2022 Meets and Events

The San Diego Division holds monthly meetings and events every 2nd Saturday at 1 pm. These include quarterly Meets (February, May, August, November) which may include Show & Tell, contests, Clinics, auctions, swap meets, Bingo for Trains, raffles 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".

  • To learn more about the San Diego Division, please feel free to attend one of our Meets or Events as a guest by contacting Rudy Spano (Membership Services) at (858) 761-1424, or email Rudy at membership and please provide your first name, last name and your phone number. Or to join the San Diego Division, please call Rudy by phone or by email and he will assist you.

Meets/Events Archive: 2021 • 2020

[Covid-19 Information: Our Division has provided virtual Meets during the Covid pandemic of 2020 and during the first half of 2021. Our in-person Meets started in August 2021. Masks are optional at our in-person Meets and Events in 2022 unless otherwise noted.]

June 11, 2022, Saturday. Noon - 3:00 p.m. (PDT) Layout Tour.

Chuck's HOn3 narrow-guage Rio Grande Southern Railroad engine house.
Chuck's HOn3 narrow-guage Rio Grande Southern Railroad engine house.
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.
  • Layout Tour: The layout tour is Chuck's HOn3 narrow gauge model railroad and models the Rio Grande Southern Railroad (RGS) from Ridgeway, Colorado to Rico, Colorado (USA). The era of the layout is between the late 1930s to the early 1940s and is a prototypical model railroad layout.
  • Date: Saturday, June 11, 2022
  • Time: Noon - 3 p.m.
  • Masks: Not required.
  • Accessibility: Not wheelchair accessible.
  • More about Chuck's model railroad layout.
    • Chuck models a portion of a narrow-gauge line of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad which served the towns of Durango to Ridgway, in Colorado, USA. Rio Grand Southern was in business from 1891 to 1952 and was known as as one of the most rugged and iconic narrow-gauge mountain railroads, spanning approximately 162 miles, in the history of Colorado.
    • The initial planning of Chuck's Rio Grand Southern Railroad began in 2007 with major work starting in 2009. The layout was finished in 2021. The layout is a HOn3 narrow-gauge model railroad and uses DCC & Sound to control the locomotives. The scale is HO (1:87), the "n" means it's a narrow-gauge railroad and the "3" is the gauge of the track in the real world which is 3 feet between the rail heads.
    • The part of the railroad Chuck models is from Ridgway to Rico, Colorado. The towns modeled include Rico, Placerville, Ophir and Rico. There are multiple types of structures on the layout including houses, stores, industries, railroad stations, round houses and more. There are also mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, trestles, trees and other scenery on the model railroad. Name plates of locations and even elevations are located throughout the fascia of the benchwork.
    • It is interesting to note that Chuck has built everything on the layout, including (but is not an inclusive list), the benchwork, electrical, scenery, buildings, trestles, track, switches, painting, weathering and the model train workbench. All the track and switches are hand-laid. The trestles were designed by Chuck and were hand-built. The track work also includes sidings, railroad yards, industry spurs and a wye. All the buildings are made from kits, kit-bashed or are board-by-board kits.
    • The main reference books used for Chuck's railroad are 1) The R.G.S. Story: Rio Grande Southern, Vol. I-VI., Collman, Russ, and Dell A. McCoy, Sundance Publications and 2) The Silver San Juan, The Rio Grande Southern, Mallory Hope Ferrell, Pruett Publishing Co.
    • The railroad has been made for Operation Sessions. Railroad Ops can have from one to six people during an Operations Session. If the maximum number of model railroaders are there for an Operations Session, there will be three engineers operating trains, two yardmasters and one Chief Dispatcher.
    • On piece of advice Chuck provides to any model railroader, is that if you don't like it, then tear it up and start over because it will be better.
    • The model train layout is inside an air conditioned purpose-built free-standing building. The total area of the building is 26' X 24' including the model train workshop. The size of the layout is 18' X 20', the isles are between 2' - 2' 6" and the workshop is an 8' X 13' area. Chuck's layout in its present location has not been seen by members of the San Diego Division. This will be a layout that will be well worth seeing. Please remember to bring your cameras and questions for Chuck for this layout tour.

