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Region News  >  Sunshine Region Conventions & Events  >  Prior SSR Conventions  >  The Spacecoast Express 2014 SSR Convention
January 21, 2018

It’s time for the 2014 Sunshine Region Convention
The Spacecoast Express
October 16 - 19, 2014
At the Hilton Rialto Place in Melbourne
The hotel is conveniently located near the Melbourne Airport Expressway.
200 Rialto Pl.
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 768-0200

Click Here for a map to the hotel

Click Here to Reserve a Hotel Room

To Register for The Convention, click here

The Eastern and Southern Division have planned and are happy to announce The Spacecoast Express,
a fun filled, jam packed 2014 Sunshine Region Convention.

Non NMRA Members Are Always Welcome and We Don't Charge a Non-Member Surcharge!

The convention hotel is the Hilton Rialto Place in Melbourne.  Rooms are $92 a night. You can book online at or call the hotel directly at 800-437-8010. Use Group Code SRNMR. The hotel discount expires on September 19th, 2014.  If you register for the convention before September 1st, 2014, your name will be put in a drawing for a Jr. Suite upgrade at the hotel or a Badger Air Brush. Winners will be notified by email on September 5th.

Convention Highlights
For the early birds arriving on Thursday we have two Operating Sessions, one starting at 11:30 am which includes lunch and one starting at 6pm.

This convention is packed with 35 workshops and presentation.  On Friday there are nineteen workshops and presentations offered; two hour and four hour Hands-On workshops, Super Sessions and Traditional Hourly Presentations.  On Saturday there are 16 more workshops and presentations ready and waiting to educate and inspire your modeling activities.

Non-Rail Highlights
There is also plenty to do in the non-rail program. The hotel is close to the beaches, Melbourne City Center, The Brevard County Zoo (which has a railroad!), eau Galle Riverfront District. Or spend a relaxing two hours on the Dolfun tours Dolphin & Manatee Sightseeing Cruise. There will be a Brevard County Visitors Guide in your registration package or check out the Space Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau online at

Friday & Saturday Dinner
With football season kicking into high gear and the baseball playoffs in overdrive, on Friday night join us for the Sunshine Region Take Me Out To the Ballgame Tailgate Party on the hotel’s new Sail Patio. It will include Burgers and Hot Dogs with all the fixings, kettle chips and potato salad and the hotel’s special Tailgate Chili.

On Saturday Night, join us for Dinner in the Seaboard Air Line Dining Car. The entrée’ recipes are from the Seaboard Air Line Dining Car Manual and adapted to be hearth healthy. Dinner includes salad, your choice of Lake Trout topped with an Almond Butter Sauce or a Port Loin with a Brandy, Apple Cider Demi Glaze. Both entrees come with mixed vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, rolls & butter. Top off dinner with Cheesecake with Strawberries. The cost is $35 per person. There will be a cash bar available.

After dinner, sit back and learn about the new passenger service to be offered by The Florida East Coast Railway, All Aboard Florida presented by Russell (Rusty) Roberts, Vice President of All Aboard Florida. All Aboard Florida will be the first privately owned passenger service in the US since the late 1970’s.

Breakfast & Lunch
Grab and Go Lunch items will be available in the pre-function area on Friday and Saturday.  The Hotel Restaurant will also be open for breakfast and lunch.

Operating Session Highlights
There are two great operating sessions available on Thursday.

At 11:30AM, Al Sohl, MMR, will open his Western Bay RR in Port St. Lucie. Al’s On30 layout is in a 30’ x 30’ addition to his home, specially built for the railroad. It is a model of the Denver and Rio Grande in 1939. There are 10 positions available on a first come/first serve basis. This session costs $14 and includes lunch. You can get more information about Al’s layout at

At 6pm, Ken Farnham will open his FEC Brevard Division, Ken’s layout is an HO layout in 2 out buildings connected by a PVC pipe between the buildings. Ken’s layout is fully signaled, and set in Brevard County in the 1970’s. There are 6 positions available on a first come/first serve basis. The cost is $10 and includes light refreshments. You can get more information about More info available on this layout

Workshops & Presentations

The Workshops & Presentations offered will inspire and educate you. The instructors are some of the best instructors Sunshine Region has to offer headlined by seven Master Model Railroaders.  All Hands On Workshops are offered in at least two scales.  Check out the complete workshop and presentation schedule below. Register soon, the Hands On Workshops will fill up quickly.

Click Here for the Complete List of Hands On Workshop Tools and Supplies Needed for Each Workshop.

