November / December 2017

UP, BNSF, KCS and more... boy are we planning  tours!
We've been working diligently on tours for the convention over the past month and think that you'll be delighted to hear about what we already have approved and what's in the works.
Many of you asked at the 2017 Orlando Convention if we were going to be able to schedule a tour of the UP Harriman Dispatching Center in Omaha, NE.  I'm pleased to announce that the UP Railway has agreed to allow two tours during the week of the Convention.  This will be an all-day tour as it is roughly 3.5 hours from the hotel to the UP Headquarters in Omaha.  This is truly a great opportunity at an inside look of UP's operations, so once this tour is posted for sale on the website, make your reservations fast.
UP isn't the only game in town.  BNSF has their largest yard on the BNSF System just minutes from the convention hotel.  The committee is hard at work securing tours of the Hump Yard and the locomotive shops at Argentine Yard.  
KCS has their corporate headquarters located just on the other side of downtown from the convention hotel.  They have their dispatching center located in their corporate office and it is a beautiful office building.

But we're not just focused on trains in Kansas City.  We've got a full lineup of non-Rail activities planned for the week as well.  The Kansas City Royals Baseball Club will be in the middle of a home stand during the convention.  The World War I museum is within walking distance of the hotel and the Steamboat Arabia museum is accessible from the KC Streetcar in the River Market area.
All of the tours will be finalized by February 2018, so keep checking the convention website at  Get your caboose to Kansas City!!!

Don't forget: RailPass membership price and duration changes on Jan. 1
By unanimous vote at  the last Board meeting  the Board decided to change the dues and duration of a RailPass membership. 

Beginning January 1, a RailPass membership will cost $19.95 and will last for 9 months.

The new, longer duration will let new members see more issues of NMRA Magazine and take advantage of more Division events.

A new RailPass Membership sign-up form is available as a downloadable PDF on our website.  Sign in as a member (see article below), and click on "Promo Materials" in the large, red bar at the top of the page.

More New Partners added to the NMRA Partnership Program 
The NMRA Partnership Program, announced at the Orlando Convention, continues to add new partners every month.  If you haven't visited the Partnership Program webpage, make sure you log in to as a member.  Then click on "Membership," then "Member Home."  Once you're there, click on "Benefits" in the red bar, and "NMRA Partnership Program."

Here's a listing of the current partners.  For the discount amounts they're offering NMRA members, see the Partnership Page.

CatzPaw Innovations
Green Frog Productions
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
Scalecoat Paint
Team Track Models
Train Installations, LLC
Unreal Details (Magic Water)

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

Remember: you have to be registered on the website to get to the Members Only section!

Remember that you have to be  registered on the website  to take advantage of the Members Only features !  This means that even though NMRA Headquarters has your email address, you still have to register your email address on the website itself.

If you haven't done this, go to , click on "Registration" in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, and enter  the email address that's on file at NMRA HQ.  If you've changed email addresses, please call NMRA Headquarters at 423-892-2846 and have them change or verify your email address.  

Enter a password that you'll remember, and you're all set.  If you have problems, please read the " Frequently Asked Questions" page, or contact the  NMRA Webmaster.    

The NMRA Discount Program needs your help!
Discount Program Manager

We need members --  yes, individual members like you -- to identify hobby shops that offer discounts to NMRA members.  We think there are many out there but it's difficult for me to find them by myself.  You're the one who knows the hobby shops in your area and can help us share the information about those discounts.  

If you know of one that does offer such a discount, please send me an email at

Smile.  It's Amazon!
Fundraising Manager

The holiday season is fast approaching and there's a way you can shop for family members AND donate to the NMRA. It's with Amazon Smile.

AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop on, at no cost to you. When you shop at , you'll find the exact same prices, vast selection, convenient shopping and fast shipping as you do with, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate .05% of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization -- including the NMRA. There's no add-on donation to the price you already pay!  