July 9, 2022, Saturday. Noon - 3:00 p.m. (PDT) Layout Tour.

John's narrow gauge K-27 steam locomotive number 463.
John's narrow gauge K-27 steam locomotive number 463.
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.
  • Layout Tour: This is John Vavra's HO and HOn3 narrow gauge model railroad and models the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, from Northern Arizona to Southwestern Colorado (USA).
  • Date: Saturday, July 9, 2022
  • Time: Noon - 3 p.m.
  • Masks: Vaccines and booster shots are required and masks are required in the layout room or anywhere inside the house. Most likely, there will be a limited number people inside the layout at one time. Please bring a chair while waiting to see the layout. The garage door will be open where you can put your chairs to sit, relax and socialize, and there is also space on the driveway for chairs.
  • Accessibility: Yes, is wheelchair accessible.
    • John Vavra has a wheelchair accessible HO/HOn3 layout set in 1994 and the layout is called the Santa Fe Lines. His model railroad is a freelance model railroad using artistic license.The layout has two continuous loops for HO scales trains and there is one continuous loop for the narrow gauge line. John started his layout in 1997, the layout is still under construction and is 75% complete. John uses DCC & Sound with MRC Prodigy Elite Wireless to control his locomotives.
    • The maximum grade for the Santa Fe mainline track is 2.2% and the maximum grade for the Durango and Silverton mainline track is 2.5%. The Sante Fe mainline tracks are 150 feet (2.5 scale miles) and the length of the Durange and Silverton track is 100 feet (1.65 scale miles).
    • The location of the railroad is loosely based in Arizona and Colorado, USA. The cities modeled on the layout are Flagstaff, Arizona, and then going northeast to the cities of Durango and then Silverton, located in Colorado.
    • The narrow gauge railroad is loosely based on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad located in Colorado, USA. And because the era of the layout is 1994, John is modeling the narrow gauge railroad as it was in 1994, as a tourist attraction using passenger trains, concession cars, open observation gondolas and cabooses. There is a private business car that still runs on the railroad. The prototype is wheelchair accessible.
    • The original narrow gauge railroad was opened in 1882 by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (1870-1992) to transport silver and gold ore, mined in the San Juan Mountains. The Durango and Silverton track was opened in 1881. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad line was purchased in 1980 and the narrow gauge railroad has been running on that line until present. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad's claim to fame is it has been running steam locomotives trains on their narrow gauge track from 1881 to present.
    • If you notice there are many buildings on the layout and most of the buildings are detailed on the inside with lighting on the inside as well. Some of the buildings are half or 1/4 quarter detailed and will have a picture the height of the ceiling which is what you would see if you look inside the building. Many of the names of the businesses are named after friends, family, business associates or actual businesses in that town. The movie theater is showing the film Forrest Gump because it made the number one movie of the year in July, August and September in 1994. The street lights are also lighted. The railroad can be run with night operations.
    • Looking carefully at the layout, there are multiple scenes of animals in the mountain areas and many of the people scenes are located in the residential areas and downtown areas of the layout. Can you find the dog and the dog's house, a husband and wife in an argument and the bread delivery man who dropped a box of bread?
    • John has built everything on his layout from the benchwork, to the buildings and the scenery. The track is flex-track. The height of the benchwork is between 39" to 54". The isle ways were redesigned and recessed to allow wheelchair access. All the electronic circuit boards are hidden and have been put on hinges so you don't have to crawl under the layout to work on the electronics.
    • John's Santa Fe Lines layout was recently featured on the front cover of the December 2021 Model Railroader Magazine. This layout has not been seen by members of the San Diego Division. Be sure to bring cameras and be ready to ask John any questions you may about about his layout.

August 13, 2022, Saturday. Summer Meet.

