2022 Meets and Events

The San Diego Division holds monthly meetings and events, every second Saturday of the month, held at various times. We have a minimum of 12 in-person meetings and/or events each year. For your information, instead of naming our meetings, "Meetings", we call them "Meets".

  • Our Meets and Events include what we call Quarterly Meets (February, May, August, November) which can include Silent Auctions, Hobo Auctions, Clinics, Show & Tell, contests, swap meets, Bingo for Trains, raffles, door prizes and food. On the other months, private layout tours (open house style) and other events are offered for all our members.
  • To learn more about the San Diego Division, please feel free to attend one of our Meets or Events as a guest by contacting Rudy Spano, Membership Services, at (858) 761-1424, or email Rudy at membership.
    • Please provide Rudy with your first name, last name and your phone number to be a guest at one of our events. Or to join the San Diego Division, please call Rudy by phone or by email and he will assist you.
  • You may also join the National Model Railroad Association on your own and the San Diego Division will be notified of your new membership status. The National Model Railroad Association has an introductory membership offer good for nine months, for $19.95 and it is called the Rail Pass.
  • We welcome all National Model Railroad Association members from the Pacific Southwest Region or any other region in the world to attend any of our Meets or Events.

Meets/Events Archive: 2021 • 2020

[Covid-19 Information: Our Division provided virtual Meets during the Covid pandemic of 2020 and during the first half of 2021. Our in-person Meets started back in August 2021. Masks are optional at our in-person Meets and Events in 2022, unless otherwise noted or when required by state or federal law.]



December 10, 2022, Saturday, 5 p.m. (PST) - In-Person Division Layout Tour and Holiday Party, dinner, Ugly Sweater Contest & Gift Exchange


Jimmy's Restaurant in Santee.In-Person Meet:
San Diego Division's Layout Tour, Holiday Party, dinner, Ugly Sweater Contest and Gift Exchange. The dinner will take place at Jimmy's Restaurant in Santee.

  • Please mark your calendars and remember as an option, you may purchase (or make) an ugly holiday sweater for the Ugly Sweater Contest!!
  • Date: December 10, 2022.
  • Layout Tour Time: 2:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Don Fowler's.
  • Layout Tour Location: The location of Don's N scale layout will be provided in our email for San Diego Division members.
  • Dinner Time: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Activities: Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest, Reindeer Games and a gift exchange.
  • Ugly Sweater Contest: Please wear your ugliest Christmas sweater – there will be a prize for the ugliest sweater!
  • Reindeer Games: A fun trivia game that everyone participates in. The trivia questions will be about the December holidays, model railroading and the prototype railroad.
  • Gift Exchange:
    • Gentlemen: Please bring a wrapped, non-scale specific railroad item ($20 limit) for gift exchange.
    • Ladies: Please bring a wrapped non-rail gift ($20 limit) for gift exchange.
  • Dinner Location: Jimmy's Restaurant, 9635 Mission Gorge Road, Santee, California 92071.
  • Accessibility: Yes.
  • Masks: Optional.
  • About Don's Layout: Don models Southern Pacific’s Mojave Division (in N scale) in a 20’ x 22’ air conditioned room with a double-decker layout and has segments between Southern Pacific's Intermodal Container Transfer Facility in Los Angeles (California, USA) to Bakersfield (California, USA) from 1975 – 1995. The model railroad was made for Operation Sessions. The layout was started in 2015.
    • The layout includes the Tehachapi Loop and Southern Pacific's West Colton’s Classification Yard, complete with a diesel service facility, and an arrival and departure yard.
    • The model train layout has 388 feet of mainline track (just over 30 scale miles), has four railroad yards, two bridges, nine tunnels, twelve rail served industries, has several residential areas and working modern windmills. The layout includes working signals and crossing gates, over 100 turnouts and the Tehachapi Loop. There is also night time capability with lighted buildings and other lighted structures which provides a very nice ambiance during Operation Sessions and/or when visitors are enjoying the layout.
    • DCC & Sound with a Digitrax DCC wireless system is used to operate the locomotives. There is also a custom-made N scale work bench and plenty of storage space in the model train room. The layout was also designed so no one has to duck under the layout during an Operations Session.
  • Carpooling: Help take the sting out of high gas prices and carpool with a friend.

 

2023 Meets and Events

January 14, 2023, Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. (PST) - San Diego S-Gaugers layout tour

Layout Tour: The new year will be kicked off with the San Diego S-Gaugers layout tour. The S gauge model train club is celecbrating their 15th anniversary in January 2023 and has asked the San Diego Division to be part of their celebration.

  • Date: Saturday, January 14, 2023
  • Time: 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Location: Grossmont Center Mall, Suite 304 (La Mesa, California)
  • Masks: Optional
  • Accessible: Yes
  • About the San Diego S-Gaugers model train club. The S scale (1:64 scale) San Diego S-Gaugers is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit model train club that welcomes new members of all ages and skill levels.
    • The club also welcomes the public to bring in their trains in storage to see if they still run. The club has a several test tracks for HO, S scale, Sn3 and O scale trains, to test your model train locomotives.
    • The club also sells trains and accessories that are donated to the club and 100% of the selling prices goes directly back to the club to support the S scale club.
    • When the club is closed, the trains still run. Just push the button outside the window and the trains on all three window layouts will run for about a minute.

February 11, 2023, Saturday - Winter Meet

Winter Meet: More information will be provided about the Winter Meet, as soon as possible.

  • Date: Saturday, February 11, 2023
  • Time: To be determined.
  • Location: To be determined.
  • Details: To be determined.

March 11, 2023, Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST) - Bob Treat's Garden Railroad Snow Creek Railroad model train layout tour

Layout Tour: Bob Treat's Snow Creek Railroad is a present day freelance Garden scale Fn3 (1:20.3) narrow gauge industrial railroad and the era is from the 1960s to present. (Fn3: F=Fine scale, n=Narrow gauge, 3=3 feet between the prototypical rails.) Even though Bob is not a member of the San Diego Division, he has graciously invited all members of the San Diego Division for his layout tour.