No matter what you're looking for, just go to  and  log in to your regular Amazon account.  Select  National Model Railroad Association, Inc. as your chosen non-profit.   You only have to sign up once and all future AmazonSmile purchases will benefit the National Model Railroad Association.  

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. ©2017 National Model Railroad Association, Inc., P.O. Box 1328, Soddy Daisy TN 37384.

A few words from the President

Model railroading is fun!
Back in the day,  Model Railroader magazine used that motto above on their cover.  Around 1965, they tried "For Enjoyment with Everlasting Challenge," which always struck me as a little pretentious, albeit accurate.
Well, guess what... model railroading is fun!  Few things are more satisfying than accomplishing some goal or finishing a modeling project.  For me, and I suspect you, this hobby serves as a great source of enjoyment and requires a knowledge on a variety of subjects.  Just consider the skills you need to build a model railroad.  That is the basis of the Achievement Program leading to the Master Model Railroader award.  Now, one can build a respectable model railroad without becoming an MMR but admittedly, building a model railroad can form the basis and encourage the skills needed to become an MMR.
Similarly, one can build a model railroad without being a member of the NMRA.  Yet, the NMRA is crucial to the success of that effort.  Without the NMRA, that layout and its components would not work together.  Our standards ensure that the products you select will work with each other on the model railroad you build.  That is why Hasea, the Chinese model railroad enthusiast network, partnered with the NMRA: to ensure our standards would be employed in Chinese manufacturing of model railroad components.
The NMRA assists with your education also.  Did you know we have over 100 clinics from national conventions on our Member's Only pages to help you on a wide range of model railroading topics?  Did you know that attending the upcoming National Convention in Kansas City is akin to attending a college-level course on model railroading?  Or if Kansas City is too far to go, that there will be model railroad conventions and clinics nearer you sponsored by your Region or Division?
These Conventions, our Partnership/Discount program, the Model Railroad Registry, the NMRA Turntable, NMRA Magazine and yes, this NMRA eBulletin, are all part of our effort to make model railroading more fun!  We have been doing so for over 80 years now and never has this hobby been more enjoyable, rewarding and challenging.  So maybe it is "enjoyment with everlasting challenge."  But for me, heck, model railroading is fun!
Let me also take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy holiday season.  Fall marks for many the start of the model railroading season. At least in the Northern Hemisphere, the days grow shorter while the air grows crisper.  The end of the year brings Christmas, the holiday most associated with our hobby, and the year's end, a good time to reflect.  Thanks for being a member and thanks for being the NMRA.
Whether you agree or disagree with me, we always welcome your thoughts, insights and comments.  As I always say.....those are my thoughts.....what are yours?
Winter Board Meeting to be held in Atlanta

The Winter Board of Directors meeting will once again be held in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 10, and 11 at the Drury Inn & Suites. The Budget and Operations meeting will begin at 3:00 PM on Friday, February 9, and the Board will be in caucus that evening. Both of those meetings are only open to invited guests.
The regular, open session of the BOD meeting begins at 9:00 AM on Saturday, February 10. Because the agenda is not yet finalized, there's no way to tell if the meeting will continue on Sunday. All members are invited to attend the open sessions. Watch for details.  

2018 Election Slate of Candidates and Nominations by Petition

Assistant NMRA Secretary

The following are the candidates for NMRA offices in the 2018 election:

Pete Magoun
Vice President-Special Projects:
Gerry Leone
Vice President-Administration:
John Stevens
At-large Director North America:
Jim Gore
Mike Mackey
Eastern District Director:
Bob Hamm
Walton Liles
Pacific District Director :
Peter Burrows
Dion Koch
Robert Peterson
  2018 Election Nominations By Petition
There were no nominations by petition received by the Assistant Secretary or the Headquarters office.