  • Summer Meet: A reminder. Last year's Summer Meet was a huge success with many members attending. There was a great BBQ lunch with sides and drinks, a Swap Meet, Show & Tell, Clinics and a layout tour. While details have not been finalized for our Summer Meet, it will be a fun event to attend, talk about our favorite subject, model railroading, and socialize.
  • Date: Saturday, August 13, 2022
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Masks: To be determined.
  • Accessibility: To be determined.
  • Swap Meet: More information to follow.
  • Lunch: BBQ and more information to follow.
  • Show & Tell: Bring a project or model and show off your work. We would like several people to participate in the Show & Tell portion of the Spring Meet. Please contact Ryan and let him know you'd like to participate in Show & Tell.
  • Clinics: To be determined.

More details will be published when available.

September 7-11, 2022, Saturday. PSR NMRA Convention Back On Track In 2022

San Diego Division's Model Train Convention 2022

The main convention with registration information web site is here online. We urge you to book as soon as possible to save your space for the convention.

Who, What, When:

  • The San Diego Division of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) is sponsoring the PSR NMRA Convention Back On Track In 2022 on September 7-11, 2022.
  • This local model train convention will be a fun five filled days of model railroading with clinics (workshops), layout tours, prototype tours and more.

Where (Hotel):

  • The convention will be held at the Four Points Sheraton San Diego, 8110 Aero Drive, San Diego, California 92123 USA.
    • The hotel is located in Kearny Mesa next to the general aviation airport Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (previously known as Montgomery Field).
    • The major freeways which are close to the hotel are the I-163 and I-805 freeways.
  • To book your discounted hotel rate please click here.

How (Convention Registration):

  • Please click here to go directly to registration page for the convention.
  • Every model railroader, worldwide, who are members or who are not members of the National Model Railroad Association are welcome to join our convention. Modelers who model any scale are welcome.
  • Please remember to schedule time off now with your employer, so you have your vacation days (paid or unpaid vacation days) locked in.




2022 Past Events

January 8, 2022, Saturday, Noon - 3 p.m. (PST) In-Person Layout Tour

  • Rob's layout tourLayout Tour: Rob will be providing us with a in-person tour of his modern freight and intermodal railroad HO scale layout. His freelance layout has been made for Operations Sessions.
  • Date: January 8, 2022
  • Time: Noon - 3 p.m.
  • Masks: Please wear a mask for this event.
  • More about Rob's layout tour and his interests in the model railroad hobby:
    • When Rob started in the model train hobby in the 1970s, he originally collected Life-Like Trains, Tyco Toys and Athearn Blue Box trains and he has sold all of these models. Rob started to get serious about the hobby in the 1980s and started purchasing high quality model trains.
    • Rob's current layout was started about four years ago in 2017 in a purpose built building for model railroading. The layout is still under construction.
    • The HO scale freelance model railroad layout has a locomotive repair building, an intermodal facility, several industries, a railroad yard, several towns, a gas station with a large parking lot, a diner with a large parking lot, a farm, a bus station, has many vehicles and there's more.
    • Rob likes high quality rolling stock and has a collection of the following manufacturers: ScaleTrains, Athearn Trains Genesis, Athearn Trains Ready To Roll, Rapido Trains, Inc., Tangent Scale Models, Atlas Model Railroad Co., Inc., BLMA Models (out of business), ExactRail, Spring Mills Depot, North American Railcar Corporation, American Limited Models, InterMountain Railway Co., Arrowhead Models, Oriental Limited (out of business), Overland Models, Inc., E&P Associates (out of business, most likely), Alco Models (out of business), Trainworx Inc., Broadway Limited Imports, Fox Valley Models, Centrailia Car Shop (possibly out of business), Blueford Shops, W&R Enterprises (possibly out of business), Pecos River Brass, Challenger Imports (out of business), Division Point, Walthers Proto, Walthers Mainline, Bowser Mfg., Moloco, PT Trains (intermodal containers), Lonestar International Trucks (semi-truck models made out of metal), Model Power (semi-trucks), Trucks N Stuff and possibly more.
    • The backdrop for the layout is a seamless backdrop, please remember to ask Rob how the backdrop was made. You might want to ask how the backdrop was installed as well.
    • Be sure to also ask Rob about his DCC/Sound & DC programming track. You might want to take notes!
  • Follow-Up: We had a fantastic layout tour with 30 people attending. Here is a big thank you to Rob for his hospitality and allowing us to see how he enjoys the model train hobby first hand.
    • By the way, Rob's programming/test track is a double mainline track that is 20 feet long and there is a turnout on the track. The entire test track has scenery and has a backdrop. The programming track can be powered by DC or DCC at the flip of a toggle switch.
    • His layout has all the track laid, buildings set, all the accoutrements are on the layout, the scenery completed and the backdrop is finished. There are still a few details that need to be added or revised; otherwise, the layout is complete. Upon close inspection, you'll find there are a certain number of rail cars which have been modified with custom details.
    • Rob's layout is ready for Operations Sessions and approximately 4-5 people would be needed when Operations Sessions occur.