  • Date: March 11, 2023
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Location: Bob's address will be emailed to San Diego Division members prior to the layout tour.
  • Masks: Optional
  • Accessible: Unfortunately, the Snow Creek Railroad is not accessible.
  • More About Bob Treat's Railroad:
    • The Snow Creek Railroad is a present day freelance Garden scale Fn3 (1:20.3) narrow gauge industrial railroad and the era is from the 1960s to present. (Fn3: F=Fine scale, n=Narrow gauge, 3=3 feet between the prototypical rails.)
    • Bob has been working on updating and doing restoration work on his railroad for many months now and this will be a fantastic opportunity to see his newly restored, visually unique, and John Allen-like outdoor garden model railroad. This will also be a good opportunity to socialize with other model railroaders. The current layout you'll see during this layout tour is the third complete remodeling and renovation of his outdoor railroad.
    • The Garden Railroad originally had a continuous loop track but over the years, Bob has changed the railroad to be a point-to-point railroad and has made his railroad for Operation Sessions.
    • There is a nice fleet of steam locomotives and rolling stock for the railroad. Needless to say, the locomotives are powered by batteries and radio-controlled throttles are used to control the locomotives.
    • The railroad has a mainline track, industry spurs, large picturesque wooden trestles, multiple detailed beautiful buildings, incredible rock formations and more. The buildings are either modified kits or scratch built from wood, acrylic, styrene or high density urethane (Precision Board).
    • Bob uses Switch Lists for his Operations Sessions and each train has an engineer and conductor. During Operations sessions, the railroad can easily accommodate two trains with operators.
    • There is also an Inglenook Sidings switching puzzle on the railroad which is a fun exercise to be part of when Operation Sessions take place. While exploring his railroad, please remember to find Bob's Inglenooks Sidings switching puzzle.
    • Online Article: The latest article published about Bob's outdoor railroad, is here online as a special feature article in the Garden Railroading News, July/August 2021, Issue 4, Page 7.
    • Remember to bring your cameras and take pictures and video.

April 8, 2023 - Joel Shank's Sn3 Rio Grande Southern Railroad narrow gauge model train layout tour.

Layout Tour: This is Joel Shank's Rio Grande Southern Railroad narrow gauge Sn3 scale 32X33 layout which is located in a 1,500 square foot air conditioned building. The layout was started in 1990 and the layout is finished.

  • Date: April 8 , 2023
  • Time: To be determined.
  • Location: Joel Shank lives in Brawley, California which is east of San Diego. It is a two hour drive, one-way, from San Diego to Brawley. Joel's address will be provided to San Diego Division members prior to the layout tour.
  • Masks: To be announced.
  • Accessible: Not accessible.
  • More about Joel's model railroad: Rio Grande Southern Railroad narrow gauge modeling between Ridgeway and Rico, Colorado, USA. The narrow gauge railroad primarliy served the mining industry, mining gold and silver. Mines are not modeled. The industries on the railroad include a pro patria mill (in Rico, Colorado), stock bins, coal facilities and oil distributors. Rico has a railroad yard and Ridgeway railroad yard and a staging yard. 90% of the buildings are scratch built and the area modeled is a very rugged area.
    • The scenes on the railroad have actually been recreated from pictures of the area.
      The stations on the railroad are Placerville, Vance Junction, Ophier and Coke Ovens (in Colorado, USA). Rico has a railroad yard and Ridgeway railroad yard and a staging yard.
    • Bud Smith and Joel are the two who built the railroad. Bud Smith is the artist talent, Joel is the engineer and technical director. The layout has slightly over 3,000 trees and Bud built about 90% of the trees. The entire layout uses hand-laid track. The lowest elevation modeled on the railroad is over 5,000 feet and the highest elevation just under 10,000 feet.
    • The railroad was designed for Operations Sessions and typically uses four people during an Operations Session. The layout is a point to point railroad. Four times a year for Operations Session an Sn3 modelers only. About four people are needed for Operations Sessions. One crew starts at one end, the other crew starts at the other end and meets at Vance Junction.
    • To control the locomotives Joel uses NCE with DCC/Sound locomotives. The locomotives are P-B-L sound equipped with TCS Wow Sound decoders. The model train building has the layout room, a crew lounge, a work shop and a small bathroom.

May 13, 2023, Saturday - Spring Meet

Winter Meet: More information will be provided about the Spring Meet, at a later date.

  • Date: Saturday, May 13, 2023
  • Time: To be determined.
  • Location: To be determined.
  • Details: To be determined.


2022 Past Events

January 8, 2022, Saturday, Noon - 3 p.m. (PST) In-Person Layout Tour

Rob's HO scale layout tour.Layout Tour: Rob will be providing us with a in-person tour of his modern freight and intermodal railroad HO scale layout. His freelance layout has been made for Operations Sessions.

  • Date: January 8, 2022.
  • Time: Noon to 3 p.m.
  • Masks: Please wear a mask for this event.
  • More about Rob's layout tour and his interests in the model railroad hobby:
    • When Rob started in the model train hobby in the 1970s, he originally collected Life-Like Trains, Tyco Toys and Athearn Blue Box trains and he has sold all of these models. Rob started to get serious about the hobby in the 1980s and started purchasing high quality model trains.
    • Rob's current layout was started about four years ago in 2017 in a purpose built building for model railroading. The layout is still under construction.
    • The HO scale freelance model railroad layout has a locomotive repair building, an intermodal facility, several industries, a railroad yard, several towns, a gas station with a large parking lot, a diner with a large parking lot, a farm, a bus station, has many vehicles and there's more.
    • Rob likes high quality rolling stock and has a collection of the following manufacturers: ScaleTrains, Athearn Trains Genesis, Athearn Trains Ready To Roll, Rapido Trains, Inc., Tangent Scale Models, Atlas Model Railroad Co., Inc., BLMA Models (out of business), ExactRail, Spring Mills Depot, North American Railcar Corporation, American Limited Models, InterMountain Railway Co., Arrowhead Models, Oriental Limited (out of business), Overland Models, Inc., E&P Associates (out of business, most likely), Alco Models (out of business), Trainworx Inc., Broadway Limited Imports, Fox Valley Models, Centrailia Car Shop (possibly out of business), Blueford Shops, W&R Enterprises (possibly out of business), Pecos River Brass, Challenger Imports (out of business), Division Point, Walthers Proto, Walthers Mainline, Bowser Mfg., Moloco, PT Trains (intermodal containers), Lonestar International Trucks (semi-truck models made out of metal), Model Power (semi-trucks), Trucks N Stuff and possibly more.
    • The backdrop for the layout is a seamless backdrop, please remember to ask Rob how the backdrop was made. You might want to ask how the backdrop was installed as well.
    • Be sure to also ask Rob about his DCC/Sound & DC programming track. You might want to take notes!
  • Follow-Up: Here is a big thank you to Rob for his hospitality and allowing us to see how he enjoys the model train hobby first hand. We had a fantastic layout tour. This was the first time Rob had model railroaders attend a layout tour.
    • 30 people attended the layout tour.
    • Rob has a purpose built building in his backyard with a kitchen, several areas for rolling stock storage, a programming track room, his layout room and a TV room.
    • We discovered that Rob's programming/test track is a double mainline track that is 20 feet long and it also includes one turnout on the programming track. The entire test track has scenery and has a backdrop. The programming track can be powered by DC or DCC at the flip of a toggle switch.
    • His layout has all the track laid, buildings set, all the accoutrements are on the layout, the scenery completed and the backdrop is finished. There are still a few details that need to be added or revised; otherwise, the layout is complete. Upon close inspection, you'll find there are a certain number of rail cars which have been modified with custom details.
    • Rob's layout is ready for Operations Sessions and approximately 4-5 people would be needed when Operations Sessions occur.

