby activities. Examples from personal research into
the history of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway will be included.

prototype-railroads, research, RPM
Your host club: The Columbia Gorge Auburg, Doug

The Columbia Gorge Model RR Club, Inc. is 68 years old this year. It is somewhat unique in the fact that it owns its own building and layout. The Club is also your Host Group for this convention (and was the Host Group for the successful 1994 NMRA National Convention). This clinic will cover the history of the club and its movement from rented space to our first building and finally to our current building and layout.

Cancelled, layout-tour