July / August 2019

Salt Lake City Non-Rail Clinics, Tours and Activities
This year at the National NMRA Convention the Non-Rail clinics, tours and activities should be fun, and informative!  

For example we're offering great retirement info for today's world, trips to see the sights on a real double-decker bus, jewelry making,  and how to write for fun and profit.  You'll even be able to  be a special guest of a Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square rehearsal or broadcast.   And yes, we have crafts clinics.

Or you can go see those famous engines where it all happened 150 years ago at Promontory and be part of the reenactment of the driving of the golden spike. 

Back at the hotel you can learn how to take better pictures.., even how to eat better and have more fun.  It's all part of an exciting week!

Don't forget the luncheon at Historic Gardner Village. See the gardens, take in a concert,  or learn the do's and don'ts of Facebook.  And if family history and genealogy is of interest, we've got you covered with classes and trips to the world's largest family history library.  Or you can j oin the night life in historic Park City. 

Project Linus will be there, of course. We even have a clinic on where to eat, and all the fun things to do and places to visit in Salt Lake. 

Check it all out at http://www.nmra2019slc.org 

See you there! 

New companies added to our growing list of Partners!

These companies are giving NMRA members discounts for buying their products when using a special discount code.  You can find their websites and discount codes on our Partnership Page at  https://www.nmra.org/partnerships  .  Remember you need to be logged into our site as a member to see the codes!   (See the pink box below.)  New partners since the last NMRA eBulletin issue are in red.   

CatzPaw Innovations
Clever Models LLC
CMR Products
Deluxe Materials
East Coast Circuits
Gatorfoam --  a unique, strong, laminated panel with a core of extruded polystyrene and a face made of resin impregnated wood fiber veneer
Great Decals
Green Frog Productions
Hot Wire Foam Factory
Jason's Brass Poles
K.I.S.S. Method
LARC Products
Logic Rail Technologies
MinuteMan Scale Models
Model Railroad Benchwork
Model Train Catalogue
Modelers Decals and Paint
Motrak Models
MRC (Model Rectifier Corporation)
OK Engines/Streamliners
The Old Depot Gallery -- features the artwork of railroad artist Robert (Bob) Frascella
Old West Scenery
Rusty Stumps
Scale Model Plans
Scalecoat Paint
Scenery Solutions/Fusion Fiber
Showcase Miniatures
Stepcraft, Inc.
Team Track Models
The N-Scale Architect
The Train Show, Inc.
Train Installations, LLC
Trainmasters TV/Model RR Hobbyist
Unreal Details (Magic Water)
USA Airbrush Supply/Badger Airbrush
WiFi Model Railroad, LLC
If you're a manufacturer or know of one who'd like to join our Partnership Program, please contact Jim Gore, At-Large North American Director, at alnadir@nmra.org.

We need several Content Managers for www.nmra.org

By Gerry Leone, Vice President / Special Projects

In 2019, not only is the web an important tool, but what's on the web makes all the difference in the world.  That's why, prior to doing an update to our website at  www.nmra.org, we're looking for  several volunteers who can help generate and manage what's on our website.

Here's the official job description:

The NMRA is looking for Content Managers for our website. The Content Managers will be responsible for researching, creating, editing, improving, updating, and maintaining content to help the website remain fresh, so that it becomes a member benefit, and attracts new members. The content should be in line with marketing goals, and may be written material as well as video and audio files. The Content Managers will work with other volunteer member content providers.
Our ideal candidates are persons with good organization and writing skills. The Content Managers will perform well under deadlines and be detail-oriented.
  • Develop content strategy aligned with short-term and long-term marketing goals
  • Collaborate and work closely with our marketing team to plan and develop site content
  • Create, or oversee the creation of, engaging content
  • Edit, proofread, and improve writers' posts
  • Find and oversee content writers
These are volunteer positions.  We're looking for several individuals because we want to make the workload managable for each of them.

If you're interested, please send your questions and/or qualifications and an estimate of the amount of time you can spend per week on this position to me,  Gerry Leone.


Mike Bartlett awarded Australia's highest civilian honor

Former NMRA Australasian District Director Mike Bartlett was awarded the prestigious Order of Australia medal for his 63 years of service to various surf life-saving programs in the country.  The medal is Australia's highest honor for a civilian, and is given for distinguished public service.

Mike served as Australasian District Director from 2012 to 2018.

