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Region News  >  Sunshine Region Conventions & Events  >  Prior SSR Conventions  >  SSR Fall 2013 - Makin' Tracks To Manatee
January 21, 2018
The Next Sunshine Region Convention Is
Makin' Tracks To Manatee
October 11-13, 2013
Bradenton, FL
Registration Is Now Open!
To Register for the Convention, Click Here!

The following are sold out:
The Friday Layout Tour
The Friday Prototype Tour
The Friday Night Operating Session
Convention Hotel

Courtyard by Marriott, Bradenton, FL
100 Riverview Dr.
Bradenton, FL 34205
Standard Room Rate: $95 per night

Call the Hotel directly at (941) 747-3727
This is the sales office phone number.  If you get voicemail, please leave a message and someone will call you back.
These rates expire on September 27, 2013 at 5pm and will not be extended!

Convention Location
Bradenton Area Convention Center

 (formerly the Manatee Convention Center)
1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto, FL  34221
One Mile from the Convention Hotel

Convention Highlights
Registration Fee - $40 - Registration Is Now Open
To Register for the Convention, Click Here!
Registration After September 27, 2013 $50 (onsite is $60)
  • On Friday Your Choice of either Prototype Tour in Manatee County or Pinellas County Layout Tour
  • Friday Night Operating Session at RealRail on their HO Scale Layout.
  • 16,000 Square Foot Train Show Saturday & Sunday
  • Dinner In The Diner Saturday Banquet featuring fine dining from some of America's great Railroads
    Mixed Green Salad from the Atlantic Coast Line
    Beef Trinidad from the Pennsylvania Railroad
    Stuffed Baked Potato from the Great Northern Railroad
    Erie Railroad Custard for Dessert
  • Guest Presentation after dinner -  George Diller, NASA Public Affairs Officer about the past, present and future of the NASA Railroad
  • Saturday Night Sunshine Region Auction
  • Bring your Spouses! The South Florida Museum and Prime Outlets Ellenton are only a 10 minute drive away

Layouts Open During the Weekend at no additional charge

  • Donovan Lewis - Pennsylvania Railroad around Pittsburgh - N Scale
  • Ron Lutton - Penn Central Alliance Branch - HO Scale
  • Dan Kimpton - Pennsylvania Railroad Middle Division (Ohio) - HO Scale
  • RealRail - HO Seaboard, N Scale Florida Freelance & 3 Rail Sarasota Area

Hands On Clinic Special
The clinics will include a "Hands On" clinic, Building a Wood Laser Kit, presented by John Giamasi.

Makin' Tracks to Manatee
Saturday Clinic Schedule for October 12, 2013
All Clinics in the Bradenton Area Convention Center Conference Wing
  Terra Ceia Palmetto A Palmetto B Anna Maria A Anna Maria B
8:00 AM The History of the Tropicana Juice Train
by Gil Thomas
Battery powered locomotives using the CVP CONVRTR – It’s easy now
by Ray Hazen
What's In The Toolbox
by Donovan Lewis
Filling Out the Forms
to Finish First Score Higher in NMRA Model Contests
by Bob Hamm, MMR
Super Detail Rolling Stock
on a Budget
by Jim Eager
9:45 AM Taking real life experience from the
Penn Central Alliance Branch to recreate prototypical yard operations.
by Ron Lutton
Adding Prototype Signaling to a Layout
by Eric Peterson
Using LED's for Realistic
Lighting Effects
by Allen Crowley
Weathering of Steam Locos
Without an Airbrush
by Jim Gore, Soon To Be MMR
The Right Way to Lay Your Right of Way,
Laying Track
by Carl Smeigh
11:00 AM Realistic Water Effects
by Jon Addison
Installing QSI Titan DCC Decoders
by Carl Marchand
Hands On Building a Wooden Laser Cut Kit
by John Giammasi
Layout Design Concepts for Operations by Jim Robertson A to Z About AP - Getting Started in the Achievement Program
by Dennis Little MMR
12:30 PM Prototypical Operation of Passenger Trains
by Joe Oates
Building the Virginia Southwestern
Recreating operations of the Southern and Louisville & Nashville Railroads
by John Wilkes
72' Center Beam Lumber Car with Load
by Gene Jameson
Using polyurethane to create
light weight scenery and
layout structure
by Richard Taylor, MMR
1:45 PM 40+ Years of Amtrak
by Jim Langston, III
Weathering Structures
by Lee Weiss
Adding Interior Detail to Your Building
Super Clinic
by Benita Jameson
Modeling Lots of Trees
Super Clinic
by Bob Hamm, MMR
3:00 PM Adding Animated Features
to your Layout
by Shawn Keen
Detailing to Make Your
Models Look Real
by Marv Kempner, MMR