February 12, 2022, Saturday, Noon - 3:30 p.m. (PST) In-Person Winter Meet & Silent Auction

2022 Winter Meet. HO scale BNSF power move at the La Mesa ClubFebruary In-Person Winter Meet: The February In-Person Winter Meet will have a Silent Auction, Show & Tell and two clinics (workshops). The Division will also be providing snacks and drinks for everyone. The snacks will be in individually wrapped packets. (Unfortunately, we will not be having our usual potluck this month due to Covid.)

  • Date: Saturday, February 12, 2022.
  • Time: Noon to 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Peace Lutheran in Linda Vista, 6749 Tait Street, San Diego, CA 92111.
  • Drinks and Snacks: There will be drinks and snacks.
  • Masks: Please wear a mask for this event.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizer will be provided for everyone for the Winter Meet.
  • Noon: Start of the Silent Auction: There will be a Silent Auction where every Division member can bring an unlimited number of items to sell. Note: The Division will be assessing a 10% fee off the grand total of what you make at the auction.
    • Please remember that all items you have for the auction must be related to model railroading and/or the real railroad. You can bring things such as rolling stock kits, used rolling stock, new rolling stock, books, railroad memorabilia, posters, pins and anything else you would like to sell.
  • 1:00 p.m.: Welcome: The welcome for the Meet will take place at 1:00 p.m. along with any Division announcements and any other Division information.
  • 1:15 p.m.: Clinic #1: John Fiscella will be presenting “My Master Model Railroader® Quest; Some Car Models And How They're Getting Me There”. John will be bringing each model he is currently working on so that Division members can take a close look at them after the clinic. For each model, John will:
    1. Discuss the model’s prototype, the reasons he chose to model it, the history of when he built it and what he’s been using it for,
    2. The technical aspects of his modeling efforts,
    3. Discuss the current status of the model, for the goal of submitting it for merit evaluation, and he will
    4. Discuss the to-be-dones for the goal of submitting them for merit evaluation.
  • 2:00 p.m.: Show & Tell: We would like volunteers to present any type of modeling, tool or project they have made or are working on, for a 3-5 minute presentation. Please email Ryan to be put on the list for Show & Tell.
  • 2:15 p.m.: Clinic #2: The Quest to MMR – Motive Power by Don Fowler, MMR. (MMR = Master Model Railroader®
    1. Don will discuss the requirements for the Motive Power Achievement Program (AP) certificate and necessary documentation.
    2. Scratch building a locomotive may seem like a daunting task but Don has done this which demonstrates that anyone can. Don will discuss the requirements for the Motive Power Achievement Program certificate and necessary documentation. He will also explain the motivation, strategies and construction methods he used to accomplish the task.
    3. Don's completed models and documentation will be available for viewing at the end of the presentation.
  • 3:00 p.m.: End of the Silent Auction: The end of the Silent Auction begins at 3:00 p.m. and all winning items will be distributed at this time.
  • Follow-Up: The Winter Meet was well attended and the Silent Auction had many, many new and used items that people were selling. The Silent Auction was a success with many people selling items from used and new rolling stock to new and used locomotives.
    • 23 members attended the Winter Meet and there were drinks and snacks for everyone.
    • The Silent Auction had structures for sale, many different types of rolling stock including many passenger rail cars, and new and used locomotives were also for sale.
    • The Show & Tell portion of the meet had very interesting topics. One Show & Tell had a model of a current tourist train from India including a summary of what it was like being a passenger on that tourist train.
    • The clinics were very informative with detailed instruction on the topics. One clinician passed around several of his rail cars in trays, so that each one of us could see the custom detailed modeling work he had done and including complicated custom electronics that was on each rail car.

March 12, 2022, Saturday, Noon - 3 p.m. (PST) In-Person Layout Tour

Steve Bradley's HO and HOn3 layout.March In-Person Meet: The March In-Person Meet is Steve Bradley's HO and HOn3 layout tour on March 12, 2022 from noon-3:00 p.m. The location of the layout tour will be emailed to San Diego Division members several days before the event.

  • Layout Tour: Steve Bradley will be providing the layout tour.
  • Date: Saturday, March 12, 2022.
  • Time: Noon to 3 p.m.
  • Masks: Please wear a mask for this event.
  • More About Steve's Layout: Steve has a HO and HOn3 (narrow gauge) layout and he models the Southern Pacific Railroad Salt Lake Division's Mina Subdivision. This subdivision is from Southwest Nevada to Eastern California, in the USA.
    • Some background about Steve's layouts:
      • 1st Layout: In the late 1960s, Steve made a Santa Fe HO scale layout and the era was the 1970s.
      • 2nd Layout: In 1995 he made a contemporary layout with Santa Fe with 1980 as the era
      • 3rd Layout: In 2014, he started his current HO and HOn3 (narrow gauge) layout and he completed the layout in 2021. The era of his narrow gauge layout is 1906-1938.
    • Steve designed the model railroad on digital software for a 10’ X 10’ room as a point to point layout made for Operation Sessions. Operation Sessions use a total of two to three people maximum and the session lasts for about two hours, on average.
    • The Mina Subdivision prototype mined many types of minerals including but limited to gold, silver, marble, lead, dolomite, soapstone, talc, salt.
    • Many structures are scratch built to match real buildings from the area he is modeling. Almost all of the rail cars are custom built and weathered kits.
    • Many of the locomotives are brass and are custom painted and weathered. There are a total six steam locomotives that can be used on the railroad during Operation Sessions. The locomotives for the railroad include:
    • A portion of the layout was featured in the January/February 2020 edition of the Narrow Gauge Gazette.
    • Please remember to bring your cameras and take pictures, as this layout has lots of details you don't want to miss.
  • Follow-up: Here is a big thank you to Steve for hosting the layout tour. The narrow layout was a relaxing and fantastic tour, it was a beautiful sunny southern California day.
    • 22 members and guests attending the layout tour and many people sat around and socialized before and after seeing the layout.
    • Steve had drinks and cookies for the layout tour.
    • If you missed Steve's layout, the detail and scenes on his layout were simply fantastic and his layout has some clever drop-down track leafs. Everyone came away from the tour talking about fine attention to details and how the railroad has been made for Operations Sessions.

March 26, 2022, Saturday, Noon - 3 p.m. (PDT) Special Event: In-Person Garden Railroad Open House and Layout Tour

Bob Treat's Snow Creek RailroadSpecial Layout Tour Event: The members of the San Diego Division have a special invitation to visit Bob Treat's Snow Creek Railroad and Open House in late March. Bob Treat's website is here online.

