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

Tour Details

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PLEASE NOTE! If you have mobility issues and have already signed up or plan to sign up for any bus tours, please see the "Mobility Issues" page for important information.

Sold Out & Cancelled Tours

Layout Tours Prototype Tours General Interest Tours

Default display is for ALL tours, including the Advance Section, Prototype, and General Interest Tours. Use the Selection Menu on the right to see specific tours.

Advance Section Tours are indicated by the letter "A" for the first letter of the tour number, for example AG11. All Advance Section activitites require supplemental registration for the Advance Section. All tickets for Advance Section events will only be distributed from the Hilton Newark/Fremont the weekend prior to the main convention (July 1-3).

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AG11 Military Vehicle Technology Foundation Click to Order
Saturday Morning July 2 $40.00 Dep 8:15 AM Ret 12:00 PM
The Military Vehicle Technology Foundation is one of the largest and most significant collections of historical military vehicles in the world. It is the legacy of Jacques Littlefield and includes both domestic and foreign combat vehicles which have been fully restored to operating condition. The display includes tanks, armored cars, self-propelled artillery, and many other technically significant machines of war. We will have a private and very special tour of this facility. See mvtf.org.

Advance Section registration is required to attend any of the Advance Section events.

AG12 USS Potomac Click to Order
Saturday Evening July 2 $125.00 Dep 5:15 PM Ret 10:00 PM
The bus departs the Newark Hilton for Jack London Square at 5:15pm. The cruise itself departs from the pier at Jack London Square at 6:00pm.

The former Presidential Yacht of Franklin D. Roosevelt has been chartered for an evening cruise on the Oakland-Alameda Estuary and San Francisco Bay. Guests will wander through the private quarters of the president and experience the ambience of this fully operational historical museum. The evening meal with premium wine, beer and soft drinks is included. See http://usspotomac.org.

Advance Section registration is required to attend any of the Advance Section events.

AG21 Northwest Bay N Layouts and Disney Museum Click to Order
Sunday All Day July 3 $40.00 Dep 8:00 AM Ret 3:00 PM
This tour is a combined general-interest and layout tour. For the layouts on this tour, see tour AL21. Please do not sign up for both AG21 and AL21 -- they are the same tour!

The Walt Disney Family Museum presents the real story of Walt Disney, the man, his work, his legacy of entertainment and love of trains. The Museum is located in the historically preserved Presidio of San Francisco, a former U.S. Army base and now a National Park. The galleries are rooted in an architecturally preserved 19th century barracks. Early animation techniques are shown and historic equipment for movie making is on display. See http://disney.go.com/disneyatoz/familymuseum/.

On the way to the Disney Museum the tour will visit three N scale layouts, one of which was featured on the cover of the June 2011 Model Railroader Magazine. After the Museum we will head for the Oakland Amtrak station for those taking the train to Sacramento. The bus will then continue back to the Newark/Fremont Hilton Hotel. See layout tour AL21 for a description of the included layouts.

Advance Section registration is required to attend any of the Advance Section events.

Please do not sign up for both AG21 and AL21 -- they are the same tour!

AG21A Amtrak to Sacramento - Via Oakland Jack London Square Click to Order
Sunday Afternoon July 3 $30.00 Dep 3:25 PM Ret 6:00 PM
Arrive Sacramento Station 5:23 PM on Amtrak 736. Transfer from Disney Tour AG21 provided.

This schedule may not allow adequate time for connection with some of the Sacramento evening tours.

Advance Section registration is required to attend any of the Advance Section events.

G101 SACRAMENTO RIVER DINNER TRAIN Click to Order
Sunday Evening July 3 $80.00 Dep 5:00 PM Ret 9:30 PM
The Sacramento River Train operates on the 16-mile "Woodland Branch" between Sacramento and Woodland constructed in 1911 by the Northern Electric Company as the Sacramento and Woodland Railroad to link the fertile farmlands of Yolo County with Sacramento. The line was electrified by third rail except in Woodland where overhead power was used. Passenger operations came to an end in 1940 with the advent of World War II, but the Sacramento Northern Railway continued to move freight over the line until the early 1960's. The Sacramento Northern was acquired by the Western Pacific Railroad which in turn was merged with the Union Pacific Railroad in 1984.

The Yolo Shortline Railroad Company, created in 1991, purchased the Woodland Branch from the UP, and today continues to operate freight service out Woodland, California as well as the Sacramento River Dinner Train.

Our trip on the Sacramento River Train will include a buffet dinner, a beer tasting featuring historic California beers and musical entertainment.

