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Region News  >  Sunshine Region Conventions & Events  >  Orlando Preview - 2016
August 18, 2017
Orlando Preview
The Next Sunshine Region Convention Is
Orlando Preview
September 29 - October 2, 2016
Orlando, FL

Click Here to Register for the Convention!
Convention Hotel
Hilton Garden Inn Lake Buena Vista
11400 Marbella Palm Ct.
Orlando, FL 32836

Standard Room Rate: $87 per night
Reserve Your Room By Clicking Here
You can also call the hotel at (407) 239-9550
and use the code SUN
This rate expires on Auust 29, 2016 at 5pm and will not be extended!

Convention Highlights
Registration is $100 and is Now Open!
Click Here to Register for the Convention!

Guest Keynote Speaker - Stephen Priest, Editor, Railroad Model Craftsman & NMRA Board Member
Special Guest - Charlie Getz, President of the National Model Railroad Association

Our First Class Fare includes one Banquet Dinner.  First Class Fare is $100 and includes Registration for all three days, all layout tours, all seminars, The Celebration of Models model contest, a Continental Breakfast on Saturday morning and the Banquet on Saturday night.  Our Business Fare costs $70 and includes everything above except the Banquet.  You save $8 if you select First Class.  Your Spouse's "rides" for free.  Your spouse may attend both our Friday Bus Tours and the Banquet (for a fee).  Single Day Coach Fare is $50 and is good for one person for Saturday Only and includes Breakfast. Note that rates are higher at the convention.

Bring your Spouses! We have a Non rail tour for Friday night.  You and your spouse can learn to make chocolates at Farris and Foster's Chocolate Factory.  And try your hand at making jewelry at A Time for Creativity Presented by The Bead Bar, Inc. of Orlando. Come learn how to make jewelry!

We have two keynote speakers for Dinner in the Diner, Charlie getz, President of the NMRA and Stephen Priest, NMRA Board Member and Editor in Chief, Railroad Model Craftsman.

Click Here to Register for the Convention!

  • On Thursday we'll get started with Operating Sessions
  • On Friday, we have a bus tour to Broadway Limited and a guided tour on SunRail, Making Chocolates with your Spouse at Farris and Foster's Chocolate Factory, 1 Self Guided Layout Tour, the Celebration of Models and Clinics
  • On Saturday, more Clinics, 2 additional Self Guided Layout Tours, “A Time for Creativity"
    Presented by The Bead Bar, Inc. of Orlando for your spouse,
    the Celebration of Models,
    Dinner In The Diner and contest awards!

Operating Sessions

There will be three operating sessions on Thursday.
  • 12pm, Al Sohl, MMR, Western Bay Railroad until 5pm.
  • 12 pm, John Wilkes, MMR, Virginia South Wester Railroad until 5pm
  • 6pm Tom Wilson's Pittsburgh & West Virginia and Union Railroad
The cost for a session is $5. These will fill up quickly so Register early.

Friday Tour

Take a tour of Broadway Limited and discover how model trains are manufacturered.  Getting to Broadway Limited is half the fun.  Take a guided tour on SunRail, Central Florida's Commuter Rail Service.  We'll depart from the SunRail Sand Lake Road Station and travel the complete line to DeBary, FL.  Our Tour Guide, Marianne Gurnee with SunRail Program Management, will share with us her 10 years of experience with SunRail.  She will also answer any questions you may have about the line, what it took to get it built and it's current expansion plans.  Broadway Limited also intends on having their outlet store stocked and open!  (Cost: $40)

Non Rail Program
We have two activities for you and your spouse
  • Friday Night we have Making Chocolates at Farris and Foster's Chocolate Factory.  Come learn how to make chocolates and eat some while you're at it.  This is a fun Friday "Date Night" activity for you and your spouse. (Cost $31)
  • On Saturday, your spouse can learn to make jewelery at “A Time for Creativity" Presented by The Bead Bar, Inc. of Orlando. (Cost $50)

