HO scale Dead Rail layout.

The San Diego Division holds monthly events every 2nd Saturday. These include quarterly Meets (February, May, August, November) which may include Clinics, Contests, Show & Tell, auctions, swap meets, Bingo for Trains and food. Typically there is a Swap Meet and BBQ at our Summer Meet. On the off months a Layout Tour, open house style, is offered. (For your information, instead of calling our Meetings, "Meetings", we call them "Meets".) 

Currently, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Division is offering virtual events in leu of our regular activities. We will update this web page as each event date approaches. 

Upcoming 2020 Events (Pacific Daylight Time & Pacific Standard Time)

  • August 8, 2020, Saturday, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. PDT: Zoom Summer Meet. The Summer Meet will include Show & Tell, a Layout Tour and a Clinic.
    • Show & Tell (30 minutes: 3-5 minutes for each person): The Show & Tell portion will be presented by five members of the San Diego Division (or possibly people from other NMRA Divisions), each sharing a three to five minute presentation showing a model railroading technique or model railroad project. 
    • Layout Tour (30 minutes): The Layout Tour will be presented by Rodger Gredvig, Master Model Railroader®, from the San Diego Division and will feature the "Lode Stone and Iron RR" (based in the USA). It is self-standing (middle of the garage) N scale layout. Some portions were built in the 1970s, others in the 1980s, and some as late as 1996.  It depicts a real railroad bridge route which was surveyed and incorporated, but never built, connecting the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RG) with the Santa Fe along the Colorado River from Grand Junction, Colorado to his home in San Diego, California. Rodger has modeled a section from the low desert (California/Arizona border), up to the high desert (in Utah), and over the mountains into western Colorado.
    • Eazy, Peezy, Treezy (Version 1.2, Part 1) Clinic (30 minutes): The Eazy, Peezy, Treezy Clinic will be presented by Dick Roberts, Master Model Railroader®, from the San Diego Division. This clinic is all about making evergreen trees using the “bottle-brush” method. You will learn how to make an assembly fixture and use some special tools to create tree forms. In addition, you will also learn painting and flocking techniques to complete a finished tree. A list of materials and tools with acquisition resources will be provided. It will be a fun clinic.  
  • September 12, 2020, Saturday, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. PDT: Zoom Meet. Agenda for the Meet is in the process of being determined.
    • Show & Tell (30 minutes: 3-5 minutes for each person): To be determined.
    • Layout Tour (30 minutes): Is being discussed and is almost determined.
    • Clinic (30 minutes): Electrical clinic by Tim Foote.
  • October 10, 2020, Saturday: Agenda for the Meet is currently being discussed and is in the planning stage.
  • November 14, 2020, Saturday: Fall Meet. Agenda for the Meet is currently being discussed and is in the planning stage.
  • December 12, 2020, Saturday: Agenda for the Meet to be determined.

Past 2020 Events (Pacific Daylight Time & Pacific Standard Time)