February 12, 2022, Saturday, Noon - 3:30 p.m. (PST) In-Person Winter Meet & Silent Auction

HO scale BNSF power move at the La Mesa ClubThe February in-person Winter Meet has been about 90% finalized. The Winter Meet will have a Silent Auction, Show & Tell and two clinics (workshops). The Division will also be providing snacks and drinks for everyone. The snacks will be in individually wrapped packets. (Unfortunately, we will not be having our usual potluck this month due to Covid.)

  • Date: Saturday, February 12, 2022
  • Time: Noon - 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Peace Lutheran in Linda Vista, 6749 Tait Street, San Diego, CA 92111
  • Drinks and Snacks: There will be drinks and snacks.
  • Masks: Please wear a mask for this event.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizer will be provided for everyone for the Winter Meet.
  • Noon: Start of the Silent Auction: There will be a Silent Auction were every Division member can bring an unlimited number of items to sell. Note: The Division will be assessing a 10% fee off the grand total of what you make at the auction.
    • Please remember that all items you have for the auction must be related to model railroading and/or the real railroad. You can bring things such as rolling stock kits, used rolling stock, new rolling stock, books, railroad memorabilia, posters, pins and anything else you would like to sell.
  • 1:00 p.m.: Welcome: The welcome for the Meet will take place at 1:00 p.m. along with any Division announcements and any other Division information.
  • 1:15 p.m.: Clinic #1: John Fiscella will be presenting “My Master Model Railroader® Quest; Some Car Models And How They're Getting Me There”. John will be bringing each model he is currently working on so that Division members can take a close look at them after the clinic. For each model, John will:
    1. Discuss the model’s prototype, the reasons he chose to model it, the history of when he built it and what he’s been using it for,
    2. The technical aspects of his modeling efforts,
    3. Discuss the current status of the model, for the goal of submitting it for merit evaluation, and he will
    4. Discuss the to-be-dones for the goal of submitting them for merit evaluation.
  • 2:00 p.m.: Show & Tell: We would like volunteers to present any type of modeling, tool or project they have made or are working on, for a 3-5 minute presentation. Please email Ryan to be put on the list for Show & Tell.
  • 2:15 p.m.: Clinic #2: The Quest to MMR – Motive Power by Don Fowler, MMR. (MMR = Master Model Railroader®
    1. Don will discuss the requirements for the Motive Power Achievement Program (AP) certificate and necessary documentation.
    2. Scratch building a locomotive may seem like a daunting task but Don has done this which demonstrates that anyone can. Don will discuss the requirements for the Motive Power Achievement Program certificate and necessary documentation. He will also explain the motivation, strategies and construction methods he used to accomplish the task.
    3. Don's completed models and documentation will be available for viewing at the end of the presentation.
  • 3:00 p.m.: End of the Silent Auction: The end of the Silent Auction begins at 3:00 p.m. and all winning items will be distributed at this time.
  • Update: This Meet was well attended with 23 members plus guests. The Silent Auction was a success with many people selling items from used and new rolling stock to new and used locomotives. The Show & Tell had very interesting topics and the clinics were very informative with detailed instruction on the topics. John passes around several of his rail cars in trays so that each one of us could see the custom detailed modeling work he had done and so we could see his complicated electronics that was on each rail car.