  • Even though Bob is not a member of the San Diego Division, he has graciously invited all members of the San Diego Division to participate in his Garden Railroad Open House and Layout Tour. The location will be emailed to the San Diego Division members several days before this event.
  • Date: Saturday, March 26, 2022.
  • Time: Noon to 3 p.m.
  • Location: Ryan will send a special email with the address for this event to San Diego Division members.
  • Masks: Vaccinations and boosters are required but masks are optional.
  • More About Bob Treat's Railroad:
    • The Snow Creek Railroad is a present day freelance Garden scale Fn3 (1:20.3) narrow gauge industrial railroad and the era is from the 1960s to present. (Fn3: F=Fine scale, n=Narrow gauge, 3=3 feet between the prototypical rails.)
    • Bob has been working on updating and doing restoration work on his railroad for many months now and this will be a fantastic opportunity to see his newly restored, visually unique, and John Allen-like outdoor garden model railroad. This will also be a good opportunity to socialize with other model railroaders. The current layout you'll see during this layout tour is the third complete remodeling and renovation of his outdoor railroad.
    • The Garden Railroad originally had a continuous loop track but over the years, Bob has changed the railroad to be a point-to-point railroad and has made his railroad for Operation Sessions.
    • There is a nice fleet of steam locomotives and rolling stock for the railroad. Needless to say, the locomotives are powered by batteries and radio-controlled throttles are used to control the locomotives.
    • The railroad has a mainline track, industry spurs, large picturesque wooden trestles, multiple detailed beautiful buildings, incredible rock formations and more. The buildings are either modified kits or scratch built from wood, acrylic, styrene or high density urethane (Precision Board).
    • Bob uses Switch Lists for his Operations Sessions and each train has an engineer and conductor. During Operations sessions, the railroad can easily accommodate two trains with operators.
    • There is also an Inglenook Sidings switching puzzle on the railroad which is a fun exercise to be part of when Operation Sessions take place. While exploring his railroad, please remember to find Bob's Inglenooks Sidings switching puzzle.
    • Online Article: The latest article published about Bob's outdoor railroad, is here online as a special feature article in the Garden Railroading News, July/August 2021, Issue 4, Page 7.
    • Remember to bring your cameras and take pictures and video.
  • Follow-Up: Here is a big thank you to Bob Treat for hosting this special layout tour event. Bob is not a member of the National Model Railroad Association and he was kind enough to open his house and host this special event for the Division. Bob Treat's website is here online.
    • 39 people attended this special event. There were plenty of drinks and snacks for everyone and many people stayed for several hours.
    • Bob had several of his locomotives running on the railroad and many people were able to run the locomotives on his Garden Railroad. Several people brought their own Garden Railroad locomotives and rail cars, and ran them on Bob's layout as well.
    • Bob's narrow gauge Garden Railroad is a point-to-point railroad and has been made for Operations Sessions.

April 9, 2022, Saturday. Noon - 3 p.m. (PDT) In-Person Layout Tour.

Wayne Pierce's Minieton Railroad & Lumber Co. On30 layout.In-Person Layout Tour: The April In-Person Meet is a layout tour will take place on Saturday, April 9, 2022, from noon-3:00 p.m. Please remember to wear a mask for this Meet. The location will be emailed to San Diego Division members several days before the event.

  • Layout Tour: Wayne Pierce's Minieton Railroad & Lumber Co. On30 narrow gauge layout. Wayne is an exceptional modeler and has a museum quality layout which is still in progress. This layout tour is one you don't want to miss.
  • Date: Saturday, April 9, 2022.
  • Time: Noon to 3 p.m.
  • Chairs: We are asking visitors to bring their own folding chairs while waiting to see the layout. There is plenty of space in the backyard for many people to congregate and talk. There is a covered gazebo and many shade trees to keep you shaded from the sun.
  • Masks: For those who are vaccinated, no need to wear a mask. When you are outside waiting to see the layout, no mask is required. If you are not vaccinated, for the health of others, please wear a mask when in the layout building.
  • Accessibility: Not wheelchair accessible.
  • More About Wayne's Layout & Tour: Wayne's layout is a fictional On30 model railroad in the era of the 1950s to the 1970s, named the Minieton Railroad & Lumber Co. The railroad is based on the Minieton Railroad & Lumber Co. purchasing a defunct section of one of the railroad lines, in 1952, from the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (1870-1992) and then the Minieton Railroad continued railroad operations on this line into the 1970s.
    • What is On30 scale model railroading? On30 scale is modeling a narrow gauge railroad in O scale (1:48) and the narrow gauge track is HO (1:87) scale track.
    • On Wayne's On30 model railroad, all the buildings, vehicles, people, scenery and roads are O scale. The track is On30 gauged track. However, the size of most of the rolling stock on the railroad is On3 narrow gauge with On3 couplers, and all the rolling stock have On30 trucks and wheelsets.
    • In 1978, the name of the railroad was originally going to be named the Mini Town Mine Railroad. But when Wayne was painting a sign for the railroad, he misspelled the railroad name and the new spelling became Minieton. Wayne liked the new name and decided to name his railroad the Minieton Railroad & Lumber Co.
    • The railroad was also originally designed as a modeling layout only, with one or two continuous loops. After talking with several model railroad friends, Wayne changed his layout to be designed for Operations Sessions. Be sure to ask Wayne how he plans to run his Operation Sessions.
    • The railroad was originally made with HOn3 narrow gauge scale in 1978 but was changed to On30 track in 2009. What is HOn3 scale? HOn3 narrow gauge scale means the rolling stock is HO scale but the width of the wheelsets and track are a narrow gauge, a smaller gauge than HO scale.
    • In 1989, the layout was put on hold.
    • During 2009 through 2010, Wayne moved his layout from his house to a free standing building in his backyard, resumed working on his layout and changed the scale from HOn3 to On30 narrow gauge.
    • You'll find that all of the locomotives on the layout are steam locomotives and Wayne has a variety of steam locomotive models. Can you determine how many different steam locomotives are on the layout? Can you name each of the locomotive models? If not, ask Wayne. For your information, it seems that trying to find new On30 steam locomotives is a difficult thing to do today.
    • Wayne's layout has a small town, industries, railroad yards, a turntable, engine house, tunnels, trestles, sidings, industry spurs and more.
    • Many things on Wayne's layout is custom made so remember to look for the small details such as newspapers, trash, boxes, garbage cans and there is much, much more. The buildings are all wood kits which are built board by board. Remember to look at the power lines on the telephone poles. Ask Wayne to show you the power lines and ask him the name of the power line brand. In addition, be sure to look for small scenes that he's made on the layout, such as men working to re-roof a building. Can you find the building being re-roofed on your own? How many scenes can you find on his layout? Make sure to look at the weathering on trains, buildings, vehicles and roads.
    • Wayne uses DCC/Sound and NCE Power Cabs to control the locomotives.
    • Please remember to bring your cameras because you might miss lots of details that you'll only see after the layout tour is over, when looking through the pictures you took.
  • Follow-up: Here's a big thank you to Wayne Pierce for hosting his model train layout for the San Diego Division. Wayne was a great host and provided chili cheese nachos, nachos and salsa, cookies, bottled water, Gatorade, homemade lemonade and soda.
    • 24 people attended the layout tour. The weather was sunny, there were no clouds and the temperature was in early 70s – it was great weather.
    • In his backyard, Wayne has a large covered gazebo that provided overhead sun shades and there were many chairs for people to sit down and relax.
    • Wayne also had a table set up with many coffee cans, each filled with different types of rocks and dirt, to show people how he makes his ballast and dirt.
    • Everyone had a nice time socializing, enjoying the refreshments and seeing the layout. After people visited the layout, everyone commented how incredible the layout was due to the high level of detail, the scenes around the layout, the structures, steam engines, rolling stock, vehicles and the layout plan itself.
    • Wayne's model railroad has been made for Operations Sessions.