  • January 11, 2020, 12:00 noon - 3:00 p.m. PST: HO/HOn3 scale Dead Rail multi-deck Layout Tour.
    • Layout Tour: This Dead Rail layout tour was a heavily attended and it was very interesting to see Dead Rail in action. All the locomotives were powered by batteries. The batteries were typically located in a piece of rolling stock, coal tender or slug (which were connected by wires) located directly behind the locomotive. The host had taken off the tops of the rolling stock so that we could see the batteries located inside.
      • The layout used DCC over radio control using an app for the controller. The layout had multiple levels, several industries, houses, business buildings, a trestle, several tunnels and a helix. The locomotives can run for about three to four hours on battery power, depending upon how the locomotives are being used on the layout.
      • There were also snacks and drinks provided by the host and we appreciated the host's generosity with opening his home to the Division and for the food provided.
  • February 8, 2020, Saturday, 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. PST: Winter Meet. Included a pot luck with lots of food, an auction, Show and Tell and a Clinic.
    • Pot Luck: The Pot Luck had lots and lots of food, drinks and deserts. There was plenty of Mexican food, Subway sandwiches, chicken and more. 
    • Show & Tell: Several very interesting Show & Tell presentations were made. A home-made wooden vice was displayed to hold a rolling stock base when a third hand is needed while drilling into a frame or making other frame modifications and the vice does not hurt the sides of the rolling stock. A diorama of an industry setting was shown which had lots of detail. A wooden model building was shown and the roof was detachable so we could see wooden beams inside the roof and the details of the interior of the building.
    • Clinic: The clinic was a review of the National Model Railroad Association's website (by yours truly - Michael Hampson, webmaster for the San Diego Division) and how it is packed with very good information for modelers. The clinic also noted the extra information available to members who when logged-on to the NMRA website. Members have access to even more specific and useful information about the model railroad hobby once logged into the NMRA main website. It was noted that we can add our home layouts and projects in the Member's Only secure section of the NMRA website. This way, members from our own Division and people from any other Division in the world can see your work and progress. 
    • Auction: The auction really made the Meet fun and interesting. There were many, many items at the auction, including books, rolling stock kits, rolling stock that was built, railroad memorabilia and more. The purpose of the auction is to help make money for the Division and at the same time, have fun and win the auction items.
  • March 14, 2020, Saturday, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. PDT: Layout Tour. This layout tour was sponsored by the San Diego S-Gaugers located in Grossmont (San Diego, California, USA). The San Diego S-Gaugers typically use DCC (Digital Command Control) and AC as their main type of power source on their layout. They also can use DC and TMCC (Trainmaster Command Control) power sources on their layout. 
  • April 11, 2020: Meet cancelled due to the California lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic. 
  • May 23, 2020, Saturday, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. PDT: Spring Meet. Our Division was invited to a Multi-Division Zoom Meet organized by Pete Steinmetz (San Diego, California) and James Knabb (Texas) of the NMRA. The Zoom Meet included the San Diego Division, the Cajon Division and the 2nd Division of the PNR. This was our first participation in a Zoom Meet for the San Diego Division.
    • Layout Tour: The Layout Tour was presented by Don Fowler, Master Model Railroader® with his N scale Southern Pacific layout.
    • Clinics: There were two clinics, one by Duane Richardson, Master Model Railroader® (Texas) and another clinic by Andy Keeney (Michigan).
  • June 13, 2020, Saturday, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. PDT: Zoom Meet. This was our first Zoom Meet organized and hosted by the San Diego Division. The Zoom Meet included Show & Tell, and there were several Clinics (with questions and answers for each clinic). The Zoom Meet went very well, with 39 people attending. 
  • July 11, 2020, Saturday, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. PDT: Zoom Meet included Show & Tell, a Layout Tour by "Shotgun Tom" Kelly and a Weathering Clinic by Pete Steinmetz. The Zoom Meet went very well with 67 people attending (42 people in the Zoom Meet and 25 people watching the Zoom Meet, live, on YouTube). We had several people who came to our Meet from other NMRA Divisions. 
    • Show & Tell (30 minutes: 3-5 minutes for each person): The Show & Tell portion had an interesting scenery presentation, a detailed and interesting layout signaling presentation using LED lighting and electronics, a model train workbench presentation (from the start of the project to the finished workbench), a modular trestle talk (again, a very nice presentation from the start of the project, to its finished module) and a short discussion about the San Diego Division's Facebook Page and new Facebook Group.   
    • Layout Tour (30 minutes): The Layout Tour featured Los Angeles and San Diego radio personality, "Shotgun Tom" Kelly and his HO scale model railroad. His beautiful layout can be electrically lowered from the ceiling onto the pool table that it rests on. The presentation and "Question & Answer" period went over quite well. The presentation included a video, an overall discussion and then a live walk-around layout tour. The Layout Tour was quite informative and many questions were asked about the layout, as well as modeling questions.
    • Weathering Clinic (30 minutes): The Weathering Clinic was presented by Pete Steinmetz, Division Director. Pete has given this weathering clinic over the years and it is still popular because this clinic is for both new and advanced modelers. Each presentation is a little different each time because new materials become available and techniques improve. The presentation and "Question & Answer" period, again, went over quite well with many questions from the types of material used and to how to fix mistakes. Several very specific questions on how to model different types of weathering, rust and more, were asked and Pete replied with very good and informative answers. 


Note: Pacific Daylight Time starts March 8, 2020 and Pacific Standard Time starts November 1, 2020. In the USA, in general, Daylight Time starts the second Sunday of March and Standard Time begins the first Sunday in November. In Europe, summer time begins the last Sunday of March and ends on the last Sunday in October. 

We do not have a physical office, permanent meeting room or layout. Each month, we meet at various locations throughout San Diego County.