March 12, 2022, Saturday, Noon - 3 p.m. (PST) In-Person Layout Tour

Mina Subdivision of the Salt Lake Division of the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Mina Subdivision of the Salt Lake Division of the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.

The March in-person Meet is Steve Bradley's HO and HOn3 layout tour on March 12, 2022 from noon-3:00 p.m. The location of the layout tour will be emailed to San Diego Division members several days before the event.

  • Layout Tour: Steve Bradley will be providing the layout tour.
  • Date: Saturday, March 12, 2022
  • Time: Noon - 3 p.m.
  • Masks: Please wear a mask for this event.
  • More About Steve's Layout: Steve has a HO and HOn3 (narrow gauge) layout and he models the Southern Pacific Railroad Salt Lake Division's Mina Subdivision. This subdivision is from Southwest Nevada to Eastern California, in the USA.
    • Some background about Steve's layouts:
      • 1st Layout: In the late 1960s, Steve made a Santa Fe HO scale layout and the era was the 1970s.
      • 2nd Layout: In 1995 he made a contemporary layout with Santa Fe with 1980 as the era
      • 3rd Layout: In 2014, he started his current HO and HOn3 (narrow gauge) layout and he completed the layout in 2021. The era of his narrow gauge layout is 1906-1938.
    • Steve designed the model railroad on digital software for a 10’ X 10’ room as a point to point layout made for Operation Sessions. Operation Sessions use a total of two to three people maximum and the session lasts for about two hours, on average.
    • The Mina Subdivision prototype mined many types of minerals including but limited to gold, silver, marble, lead, dolomite, soapstone, talc, salt.
    • Many structures are scratch built to match real buildings from the area he is modeling. Almost all of the rail cars are custom built and weathered kits.
    • Many of the locomotives are brass and are custom painted and weathered. There are a total six steam locomotives that can be used on the railroad during Operation Sessions. The locomotives for the railroad include:
    • A portion of the layout was featured in the January/February 2020 edition of the Narrow Gauge Gazette.
    • Please remember to bring your cameras and take pictures, as this layout has lots of details you don't want to miss.
  • Follow-up: Steve's narrow layout was a relaxing and fantastic tour, it was a beautiful sunny southern California day, and we had 22 members and guests attending the layout tour. Steve had drinks and cookies for the layout tour. Many people sat around and socialized before and after seeing the layout. If you missed Steve's layout, the detail and scenes on his layout were simply fantastic and his layout has some clever drop-down track leafs.

March 26, 2022, Saturday, Noon - 3 p.m. (PDT) Special Event: In-Person Garden Railroad Open House and Layout Tour

Bob Treat's Snow Creek Railroad, member San Diego Garden Railroad Society.
Bob Treat's Snow Creek Railroad, member San Diego Garden Railroad Society.
Picture credit: Bob Treat.

The members of the San Diego Division have a special invitation to visit Bob Treat's Snow Creek Railroad and Open House in late March.

Even though Bob is not a member of the San Diego Division, he has graciously invited all members of the San Diego Division to participate in his Garden Railroad Open House and Layout Tour. The location will be emailed to the San Diego Division members several days before this event.

