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

Clinics Details

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Quilt Shop Hop Saturday July 9 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
(0) Unknown
We will carpool and visit different quilt and fabric stores in the Sacramento area. Come by the Non Rail room on Monday & Tuesday and sign up. This is an exciting trip because you never know where the perfect piece of fabric will be.

Layout Design Tricks Saturday July 9 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Jim Betz Convention Center 310
This clinic is a slide presentation focusing on the ways you can make your layout -look- bigger thru the use of subtle scenery, trackage, and structure techniques. The target audience is - any one who is interested in ways to make a layout "look better".

Telecommunications for Model Railroaders Saturday July 9 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Seth Neumann Convention Center 312
Communications play an important role in any operating model railroad. This clinic explores the history of communications technology on prototype railroads and discusses how to model these systems for period operations. The major focus is on telephone based communications as used from 1920s until radio became ubiquitous in the 1980s.
Electronics, OPSIG

35 Years on the Sacramento Central Saturday July 9 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Dick Witzens Convention Center 312
The story of the Sacramento Modular Railroaders and their club railroad, the Sacramento Central. For about 35 years, SMR has been an innovative group. We've been doing switchlist operations for many years, on a modular layout that changes at each setup.. We've developed lightweight, versatile modules that can combine quickly into railroads of many sizes (up to 40 by 60 feet or more), and of many shapes. For example, our main switchyard can be 30 or 36 feet long, in either a straight through or Tee configuration. Typical layout setup time runs about 1 1/2 hours, and is done without tools. Learn how we do this and more, how we've lasted that long, and are still at it. We'll be featured in an early 2011 article in Model Railroader, and come see us at the National Train Show during the convention.

Sunset Valley Oregon System and Grand Rails 2012 Saturday July 9 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Bruce Chubb, MMR Convention Center 314
The SVOS occupies 2600 sqft with up to 4 decks. Its dominate roll is maximizing prototypical fidelity and operations. Based upon specific prototypes, over 1000 structures are being constructed along with 150 feet of bridges and trestles. It’s a monumental project with over 1400 feet of main/branch line trackage modeling 10 prototype railroads in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Chubb explains how the teamwork of 38 associates is pulling together to have the system ready for the 2012 NMRA National in Grand Rapids where it will be on tour all day every day throughout the convention. In addition to the 38 regular scheduled tours, Bruce explains how the SVOS id setting up to host a 12-hour pre-convention operating session.

The Sierra Railroad: Modeling and Operating a Shortline Saturday July 9 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
John Zach Convention Center 310
John Zach will discuss the "Why's and How's" of modeling and operating a shortline railroad, using his own HO Scale Sierra Railroad 1955 as an example. This HO scale model railroad is based on the Sierra Railroad that started its long and glorious history in 1897 and is still in operation today. The time frame for the layout is the Spring of 1955 when the first diesels (Baldwin S-12s) arrive on the railroad and the logging railroads of the Pickering and WSLCo are still going strong. Currently we move 180 cars per operating session. This includes cars on the SP and ATSF that interchange with the Sierra or have a destination in Oakdale. It does not count the Passenger cars of the Sierra or the SP or the 56 log cars of the Pickering Railroad or any of the WSLCo equipment. More than once the comment has been made that if the Sierra moved as many cars as we do they would have never filed bankruptcy or had any financial problems.

Sierra Railway: Modeling the Angels Branch Saturday July 9 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Glenn Sutherland Convention Center 310
The colorful Sierra Railway has often been described as the "perfect prototype." In this clinic, long-time Sierra fan and modeler Glenn Sutherland will demonstrate that this is just as true for the railroad's Angels Branch as it is for the Sierra as a whole. The Sierra Railway was built in 1897 to connect the gold mines and lumber mills of Tuolumne County, CA with the outside world. Shortly thereafter, the railroad built its 19-mile Angels Branch to reach the neighboring town of Angels Camp and the freight potential of the numerous gold mines operating in the area. From 1902 to 1939, the quaint and picturesque Angels Branch used unique equipment to haul heavy loads up and down steep grades, across a major river, and through 4 switchbacks. After a very brief overview of the entire Sierra Railway, Glenn will describe and show historic photos of the Angels Branch and its colorful history. Then Glenn will describe how to model the branch, including its signature scenes, key structures, unique equipment, and operating practices. He will show examples from his own HO scale prototype-based Sierra Railway layout (circa 1923), which includes a 160' long depiction of the Angels Branch.

