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Hello everybody! I’m going to start off with a pre-announcement that John Wubbel has been appointed chair of the 2020 SONC which will be held in St. Louis as a part of the MNRA “GATEWAY 2020” National Convention. More details will follow. I would strongly suggest that you save the dates (July 12-18). The MMRA guys are planning a great convention in St. Louis which is a great railroad area to visit. The O Scale 2 Rail club has a layout in an old passenger station with the Transportation Museum just down the road. Plenty of opportunity for promotion of two rail O scale will exist. John will need lots of help from our membership. Please plan now to attend and to provide some time to promote our hobby. John has some very positive plans, suggestions and thoughts to promote two rail O scale modeling. He is “well into it” hosting planning meetings, contacting and planning with the convention hosts. Thanks John! Much still needs to be done. Please sign up to help.

On Saturday, June 1st, I had the privilege of attending a four layout O scale 2 rail tour hosted primarily by two of our members in the Gettysburg area. What a great day. The day started out at Art Shelby’s layout. Many of you know Art and what a treasure he is. Art is one of our more senior members which suggests to me that O scale 2 rail modeling increases your time on the earth. Just an opinion. One of the highlights of this visit was seeing John Armstrong’s ABA set of Erie F units that were willed to Art. These F units, I believe were constructed in 1976 and are still running incredibly strong. Now I don’t know how to do it, but I sure would like to be the next one in line to have these locomotives willed to me and thus become the next caretaker.

Next stop was Ken Kime’s Western Maryland layout. Ken is a very talented modeler and has made tremendous progress in the last few years.

Next visit was to Tim Rasinski’s layout which also leans toward Western Maryland with some B&O and ON30 (which featured working link and pin couplers). While at Tim’s home we were treated to a wonderful boxed lunch.

The final stop was Rich Randall’s Milwaukee Road layout. Rich has also made tremendous progress on his layout since my last visit including catenary over a large multitracked area of Avery Idaho.

But gang, the best part of the day was just being able to talk, ask questions, and learn from the experience of many longtime O scale 2 rail modelers. Thanks again to Art and Rich.

On my drive home, I couldn’t help but wonder how we could promote more of these local group layout tours. So, what do we need? I would suggest following their concept:

  • Two to four layouts grouped into a reasonable drivable area. Have one or two head hosts.
  • Pick a Saturday morning and start about 10 o’clock. Visit each layout for about an hour.
  • Between the second and third or third and fourth layouts, have a lunch. Put a contribution bucket out. Order in a couple of pizzas, maybe a box lunch or if you have a local restaurant? It can be very simple or can be more extravagant.
  • Return to layout tours.

I cannot express how much I learned and how motivated I was going home and looking forward to getting things going again.

Bruce

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