EXTRA 2011 WEST
2011 NMRA National Convention
July 3 to 9, 2011 - Sacramento, California
The Unconventional Convention

The 2011 NMRA Convention is now history, but the X2011 website lives on!

On January 5, 2013, the website was renewed for another year. The website, along with the ever-popular "Clinic Handouts" page, continues to receive more than 250 visitors per day! Check it out. The X2011 e-Store also still has convention cars for sale.

Nearly 2,000 people enjoyed this annual celebration of model railroading, which included layout tours, prototype tours, clinics, operating sessions, banquets, a National Train Show, and just interacting with others who enjoy this fantastic hobby of ours.

We planned X2011 to be The Unconventional Convention from the start and it appears we succeeded:

  • The full registration price was originally $99, an unbelievable value! The full fare was finally raised to $139 about a year before the start of the Convention, still a value!
  • All tours and special events were available ONLINE at the Company Store. Registration was also available online. In addition, you could purchase Convention shirts and Convention cars online. A first!
  • An Advance Section was held in the San Francisco Bay Area over the weekend prior to the start of the Convention. This event drew around 300 attendees. These early-birds were able to see more layouts, participate in operating sessions, and go on several special tours, including a dinner cruise on the San Francisco Bay onboard the USS Potomac, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s private yacht.
  • To encourage interaction between both attendees and those who were unable to come to Sacramento, we set up both a Facebook page for the Convention and a Yahoo! Group list so that everyone could get answers to specific questions to the Convention committee prior to and during the Convention. Another first!
  • All conventions have websites, but we added an RSS news feed to allow attendees to get updates delivered automatically without checking the website. Our website was also continually updated during the Convention with clinic and tour changes.
  • California is home to the Silicon Valley and it was only appropriate that we should set up a smart phone app for the Convention. The free download allowed attendees to pick and schedule clinics they wanted to attend. Another first! And Unconventional!
  • And … The Unconventional Convention continues … many clinic handouts and presentations have been posted on our website (see the "Clinic Handouts" page, under the "Clinics" menu tab) and more are being posted. Anyone can download these handouts.

If you attended our Convention, thank you for attending! The following photos might help rekindle some memories of your week in Sacramento. If you didn’t attend, here is a very small sampling of what you missed:

Golden Gate Bridge at sunset
The Convention started with an Advance Section in the San Francisco Bay Area on the Friday prior to the start of the Convention. On Saturday, many attendees boarded the USS Potomac for a bay dinner cruise. This is the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset from the ship.
Photo by John Sing
After layout tours on Friday and Saturday, the Advance Section continued on Sunday with more layout tours. This is the SP Mission Bay roundhouse on John Petrovitz' N scale SP/NWP layout.
Photo by John Sing
SP Mission Bay roundhouse
Clinics during the Convention
Clinics during the Convention began on Sunday and ran all week from morning to evening.
Photo by John Sing
There were several “Modeling with the Masters” clinics at X2011, during which attendees built a model to take home with personal help from Master Model Railroaders. Here Clark Kooning, MMR, (standing) answers an attendee's question during the "Builiding a DPM Structure" clinic. That's John Lowrance, MMR, sitting behind Clark with his leg crossed, helping another attendee.
Photo by John Sing
MWTM Clinics
SIG Room at X2011
Here is a view of the Layout Design Special Interest Group/Operations Special Interest Group (LDSIG/OPSIG) meeting room. Visitors to the SIG Room could get help with layout design issues and sign-up for operating sessions at several local layouts, as well as layouts in the Bay Area, some even at the National Train Show. SIG membership was not needed for SIG activities at X2011.
Photo by John Sing
This superb Free-mo N scale module from Silicon Valley Free-moN of San Jose, CA, was set up in the SIG Room before being moved to the National Train Show.
Photo by John Sing
Free-mo N Module
RPM Room
Here is an overview of the Railroad Prototype Modelers (RPM) Room, where those interested in prototype modeling could share models and modeling techniques. There was also a full range of clinics to compliment the RPM event, including several on numerous prototype railroads.
Photo by John Sing
These models on display in the RPM Room were built by noted author and SP modeler Tony Thompson.
Photo by John Sing
Tony Thompson models on display in RPM Room
Large UP Cheyenne 1959 diorama
Here is a portion of the large UP Cheyenne 1959 diorama on display in the Contest Room.
Photo by John Sing
There were both bus and self-guided layout tours all week during the Convention. Here is Mitch Valder's NWP, circa 1958, layout in N scale, just one of many layouts on tour during X2011.
Photo by John Sing
Mitch Valder's NWP, circa 1958, layout in N scale
California State Railroad Museum Roundhouse Area
Attendees could tour the California State Railroad Museum all week at no charge. This view looks down on the roundhouse area of the Museum. The annual LDSIG/OPSIG Banquet and NASG Roundhouse Review and BBQ Too! events were both held in this area after the Museum closed to the public for the day.
Photo by John Sing
Another special tour was enjoying a fine dinner aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train as it traveled along 25 miles of track through the heart of the Napa Valley and its vineyards. Here X2011 attendees are in the Parlor Car enjoying dessert, tea, and coffee after a wonderful dinner.
Photo by John Sing
Napa Valley Wine Train Parlor Car interior
Dave Hussey of Cannon & Company at NTS
The National Train Show opened Friday morning at 9:00 am for X2011 attendees only, before opening at noon for the public. Here Dave Hussey (seated) is displaying products from his company, Cannon & Company, which sells diesel and modern freight car detail parts.
Photo by John Sing
Here are some of the Bar Mills Scale Model Works kits on display at the National Train Show. Many vendors reported selling out of products before the show was over, as nearly 20,000 people came to the show. There were a lot of happy vendors!
Photo by John Sing
Bar Mills Scale Model Works kits
Modular Nn3 Layout
There were also a number of large modular layouts on display at the NTS. This is part of the impressive Nn3 layout of the NorCal Division of the Nn3 Alliance from San Francisco, CA. Scales from Z to G were well represented at the show, as was LEGO.
Photo by John Sing
Here is another modular layout, the large and beautiful Gulf & Western Modular Railroad Society's HO layout from Arkansas Pass, Texas.
Photo by John Sing
Gulf & Western modular HO layout

Want to see even more of X2011 West?

We have a complete documentary of photos / videos from X2011 West on our Facebook page. Click on the following link to view our X2011West "Wall Photos" album of over 350 photos and page through it sequentially from front to back. No need to logon to Facebook, anyone can see it. Captions will describe every photo and there are cross-links in the captions to related videos, and more. Whether you're re-living X2011West or seeing it the 1st time, enjoy! — John Sing


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