31 Orlando Convention clinic videos have been
added to !
You say you couldn't make it to the Orlando "Orange Blossom Special" convention and you feel you missed out on some great clinics?  Now you have a second chance.  You can see 31 of the clinics offered in Orlando right on our website.  That's about 1/4 of all the clinics presented!
Four videographers -- John Crellin, Bob Shreve, David Williams, and Gerry Leone -- gave up part of their convention time to drag video equipment from clinic to clinic to make this possible.   Leone then brought home the raw footage, edited it, and uploaded it to .  
The guys recorded some great clinics from all aspects of model railroading.  From "Arduinos: The Very, Very Basics" to "Layouts: U.S. vs U.K.," from "CTC Demystified" to "Railfanning Your Model Railroad," from "Remote Dispatching" to "Steam Locomotive Parts," you'll be able to see some of the highlights of the Orlando clinics presented this year.
All together, the NMRA website now has 115 clinics from a dozen conventions, all free, and all of which can be streamed by NMRA members.  (Sorry, no downloading!)
To get to the Convention Clinic video page, log in to as a member (see the article in the left column), click on "Membership" and then "Member Home."  You'll see a giant red button next to the photograph that says "Watch Clinic Videos."  Click on that, sit back, and get ready to learn. 
The Clinic Video page is already sorted by the date they were uploaded, so all the Orlando clinics will appear at the top of the list in alphabetical order.

Four hours of "how-to" videos from Model Railroad Academy and Model Railroader Video Plus are now on our website

As you know, last year we entered into partnerships with three professional model railroading video production companies: Model Railroad Academy, Model Railroader Video Plus, and Trainmasters TV.  

The 2017/2018 batch of Model Railroad Academy and Model Railroader Video Plus videos just arrived and are now posted to  In total, it's well over four hours of great "how-to" instructional videos.  (TrainmasterTV videos will arrive later this year.)

To see these videos, or any of the other professional videos from our partner production companies, make sure you're logged in to our website as a member (see the article in the left column ) , click on "Membership," then "Member Home," then "Benefits."  Click on "Member Video Library" and  use the "Posted Date" search bar on the page, just below where it says "NMRA Video Library."  Type in "October 1, 2017" and you'll see all the new partner videos!

Add your layout to the Model Railroad Directory and you could win a free year of NMRA membership!

Model Railroad Directory Moderator

Are you an active NMRA member with a layout to show off?  Here's your chance!  Last July we introduced an exciting new member benefit: the Model Railroad Directory.  Our Directory gives all NMRA members a chance to connect with and visit others with similar interests.

Add your qualifying layout to the Directory by January 15th and you'll be eligible to win one of two $75 one-year NMRA membership extensions (or equivalent credit for merchandise in the Members' Company Store).  Already listed?  No problem!  All previous listings will also be included in the drawing.

To enter, log into as a member (see article in left column), go to Member Home, then click on the Model RR Directory link in the red bar.  Or go directly to   Then simply click on the "Add Your Layout" button near the top, and you're on your way.  Data entry is straight-forward, and you can always contact me, your Moderator, for help.

A qualifying layout must be a physical layout, indoor or outdoor, of any type, in any stage of completion, owned by you, and must be currently running trains.  It may be a module if it can be operated independently for guests.  Don't be bashful!  We have listings for very modest efforts under construction as well as completed model railroad empires.  You also need to include a valid email address and a street address searchable by Google Maps in your listing.  Club layouts are not included at this time.

Only NMRA members can access the Directory.  The only address information viewable by members is your city, state, and country. If you click on a map pin, you'll only see name of the model railroad and its owner.

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

Gary Lee - #598

Warner Swarner - #599

Sam Swanson - #600

John Siegle - #601

John Hemsath - #602

Mike O'Connell - #603

In an upcoming issue of NMRA Magazine

  • Coverage of the 37th Narrow Gauge Convention
  • Everything you need to know about the new Model Railroad Directory 
  • A Slow Approach to the End of the Line 
  • Let's Build a Layout Room - Part 3