G102 RIVER CATS BASEBALL GAME (handicapped accessible) Click to Order
Sunday Evening July 3 $35.00 Dep 5:30 PM Ret 10:15 PM
TOUR MODIFIED AND PRICE REDUCED

Price reduced to $35.00 but transportation is on-your-own. There will be carpool signup sheets at the tour desk, Sacramento Transit provides transportation to and from games, and the stadium is at 1.5 miles walkable but somewhat distant.
Alumni of the Sacramento River Cats, the Oakland Athletics AAA farm team, have played on every winning World Series team since 1999. The Rivercats traditional July third sell-out event includes a BBQ dinner before the game and fireworks after.

So for a change of pace from train rides - we have at least one available every day - come out and join the festivities at Raley Field.

G201 JELLY BELLY FACTORY TOUR (handicapped accessible) Sold Out
Monday Morning July 4 $15.00 Dep 8:15 AM Ret 11:30 AM
Ronald Reagan began sharing Jelly Belly® candies at meetings in 1967 when he was the Governor of California. He later wrote that "we can hardly start a meeting or make a decision without passing around the jar of jelly beans." After he was elected President, he made Jelly Belly® candies a staple in the Oval Office, on Air Force One, and on Marine One.

Reader's Digest once called The Jelly Belly Factory® tour the best factory tour in America. We think you will agree as you see how Jelly Belly® and other candies are made, taste free samples, view the amazing art created from Jelly Belly® candies, and explore their unique gift shop.

Tour G201 will run on July 4th, when the factory is not in production. The Jelly Belly® people have a special treat prepared for people who visit on days when they are not working. So if you want the whole "watch-em-work" experience you'll want G601. If the thought of dancing robots is more your style, you want G201.

G202 FIREWORKS AT RANCHO CORDOVA Click to Order
Monday Evening July 4 $20.00 Dep 7:15 PM Ret 11:00 PM
The Sacramento Valley Live Steam Railroad Museum is a group of live steam enthusiasts that call Rancho Cordova, California’s Hagen Park home. The City of Rancho Cordova has used Hagen Park as the location of their annual Fourth of July festivities for over 25 years. This lucky combination created an opportunity for us to join the SVLSRM in viewing the evening’s fireworks from a unique viewing area accessed by their loop of track.
G301 AEROSPACE MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA Click to Order
Tuesday All Day July 5 $25.00 Dep 8:45 AM Ret 12:15 PM
The Aerospace Museum of California features 40 civilian and military aircraft, a motion ride simulator, and numerous special exhibits. Aircraft on display include a wide range of military fighters, trainers, and other planes flown by the US Air Force and Navy from 1940 to 2000. After our docent led tour, participants will have the opportunity to revisit their favorite portions of the museum for more a leisurely photography opportunity or visit the museums extensive gift shop.
G302 DAYLIGHT SALES Click to Order
Tuesday Morning July 5 $5.00 Dep 9:30 AM Ret 11:30 AM
If you've been to railroad conventions in the past, you will recognize manufacturer Daylight Sales. Daylight Sales makes silk screen and embroidered shirts, hats, and other railroad items. On this tour, you will see how their silk screen and embroidered products are created. Items will be available for purchase and shipping home if you wish. A free shirt will be given to each attendee, hot off the press.
G303 DONNER SUMMIT Click to Order
Tuesday All Day July 5 $40.00 Dep 8:00 AM Ret 5:00 PM
The summit is legendary; both for a party of pioneers and a pioneering railroad using immigrant labor to build roadbed over the treacherous Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Central Pacific Railroad's building of track from Sacramento, California to Promontory, Utah is beyond the scope of our tour, and even just the construction of the roadbed, tunnels and snowsheds over Donner will be difficult to cover in one morning. Our guide, from the Truckee Donner Railroad Society will do that and more.

The Truckee Donner Railroad Society is a group of individuals who recognizing the importance railroads played in the formation and development of Truckee and the surrounding area, formed a not-for-profit corporation in 2000. Their mission is to perpetuate the study, advancement and knowledge of the working railroad in the Truckee Donner area. On May 8, 2010, the TDRS opened a museum in a former SP caboose adjoining the Amtrak station in Truckee.

That museum, along with an on-your-own lunch in one of downtown Truckee's many dining establishments will be the final stop on our trip before heading back to the convention center.

This tour involves a significant amount of difficult walking at high altitude (7,000') and is definitely not for convention attendees not physically able to contend with that effort. Temperatures at that altitude, partiularly inside the tunnels can be chilly.

Due to track re-alignments by the Union Pacific, the exact routing of the walking portion of the tour is unable to be determined at this time, but rest assured it will be enjoyable (and strenuous) whatever the final routing will be.