A huge congratulations, Mike!

Error correction: The NMRA Exhibit at the California State Railroad Museum

My fault!  In the May/June NMRA eBulletin, I listed the target date for the opening of the CSRM "Magic of Scale Model Railroading" exhibit as being September 1,  2020 .   That's wrong.  The target date is September 1,  2019 .  That's  this  year!  So the final paragraph should read:

The Exhibit's target opening date is September 1, 2019. Please help us with a tax deductible donation to insure we open on time and on budget. We need and appreciate your help.

Sorry about that!   -Gerry

Important NMRA eBulletin news you may have missed

Thanks to volunteer Tom Bensberg, all NMRA eBulletin issues are archived on the NMRA website and these links will send you directly to them and show what edition of the NMRA eBulletin they appeared in.

Remember: your email address has to be registered on the website (not just with Headquarters) to get to the Members Only section of our website!

Go to  https://www.nmra.org/user/register  to 
register your name on the website.

Editor: Gerry Leone, MMR®, HLM 
The NMRA eBulletin is an official bi-monthly production of the National Model Railroad Association, Inc. Publishing Department (Don Phillips, Manager). Its purpose is to keep every NMRA member informed about organization news and events.  If you know of an NMRA member who is not receiving this mailing, please direct them to here to update their email address.  If you no longer wish to receive these mailings, please don't mark them as SPAM.  Instead, click the Safe Unsubscribe link at the bottom of this page. ©2019 National Model Railroad Association, Inc., P.O. Box 1328, Soddy Daisy TN 37384.

A few words from the president

The "C" words

Nope, not the front end of those disease discussions, but rather Conventions, Clinics, Cities, Cornucopias, Camaraderie, Changes and such. This is all about the Convention, which in just a few days will commence in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Convention Committee and the NMRA Meetings & Trade Show Department volunteers have spent five years or so on this Convention, and it promises to be a good one. There's a Cornucopia of Clinics providing chances for you to learn about different aspects of the hobby, lots of model railroad tours, prototype tours, non-rail activities, general interest tours, and so on. Add in the National Train Show at the tag end of the convention, the banquet on Saturday evening and the chance to meet new friends and catch up with long-term friends, and there's an excellent chance that you'll be enjoying some sleep deficits by the time it's time to pack out and head home.

As I'll mention in the Convention program book, if this is your first National Convention, I urge you to wade into it just as far as you can, for this is an opportunity to meet friends you didn't know you had, make friends with some of the "big names" in the hobby, find out that these folks are just as excited about this great hobby as you are, and learn about aspects of the hobby that you may not have known existed. Remember that everyone here was at one time a "first-timer," so don't be afraid to walk up to people and start asking questions! If this is a return visit to a National, please engage the first-timers, welcome them to the fold, and share your joy in this big family reunion, for that's what this convention really is: a big family reunion. So head on in and enjoy!

There's one more "C" word out there that we need to address here: "Change."
Those of you in the Western District should by now know that we're holding a Special Election to replace the Western District Director, as the individual elected last spring has determined that he cannot serve, and has therefore resigned. There is more information about this beloe, and the electoral procedures are spelled out for those interested in seeking the seat. We've also included a section with "What we're looking for in candidates" information to help you make these decisions. NMRA governance is serious business, and we're looking for the most qualified people we can find to lead your organization into the future.

We've had some other changes in staffing that I mentioned last time, so be sure to look up the new folks in Salt Lake City and welcome them to their new responsibilities. While you're at it, please thank the retiring folks for their service to the NMRA... all of them have volunteered their hobby time for many years to help move the NMRA forward.

On to Salt Lake City!

High Green!
Board of Directors meeting in Salt Lake City
The portion of the NMRA Board of Directors meeting that is open to all members will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 6 at the Little America Hotel. The meeting will most likely last all day and possibly resume on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m.  Any NMRA member is welcome to attend, but please remember that there will only be room at the table for Board members, officers, and department heads. Please see the hotel directory for the exact room location of the meeting.

The Annual NMRA  General Membership Meeting will be held on Thursday, July 9, at 8:00 p.m. Please see the convention timetable for the exact room.