Friday Pinellas County Layout Tour - Includes Lunch
Spend a day viewing some of the finest model railroad layouts in Pinellas County.  This tour is via Passenger Van only and includes the following stops:
  • Jim Gore's Jemez & Rio Grande in On30
  • The Suncoast Model Railroad Club
  • Dave Sellar's finely detailed XYZ
  • Steve Kibort's N Scale Denver, Rio Grande and Western

Lunch includes a Box Lunch choice of a Ham & Cheese or Turkey & Cheese with a piece of fruit, bag of chips and cookie.  Soft Drinks will be available on the bus.  The cost of lunch is included in the price of the tour.

Friday Manatee County Prototype Tour - Includes Lunch
View some unique Prototype Locations, one of which you can only see in Manatee County.  This tour is via motor coach only and includes three stops.
  • The first stop is at Port Manatee and the Port Manatee Railroad.  The port will be bringing two new locomotives online in 2013 and has added expanded container handling capabilities.  This shortline railroad connects a prime deep water port, the closest US port to the Panama Canal to the US rail network via CSX.
  • The second stop on the tour will be the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus Train Shops in Ellenton, FL.  This is their new facility in Ellenton that custom builds all rail cars for Ringling Brothers two train sets.
  • The third stop on the tour will be the Florida Railroad Museum's Maintenance Yard.  The Museum's collection is stored here.  Their most recent acquisition is the train that was on display at Church Street Station in Orlando.
PLEASE NOTE: Port Manatee and Ringling/Feld Entertainment require that we provide them with your name, address, and date of birth.  In addition, government issued photo ID is required to receive your tour pass at the port.

Lunch includes a Box Lunch choice of a Ham & Cheese or Turkey & Cheese Sandwich, with a piece of fruit spear, bag of chips and cookie.  Soft Drinks will be available on the bus.  The cost of lunch is included in the price of the tour.
The convention includes the Florida Railroad Expo, a 16,0000 square foot model train show and sale.  All convention registrations, including spouses, receive a two day ticket to the train show.

The Train Show is open to the public and will be held at The Bradenton Area Convention Center
1 Haben Blvd, Palmetto, FL
October 12 & 13, 2013
Saturday - 10am to 4pm / Sunday 10am - 3pm
$6 Adult Admission - Children Admitted Free

The Train Show will feature more than 140 vendor tables, 5,000 square feet of model railroad exhibits including the Greater Florida Lego User Group and their recreation of downtown Tampa in Lego Bricks.

There will be presentations by Operation Lifesaver and door prizes awarded throughout the day.
Convention One Day Registration Special - $20 (after September 27th, $30, Onsite, $40)

Register for Saturday Only and receive access to all Clinics, two day admission to the train show and the opportunity to purchase tickets to the Saturday night banquet.
Train Show Dealers
Tables for the Train Show are sold out and the waiting list is full.
  1. Do I need to be an NMRA Member to attend the convention? - No, you do not.
  2. Is there a surcharge if you're not an NMRA member? - No there is not.
  3. Why isn't there a non-rail program? - We started out with this convention to bring back as much as we could that used to be standard fare for our conventions, more than 2 dozen clinics, a choice of offsite tours on Friday, a dynamic and interesting banquet speaker, an outstanding banquet menu and plenty of layouts to visit.    We also added a 16,000 square foot train show to increase the value of the convention. Something had to give and a structured non-rail program was something we were unable to create.
  4. So what then is there for my spouse to do? - Plenty on her own or with your friend’s spouses. Below are just a few of what is available within a short drive.
    1. Prime Ellenton Outlet Mall
    2. South Florida Museum
    3. Ringling Museum
    4. Mote Marine Lab
  5. Do I have to pay for everything when I register? - No, you do not. The software allows you to make multiple payments. But note that if you don’t pay by the stated deadlines, you could end up paying higher costs.
  6. What’s up with the pressure to reserve a hotel room? I don’t know if I’m coming yet and I’d rather just reserve my room that week. - You’re more than welcome to make your reservation when it is best for you. But the preferred rate will expire one month prior to the convention and the hotel will not extend it.
  7. Same thing for the Friday tours, why do we have to decide so early? - The tours must be finalized no later than three weeks prior to convention. If we cancel the buses more than two weeks prior to the convention we won’t incur any charges.