May 14, 2022, Saturday. In-Person Spring Meet, Short Track Railroad (model railroad club) Layout Tour.

Short Track Railroad Club.In-Person Spring Meet: The In-Person Spring Meet will be located at the Short Track Railroad Club and have lots of activities, including a Hobo Auction, Show & Tell, Lunch, a layout tour, Clinics and door prizes.

  • Date: Saturday, May 14, 2022.
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Location: Short Track Railroad, 2040 N. Santa Fe Ave, Vista, California 92083 (Located in North County of San Diego).
  • Accessibility: Yes, this building is wheelchair accessible.
  • Free NTRAK Modules: We recently learned that the Short Track Railroad Club wants to give away their NTRAK modules because they are expanding their Donner Pass layout. Many of these modules were built by Jim Fitzgerald. If no one takes them, they will be thrown out.
  • Hobo Auction: The Hobo Auction is a fun activity for the members to win auction items and the auction is also a fundraiser for the Division.
    • Everyone in the Division is asked to bring several model railroading items and/or prototype railroading items which they will donate to the Division.
    • Items to bring would be things such as model railroading books, prototype railroading books, railroading pins, railroading posters, new and never used railroading hats or clothing, rolling stock kits, new or used factory built rolling stock, building and/or structure kits, locomotives, railroad memorabilia, train kits and more. (Only model railroading and prototype railroad items, please!)
    • Each item will then have a red cup in front of it.
    • Each Division member can purchase a string of tickets. Ticket sheets of 25 are sold for $5.00 each. Members can purchase as many ticket sheets as you want to purchase.
    • Drop a ticket, or as many tickets as you want, in the cup in front of the item you want. The more tickets that you put into each cup, the better chance you'll have to win the auction item.
    • The winning drawn ticket wins the prize. 
  • Lunch: $5.00 donation for pizza and beverages.
  • Layout Tour: The layout tour is the N scale Short Track Railroad Club in Vista (Located in North County of San Diego).
    • In 1991, the N scale Short Track Railroad (originally called the Short Trak'N Railroad Club) was formed and operations began in 1992. The club originally started as a module club, for over a decade, and exhibited their module railroad to local schools, retirement homes, National Model Railroad Conventions (regional and national conventions), other train conventions, the Del Mar Fair (in San Diego) and more.
    • When N scale model railroaders create and use modules, the hobby term is called NTrak. The NTrak Wikipedia page is filled with information about N scale modular systems. There is also a non-profit organization called NRail, Inc. which created the first national modular standards for N scale NTrak module modelers. The club has recently discontinued using modules and all their modules are gone.
    • In 2002, the club joined the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, California. In 2003, the club started construction of their permanent exhibit in their 3,600 square foot club house. The club has a wonderful Donner Pass Exhibit, offers clinics to model railroaders, has Operations Sessions for its members and more. For several years, more new work has been done on their permanent exhibit, so this layout tour will be one tour not to miss.
    • The Short Track Railroad layout exhibit is open to the public every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • Show & Tell: Bring a project or model and show off your work. We would like several people to participate in the Show & Tell portion of the Spring Meet. Please contact Ryan and let him know you'd like to participate in Show & Tell.
  • Clinic 1: Scenery by Gary Robinson.
    • Gary Robinson, a member at the North County Model Railroad Society (HO scale and located in Oceanside), will demonstrate his scenery techniques that have been used on the club's North County layout.
  • Clinic 2: Your Traveling Toolbox by Pete Steinmetz.
    • Pete's clinic will cover what to bring to the club when you don't want to bring the kitchen sink. He will show what are the most common tools to brings your model train club on a club work night and also what tools to bring when you are running trains at the club. There will be some recommendations and surprises. Questions are encouraged.
  • Door Prizes: Last but not least, there will be door prizes!
  • Follow-up: This was a very fun and good Spring Meet. Even though it was a warm sunny day, the Short Track Railroad Club's building was air conditioned and everyone was comfortable inside the club's purpose-built model railroad building. In addition, the Short Track Railroad Club's building is located inside the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum's grounds and anyone was free to wander around the museum grounds and visit all the attractions the museum has to offer.
    • 29 people attended the Spring Meet. Here's a big thank you to all the San Diego Division Members who made the Spring Meet as well as a big thank you and welcome for the seven guests who attended.
    • The Spring Meet started with setting up the Hobo Auction and touring the Short Track Railroad Club's N scale permanent layout. Many of the Short Track Railroad Club members attended that day and participated in the Hobo Auction and lunch we provided for the Division. There was also a small contingent of model railroaders from the North County Model Railroad Society (the HO scale club in Oceanside) who came to specifically to visit the Short Track Railroad Club.
    • There were about 125 items at the Hobo Auction and many people won some very nice auction prizes. The Division made about $300.00 on the auction.
    • Both clinics were well received. Gary was very prepared with two display tables showing many types of material and tools he uses to make scenery. He gave us a live demonstration on painting scenery using washes and he also demonstrated one method of adding grass to scenery.
    • Pete's clinic was a very informative provided us with well over 40 tools, materials and ideas which are useful when making a traveling model train tool box. Your traveling model train tool box can be used when you are planning to work on a friend's model railroad layout, getting together to model your own rail cars at a friend's, planning to work on your own rail cars at your model railroad club or planning to work on your club's layout.
    • Last but not least, there were multiple door prizes which were distributed by lottery ticket just before the Meet ended.
    • It was a very fun day.

June 11, 2022, Saturday. Noon - 3:00 p.m. (PDT) Layout Tour.

Chuck's HOn3 narrow-guage Rio Grande Southern Railroad.Layout Tour: The layout tour is Chuck's HOn3 narrow gauge model railroad and models the Rio Grande Southern Railroad (RGS) from Ridgeway, Colorado to Rico, Colorado (USA). The era of the layout is between the late 1930s to the early 1940s and is a prototypical model railroad layout.

