Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Back from the N Scale Convention

I recently attended the 2015 National N Scale convention that was held in Sacramento, California.  This was the 23rd annual event put on by the N Scale Enthusiast organization and each year held in a different location.  Besides a show with layouts, they also have clinics, tours, auctions, manufacturers and sales tables, and other activities.  It's a busy several days and not easy to do it all.  This years event had almost 500 N scale modelers attending from all over the US and a few other countries.

The event was held at a Double Tree Hilton hotel.  One decent sized room was just for the layouts.  There were 4 layouts each representing something a little different in modular layout standards. Each layout group there could have put up larger layouts but we had to keep them small due to space constraints.

  • Peninsula Ntrak - From SF Bay Area, about 130 miles away.  Uses basic Ntrak 3 track standards. This layout had Nn3 on one module, a large staging yard with lots of trains running, and plenty of detailed scenes. 
  • San Luis Obispo Model Railroad Association - Brought their Bendtrack layout from about 300 miles away.  Lots of great scenery on this layout.  Bendtrack is a double track standard and uses end loops.
  • Silicon Valley FreemoN - Also from the SF Bay Area I see them at most of our local shows.  FreemoN is a single track standard using junctions and end loops and track is code 55.  This group has fine scenery and details on all their modules.
  • Sacramento Valley Ntrak - This is the local Ntrak club which uses some optional Ntrak standards such as the mountain division track and alternate blue.

It would have been great to have had the AsiaNrail layout set up as it would have been a 5th type of standard and of course being Asian prototype would have offered something completely different.  Paul was out of the country and could not make it to the convention so I had my Hot Springs junction module in the Peninsula Ntrak layout as the only representative of Japanese or Asian prototype.  The photos below are all from the Peninsula Ntrak layout.

The club I belong to, Peninsula Ntrak had this unusual triangle shaped layout to fit the space available to us.  We did this using a pair of 45 degree curved modules one of which is seen in the foreground of this photo.

My Japanese themed Hot Springs Junction module was in the layout without any of the AsiaNrail modules attached to the mountain branch line.

Next to my module was this new module done by Tom Knapp that had a Nn3 narrow gauge line looping behind the sky board.

Peninsula Ntrak's Julia Jackson won the award for the best module of all of the layouts with her 6 foot Jackson Corners module shown here.  This module has been around a few years now but still attracts a lot of attention.

Another new module that was in it's first layout was this club corner with a vineyard / winery and a festival.  The scenery was done by Julia who has been rebuilding the scenery on many of our club modules.

I really enjoyed attending this convention. The last one of these I went to was in 2005 in San Diego. I'll try not to let another 10 years slip by before attending my next one.


  1. Hi Brad.
    Thanks for the update of the convention. It is a small world for I too attended the San Diego Convention with a few other Aussies.
    By the way your last DCC install blog does not show anything.

    1. Yes, that was a huge layout we had in San Diego. I don't think we've ever matched that since on the west coast.

      The new post on the DCC blog should be up now. A few days ago I had hit publish by accident and then removed it. For those following a blog, they still get the "flash" of a new post. This morning I posted the finished content.