Monday, September 12, 2011
On September 11th, I opened my layout for members of the New Jersey Division MER-NMRA. This happens about every 2 years as the Meet locations rotate throughout southern NJ. I am glad to do it because it is always a well attended event with lots of model railroaders that ask good questions and lead to nice discussions on layout building. This year was the best yet as I had over 80 people sign the visitors log (meaning a few more may have come through) in the period from 1 to about 4. The layout was open until 5, but by then most had visited and headed out to the other layouts. I have about 5 people the last hour. Of course I always forget to take any pictures because once the people start arriving I get real busy. The layout was built with 2 separate loops that both pass through St. Johnsbury. This was done specifically for open house events and even though I won't operate this way, it really makes it a lot easier for days like this. So I would definitely try to work this into a layout if at all possible. It is also nice when I just want to break in a loco or run a train for fun, watching pass through the different scenes. I will also have my layout open for the annual National Model Railroad Month open layouts coordinated through modelrailroadopenhouse.com. This is for model railroaders as well as the regular public. The open house will be Sunday, November 13th, 12 to 5. There are a number of layouts in the NJ area open that day, so you can make a nice day of it. I arranged for some local publicity as well with a couple of newspaper reporters and also had a video crew visit from phillyburbs.com. When those go online, I'll post some links here. The hope is that we'll expose our layouts to more of the public, a goal for Model Railroad Month. So if you can make work it into your schedule, please plan to visit it for the open house. If not, then there is always next November!