March / April 2018

Convention hotel reservations to open in January
I don't know about most of you, but those of us on the KC 2018 Committee are getting some Spring Fever as this winter starts to wind down!  That means the 2018 NMRA Convention is getting closer!

Hotel registration is now open.  You can book direct at: .  Or you can follow the links on the convention website at .  Or you can call the hotel direct at 1-888-627-8538 and mention National Model Railroad Association Annual Convention and Train Show.  I would suggest booking early as the hotels tend to fill up quickly.

We are finalizing tours and will have all the tours that are currently scheduled and planned up on the website by March 15.  We apologize for how long this is taking, but it's not easy getting tours set up in a post-9/11 and litigious society.

Last, if anyone is still interested in doing a clinic at the convention, please go to the website and fill out the form, as we are working on getting that schedule filled up.

This year, get your caboose to Kansas City!
Get reimbursed up to $50 for your Division's member retention event.
North America Director-At-Large

Your NMRA Leadership Team announces a new program available to all active North American NMRA Divisions. Called the NMRA Division Retention Event Matching Fund Program, the NMRA is offering a matching fund in the amount of $50 USD once annually to any active Division that holds a Division event qualifying as promoting member retention (i.e. hands-on clinic material purchase or similar event). 

The NMRA will reimburse up to $50 USD to the Division when the required steps have been approved and completed. Logging in to the NMRA website, you'll find the downloadable " Application For NMRA Division Retention Event Matching Funds" form formatted as a Word DOC by first logging into the website as a member, then clicking on "Regions." Click on "Regions and Divisions." There you'll find a "Division Matching Fund" tab. Click on it for an explanation and a hot link to the DOC form. Once the event is completed, the Division will forward copies of the approved form and the required receipts to NMRA HQ ( or by mail). 

NMRA HQ will then send a check to the Division's Treasurer for half the event cost or $50 USD, whichever is less. Reimbursement will be made by NMRA HQ  once all requirements are met. It's that easy! 

Divisions are encouraged to take advantage of this new Matching Fund program as a way to increase member participation, education and retention. 

Available as of January 1, this is a one year pilot program. Continuation thereafter is contingent on its usage.  

Get your NMRA discount from partners in our Partnership Program!
Here's a listing of all the partners in our Partnership Program.  For the discount amounts they're offering NMRA members, see the Partnership Page .

CatzPaw Innovations
Green Frog Productions
Hot Wire Foam Factory
Jason's Brass Poles
LARC Products
Logic Rail Technologies
MinuteMan Scale Models
Model Railroad Benchwork
Modelers Decals and Paint
Monster Modelworks
Motrak Models
MRC (Model Rectifier Corporation)
OK Engines/Streamliners
Rusty Stumps
Scale Model Plans
Scalecoat Paint
Scenery Solutions/Fusion Fiber
Showcase Miniatures
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

If you're a manufacturer or know of one who'd like to join our Partnership Program, please contact Peter Youngblood, At-Large North American Director, at

Correction for the slight omission in the By-Laws on the emailed ballot

Three letters of a word were inadvertently left off the "Section 10" portion of the By-Laws that appeared in the electronic ballot and are up for a vote by the membership.  The entire paragraph should read (deleted letters are in  boldface red):

Section 10.  Any officer or Director may be removed by the method described in the current  Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised  in the event of any allegation of misconduct such as malfeasance, misfeasance, nonfeasance, breach of a fiduciary duty, any other action, omission, or other issue that causes or contributes to cause a breach of duty that is in the best interest of the NMRA.  Legal counsel, if such a position exists, shall be a member of and advise an appropriate body as designated in the proc ess.

"NMRA Member Benefits" PowerPoint presentation is available on our website

It's perfect for showing at your swap meet table, at train shows, or before your regular Division event to remind members of the value of NMRA membership!  Authored by At-Large North America Director Peter Youngblood, this PowerPoint presentation covers the important benefits of being an NMRA member and answers the question, "What do I get for my dues money?"

Download it from the NMRA website by logging into the website as a member, then visiting the Promo Materials page at .

We want your comments on  our two handbooks

Atlantic District Director

Currently the NMRA website contains two documents, "The Regions & Divisions Handbook" ( and the "Division Superintendents' Handbook" ( both of which are In need of an update.  I've been charged with those updates and would appreciate your input as to what you would like to see added to or deleted from these handbooks.   What's important to you?  What's not?  What subjects have we missed?
Please send all suggestions, thoughts, and comments to me by June 1, 2018, at .

