Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Layout Design Special Interest Group Tour

The third event my layout was part of for the NMRA National Convention in Portland in August was the Layout Design Special Interest Group (LDSIG) Tour.  The prior two events were the formal convention bus tours (http://espeecascades.blogspot.com/2015/08/pdx2015-nmra-national-convention-1.html) and an Operations SIG operating session (http://espeecascades.blogspot.com/2015/09/pdx2015-nmra-national-convention.html ).  As has been traditional, the LDSIG Tour was conducted on Wednesday of convention week.  This was a self-guided tour, with participants providing their own transportation.  We had seventeen layouts on the tour ranging from Washougal, WA, to Eugene, OR—a span of about 140 miles!  Participants needed to chose their layout visits carefully, as not all layouts were open all day.

LDSIG Tour participants bought a tour ticket, which included the information packet listing the layouts and their locations.  GPS guidance was assumed, though the information packet included ”terminal guidance” (specific instructions for locating the layout entrance once at the address) for many of the layouts.  The LDSIG Tour ticket also bought the purchaser an LDISG polo shirt, embroidered with an LDSIG logo and a loco image that was connected to the convention site.  We were not allowed to use the Southern Pacific—this convention followed one in Sacramento, CA, in 2011.  Instead, we featured “The Northwest’s Own Railway,” the Spokane Portland and Seattle Railway, with one of their Alco C636 locos.  The SP&S was well known for its Alco fleet, including those C636s.

LDSIG Tour Shirt logo.

One hundred twenty five folk signed my guest register during the Wednesday LDSIG Tour.  A couple arrived just as we opened up at 10 am—a quick drive out from Portland, as the information packets were distributed around 9 am.  Carloads and groups of carloads arrived throughout the day, with the last visitors arriving around 9pm—a long day.  The combination of the three events on Tuesday and Wednesday of convention week had been my deadline focus for three years of construction.  Whew!  Herewith some photos from the LDSIG Tour.

Many visitors took photos.  My helper and “height gauge” John B. is in the orange shirt.

Several folk who had been out to the layout on Tuesday came back as part of LDSIG Tour carloads.  Longtime friend Don M., who operated Tuesday night  faces the camera and is talking with helper Bob S.

John B. and Richard C. run trains in Oakridge as visitors look  on.

My helping crew relaxes at the end of a long day.   Conventions are full of intense activity for organizers and participants!

Following the NMRA convention activities, my wife and I held an open house for our neighborhood to show off what all the activity had been about.  Another fifty folk signed the guest book.  Following this peak of activity, I am taking a break from most railroad activity until the Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society Convention in early October.  It is time to take care of a number of tasks put off during the intense build-up leading to the NMRA convention.

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