As I mentioned previously, I’m helping to organize the Railway Modellers’ Meet of British Columbia. This is the annual meet of the local NMRA division, but it is open to all (NMRA members get a discount). I also mentioned that it is perhaps higher quality than a lot of regional and divisional meets, although slightly smaller and shorter.
That’s an audacious claim, but I think it holds up. Here’s why:
- Operating sessions. Many national conventions have an OpSIG event alongside, but I’ve not encountered them at regional conventions yet (admittedly, I don’t get out much). If it were just the operating sessions, that would be one thing, but Scott Calvert organizes a mini version of VanRail, our bi-annual invitation-only operating weekend.
- Layout tours. Oh, I’m not going to claim that the layouts in Vancouver are of higher quality than elsewhere (even though they might be). However, one of the challenges with self-guided layout tours is that they tend to be all over the city. We’ve learned that folks would rather spend their time looking at model trains than driving. So, we’re concentrating on a specific area. That’s more layouts per hour for you, and a higher quality tour overall.
- The clinic program. Sure, national conventions may bring in some headliners, but I would say that Mark Dance has outdone himself in finding clinics this year. I’m especially looking forward to seeing what armour modeller Alex Hock can teach us about weathering.