G304 CAL-FIRE AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE FACILITY Cancelled
Tuesday Mid Day July 5 $20.00 Dep 10:15 AM Ret 12:30 PM
CANCELLED
see tour G305
G305 CAL-FIRE AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE FACILITY Click to Order
Tuesday Afternoon July 5 $20.00 Dep 1:45 PM Ret 4:00 PM
CAL-FIRE is responsible for fire protection of over 31 million acres of California’s wild lands. One key to controlling wildfires is getting air tankers and tactical aircraft to the scene as quickly as possible. CAL-FIRE’s fleet of 23 air tankers, 11 helicopters, and 14 tactical airplanes are stationed at 13 air attack and 9 helicopter bases statewide, but all are maintained at the McClellan facility.

Join us in learning about how Cal-Fire keeps their aerial tankers ready to respond in protect the state's residents from wildfires.

No open toed shoes or heels allowed. Shorts OK

G401 BURBANK HOUSE AND SHULZ MUSEUM Click to Order
Wednesday All Day July 6 $45.00 Dep 8:00 AM Ret 4:30 PM
Santa Rosa was the home to Luther Burbank, the famed horticulturalist, and more recently Charles Schulz, the cartoonist who gave us the Peanuts gang for almost fifty years.

At the Burbank House we will have a docent led tour of the home, gardens and greenhouse. Our tour of the Schulz Museum and Research Center will also be docent led but will also allow time to visit the center’s ice hockey rink where Mr. Schulz used to play.

Our on-your-own lunch stop will be at Railroad Square in Santa Rosa where tour participants can also visit the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Historical Society’s display in the restored Northwestern Pacific Depot, or visit the antique shops around the square. For dedicated antique shoppers, the Warm Puppy Café at the Schulz Museum offers an alternative to the Railroad Square dining establishments.

G402 GRANGE RESTAURANT LUNCHEON EXTRAVAGANZA Sold Out
Wednesday Mid Day July 6 $45.00 Dep 10:45 AM Ret 2:15 PM
This is a very special and unconventional event at the Grange Restaurant, one of Sacramento’s premiere dining destinations. Chef Michael Tuohy, a 31-year veteran of the restaurant industry and leading proponent of the Slow Food Movement, will take attendees to Sacramento’s farmer’s produce market where he will explain what he looks for in selecting items. Back at the restaurant, attendees will watch preparation of a meal using the produce selected at the farmers market. AND FINALLY, enjoy the meal they have seen prepared.
G403 GOLD COUNTRY Click to Order
Wednesday All Day July 6 $45.00 Dep 9:00 AM Ret 4:00 PM
This tour of California’s Gold Rush country includes a trip to the site on the South Fork of the American River where James Marshall discovered gold in 1848 triggering the Gold Rush of 1849. The Gold Discovery State Park includes a replica of Marshall’s original sawmill, a museum featuring period relics and displays, over 20 historic buildings and a monument marking the actual discovery site.

After leaving the Discovery Site State Park we will travel to Placerville, California. There we will visit two underground mines, one not normally open for public viewing, and their associated stamp mill. These mines are representative of the hard rock mining that followed after the great hordes of 49er's had panned out most of California’s gold-bearing streambeds. At the restored stamp mill, tour visitors will witness a replica of the stamping machine in operation.

This tour includes a box lunch at the gold discovery site.

G414 SHERATON KITCHEN TOUR Click to Order
Wednesday Afternoon July 6 $5.00 Dep 2:00 PM Ret 3:00 PM
Every wondered how a hotel kitchen prepares for a banquet? Well, we will get to see this first hand. The Sheraton Hotel's chef will take us on a tour of his facility while they are prepping for a banquet. We will be able to ask questions and see his crew in action. This event is limited to 20 participants.

Closed toed non-slip shoes are required for this tour.

G501 WINE TASTING Click to Order
Thursday July 7 $40.00 Dep 12:30 PM Ret 6:45 PM
The Napa Valley is the best known of California's wine regions. Although not as well known, or flashy, as Napa the Lodi area in Amador County just south of Sacramento is the home of over 50 wineries. Join us in a tour of some unique facilities and taste a variety of wines from the Lodi wineries. Our wine tasting is planned to stop at three locations. We will visit the Woodbridge Winery where we will have a tour of the grounds with a discussion of wine making in addition to the tasting and the Oak Ridge Winery where the tasting room is a converted 50,000 gallon barrel. Time permitting we will make a third stop at the Lodi Wine and Visitor Center where you can sample wines from multiple Lodi area wineries.
G503 FOLSOM OUTLET MALL SHOPPING Click to Order
Thursday All Day July 7 $0.00 Dep 9:00 AM Ret 3:00 PM
This is largely an on-your-own tour on Sacramento Regional Transit rather than by bus, and is designed to provide the maximum flexibility to attendees. The mall provides a group discount book for savings in addition to the traditional outlet store discounts. In order to receive the book, tour participants must arrive together. After that, you are free to spend an hour, all day or shop till you drop. You can return home or take Sacramento Transit into the Folsom Historic District first.

