The beautiful mountains and lakes of North Carolina were home for 3 days of model railroading fun for members of the National Model Railroad Association’s Southeastern Region during late May.
The convention was held near the town of Waynesville, North Carolina, not far from Asheville. It was sponsored by the Carolina Mountain Division of the NMRA and had over 130 attendees.
The fun began with operating sessions at 6 layouts and later open house tours of 8 layouts. Here Bill Raymond dispatches the Erie Railroad of Ben Bartlett on the right.
I even got in on the action at Ben’s Erie Railroad. The layout only occupies a space of 18×22 feet, but it kept 8 of us busy for 3 hours on the first day of the convention.
There was a room full of equipment that needed a new home. The “white elephant” tables saw lots of visitors looking for bargains or perhaps just trying to find that special, elusive model that is long out of production.
As usual there were clinics on all aspects of model railroading. I conducted 2 clinics. In this one I’m expounding on the fun of passenger car operation and in the second one I talked about using natural materials to make inexpensive trees and bushes. There were a total of 41 clinics or seminars included with the registration fee.
There was also a contest room for models, photographs and handmade crafts. Awards were given out at the Saturday night banquet for winners in the contest categories.
Some of the more experienced modelers gave up their convention time to serve as judges in the contest room. Part of entering a contest involves not only building the model, but also documenting what you did, how you did it and why.
No convention can be complete without a business meeting to discuss the political and financial affairs of the organization. The president of the region, Alan Mole, made quick work of the required business items. The entire event took less than an hour.
The final activity of the convention was the closing banquet with a presentation by Jerry Ledford an authority on western North Carolina logging railroads. Then to finish up the evening, plaques were presented to the winners of all the contest categories. This was also a chance to recognize the many volunteers who make the NMRA Southeastern Region so successful.