Signaling Your Model Railroad: Part 1 Saturday July 9 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Bruce Chubb, MMR Convention Center 314
Fundamental Concepts: Prototype and Model Bruce expands upon the Signaling Made Easier series published in MR, and the newly released multi-volume Railroader’s Application Handbook to cover prototypical signaling and how to adapt it to our models. The differences between ABS, APB and CTC signaling are discussed along with their impact on how railroads operate. A clear understanding is established regarding the difference between block and interlocking signals, speed versus route signaling and the corresponding aspects and indications used by different railroads and how they can be adapted to our models. Correct signal placement, total compatibility with DCC and how to easily drive different signal types are addressed. Bruce explains how to use the new Super Mini-Node card coupled with the power of the computer to joyfully reduce layout wiring and significantly reduce system cost while maximizing system flexibility and prototype fidelity.
Electronics, LDSIG, Signals

The Slim Princess: SP's Narrow Gauge Line in the Owens Valley Saturday July 9 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Matthew Buck Convention Center 312
Matt will present a 3 part clinic about the Southern Pacific's narrow gauge line through the Owens Valley. Part 1 Route and history of the rails: The history of the road starting with the first rails laid by the Carson and Colorado up to the abandonment of the route by the Southern Pacific. Key historical influences of the area and decisions made by the officers of the road are examined and understood. Geography and topography will be detailed as well as changes of route throughout the life of the 80 year road. Part 2 Places and Industries along the Way: The operation and maintenance of the road will be discussed. The hows and whys of Industrial comings and goings will be detailed as we move through the route of the Slim Princess. A chronological discovery will take place in each of the towns and significant places along the right of way. The daily operations throughout the life of the road will be understood. Part 3 The equipment and rolling stock of the line: From the Locomotive back to the Caboose, all of the types and details of the cars will be discussed during this clinic. A key understanding of why the road was stocked with the cars and engines it had will be covered. The history of cars from origin to scrapped will be discussed.
Narrow Gauge

From Basement to Benchwork Saturday July 9 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Rich Coleman Convention Center 310
Rich Coleman will share methods for building wooden benchwork. He'll explain some tried and true techniques, and unique ways of applying them. Rather than just presenting construction “in a vacuum,” Rich will use his own layout as a case study. Various forms of L-girder, open grid, and plywood techniques will be discussed, including the use of spline roadbed, integrating work surfaces and car card boxes. Most importantly, Rich will share his lessons learned from triumphs and mistakes along the way.

Signaling Your Model Railroad: Part 2 Saturday July 9 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Bruce Chubb, MMR Convention Center 314
ABS, APB and Grade Crossing Warning Systems Expanding upon the content of the Railroader’s Application Handbook, Bruce provides detailed coverage of optimized block occupancy detection and its application to establish Automatic Block Signaling (ABS) including its programming. Then, Bruce explains how the prototype utilizes “Traffic Sticks” to determine directional movement across block boundaries. Such capability plays a key role in setting up Absolute Permissive Block (APB) signaling thereby providing protection for bi-directional operation on the same track. The importance of “traffic sticks” in setting up grade crossing warning systems is discussed along with its utilization with a new Prototypical Grade Crossing Control (PGCC) card. Software examples are included for ABS, APB and for driving the PGCC.
Electronics, LDSIG, Signals

Signaling Your Model Railroad: Part 3 Saturday July 9 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Bruce Chubb, MMR Convention Center 314
Centralized Traffic Control Systems Bruce explains CTC operations and how it can smooth traffic flow on your railroad. As illustrated, constructing a dispatcher’s CTC panel and interfacing it to your railroad is much easier than most modelers realize. Differences between US&S and GRS machines are explained and how their different components are interfaced. Straightforward programming techniques are introduced making is easy to “cut-paste-and-change-numbers” to set up a highly accurate C/MRI-based CTC system for any model railroad. Utilizing a standardized set of callable subroutines makes the programming easy while maximizing prototype fidelity. Additionally, entrance-exit interlocking is discussed along with using computer graphics to emulate modern dispatching operations.
Electronics, LDSIG, Signals

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