Headquarters is a busy place!

Most members would be surprised at how busy the five folks at Headquarters really are!  In her report to the board, NMRA Chief Administrative Officer Jenny Hendricks noted that:

Headquarters had almost 20,000 direct member interactions in the past six months.  These are over and above the normal membership renewals.  

In the past six months. HQ processed 10,406 membership renewals -- that's an average of 1,734 every month, or almost 90 per day!

Besides membership issues, the HQ staff takes care of year-end financial closes; working with the annual auditors; sending out promotional packets for Division and Region train shows; processing donations of books, slides, models and photos; handling Kalmbach Library requests; soliciting and registering vendors for the National Train Show; and signing up new members at select World's Greatest Hobby shows.


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  to 
register your name on the website.

Gerry Leone, MMR, HLM, and  Chuck Diljak
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. ©2018 National Model Railroad Association, Inc., P.O. Box 1328, Soddy Daisy TN 37384.

A few words from the President

Highlights from the Atlanta BOD Meeting

I've just returned from our mid-year Board meeting in Atlanta, held earlier in February. We met with one vacancy due to the untimely passing of Eastern Director Joe Gelmini and with one new member, Atlantic Director Mike Arnold.  This meeting marked the last one for Pacific Director Mike Bartlett and At-Large North America Director Peter Youngblood, one of the locals.  Both have provided yeoman service and will be missed.  These are a few highlights, but the April issue of  NMRA Magazine  will contain a more complete report, as will our official minutes.  There's also a summary in the article below.
The Kansas City NMRA Convention will see the seating of three Directors as a result of the election now underway.  So if you have not voted, please do so. We employed a new process, not without hiccups, using Election Buddy, a great electronic election system.  But as with any new procedure, we had some issues.  Canadian members did not initially receive ballots nor did some Life Members.  We goofed on posting candidate's bios and statements on our website and they were not printed in the magazine as we did not print a ballot there.  We try to learn from our mistakes and will do better next time.  So apologies.
We received updates on a number of ongoing projects and initiatives such as our Partnership Program, also known as the Member Discount Program.  New companies and manufacturers are joining all of the time so please see the story in the left column, then visit the Member's Only page on our website to keep current on this great discount opportunity for you as an NMRA member.  We are aware that a number of local hobby shops offer discounts to current NMRA members and we are trying to get a list to add to the Program as well as to our Model Railroad Directory.  If you know of any shops offering a discount, please advise Director Peter Youngblood who is helping to coordinate this information.
Another great program is the  NMRA  Turntable , our monthly e-feature of the best of the Internet.  Paul Voelker of the SER does a wonderful job coordinating this feature.  And thanks to Christina Zambri, our marketing consultant, we're slowly building an impressive presence on social media.  But at this meeting, the BOD emphasized that the official NMRA Facebook page and other social media are for modeling and NMRA business matters, not politics.  We are in the process of clarifying what is proper during NMRA elections for candidates and supporters, but using NMRA resources or media is not unless coverage is objective and all candidates are invited to participate.  We will finalize this policy in Kansas City.
Membership Retention is the best and most economical way to grow our numbers.  Did you know for 2018, we have a program where National will reimburse Divisions up to $50 for an approved retention program?  If not, see the article in the lefthand column.  What could your Division do?  Apply to Director Peter Youngblood (yep - him again! Busy person.) if interested but understand this is a trial program for 2018, so don't wait.  We reimburse actual expenses once the program is approved, up to $50/year.
The Gallery Exhibit at the California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) is in high gear and may open as early as this year, but only after a tremendous amount of work on the part of a lot of people.  When complete, the "Magic of Scale Model Railroading"  will introduce over 600,000 visitors a year to our hobby and demonstrate how they can join in the fun.  We will be showcasing the hobby and the NMRA.  Needless to say we are very excited about this project and hopefully you should be, too.  And no dues dollars are being used --  just donations.  