Celebration of Models Model Contest

As always we'll have our model contest, a truely unique celebration of the best we have in model railroading. Whether youre a novice getting started in modeling or a seasoned pro, the contest is for you. Enter your model for judging or just merit awards for the Achivement Program or enter your work as a Display Only model for everyone else to see your work.
Schedule
Thursday 9/29/2016
12:00 PM Operating Session
Al Sohl's, MMR, Western Bay Railroad
Maximum of 6 operators
12:00 PM Operating Session
John Wilke's, MMR, Virginia South Western Railroad
Maximum of 14 operators
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Registration
6:00 PM Operating Session
Tom Wilson's Pittsburgh & West Virginia and Union Railroad
Maximum of 8 operators
Friday 9/30/2016
7:30 AM - 8:00 AM Registration
8:00 AM Tour of Broadway Limited
Ride SunRail on  guided tour and discover the model railroad manufacturing process along with exploring the Broadway Limited Outlet Store
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM Registration
3:30 PM Clinics Start
5:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM Self Guided Layout Tour - The Orlando Society of Model Railroaders & The Mule Pass & Woodland Railroad
7:00 PM Self Guided Non Rail Tour - Bring Your Spouse! Ferris & Foster's Making Chocolates
Saturday 10/1/2016
7:30 AM Continental Breakfast
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Registration
8:30 AM Clinics Start
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Self Guided Layout Tours, Orlando N Trak & Central Florida Model Railroaders
1:15 PM Clinics Start including A Time for Creativity by The Bead Bar of Orladno, Inc.
6:00 PM Dinner in the Diner
Clinics
Contest Technology & Tools Non Rail Prototype & Operations Structures
Scenery Cars Trackwork &
Layout Planning
Weathering Achievement Program
 
Clinic Schedule - Friday 9/30/2016
Clinics Subject to Change
  Bayhill West Bayhill East Buena Vista West Buena Vista East
3:30 PM Celebration of Models
(3:30 PM)
Building a
LONG Snow Shed
by Al Sohl, MMR
Adventures in Test Building for Manufacturers
By Jim Gore, MMR
Creating a
Wooden Trestle
by Bob Hamm, MMR
4:45 PM Making Trees Using Goldenrod
by Jim Robertson
Preventing Cornfield Meets
(what is a Cornfield Meet anyway?)
by Donovan Lewis
Scratch Building Wooden Structures
by John Giamasi
5:45 PM
Dinner
 
7:15 PM Celebration of Models      
8:30 PM      
Clinic Schedule - Saturday 10/1/2016
Clinics Subject to Change
  Bayhill West Bayhill East Buena Vista West Buena Vista East
7:00 AM Contest Judge Orientation
by Carl Smeigh
     
8:15 AM SSR Model Contest Entries and Rules
by Carl Smeigh
Modeling Coal Operations
by John Wilkes, MMR
What's in My Toolbox
by Mark Lewalski
The History of the Tropicana Juice Train
by Gil Thomas
9:30 AM Celebration of Models Scratch Building a Wooden Trestle
by Jim Robertson
While You're At It
by Cinthia Priest
Penn Central Alliance Branch Coal Operation Part I
By Ron Lutton
10:45 AM Ground Coverings, Make Your Own
by Ken Farnham
Right of Way and Track Work Standards and applying them to a Model Railroad
by Eric Peterson
Penn Central Alliance Branch Coal Operation
Part II
By Ron Lutton
12:00 PM Lunch
1:15 PM Celebration of Models Servicing Your Customers
You Didn't Know You Have
by Donovan Lewis
Mysteries of the AP Program: Structures
by Jim Gore, MMR
Reserved
Election
Ballot Committee
2:30 PM NMRA 2017 Preview
by Dan Cioffi
Building a Layout in a
Two-Car Garage
by Rob Gross
Our Clinicians
Al Sohl, MMR
Building a Really LONG Snow Shed
A long Snow Shed was NEEDED on the Western Bay Narrow Gauge O scale layout (explained in the clinic why it was needed) is about four feet long including a removable section to allow access behind the Snow Shed.  You'll find out how it was planned, tested (during a year of operating sessions) with a mock up and finally built.  Entirely scratch built, using many jigs, and hand drawn plans and many methods which Al has successfully used to build some of his award winning structures of past and present.
Bob Hamm, MMR
Creating a Wooden Trestle
In this clinic, Bob Hamm, MMR and the NMRA National Contest Coordinator will demonstrate how you can easily build a trestle.
Carl Smeigh, SSR Model Contest Chairman, NMRA Contest Staff
SSR Model Contest Entries and Rules
Carl will review the Sunshine Region contest rules and forms needed.  Since Sunshine Region follows the NMRA Contest Guidelines you’ll be ready for NMRA 2017 Orlando next August!