  • Date: Saturday, June 11, 2022.
  • Time: Noon to 3 p.m.
  • Masks: Not required.
  • Accessibility: Not accessible.
  • More about Chuck's model railroad layout.
    • Chuck models a portion of a narrow-gauge line of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad which served the towns of Durango to Ridgway, in Colorado, USA. Rio Grand Southern was in business from 1891 to 1952 and was known as as one of the most rugged and iconic narrow-gauge mountain railroads, spanning approximately 162 miles, in the history of Colorado.
    • The initial planning of Chuck's Rio Grand Southern Railroad began in 2007 with major work starting in 2009. The layout was finished in 2021. The layout is a HOn3 narrow-gauge model railroad and uses DCC & Sound to control the locomotives. The scale is HO (1:87), the "n" means it's a narrow-gauge railroad and the "3" is the gauge of the track in the real world which is 3 feet between the rail heads.
    • The part of the railroad Chuck models is from Ridgway to Rico, Colorado. The towns modeled include Rico, Placerville, Ophir and Rico. There are multiple types of structures on the layout including houses, stores, industries, railroad stations, round houses and more. There are also mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, trestles, trees and other scenery on the model railroad. Name plates of locations and even elevations are located throughout the fascia of the benchwork.
    • It is interesting to note that Chuck has built everything on the layout, including (but is not an inclusive list), the benchwork, electrical, scenery, buildings, trestles, track, switches, painting, weathering and the model train workbench. All the track and switches are hand-laid. The trestles were designed by Chuck and were hand-built. The track work also includes sidings, railroad yards, industry spurs and a wye. All the buildings are made from kits, kit-bashed or are board-by-board kits.
    • The main reference books used for Chuck's railroad are 1) The R.G.S. Story: Rio Grande Southern, Vol. I-VI., Collman, Russ, and Dell A. McCoy, Sundance Publications and 2) The Silver San Juan, The Rio Grande Southern, Mallory Hope Ferrell, Pruett Publishing Co.
    • The railroad has been made for Operation Sessions. Railroad Ops can have from one to six people during an Operations Session. If the maximum number of model railroaders are there for an Operations Session, there will be three engineers operating trains, two yardmasters and one Chief Dispatcher.
    • On piece of advice Chuck provides to any model railroader, is that if you don't like it, then tear it up and start over because it will be better.
    • The model train layout is inside an air conditioned purpose-built free-standing building. The total area of the building is 26' X 24' including the model train workshop. The size of the layout is 18' X 20', the isles are between 2' - 2' 6" and the workshop is an 8' X 13' area. Chuck's layout in its present location has not been seen by members of the San Diego Division. This will be a layout that will be well worth seeing. Please remember to bring your cameras and questions for Chuck for this layout tour.
  • Follow-Up: Here is a big thank you to Chuck Molnar for allowing San Diego Division members, their guests and other National Model Railroad Association Division members to attend this special layout tour.
    • 24 people attended Chuck's layout tour, a well-attended layout tour. One modeler sported a Rio Grande Southern Railroad baseball cap.
    • Modelers of many skill levels complemented Chuck on his railroad and were inspired by the skill and attention to detail that Chuck brings to his railroad.
    • People found out today that Chuck not only makes everything on his railroad but everything inside his entire free-standing railroad building is very well organized. He also builds resin rail cars kits. For those who don't know, resin rail cars are difficult to build and require a high level of modeling skill from drilling very small holes for grab irons, to painting, decaling and more.
    • Modelers asked many questions and people took pictures of the prototypical narrow-gauge railroad. Modelers were very impressed to learn that all the track was hand-laid and that everything on the layout, including the benchwork was made and accomplished by Chuck alone.
    • Several members realized that the choice of color for the fascia on the benchwork was an excellent and better color than many home and club layouts. It turns out that many modelers will choose some shade of tan for the fascia without realizing that tan might not be the best color for the fascia. Chuck chose a light subtle olive green color that matched colors on his layout. The importance of choosing the correct fascia paint color is that you don't want to over power the fascia so that people look at the fascia first, instead of the layout. Also, making the fascia seem gloomy, such as using some shade of tan, might not showcase correctly, the scenery on the layout itself.
    • Chuck's layout is point-to-point railroad and has been made for Operations Sessions.
    • Most people said it was easy to find the address and said it was well worth the time and travel to see Chuck's layout. Multiple people carpooled to the layout tour sharing the cost of gasoline.
    • Visitors came away from the layout tour inspired to improve their own layouts.

July 9, 2022, Saturday. Noon - 3:00 p.m. (PDT) Layout Tour.

John Vavra's HO and HOn3 narrow gauge model railroad.In-Person Layout Tour: John Vavra will be hosting his HO and HOn3 narrow gauge model railroad for our layout tour. John models the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, from Northern Arizona to Southwestern Colorado (USA). Please mark your calendars!!

  • Date: Saturday, July 9, 2022.
  • Time: Noon to 3 p.m.
  • Location: The location of the layout is in Escondido, California (in North County of San Diego). The address for the layout tour is emailed to San Diego Division members.
  • Drinks/Snacks: John will be providing drinks and snacks.
  • Seating: There will be a limited number people inside the layout at one time. There will be about 12 chairs in the garage for people to sit, relax and socialize while waiting to see the layout. You may bring your own chair, if you'd like.
  • Masks: If you are vaccinated, masks are optional. If you are not vaccinated, masks are required.
  • Accessibility: Yes, the layout tour is accessible.
  • Carpooling: Help take the sting out of high gas prices and carpool with a friend.
  • About the layout: John Vavra has an accessible HO/HOn3 layout, the era of his railroad is set in 1994 and the railroad is named the Santa Fe Lines. His model railroad is a freelance model railroad using artistic license.
    • The layout has two continuous loops for HO scales trains and there is one continuous loop for the narrow gauge line. John started his layout in 1997, the layout is still under construction and is 75% complete. John uses DCC & Sound with MRC Prodigy Elite Wireless to control his locomotives.
    • The maximum grade for the Santa Fe mainline track is 2.2% and the maximum grade for the Durango and Silverton mainline track is 2.5%. The Sante Fe mainline tracks are 150 feet (2.5 scale miles) and the length of the Durange and Silverton track is 100 feet (1.65 scale miles).
    • The location of the railroad is loosely based on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad with locations on his railroad in Arizona and Colorado, USA. The cities modeled on the layout are Flagstaff, Arizona, and then going northeast to the cities of Durango and then Silverton, located in Colorado.
    • Because the era of the layout is 1994, John is modeling the narrow gauge railroad as it was in 1994, as a tourist attraction railroad using passenger trains, concession cars, open observation gondolas and cabooses. There is a private business car that still runs on the railroad.
    • The original narrow gauge railroad was opened in 1882 by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (1870-1992) to transport silver and gold ore, mined in the San Juan Mountains. The Durango and Silverton track was opened in 1881. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad line was purchased in 1980 and the narrow gauge railroad has been running on that line until present. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad's claim to fame is it has been running steam locomotives trains on their narrow gauge track from 1881 to present.
    • If you notice there are many buildings on the layout and most of the buildings are detailed on the inside with lighting on the inside as well. Some of the buildings are half or 1/4 quarter detailed and will have a picture the height of the ceiling which is what you would see if you look inside the building. Many of the names of the businesses are named after friends, family, business associates or actual businesses in that town. The movie theater is showing the film Forrest Gump because it made the number one movie of the year in July, August and September in 1994. The street lights are also lighted. The railroad can be run with night operations.
    • Looking carefully at the layout, there are multiple scenes of animals in the mountain areas and many of the people scenes are located in the residential areas and downtown areas of the layout. Can you find the dog and the dog's house, a husband and wife in an argument and the bread delivery man who dropped a box of bread?
    • John has built everything on his layout from the benchwork, to the buildings and the scenery. The track is flex-track. The height of the benchwork is between 39" to 54". The isle ways were redesigned and recessed to allow wheelchair access. All the electronic circuit boards are hidden and have been put on hinges so you don't have to crawl under the layout to work on the electronics.
    • John's Santa Fe Lines layout was recently featured on the front cover of the December 2021 Model Railroader Magazine. This layout has not been seen by members of the San Diego Division. Be sure to bring cameras and be ready to ask John any questions you may about about his model railroad.
  • Follow-Up: Here's a big thank you to John Vavra for hosting his model train layout for the San Diego Division. The layout tour was the first time John had ever hosted a layout tour for model railroaders. We are grateful to John for opening his home to us and being such a wonderful host.
    • 37 people attended John's layout tour. This was the most well attended official San Diego Division Event to date, in 2022.
    • John provided plenty of bottled water, soda and snacks for everyone. He also provide lots of seating in his garage.
    • It was a very warm clear sunny Southern California day and many people enjoyed socializing in John's garage before and after visiting the model railroad. John's model railroad room is air conditioned which made the layout tour very comfortable for everyone who attended.
    • The train room a very busy place with guests enjoying the many scenes, structures and the entire layout. Many questions were asked about the layout. I know that several people visited the railroad room several times during the layout tour, then socializing in the garage and then going back into the model train room for another look.
    • John also had several prototypical railroad signs and vintage trackside equipment on display that he's collected over the years.
    • Members of the San Diego Division and El Cajon Division attended. Guests traveled as far away as the Greater Los Angeles area, as well as from Temecula. Several Division members also brought guests. As a reminder, guests are always welcome to our events.
    • Everyone came away from the layout with smiles and lots of talking took place on how they enjoyed the model train layout. New and veteran model railroaders made many positive comments about John's railroad and we were all very glad to make new friends with John and his wife Vicki.