The Library move was successful and soon we should have a process and procedure for you to access the  entire CSRM Library resource at no extra cost!  You are now a member of one of the world's largest rail libraries.
Well, that's it from Atlanta for now.  Read the article below and check out the official minutes when they're finalized for all the latest developments.  And w hether you agree or disagree with me, we welcome your thoughts, insights and comments.  As I always say...those are my thoughts...what are yours?
Summary of the Winter Board meeting in Atlanta, February 10-11
The winter Board of Directors meeting was held at the Drury Inn and Suites in Atlanta, Georgia, over the weekend of February 10 & 11.  The Operations and Budget meeting was held the day before.  Along with the Board members, officers, and department heads, several members of Atlanta's Piedmont Division also attended.  The NMRA Leadership team greatly appreciates their participation.   
Please note that this is an unofficial summary of what took place at the BOD meeting. The official minutes, authored by NMRA Secretary John Stevens, will appear on the NMRA website at
  Some of the highlights of the meeting included:
  • President Getz reported that the "Magic of Scale Model Railroading" exhibit is tentatively scheduled to be opened at the California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) in October, 2018.  Charlie and former
    Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette   editor Bob Brown are in charge of getting the exhibit built.
  • President Getz also reminded everyone that all NMRA members will also be members of the CSRM Library.  The NMRA is in the process of determining how to interface our member database with CSRM's.  An announcement will be made when this has been accomplished.
  • Peter Youngblood, At-Large North American Director, mentioned that 28 manufacturers are now part of the NMRA Partnership Program, and a 29th will be coming onboard soon.  Members can access the full manufacturer list and list of discount codes at
  • Mike Brestel, At-Large Worldwide Director, announced that the NMRA's insurance provider is now offering $2 million and $5 million liability coverage policies to U.S. and Canadian NMRA Regions, Divisions, SIGs, and 100% NMRA Clubs.   For more details, see the story below.
  • The Board discussed the use of NMRA-owned or controlled social media for campaigning and determined that it should be for modeling ideas and organizational news, and that no NMRA assets (e.g. email addresses) or official publications can be used to distribute information about any one candidate unless all candidates are included.
  • Conventions: Kansas City convention chairman Stephen Priest noted that prototype tours are getting harder to schedule due to liability worries of companies.  Salt Lake City convention chairman Alan Anderson mentioned that plans are on-track, and that there will be a train from the airport directly to the convention hotel.  Bob Amsler, Meetings and Trade Show Department Manager informed the Board that there are two possible bids for the 2023 convention.
  • The Board also discussed the idea of allowing non-model railroad vendors whose products could be used in model railroading to purchase booths at the National Train Show.  Bob Amsler will look at the feasibility of this idea.
Increased liability insurance limits now available for NMRA activities in the U.S. and Canada
By Mike Brestel, HLM
NMRA Insurance Coordinator

For many years the NMRA has offered all NMRA Regions, Divisions, 100% clubs and SIGs in the U.S. and Canada access to its $1,000,000/$2,000,000 fire-legal liability insurance for an administrative fee of $50.00 per year.  Since any of these entities buying such coverage on its own will find that the cost to buy on the open market is around $1,000 or more, this has been a very popular offer.

While the $1,000,000 policy meets the needs of most NMRA entities, we have found that in the past several years some Canadian provinces now require NMRA entities to obtain liability coverage of $2,000,000, and in some cases even $5,000,000.  This higher coverage can cost these groups at least an additional $1,000 per year if they buy coverage on the open market.

Due to the increasing number of requests for these higher coverage limits, we are pleased to announce that through the cooperation of the Peerless Insurance Co. of Boston, Massachusetts, and the J.A. Bash Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the following new limits are available to NMRA entities in the U.S. and Canada:

$1,000,000 liability coverage -- $50 per year (U.S. funds)
$2,000,000 liability coverage -- $500 per year (U.S. funds)
$5,000,000 liability coverage -- $1,000 per year (U.S. funds)

This increased coverage is available to any NMRA entity only for its own use.  Requests for coverage limits above $1,000,000 must be accompanied by a certificate from the venue showing the requirement.

For information on the preparation of NMRA insurance applications, please read the latest NMRA Liability and Property Insurance Program memo, located at .

For further information, please contact NMRA Chief Administrative Officer Jenny Hendricks at 423-892-2846 or at

Did you vote yet?

NMRA Secretary

As I reported earlier in the year, the 2018 election ballots were not distributed in  NMRA Magazine .