  • Date: Saturday, March 26, 2022
  • Time: Noon - 3 p.m.
  • Location: Ryan will send a special email with the address for this event to San Diego Division members.
  • Masks: Vaccinations and boosters are required but masks are optional.
  • More About Bob Treat's Railroad:
    • The Snow Creek Railroad is a present day freelance Garden scale Fn3 (1:20.3) narrow gauge industrial railroad and the era is from the 1960s to present. (Fn3: F=Fine scale, n=Narrow gauge, 3=3 feet between the prototypical rails.)
    • Bob has been working on updating and doing restoration work on his railroad for many months now and this will be a fantastic opportunity to see his newly restored, visually unique, and John Allen-like outdoor garden model railroad. This will also be a good opportunity to socialize with other model railroaders. The current layout you'll see during this layout tour is the third complete remodeling and renovation of his outdoor railroad.
    • The Garden Railroad originally had a continuous loop track but over the years, Bob has changed the railroad to be a point-to-point railroad and has made his railroad for Operation Sessions.
    • There is a nice fleet of steam locomotives and rolling stock for the railroad. Needless to say, the locomotives are powered by batteries and radio-controlled throttles are used to control the locomotives.
    • The railroad has a mainline track, industry spurs, large picturesque wooden trestles, multiple detailed beautiful buildings, incredible rock formations and more. The buildings are either modified kits or scratch built from wood, acrylic, styrene or high density urethane (Precision Board).
    • Bob uses Switch Lists for his Operations Sessions and each train has an engineer and conductor. During Operations sessions, the railroad can easily accommodate two trains with operators.
    • There is also an Inglenook Sidings switching puzzle on the railroad which is a fun exercise to be part of when Operation Sessions take place. While exploring his railroad, please remember to find Bob's Inglenooks Sidings switching puzzle.
    • Online Article: The latest article published about Bob's outdoor railroad, is here online as a special feature article in the Garden Railroading News, July/August 2021, Issue 4, Page 7.
    • Remember to bring your cameras and take pictures and video.
  • Update: There were 39 people who attended this special event. There were plenty of drinks and snacks for everyone and many people stayed for several hours. Bob had several of his locomotives running on the railroad and many people were able to run the locomotives on his Garden Railroad. Several people brought their own Garden Railroad locomotives and rail cars, and ran them on Bob's layout as well.

April 9, 2022, Saturday. Noon - 3 p.m. (PDT) In-Person Layout Tour.

San Diego Division Member Wayne and his On30 model railroad.
San Diego Division Member Wayne and his On30 railroad.
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.

The April in-person Meet is a layout tour will take place on Saturday, April 9, 2022, from noon-3:00 p.m. Please remember to wear a mask for this Meet. The location will be emailed to San Diego Division members several days before the event.