Contest Judge Orientation
All new and potential contest judges should plan on attending this informative clinic on judging.  You do not need to be experienced in model contest judging.  And if you judge our model contest you will be assigned to a team of experienced judges.
Cinthia Priest, Editor, NMRA Magazine
While You're At It
In While You're At It, Cynthia Priest, Editor of NMRA Magazine, will share her secrets and tips on how to create articles for models/projects you are currently working on as you build your model.
Dan Cioffi, SSR Vice President and Co Chair, NMRA 2017 Orlando
NMRA 2017 Preview
Dan will present Sunshine Region’s “NMRA 2017 Orlando, So Much More Than Mickey” and answer your questions about the NMRA National Convention
Donovan Lewis, SSR Western Division Superintendent
Preventing Cornfield Meets (what is a Cornfield Meet anyway?)
In this informative clinic subtitled Operations 101, you will learn how to plan and build your layout for operating sessions and learn what it takes to plan operating sessions for your layout.

Servicing Your Customers You Didn't Know You Have
Railroads service customers.  They need supplies and raw materials to create finished products and need to ship them to their customers.  In this clinic, Donovan will share his secrets of how switching a local freight is more simple than it seems.
Eric Peterson, SSR Northern Division Superintendent
Right of Way and Track Work Standards and applying them to a Model Railroad
Each railroad has engineering standards.  They change over time and these references are a good source of design information for your model railroad.  This discussion will introduce several prototype engineering standards topics and take a look at the information.  Topics will include grading for cuts and fills, ditches, track geometry for curves and turnouts including super elevation of curves.  Templates for model turnouts and curves will be included.  Steps for one method of hand laying track including ballasting will be summarized.  A variety of standard and references will be on hand for follow-up discussing.  Bring your questions.
Gil Thomas, SSR President and Co Chair, NMRA 2017 Orlando
The History of the Tropicana Juice Train
Did you know there are more than 15 paint schemes used by Tropicana since inception of this innovative Unit Train?  In this lively clinic, Gilbert will share with you his experiences learning about the Juice Train as he plodded though it’s history for Intermountain Railway Company to release its run of Tropicana Cars in 2013.
Jim Gore, MMR, SSR Achievement Program and Instructor for the NMRA’s Modeling with the Masters Program
Adventures in Test Building for Manufacturers
Did you ever open a kit, read the instructions and not find the part in the kit?  Did you ever think testing a new kit was exciting and easy?  In this clinic you’ll find out exactly how exciting it is, how easy it isn’t and how model manufacturers actually have real modelers test their kits before going to production.

Mysteries of the AP Program: Structures
Did you know that you need to build 12 structures including 1 Bridge or Trestle for AP Structures?  Did you know only 6 of them need to be scratch built and the rest must be Super Detailed kits? Or that any 6 can be judged for AP Merit Awards, not just the scratch built ones?  In this Clinic, Jim will demystify the mysteries of AP Structures.
Jim Robertson, President, Citrus County Model Railroad Club
Making Trees for Your Model Railroad Using Goldenrod
Every layout needs lot and lots of trees.  In this clinic you'll learn how to make lots of trees for your layout with a common weed (Goldenrod) a very low cost. Jim will show the step by step process he uses in producing a product that will make a very realistic tree for a stand alone area on your layout, create a large forrest or wood lot area.

Scratch Building a Wooden Trestle For Achievement Program: Structures, one of the requirements is to scratch build a bridge of some kind. This seminar will tell you some of the things you need to know about scratch building a wooden trestle for judging, but will also concentrate on building a trestle to be used on your own home layout.
John Giamasi
Scratch Building Wooden Structures
Structures is an Achievement Program certificate that isn't all that hard to earn.  This clinic will take you through the steps that are needed to build structures from the ground up.
John Wilkes, MMR
Modeling Coal Operations
This presentation will showcase many different prototype coal operations, large and small, how they are supplied with coal and serviced by railroads. John will how he has modeled these different coal and railroad operations on his home layout, The Virginia South Western.
Ken Farnham
Ground Coverings, Make Your Own
How to make ground cover materials in bulk from from materials easily found without purchasing commercial products.
Mark Lewalski, SSR Treasurer
What's in My Toolbox
Starting out as a new modeler can be daunting.  Mark will share with you what he experienced as he began to buy his tools to start modeling.
Rob Gross
Building a Layout in a Two-Car Garage
Florida has very few basements. Yuo have to get creative with planning your layout to fit spaces such as space bedrooms or garages. But with good research and a realistic plan its possible to use tried and true techniques from the experts to build a satisfying layout to fit in a 2-car garage.
Ron Lutton, Retired FRA Inspector & Former Penn Central Employee
Penn Central Alliance Branch Coal Operation Parts I & II
Ron will present two separate clinics on coal train operation that are directly related to operating sessions many modelers enjoy.   Ron’s presentations include photographs taken on the line during his time working the branch, along with track schematics of each location.  This workshop is good for someone just starting operations on their layout along with enough information for the accomplished operator.