Special Election for Western District Director
A special election will be held in September 2019 to fill the office of Western District Director. The office will be vacated at this year's convention in Salt Lake City and the individual elected to fill this term has determined that he cannot serve.
The election is only open to voting members of the Western District.
The NMRA Board of Directors develops policies for the benefit of all NMRA members. The Western District Director is a key member of the Board. If you're a member of the Western District, by voting in the special election you will help elect your new Western District Director.
If you are a voting member of the Western District you will receive a ballot by email, through Electionbuddy.com on September 1. If you do not have an email address on file with headquarters, you will receive a ballot through the US Postal Service in early September. Voting closes September 30. The slate of candidates will be available in the Members Only section of the NMRA website August 22.
If you are interested in running for Western District Director and reside in the Western District, please send a letter of your intent and qualifications for the office to the National Nominating Committee, c/o Mike Brestel at mbrestel@zoomtown.com or c/o NMRA Inc., Nominating Committee, PO Box 1328, Soddy Daisy, TN, 37384-1328, to be received no later than August 15, 2019. Statements of qualifications must be 400 words or less.

Thinking about running for an NMRA office?

Serving on the NMRA Board of Directors (BOD) as an elected Director or Officer is a big commitment. Board service requires some special knowledge and a fair amount of time and energy. This material is intended to assist you in making the decision to put your abilities to work to serve our Association and the people it serves.

How do I qualify to run for an NMRA National BOD position?

In 2004, the Board enlarged the pool of potential candidates for Board service by instituting term limits for Board members. While this has been successful in bringing in members with new ideas and viewpoints, it has resulted in at least one unintended consequence: many newly elected Board members have taken office and begun serving their first term without being familiar with the nature of and legal requirements for non-profit Board service.  
At the National level, the NMRA is not just a big hobby club. It is a not-for-profit corporation , chartered by the State of Ohio and subject to Ohio's laws and the laws of the United States , while doing business in many nations around the world. At the same time that we are encouraging interested and committed people to run for office, we need to make sure that the National leadership has members who are seasoned and understand that the NMRA is a corporation rather than a local model railroad club.
To qualify for elected service as NMRA National President, Vice President, or member of the Board of Directors, a candidate should have at least a passing familiarity with the workings of the NMRA at all its levels, and with the basics of non-profit law. We're looking for persons who have:

  • at least one year in an office (President, VP, Secretary, or Treasurer) at the National level, and/or
  • at least one year as a Region President and another year as a voting member of a Region Board, and/or
  • at least three years as a voting member of a Region Board.
Please note that the Nominating Committee may consider an applicant's equivalent responsibilities or experience on similar non-profit or for-profit corporate boards, as well as similar or equivalent business experience. But some kind of corporate experience is crucial to anyone who hopes to make a contribution to the workings of the NMRA Board of Directors.

Who would I be working for?

The first thing to know is that members of the NMRA BOD have only one constituent: the NMRA corporation itself. Some Directors have been elected from a district, some Directors and Officers have been elected by the entire membership, but no matter how you get there, your sole duty is to promote and protect the interests of the NMRA as a corporation. Sometimes you have to make decisions that may be unpopular with individual members, even with people who voted for you, but are necessary to protect the corporation as a whole.

Who wouldn't I be working for?

Now that you know that you're working for the entire NMRA, let's look at what the NMRA isn't. Legally, as we mentioned earlier, in the eyes of the U.S. Federal Government and the State of Ohio, the NMRA isn't a hobby club. It's a not-for-profit corporation chartered in the State of Ohio, a business handling millions of dollars per year, subject to the oversight of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, with members, responsibilities, and commitments all over the world. As a Director or Officer, you will have very specific legal responsibilities to Regions, Divisions, members, donors, consumers, paid staff, and many other stakeholders, but your primary responsibility is to the NMRA as a corporation. You have a legal and ethical responsibility to conduct the affairs of the corporation according to the law.

As a volunteer, no one expects you to be an expert in all aspects of non-profit operation, but some experience in operating non-profits is necessary. All that you are asked to do is to apply your skills and your informed judgment for the betterment of our Association. It can get complicated, which is why our Legal Counsel attends every one of our meetings!

Who would I be working with?

All of the Directors and Officers are trying to achieve the same objective: the best possible service to our members. Each of your fellow Directors and Officers brings skills and talents. You will learn from all of them, simultaneously sharing your skills and expertise with them. Participation (questioning, gathering information, suggesting alternatives, considering options) by every Director and Officer is essential in moving our Association forward. Take a "Things do not just happen; someone has to make them happen" approach. To assist an incoming Director in the early days of your Board membership, a longer-serving Board member will work with you as a mentor.