  • Layout Tour: Wayne Pierce's Minieton Railroad & Lumber Co. On30 narrow gauge layout. Wayne is an exceptional modeler and has a museum quality layout which is still in progress. This layout tour is one you don't want to miss.
  • Date: Saturday, April 9, 2022
  • Time: Noon - 3 p.m.
  • Chairs: We are asking visitors to bring their own folding chairs while waiting to see the layout. There is plenty of space in the backyard for many people to congregate and talk. There is a covered gazebo and many shade trees to keep you shaded from the sun.
  • Masks: For those who are vaccinated, no need to wear a mask. When you are outside waiting to see the layout, no mask is required. If you are not vaccinated, for the health of others, please wear a mask when in the layout building.
  • Accessibility: Not wheelchair accessible.
  • More About Wayne's Layout & Tour: Wayne's layout is a fictional On30 model railroad in the era of the 1950s to the 1970s, named the Minieton Railroad & Lumber Co. The railroad is based on the Minieton Railroad & Lumber Co. purchasing a defunct section of one of the railroad lines, in 1952, from the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (1870-1992) and then the Minieton Railroad continued railroad operations on this line into the 1970s.
    • What is On30 scale model railroading? On30 scale is modeling a narrow gauge railroad in O scale (1:48) and the narrow gauge track is HO (1:87) scale track.
    • On Wayne's On30 model railroad, all the buildings, vehicles, people, scenery and roads are O scale. The track is On30 gauged track. However, the size of most of the rolling stock on the railroad is On3 narrow gauge with On3 couplers, and all the rolling stock have On30 trucks and wheelsets.
    • In 1978, the name of the railroad was originally going to be named the Mini Town Mine Railroad. But when Wayne was painting a sign for the railroad, he misspelled the railroad name and the new spelling became Minieton. Wayne liked the new name and decided to name his railroad the Minieton Railroad & Lumber Co.
    • The railroad was also originally designed as a modeling layout only, with one or two continuous loops. After talking with several model railroad friends, Wayne changed his layout to be designed for Operations Sessions. Be sure to ask Wayne how he plans to run his Operation Sessions.
    • The railroad was originally made with HOn3 narrow gauge scale in 1978 but was changed to On30 track in 2009. What is HOn3 scale? HOn3 narrow gauge scale means the rolling stock is HO scale but the width of the wheelsets and track are a narrow gauge, a smaller gauge than HO scale.
    • In 1989, the layout was put on hold.
    • During 2009 through 2010, Wayne moved his layout from his house to a free standing building in his backyard, resumed working on his layout and changed the scale from HOn3 to On30 narrow gauge.
    • You'll find that all of the locomotives on the layout are steam locomotives and Wayne has a variety of steam locomotive models. Can you determine how many different steam locomotives are on the layout? Can you name each of the locomotive models? If not, ask Wayne. For your information, it seems that trying to find new On30 steam locomotives is a difficult thing to do today.
    • Wayne's layout has a small town, industries, railroad yards, a turntable, engine house, tunnels, trestles, sidings, industry spurs and more.
    • Many things on Wayne's layout is custom made so remember to look for the small details such as newspapers, trash, boxes, garbage cans and there is much, much more. The buildings are all wood kits which are built board by board. Remember to look at the power lines on the telephone poles. Ask Wayne to show you the power lines and ask him the name of the power line brand. In addition, be sure to look for small scenes that he's made on the layout, such as men working to re-roof a building. Can you find the building being re-roofed on your own? How many scenes can you find on his layout? Make sure to look at the weathering on trains, buildings, vehicles and roads.
    • Wayne uses DCC/Sound and NCE Power Cabs to control the locomotives.
    • Please remember to bring your cameras because you might miss lots of details that you'll only see after the layout tour is over, when looking through the pictures you took.
  • Follow-up: There were 24 people who attended and it was very fun. Wayne was a great host and provided chili cheese nachos, nachos and salsa, cookies, bottled water, Gatorade, homemade lemonade and soda. The weather was sunny, there were no clouds and in early 70s – it was great weather. In his backyard, Wayne has a large covered gazebo, overhead sun shades and chairs. We all had a nice time socializing, enjoying the refreshments and seeing the layout. Wayne also had a table set up with many coffee cans, each filled with different types of rocks and dirt, to show people how he makes his ballast and dirt. After people visited the layout, everyone commented how incredible the layout was due to the high level of detail, the scenes around the layout, the structures, steam engines, rolling stock, vehicles and the layout plan itself.

May 14, 2022, Saturday. In-Person Spring Meet, Short Track Railroad (model railroad club) Layout Tour.

Short Track Railroad (N Scale Club).
Short Track Railroad Souther Pacific diesel-electric locomotives.
Picture credit: Short Track Railroad.

The in-person Spring Meet will have lots of activities, including a Hobo Auction, Show & Tell, Lunch, a layout tour, Clinics and door prizes.