Check out their website!

If there is enough interest in a trip on a different day or time we will arrange a second discount book arrival. Inquire at the tour desk.

G601 JELLY BELLY FACTORY TOUR (handicapped accessible) Click to Order
Friday Morning July 8 $15.00 Dep 8:15 AM Ret 11:30 AM
Ronald Reagan began sharing Jelly Belly® candies at meetings in 1967 when he was the Governor of California. He later wrote that "we can hardly start a meeting or make a decision without passing around the jar of jelly beans." After he was elected President, he made Jelly Belly® candies a staple in the Oval Office, on Air Force One, and on Marine One.

Reader's Digest once called The Jelly Belly Factory® tour the best factory tour in America. We think you will agree as you see how Jelly Belly® and other candies are made, taste free samples, view the amazing art created from Jelly Belly® candies, and explore their unique gift shop.

Tour G201 will run on July 4th, when the factory is not in production. The Jelly Belly® people have a special treat prepared for people who visit on days when they are not working. So if you want the whole "watch-em-work" experience you'll want G601. If the thought of dancing robots is more your style, you want G201.

G602 GUIDE DOGS FOR THE BLIND Click to Order
Friday All Day July 8 $25.00 Dep 8:30 AM Ret 2:00 PM
Guide Dogs for the Blind was formed in 1942 in Los Gatos, California by Lois Merrihew and Don Donaldson who recognized the need to help wounded servicemen who would return from World War II without their sight. In 1947 the school relocated to their primary campus in San Rafael, California, and in 1995 opened a second facility in Boring, Oregon.

Since 1942 Guide Dogs for the Blind has graduated over 10,000 teams, over 2,200 of whom are currently active. The organization is supported by 140 puppy raising clubs and 1,400 puppy raising volunteers. Staff and volunteers at the training facilities number 265 employees and 950 volunteers.

During the HOUR LONG WALKING TOUR of the 11 acre campus, you'll see how the dogs are cared for and trained.

G603 NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN Click to Order
Friday July 8 $120.00 Dep 4:00 PM Ret 10:45 PM
The Napa Valley wine country lies about 60 miles southwest of Sacramento and is one of the premier travel destinations in the world. There are picturesque rolling hills planted with vineyards lining the valley while wineries of every stature dot the landscape. The track used by the Napa Valley Wine Train was originally built in 1864 to provide freight and passenger service to the Napa Valley. Passenger service was discontinued in the 1930's, and by the mid 1980's Southern Pacific was down to running a single freight train a week.

A group of concerned citizens founded the Napa Valley Wine Train in 1987 and acquired the line from the SP, restoring 25 miles of track for its current use.

Motive power is provided by four FPA-4 diesel locomotives built by the Montreal Locomotive works in 1958 and 1959. The dining cars are ex-Northern Pacific Railway First Class coaches built by the Pullman Company in 1915, and were extensively restored when the Napa Valley Wine Train acquired the cars from the D&RGW in 1987.

The fare on this tour includes the train and bus transportation, dinner and the gratuity on dinner. There is no wine included in the tour price, but an extensive collection of local wines are available for purchase on the train.

GLSB LDSIG Banquet Under Construction
Friday Evening July 8 $60.00 Dep 6:00 PM Ret 10:00 PM
Enjoy a catered dinner in the round house display area of the California State Railroad Museum with fellow SIG members (no SIG membership requirement, all convention attendees with an interest in layout design are welcome!). No Host bar from 6:00 PM. There will be an after-dinner presentation by a prominent layout designer. A great opportunity to discuss everything you've seen during X2011 West and reflect on how to apply your learnings to your layout!
GNQ Nonquet Click to Order
Saturday Evening July 9 $5.00 Dep 7:30 PM Ret 11:45 PM
Saturday evening social hour. Instead of the usual NMRA banquet, we are taking the unconventional route and holding instead what we have coined as the Nonquet. Dessert will be served, a no-host bar will be open, and you will be able to socialize with all your old friends and make some new friends. Then there will be entertainment. WinteRail is a professionally done railroadiana show and photo exhibition. It has been held each March, for about 30 years, in Stockton, CA. The producers of WinteRail have graciously agreed to put on a show for us Saturday night. NMRA awards will presented during intermissions. This is going to be a true highlight of the convention. Don't miss it.

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