Sunday, May 22, 2022


The National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) Pacific Northwest Region (PNR) held its annual convention in Eugene this May.  Originally scheduled for May 2020, as with so much of life, the convention was cancelled and ultimately rescheduled for 2022 as one of the first full in-person events as we came out of societal lockdown.  


One of my regular crewmembers was the clinic chairman for this convention.  He long ago signed me up for a clinic presenting my modeling of the Eugene and Springfield area which would provide some local flavor to the regional convention.  Much of my layout construction (the track rework at “North” Eugene) and structure building over the past couple of years directly supported this clinic.  Preparing for such a clinic presentation provided the extra motivation I needed to tackle a number of projects in this area.  


This blog has been full of descriptions of my model and layout efforts in my Eugene and Springfield scenes over the past couple of years.  The clinic presented in 2022 told a far more complete story through a number of case studies than would have been possible with the original 2020 schedule.


My clinic began with a brief photo survey of my entire railroad to place my Eugene and Springfield into context.  I then presented several structure examples in Eugene, beginning with the depot (blog posted in 2013:  A couple of industries in the greater area of the depot were featured:

Zellerbach Paper:

Eugene Planing:

I then moved on to three more recent addition in the North Eugene industry area:”


Skillern Oil:

American Steel:

Each served to highlight research resources used and various construction techniques.


I then turned to Springfield, again beginning with the depot.  I pushed hard to meet both an end-of-month blog posting deadline (self-imposed) as well as the need for the completed depot as presentation feature.  I used multiple pictures with the depot prominently showing to tell my tale of Springfield modeling.  Industry highlights included:

Borden Chemical:

National Metallurgical:

Rosboro Lumber in three parts:

Once again, the focus was on research resources used and construction techniques employed.


The convention was lightly attended—a disappointment for organizers and even attendees.  Still, good clinics were presented as noted in Tony Thompson’s blog a few days ago:  As with Tony, I greatly appreciated C.J. Riley’s talk on modeling realism.  I also caught one of Tony’s two clinics and piece of the other.  Jim Moomaw, one of my crewmembers and a fellow SP modeler, presented pictures and descriptions of the equipage of Dispatcher Offices over the past century.  In spite of the low attendance, I still made contact with and had great hallway and lobby discussions with several good model railroader friends, including one down from Vancouver, BC.


C.J. Riley presented many examples of items that contribute to model railroad realism—and some that distinctly distract.  Much of this came from C.J’s recent book for Kalmbach.


It was super to return to in-person conventions.  Much more goes on at a convention than the formal program of clinic presentations, model contest, or layout displays.  The people connection is vital.  As a presenter and as an audience member, I found presentations livelier and more informative when presented in-person.  The interaction between presenter and audience is vital and is not easily replicated in an on-line environment, as we have seen over the past two years.  I will be glad to see fellow hobbyists at my next convention! 

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