As a member of the NMRA BOD, you are responsible for setting the policies that enable our Association to execute its mission and deliver programs and services, and for overseeing and approving the allocation of the money the Association handles. For most people this is a new way to look at NMRA service, so be prepared to meet new challenges.

If you can meet the qualifications and are interested in one of the most interesting and challenging volunteer positions you'll ever seek, we look forward to hearing from you!

It's easy to bring something to the Salt Lake City convention Celebration Room!

By Bill Brown, Contest Chairman, and
Paul Voelker, Photo Contest Chairman

If you're bringing a model:

The procedures are simple!
  1. Review the guidelines on the NMRA website at www.nmra.org / Education / Contests, then "Celebration of Models" link at the right 
  2. Download Form 901 at the "Forms" link to the right of all pages.
For all items you do not want judged by an NMRA model contest panel...that's it! Just bring your display to the Celebration Room on Monday or Tuesday of convention week. This includes items for The Model Showcase, Favorite Train display, Railroad Passes, "Thumbs" display, and all Arts and Crafts. All items and contest models are eligible for "Popular Vote" Awards, given through balloting of visitors to the room. Claim all items by noon on Friday.

If you want your model judged in the model contest, also download F orm 902 from the website. Your descriptions in each category should be only long enough to give the judge the info he or she needs. Judges have only a few minutes for each item they are judging, so a book isn't necessary.  Include any plans you used, and possibly a photo of the prototype. Models are entered into one of two different judged contests: scratchbuilt or kits.

If you're bringing a module: 
  1. Make arrangements early for your module or modular group to display at the show by going to http://www.nationaltrainshow.org/2019/NTS_Vendors.html.
  2. Download Form 901b and Form J from the NMRA website under Education/Contests and print them on yellow paper.
  3. Form 901b should be filled out and handed in at the Train Show office; Form J must be pinned to the front of your module, both by 3pm of setup day on Thursday.
If you're bringing a photo:

Photos from any type of camera are permitted. There's a maximum of 10 entries, with 5 in any one category. A Contest Entry Form #901 must be filled out for each photo entered. All prints must be mounted on a flat, rigid board (e.g. foam-core or chipboard) or matted with similar material. The mount/mat is to facilitate display and handling of the photo. NO folders or glass frames are permitted, however you can enter those in the Arts & Crafts contest.

For all photos, the entrant's name and address must be on the back Dimensions for all photos (except panorama) are: minimum print size of 5" x 7" with a minimum mount size of 8" x 10". Maximum dimensions for both the print & mount are 12" x 16". For panorama photos only, the vertical limits are 5" to 8" and width limits are a multiple of two, three or four times a normal 5" x 7" or 8" x 10" photo's width. The size of the mount is limited to these same dimensions.

The categories are (a) Model-Black & White Print, (b) Model-Color Print, (c) Prototype-Black & White Print, (d) Prototype-Color Print, (e) Working on the Railroad*, (f) Panorama Print*, (g) Display Only-Not to be judged.

*Both the Working on the Railroad and Panorama Print categories are open to any format, prototype or model, and black & white or color print, with all types competing against each other within the category. One requirement for the Working on the Railroad is that railroad workers must be present within the scene being portrayed. This goes beyond just an engineer in a locomotive cab as the intent is to show railroad workers in action doing their jobs. For a model, use your imagination but show railroader workers in an historically accurate scene, not just meandering around.

1st, 2nd, 3rd place plaques, & honorable mention certificates, are awarded to all categories. For panorama there is Best Panorama Photo. Three others are: Best Fan Trip Photo, Best Special Effects Photo, and Best of Show.

The popular vote photo contest lets members vote for their favorite model or prototype photo. All photos entered are automatically included in this contest and voting is done on Tuesday or Wednesday by any convention attendee.

Region and National Conventions 
(Only those Regional conventions occurring in the next three months are listed)
Newest Master Model Railroader® recipients

639: Stan Pirzchalski (LSR)

"Master Model Railroader" and "MMR" are registered trademarks of the NMRA
In an upcoming issue of NMRA Magazine

  • BEMF: What is it?
  • Ending Feeder Shorts
  • Foundations for Towns
  • Love Those Loads!