August 13, 2022, Saturday. Summer Meet.

In-Person 2022 Summer Meet.In-Person Summer Meet: Last year's 2021 Summer Meet was the first in-person Meet during the Covid pandemic and was huge success with many members attending. This year's Summer Meet we will have a potluck lunch, a Silent Auction, Show & Tell, Clinics and door prizes. This will be a fun time to socialize and bid on various model train rolling stock, structures, books, memorabilia and more. Please mark your calendars!!

  • Date: Saturday, August 13, 2022.
  • Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Location: The location is in Linda Vista (central San Diego) at the Peace Lutheran Church, 6749 Tait Street, San Diego, California 92111.
  • Silent Auction: The Silent Auction is where every Division member can bring an unlimited number of items to sell. Note: The Division will be assessing a 10% fee off the grand total of what you make at the auction to help us raise money for the San Diego Division.
    • Please remember that all items you have for the auction must be related to model railroading and/or the real railroad. You can bring things such as rolling stock kits, used rolling stock, new rolling stock, books, railroad memorabilia, posters, pins and anything else you would like to sell.
  • Pot Luck Lunch: Last names starting with A-M are asked to bring a main dish and last names starting with N-Z are asked to bring a side dish or a dessert.
  • Show & Tell Reminder: This is a time to bring a project or model and show off your model railroading work or discuss any topic about model railroading. You can also talk about something concerning any real railroad, either historical or present day information. We would like several people to participate in the Show & Tell portion of the Summer Meet. Please contact Ryan and let him know you'd like to participate in Show & Tell.
  • Clinic 1: Pete Steinmetz presents, "Paint".
    • This will be a discussion clinic on paint. Pete will share paint brands that work for him and some that aren’t as good. Pete will also discuss different types of paint. Many different brands will be discussed.
    • Pete will also discuss brush and airbrush painting, airbrush mixture, brush cleaning and various tricks he has learned over the years.
    • The discussion will also include how to find Boxcar Red and other railroad colors made by different paint companies. For example, Pete will discuss how to find the Boxcar Red color, when the paint color is not called Boxcar Red.
    • Everyone is encouraged to bring some bottles of paint and to tell everyone what you like about the paint you use for your modeling.
    • This should be a good discussion as there are so many different types of paint and styles of paint applications.
  • Clinic 2: Clinic 2 will be an outstanding video layout tour and it will be announced on the website as soon as possible.
  • Door Prizes: There will be door prizes.
  • Accessibility: The Summer Meet is accessible.
  • Masks: Marks are recommended at the local, state and federal levels for any indoor event but are not required to wear.
  • Carpooling: Help take the sting out of high gas prices and carpool with a friend.
  • Follow-Up: The Summer Meet was a success with 25 people attending. There was lots of good food, drinks and dessert. The Silent Auction could was a little sparse but lots of interest took place at the auction. Both clinics were well received.

September 7-11, 2022, Wednesday-Sunday. PSR NMRA Back On Track In 2022 Model Train Convention

Back On Track In 2022 logo.Back On Track In 2022 Model Train Convention: The San Diego Division of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) sponsored the PSR NMRA Convention Back On Track In 2022 model train convention. It was a resounding success.

  • This local model train convention will be a fun five filled days of model railroading with clinics (workshops), layout tours, prototype tours and more.
  • Date: September 7-11, 2022.
  • Hotel:
    • The convention was held at the Four Points Sheraton San Diego, 8110 Aero Drive, San Diego, California 92123 USA.
    • The hotel is located in Kearny Mesa next to the general aviation airport Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (previously known as Montgomery Field).
    • The major freeways which are close to the hotel are the I-163 and I-805 freeways.
    • Every model railroader, worldwide, who are members or who are not members of the National Model Railroad Association are welcome to join our convention. Modelers who model any scale are welcome.
    • Please remember to schedule time off now with your employer, so you have your vacation days (paid or unpaid vacation days) locked in.
  • Accessibility: Yes, the hotel is accessible.
  • Carpooling: Help take the sting out of high gas prices and carpool with a friend.
  • Follow-Up: Wow! We had a very well-attended event with 195 people. What a great, fun-filled and well-attended convention. Model railroaders from all the Pacific Southwest Region Divisions (Los Angeles Division, Cajon Division, Arizona Division and the San Diego Division) attended the event. We even had model railroaders from as far away as Pennsylvania and Canada! Everyone had a good time learning more about model railroading and the prototype railroad. The next NMRA PSR model train convention will be held in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA and will be hosted by the Arizona Division.

October 8, 2022, Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to noon (PDT) - In-Person Swap Meet and Self-Guided Layout Tour

In-Person Swap Meet At The North County Model Railroad Society.In-Person Swap Meet: The North County Model Railroad Society will be hosting their fall Model Train Swap Meet. Please mark your calendars!!