Hands-On Workshop Schedule
  Room 1 Room 2   Room 3
8:00 AM – Noon TBA Making Trees using
Goldenrod and Super Trees
w/Jim Robertson & Bob Krebs
Cost: $20
8:00 – 10:00 AM Decals
Offered in HO & O Scale
w/Doc Chait, MMR
Cost: $15
10:00 AM – Noon Weathering Steam Locos
Offered in N, HO & O Scale
w/Jim Gore, MMR
Cost: $15
1:30 – 5:15 PM TBA
Layout Design Using Google Maps
w/John Moran
Presentation Only
1:30 – 3:30 PM Building Billboards
Offered in HO & O Scale
w/ Mike Collins, MMR
Cost: HO - $15, O - $20
Railfan Photography
Tips & Techniques
by Dan Cioffi
3:30 – 5:15 PM Building a
Proto 2000 Gondola Kit
with Pipe Load
w/Gil Thomas
Cost: $20
Sharing Room
Offered in HO Scale
8:00 AM – Noon Building Basic Scenery,
Rock Faces, and Dioramas
w/Ed Prime
Cost: $20
Enhancing structures w/LEDs
w/Allen Crowley
Presentation Only
8:00 – 10:00 AM Weathering Diesel Locos
Offered in N, HO & O Scale
w/Jim Gore, MMR
Cost: $15
Working with Car Cards
w/Allen Crowley
Presentation Only
10:00 AM – Noon Building Billboards
Offered in HO & O Scale
w/ Mike Collins, MMR
Cost: HO - $15, O - $20
1:30 – 3:30 PM Introduction to Virtual Operating Sessions
w/Dan Cioffi
Presentation Only
Layout Animation
w/Ray Hazen
Presentation Only
1:30 – 3:30 PM Edu-Train
w/Bob Blake
Presentation Only
3:30 – 5:15 PM NMRA 2017 Orlando
Planning Meeting
w/ Gil Thomas & Dan Cioffi
Hourly Presentation Schedule
  Room 1 Room 2
8:00 – 9:45 AM Modeling Water Features
w/Jon Addison
Building Cardstock over Foamcore Structures
w/Ray Hazen
10:00 – 11:45 AM Florida Trees and Scenery
w/Bob Miller
Building a Model Railroad in a Florida “Basement”
w/Donavan Lewis
1:30 – 2:30 PM Center-Beam Flatcar Loads
w/Gene Jameson
Realistic Detailing for Roads & Streets
by Barrett Johnson
2:45 – 3:45 PM Building Helixes for Dummies
w/Bob Hamm, MMR
How to Model With Real Dirt
w/Al Sohl, MMR
4:00 – 5 :00 PM Track Laying Tips and How to Make Your
Layout Run Smoother
w/Carl Smeigh
How To Finish The Forms To Finish First
w/Bob Hamm, MMR
NMRA Model Contest Department Manager
8:00 – 9:30 PM Fun with Operations
w/Ken Farnham
Overview of the NMRA Achievement Program
w/Jim Gore, MMR
  Room 1 Room 2
8:15 – 9:15 AM Mountain Casting Using Large Rubber Molds With Foams and Resins
w/Steve Decker
Basic Electronics for Beginners
w/Gene Jameson
9:30 – 10:30 AM Super Session
Modeling Interior and Exterior Structure Details
w/Benita Jameson
10:45 – 11:45 AM Building Conifer Trees with Wood Dowels and Furnace Filters
w/Steve Decker
1:30 – 3:00 PM Layout Signaling Wiring
w/Eric Peterson
Building a Heavy Duty Retaining Wall
w/Al Sohl, MMR
Dining and Entertainment Schedule
5:30 – 7:30 PM Sunshine Region Take Me Out to the Ballgame Tailgate Party
8:00 – 10:00 PM Railroad Movie Night
6:00 – 9:30 PM Sunshine Region Dinner in the Seaboard Air Line Dining Car Banquet
Guest Presentation, All Aboard Florida
presented by Russell (Rusty) Roberts,
Vice President of All Aboard Florida

The Model Contest
Don’t forget to bring a model. It can be entered in the contest or if you prefer just bring it and mark it Display Only. We all love to see what you’re working on, so be sure to consider bringing a model.

The Modeling Contest Room opens on Friday at 8AM. Judging starts Saturday at noon.  Models will be on display from Friday morning until 5pm on Friday. 

On Saturday the contest room will open at 8am and models will continue to be accepted for the contest until 10am.  The contest room will be open on Saturday for viewing from 8am until 4pm.  During judging we ask that you be respectful of the judges and keep conversations to a minimum.  the contest room will be open during dinner and models need to be picked up by their owner no later than 9pm.

The Sunshine Region Model Contest is operated identically to the national contest held each year at the NMRA National Convention.  You can find the contest rules and entry forms on the NMRA Website by clicking here.

Sunday: Layout Tours/SSR Board Meeting:
The Sunshine Region Annual Members Business Meeting will be held. It will be followed by a Sunshine Region Board meeting. Everyone is welcome. Check the hotel signs for the location.

On your way home from 11AM to 3:30PM - Al Sohl MMR, and Ken Farnham will have their layouts open for viewing. Both layouts are outstanding examples of prototype modeling. More information is available online. Use the links above under Operating Sessions.

You can register online at or download the registration form by clicking here and mail it with your check.  All check payments must be received within five days of registration or your registration will be cancelled.

Full Fare Registration is $50 if paid for by September 19, 2014. After September 19th Full Fare Registration will cost $60.

Please note that registration for all hands on workshops and operating sessions will close on October 10, 2014.

Single Day Registration is also available for $40 if paid for by September 19, 2014. After September 19th Single Day Registration will cost $45.

If you have any questions about the convention or need help with your registration, please email

Non NMRA Members Are Always Welcome and We Don't Charge a Non-Member Surcharge! 

Click Here to Reserve a Hotel Room

To Register for The Convention, click here