WHAT IS O SCALE WEST?
OSW is a gathering of those who are interested in scale model railroading using two scales, one is O which is 1/48 size, and and the other is S which is 1/64 size.
Compared to O gauge toy trains such as Lionel, 2-rail O scale trains are accurately proportioned, are finely detailed including wheels and couplers closer, and in some cases, exact miniature reproductions of the real thing. All that fine detail means they can be fragile and must be handled carefully, e.g., they are adult toys, not children's toys (although many adults enjoy Lionel trains). 2-rail O scale models run on accurate 2-rail track like the real thing, not the 3-rail track used by Lionel.
The comparison of S scale toy trains to S gauge (American Flyer) trains is about the same as the comparison of 2-rail O scale trains to Lionel described above, except that both S scale and S gauge trains run on more accurate 2-rail track, but the rail size of S scale track is not oversize as is the rail on S gauge track.
At OSW you will find about 200 hotel-size tables containing O and S scale equipment (locomotives, cars, buildings, track) that is being sold by individuals and manufacturers, and in some cases, exhibited for the enjoyment of the attendees.
In addition to the manufacturer's displays and items for sale mentioned directly above, OSW also offers a slate of clinics, many very craft-oriented, some of which are repeated to give folks a chance to attend all clinics of interest.
OSW also includes free drive yourself tours of home and club layouts. The number of layouts varies from year to year, with 30 being a good estimate. Some layouts are S scale, and some are world-class HO scale layouts that are well known from articles about them in the model railroading press.
THE UPCOMING O SCALE WEST
The meet dates are May 5 - 7, 2015. The days for those dates are Thursday through Saturday. The exhibit/sales area is open Friday May 6 9AM - 5PM and May 9 9AM - 5PM. Thursday is when visiting layouts move in and set up, and when most of the exhibitors move in and set up. Individuals can also register or if pre-registered, pick up their registration packet, so they can get in the doors promptly at 9AM Friday. OSW also offers unusual railroad-oriented movies of interest Thursday night.
If there is time (the days leading up to the meet can be very hectic) OSW will post the daily schedule for the meet, including clinics, and the layout visits schedule (the on-line version does not include address information which is contained in the free hard copy map packets available at the meet.)
$35 for individual registrations, $40 after March 31. $25 Saturday-only walk up rate. 30" x 72" tables are $45 each, $50 after March 31. Hotel rooms at the host hotel are $125 plus tax per night, 1-4 occupancy.
Costs may change if our cost to put on the meet changes, so register early to lock in your cost.
OSW 2016 will be held at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara in Santa Clara, CA (San Francisco Bay Area). The Hyatt is located at 5101 Great American Parkway in Santa Clara. OSW has obtained a special room rate of $125 plus tax per night; the rate is fixed for any occupancy 1 up to 4. You can register for lodging at the Hyatt by telephone or on-line. By telephone, call 888.421.1442, be sure to ask for the O Scale West rate.
To register for a hotel room on-line, go to Hyatt Regency. Note: the $125 rate is available for the dates May 4 through May 9; the rate for rooms outside that date range may cost more than $125 per night. Reservations must be made by April 15, 2015.
Renting a room at the Hyatt Regency is NOT required in order to attend OSW.
Note: OSW contracts with the hotel for the facilities it uses. The contract amount is a sliding scale based upon the number of hotel rooms OSW attendees rent. The more rooms rented the lower the cost of the facilities to OSW and as a direct result, the lower the cost of admission and tables to the OSW attendees and vendors. If you stay in a hotel during your time at OSW, it helps keep the meet costs low if you stay at the Hyat Regency Santa Clara.
HOW TO ATTEND (REGISTER)
You must register (fill out a form and pay the registration fee) in order to get you a badge that gets you in the door. You don't have to pre-register to attend OSW. You can walk up during the meet and register. The advantage to pre-registration is that badges for you and your party will be pre-printed, and if you specify the O or S scale on your registration, you will be categorized appropriately enabling us to track registrants by scale if needed. If you rent tables you must pre-register. Pre-registration closes as of mail received on April 1, 2016; table renters must pre-register by April 15, 2016, although we can accommodate renters after that date with inconvenience for both the late renter and OSW.
Methods of Registering
By completing and mailing a registration form. Registration forms are included with the newsletters that are sent out twice a year or you can download and print a form. Note: you can fill in the form's blanks while it is diplayed on your screen, then print it. You cannot save the completed form, so be sure to print a copy for yourself.
By telephone or email, see the Contact page (link is at the bottom of this page) for the number and email address. If you register by telephone or email your registration is held for you for one week; if it is not paid by the end of the week the registration is cancelled and you must re-register.
Note that registration fees and table rental fees may increase after March 31, 2016. You will save yourself some money by pre-registering before then.
Want to learn more about 2-rail O scale? Visit the O Scale Kings website.