  • Date: Saturday, October 8, 2022.
  • Time: 8 a.m. to noon.
  • Location: The North County Model Railroad Society is located in Heritage Park at 230 Peyri Drive, Oceanside, California 92058. The model train layout is located in the Train Depot building in Heritage Park.
  • Parking: There is parking in the front and in the rear of the park. To drive to the rear parking lot, there is a driveway next to the park buildings and all visitors can drive on that road slowly and park in the rear parking lot. You can view the park and its parking lots using Google Maps to see how easy it is to park there.
  • Accessibility: Yes, the North Country Model Railroad Society layout is accessible.
  • Masks: Masks are optional.
  • Swap Meet: This is one of the largest model train Swap Meets in San Diego County.
    • The Swap Meet is free for all visitors. (Sellers pay $10.00 per table. Sellers please RSVP here: swapinfo [AT] ncmrs [DOT] org)
    • The North County Model Railroad Society will providing complimentary coffee starting at 8:00 a.m.
    • The Society will also be selling hot dogs, snacks and drinks around 9:00 a.m. at very reasonable prices.
    • The San Diego Division will have a table at the Swap Meet as a recruiting table. If you would like to help staffing out swap meet table, please let us know on the day of the Meet.
    • While some people are ready to leave the Swap Meet at noon, you are welcome to stay and talk with North County Model Railroad Society's model railroaders and visit the layout. You may also visit the layout during the Swap Meet.
  • Self-Guided Layout Tour: You are welcome to visit the HO scale "Inland and Southern Pacific Railroad" layout that is located inside the Train Depot building in Heritage Park.
    • The North County Model Railroad Society was founded in 1990 and has been in several different locations in North County. The club began construction of its current layout, in its latest home in Heritage Park, on June 18, 2014.
    • The club's railroad is a two-level layout modeling from San Diego to Oceanside, then through Temecula and ending in Colton, California. The layout includes railroad stations, railroad yards, a helix, industry spurs, many towns, multiple industries, multiple tunnels, bridges and more. The layout has nighttime capability including buildings with lighting, street lighting and the layout also has thunder and lightning effects. 
    • The club is open to the public, has Wednesday Work Nights and the layout has been designed with Operations Sessions in mind. The club has regular Operations Sessions throughout the year. The club invites model railroaders of all ages to join their HO scale model railroad club.
    • If you are looking to join a HO scale model railroad club, this is a good time to meet fellow model railroaders and find out more about their club and membership fees.
    • The model train layout is located in the Train Depot building in Heritage Park.
    • The layout is typically opened from 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Raffle/Door Prizes Correction: We apologize, there are NO raffles or door prizes at the swap meet this year.
  • Please mark your calendars for this Meet, as this is the largest annual event the San Diego Division schedules each year. 
  • Carpooling: Help take the sting out of high gas prices and carpool with a friend.
  • Follow-Up: Wow... we had a grand total of 26 people at for the October Meet. Some of our members left the Swap Meet with big boxes filled with rail cars. One member got a really good deal on rail cars and model train items.

November 12, 2022, Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. (PST) - In-Person Fall Meet, at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum

In Person 2022 Fall Meet at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.In-Person Fall Meet: The Fall Meet will take place at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in the Pacific Beach event room, located in the rear of the museum. Please mark your calendars!!

  • Date: 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Time: November 12, 2022.
  • Lunch: The San Diego Division will be offering lunch to its members. Lunch is $10.00 and will include a sandwich, chips, cookie and a drink. Please RSVP for lunch.
  • Location: The museum is located in Balboa Park in the Casa de Balboa building. The museum's official address is 1649 El Prado in Balboa Park.
    • We recommend to park in the parking lot behind the museum and you will enter through the employee doors in the rear of the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. 
  • Accessibility: Yes, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is accessible.
  • Masks: Masks are optional.
  • Show & Tell: This is a time to bring a project or model and show off your model railroading work or discuss any topic about model railroading. You can also talk about something concerning any real railroad, either historical or present day information. Most people keep their presentation to about five minutes. We would like several people to participate in the Show & Tell portion of the Spring Meet. Please contact Ryan and let him know you'd like to participate in Show & Tell.
  • Clinic 1: Static Grass Clinic. Wayne Pierce will be presenting an informative clinic on how to apply static grass realistically. The clinic will go into more detail than the basic application of static grass. The clinic will provide detailed information on the application of static grass and Wayne will also talk about the different effects that you can use with static grass on your layout. Wayne will also be covering techniques when both when applying the grass and after you have applied the grass. Wayne will also be providing basic do's and don'ts with static grass. Remember to take notes!
  • Clinic 2: Window Glazing Clinic. Rudy Spano will be presenting a clinic on window glazing. Rudy will be discussing both products and techniques for creating more interesting window glass for both modern and for pre-modern glass, with examples. These window glazing ideas could be something you can use to enhance your model structures. Please bring your questions and glazing secrets to make this clinic an interactive discussion.
  • Bingo For Trains: Bingo For Trains is always a fun time and there will be great prizes! Don't forget to bring cash so you can purchase one or more $5.00 bingo cards. For $5.00, you get 10 bingo sheets and each sheet has 6 bingo cards per game sheet. You can buy more than one packet of bingo sheets.
  • Door Prizes: There will be Door Prizes.
  • Club Layout Tours: There will be guided layout tours of the San Diego Model Railroad Association's O scale 2-rail and HO scale layout. The La Mesa Model Railroad Club will also be hosting a tour of the club's HO scale two-story mountain railroad.
  • About the San Diego Model Railroad Museum: Founded in 1980, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is the largest model railroad museum in North America and houses four independently run model train clubs. The museum also owns and operates its own Garden Railroad model train layout located outside in a gated enclosure, in the rear of the museum.
    • Many displays line the walls of the museum and new displays have been added in 2021 and 2022. This will be a good time to take your time and walk through the entire museum.
    • Please remember, there is the model train/prototypical train Erwin Welsch Research Library inside the museum. While nothing can be checked out from the library, there are over 10,000 books, magazines, drawings, photographs, manuscripts, maps, sound recordings, timetables, travel brochures, dining car menus, news paper clippings and more at the library. Remember, in the back of the library is a bookshelf with donated items for sale, marked at a fare price. The library hours are the same as the museum hours.
    • Currently the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is open on Tuesday-Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please see the museum's website for current hours and other information about the museum.
  • Carpooling: Help take the sting out of high gas prices and carpool with friend.

 

  • Note: Pacific Daylight Time starts March 13, 2022 and Pacific Standard Time starts November 6, 2022. In the USA, in general, Daylight Time starts the second Sunday of March and Standard Time begins the first Sunday in November. In Europe, summer time begins the last Sunday of March and ends on the last Sunday in October.

    We do not have a physical office, permanent meeting room or layout. Each month, we meet at various locations throughout San Diego County. With the exception of during a pandemic, we hold virtual meetings.