  • Meet: Spring Meet
  • Date: Saturday, May 14, 2022
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Location: Short Track Railroad, 2040 N. Santa Fe Ave, Vista, California 92083 (Located in North County of San Diego)
  • Accessibility: Yes, this building is wheelchair accessible.
  • Free NTRAK Modules: We recently learned that the Short Track Railroad Club wants to give away their NTRAK modules because they are expanding their Donner Pass layout. Many of these modules were built by Jim Fitzgerald. If no one takes them, they will be thrown out.
  • Hobo Auction: The Hobo Auction is a fun activity for the members to win auction items and the auction is also a fundraiser for the Division.
    • Everyone in the Division is asked to bring several model railroading items and/or prototype railroading items which they will donate to the Division.
    • Items to bring would be things such as model railroading books, prototype railroading books, railroading pins, railroading posters, new and never used railroading hats or clothing, rolling stock kits, new or used factory built rolling stock, building and/or structure kits, locomotives, railroad memorabilia, train kits and more. (Only model railroading and prototype railroad items, please!)
    • Each item will then have a red cup in front of it.
    • Each Division member can purchase a string of tickets. Ticket sheets of 25 are sold for $5.00 each. Members can purchase as many ticket sheets as you want to purchase.
    • Drop a ticket, or as many tickets as you want, in the cup in front of the item you want. The more tickets that you put into each cup, the better chance you'll have to win the auction item.
    • The winning drawn ticket wins the prize. 
  • Lunch: $5.00 donation for pizza and beverages.
  • Layout Tour: The layout tour is the N scale Short Track Railroad Club in Vista (Located in North County of San Diego).
    • In 1991, the N scale Short Track Railroad (originally called the Short Trak'N Railroad Club) was formed and operations began in 1992. The club originally started as a module club, for over a decade, and exhibited their module railroad to local schools, retirement homes, National Model Railroad Conventions (regional and national conventions), other train conventions, the Del Mar Fair (in San Diego) and more.
    • When N scale model railroaders create and use modules, the hobby term is called NTrak. The NTrak Wikipedia page is filled with information about N scale modular systems. There is also a non-profit organization called NRail, Inc. which created the first national modular standards for N scale NTrak module modelers. The club has recently discontinued using modules and all their modules are gone.
    • In 2002, the club joined the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, California. In 2003, the club started construction of their permanent exhibit in their 3,600 square foot club house. The club has a wonderful Donner Pass Exhibit, offers clinics to model railroaders, has Operations Sessions for its members and more. For several years, more new work has been done on their permanent exhibit, so this layout tour will be one tour not to miss.
    • The Short Track Railroad layout exhibit is open to the public every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • Show & Tell: Bring a project or model and show off your work. We would like several people to participate in the Show & Tell portion of the Spring Meet. Please contact Ryan and let him know you'd like to participate in Show & Tell.
  • Clinic 1: Scenery by Gary Robinson.
    • Gary Robinson, a member at the North County Model Railroad Society (HO scale and located in Oceanside), will demonstrate his scenery techniques that have been used on the club's North County layout.
  • Clinic 2: Your Traveling Toolbox by Pete Steinmetz.
    • Pete's clinic will cover what to bring to the club when you don't want to bring the kitchen sink. He will show what are the most common tools to brings your model train club on a club work night and also what tools to bring when you are running trains at the club. There will be some recommendations and surprises. Questions are encouraged.
  • Door Prizes: Last but not least, there will be door prizes!
  • Follow-up: This was a very fun and good Spring Meet. We had a total of 29 people attend the Meet. Even though it was a warm sunny day, the Short Track Railroad Club's building was air conditioned and everyone was comfortable inside the club's purpose-built model railroad building. In addition, the Short Track Railroad Club's building is located inside the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum's grounds and anyone was free to wander around the museum grounds and visit all the attractions the museum has to offer.
    • Here's a big thank you to all the San Diego Division Members who made the Spring Meet as well as a big thank you and welcome for the seven guests who attended.
    • The Spring Meet started with setting up the Hobo Auction and touring the Short Track Railroad Club's N scale permanent layout. Many of the Short Track Railroad Club members attended that day and participated in the Hobo Auction and lunch we provided for the Division. There was also a small contingent of model railroaders from the North County Model Railroad Society (the HO scale club in Oceanside) who came to specifically to visit the Short Track Railroad Club.
    • There were about 125 items at the Hobo Auction and many people won some very nice auction prizes. The Division made about $300.00 on the auction.
    • Both clinics were well received. Gary was very prepared with two display tables showing many types of material and tools he uses to make scenery. He gave us a live demonstration on painting scenery using washes and he also demonstrated one method of adding grass to scenery.
    • Pete's clinic was a very informative provided us with well over 40 tools, materials and ideas which are useful when making a traveling model train tool box. Your traveling model train tool box can be used when you are planning to work on a friend's model railroad layout, getting together to model your own rail cars at a friend's, planning to work on your own rail cars at your model railroad club or planning to work on your club's layout.
    • Last but not least, there were multiple door prizes which were distributed by lottery ticket just before the Meet ended.
    • It was a very fun day.


Note: Pacific Daylight Time starts March 13, 2022 and Pacific Standard Time starts November 6, 2022. 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. With the exception of during a pandemic, we hold virtual meetings.