The Australasian Region distributed theirs on February 10, 2018, using a combination of paper ballots and email ballots.  Any bounced emails received paper ballots.  The email ballots were distributed using the NMRA AR News email address, but were to be returned to Pacific Ballot Committee Chair David O'Hearn's personal email address.  If you voted using the reply button instead of using David's email address, your ballot was not received.  Please go back to the original ballot and follow the directions in the email to forward your ballot to David.  Any questions, please contact Pacific District Ballot Committee Chair David O'Hearn at .

The British Region distributed their ballots on February 10, 2018, using a combination of paper ballots and email ballots.  Any bounced emails received paper ballots.  Any questions, please contact British Region Ballot Committee Chair Rai Fenton at .

NMRA Canada distributed their ballots on February 15, 2018, using a combination of paper ballots and electionbuddy.  Any bounced emails received paper ballots.  Any questions, please contact NMRA Canada Ballot Committee Chair John Bate at .

The European Region distributed their ballots on February 10, 2018, using a combination of paper ballots and email ballots.  Any bounced emails received paper ballots.  Any questions, please contact European Region Ballot Committee Chair Alain Kap at .

USA members and those worldwide members who do not reside in one of the areas noted above started receiving their ballots in early February.  Headquarters prepared over 2,500 paper ballots.  We also sent over 11,000 election invitations using electionbuddy.  This resulted in close to 500 email bounces.  The list of bounces was forwarded to HQ and they sent paper ballots to those members.  If you didn't receive either a paper ballot or an election invitation through electionbuddy, it's possible that your invitation was blocked by your internet provider.  It's also possible that the election invitation ended up in your junk mail or spam file.  Electionbuddy sends out the election invitations in relatively small batches in order to avoid them being tagged as spam.  Regardless of the reason, if you have not yet received a ballot please contact Assistant Secretary Rick Coble at .

All ballots need to be returned by April 1, 2018.  We hope to be able to report results no later than May 15, 2018.

Thank you for being a member of the NMRA.

2019 Notice of Elections

By  John Stevens
NMRA Secretary

The following NMRA Board of Directors positions are open for election in 2019:
1. Western District Director;
2. Atlantic District Director; and
3. At-Large Worldwide Director.

The current At-Large Worldwide Director is term limited and therefore is ineligible to be a candidate for this election. Both the current Atlantic District Director and the Western District Director are eligible to be candidates for this election.

Please check Article III, paragraph 12, of the NMRA Executive Handbook (EHB), located at for the extent of the districts affected. Qualifications for candidates are listed in the EHB. Candidate Statements are limited to 400 words.

Submissions of candidate statements for the Western District Director and US resident candidates for At-Large Worldwide Director shall be submitted to Tony Koester, National Nominating Committee Chair, at no later than May 15, 2018.

Submissions of candidate statements for the Atlantic District Director and Atlantic District resident candidates for At-large Worldwide Director shall be submitted to the Atlantic District Nominating Committee Chair Carol Webb at no later than May 15, 2018.

Submissions of candidate statements for Pacific District resident candidates for At-Large Worldwide Director shall be submitted to David O'Hearn, Pacific District Nominating Committee Chair, at no later than May 15, 2018.

Submissions of candidate statements for NMRA Canada resident candidates for At-Large Worldwide Director shall be submitted to Ed Molenkamp, NMRA Canada Nominating Committee Chair, at no later than May 15, 2018.

Candidates may wish to run for these positions by petition and not be subjected to the decisions of the respective Nominations Committee. Requirements for submitting by petition are contained in the EHB. All submissions by petition shall be received by the Secretary NMRA at no later than September 15, 2018.
Region and National Conventions 
(Only those Regional conventions occurring in the next three months are listed)

April 4 - 8, 2018: Pacific Coast Region Convention
April 13-15, 2018:  Midwest Region Convention
May 17-20, 2018:   Mid-Central Region Convention
May 18-20, 2018: Thousand Lakes Region Conv.
May 19-20, 2018: Rocky Mountain Region Conv.
May 24-27, 2018: Southeast Region Convention
May 30-June 2, 2018: Pacific Northwest Region Conv.
Aug 5-12, 2018:  
National Convention, Kansas City, MO

Newest Master Model Railroaders

605:  Robert Barnett, LSR

606:  Richard Karnes, PNR

607:  Brian Glock, SER

608:  Ronald Christensen, MWR

In an upcoming issue of NMRA Magazine

  • Removable Backdrops
  • Love Those Loads!
  • Installing Tortoises 
  • Containers and Weathering