Part I covers yard operation and types of employees, hump and classification of cars, switch lists, train orders, work instructions, showing actual documents and their meaning.

Part II covers the actual operation of a prototype coal train from the yard (ride along) and the various tipples on the branch, along with how to pull and place the tipples with the completion of wheel reports.
Operating Sessions
Thursday Afternoon
12:00 PM
Operating Session
Al Sohl, MMR
Western Bay Railroad
Maximum of 6 Operators
This highly detailed model railroad is built in a special 950 sq. ft. room designed for it. Set in 1939 Colorado and New Mexico the multi-level layout is populated with many award winning structures and rolling stock. Designed to operate prototypically within the era modelled, all communications are done via a 1939 phone system located at each station where operators must communicate their trains location to the Dispatcher. The Dispatcher controls all train movement via voice as well as with working station train order boards (semaphores).
Thursday Afternoon
12:00 PM
Operating Session
John Wilkes, MMR
Virginia South Western Railroad
Maximum of 14 Operators
This is an Appalachian based layout set in the late 1970's. Freight drags pulled by diesels roam across the 23' x 33' triple deck layout with over 525 ft of dual mainline track. These trains serve 42 plus industries, 14 of which are scratch built or kitbashed coal operations. Scenery is 100% complete. When conducting operations, there are 35 scheduled jobs to work.
Thursday Evening
1:00 PM
Operating Session
Tom Wilson
Pittsburgh & West Virginia and Union Railroad
Maximum of 8 Operators
A prototype based multi-deck layout represents the area around Pittsburgh, PA and its steel industry. With four levels in a 20' x 21' area there is plenty of action to observe as freight traffic moves along the line. Set up for operations, the layout can use either TT&TO or Track warrants to control the movement of trains.
Layouts On Tour
Layouts
Photos for all these layouts are at http://nmra2017.org/Program/RailroadingTours/LayoutTours.aspx
Friday Evening
7:00 PM
The Orlando Society of Model Railroaders
Scale: HO gauge
Size: 1,700 Square Feet
Period: 1940 - 2000
Control: DCC
This HO layout representing the mid to late 20th century time period is a freelanced layout operating freight, passenger, and trolley service. The trolley line depicts street running and uses live overhead wire for power. Industries include coal, logging, a refinery, dock, and other industrial settings. Mini scenes include lighted vehicles as well as search and find features for kids. For open houses the club regularly runs 100+ car coal trains behind both steam and diesel.
Friday Evening
7:00 PM
Pittsburgh & West Virginia and Union Railroad
Scale: HO gauge
Size: 2,000 Sq. Ft.
Period: 1927
Control: DCC
A prototype based multi-deck layout represents the area around Pittsburgh, PA and its steel industry. With four levels in a 20' x 21' area there is plenty of action to observe as freight traffic moves along the line. Set up for operations, the layout can use either TT&TO or Track warrants to control the movement of trains.
Saturday Afternoon
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
The Central Florida Railroad Modelers
Scale: HO gauge
Size: 2,000 Sq. Ft.
Period: Late 50’s to early 60’s
Control: DCC
This layout represents a freelanced NYC subsidiary along the Ohio River based on real locations in WV during the steam to diesel transition period. The layout has a fully operational signal system that works on ABS. During operations, it is switched to CTC. There is a fully functional CTC panel. Many buildings have interiors, most have lighting. Many of the structures are craftsman kits. Plenty of vehicles, people, signs and animals are located around the layout. Includes a narrow gauge logging line.
Saturday Afternoon
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
The Orlando N-Trak Club
Scale: HO gauge and N Guage
Size: 1,800
Period: 1960s - Today
Control: DCC
The club's freelanced Eastern mountain themed N scale layout is based on prototype locations and practices operating both freight and passenger trains in the steam to diesel transition era. It represents rough Appalachian railroading from Bound Brook, New Jersey to Cincinnati, Ohio. The mainline spans 11.4 scale miles of single track mains with passing sidings. There is also dual mainline trackage from Pittsburgh to Weirton.

This club's HO Layout is a double deck shelf layout follows the same general theme as the club's N scale layout but provides unique switching opportunities. The layout uses a helix to traverse between levels.