My Open House = Successful

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Gary S., Nov 26, 2007.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I held my first open house in conjunction with the San Jacinto Model Railroad Club Fall Layout tour over the weekend. There were about 85 different layouts on tour in the Houston area. I wasn't sure how many people would visit me, due to my location south of Houston, plus the weather had turned miserably rainy and cold. On Saturday, I only had 2 visitors, but on Sunday, I had around a dozen.

    Everyone was impressed with the Texas Division of GERN Industries, and they also liked my manual turn-out controls. I wanted everyone to run the trains and try out the uncoupling magnets, but most were too shy to try it. I did have a few who played to their hearts content, running back and forth between the interchanges and setting out cars. I was glad to see them enjoying my layout.

    One of the members of the SJMRR club visited me, and mentioned that the club doesn't have their own layout, they just run operating sessions on member's home layouts. He liked my layout, and wants me to join the club.

    In all, I had a good time this weekend. Oh... and I advertised for The Gauge too!
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Congratulations Gary. I am glad it was a success. You have a great layout there, and I am sure more would have operated if they felt more at home.
    That club sounds like a great idea if you want group operations.

  3. Sarge_7

    Sarge_7 Member

    congrats!! sounds like you had a blast:thumb::thumb:
  4. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Good for you! Sounds like all those Houston people had a great time...and if it's Gern - it's got to be good - so how could you go wrong. (Incidently - whereabouts in Houston? My in-laws live in Conroe...and I've spent more than my fair share of time at Texas Children's Hospital.)
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Gary -

    Excellent! Sounds like a good time was had by all.

    There's a round-robin operators' group (or two or three) where I live. The most (in)famous has a blog - Friday Night Group. The best thing about this arrangement versus a club is that the "house rules" apply wherever you are - there's no club rules, so to speak.

    Of course, that industrual grade flux makes all the difference! ;) :D

  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I'm located south of Houston out Highway 288 near Highway 6, just south of the town of Manvel.
  7. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    glad to hear it went so well gary :thumb:,i dont see why the visitors would be shy about running trains,cause the gern brand flux makes the trains and uncouplers work 3% better than those without it sign1 :mrgreen:.i wouldn mind runnin a train or 2 on your AWESOME layout gary :mrgreen: :p.--josh
  8. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Thank you sir! There was one gentleman there who seemed very interested in all aspects of my layout. He was taking photos and asking questions. I asked him several times if he wanted to run the trains, but he said "no" each time. At one point, it was just me and him there, and I was showing him one of my locos that has sound.... another visitor showed up, so I simply stuck the throttle in the gentleman's hand and went over to greet the new guest. After that, the gentleman ran that engine for another 30 minutes! He seemed to really be having fun, so I just left him alone as I conversed with the other guest.

    He was picking up and setting out cars using the magnets, flipping the manual switch controllers, running from one end of the layout to the other, and I was really glad to see him enjoying my layout. That was my favorite part of the day.
  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Oh... I also got to explain how GERN Texas Division got its start, with DocWayne and everything. That was neat. And if you ever get down this way, I would love to have you run trains with me.
  10. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    nobody could resist the sound locos! i ran one a golf manor hobies up here and ran a sound loco, i couldnt put down the controller! it just added that lost aspect of model just brings back such good memories,im just waiting for the "smell" equipped locos sign1.

    all together having someone else enjoy our layouts just makes ya feel good dont it :mrgreen:,it makes i all seem worth it.--josh
  11. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    That Sn3 layout is amazing! I love seeing pictures of Sn2/3 and On2/3 layouts. I like house rules...because then rules such as "no trains have existed since 1958" and "diesel is a bad word" are fine :p

    Gary, glad you had a good time opening up your layout!
  12. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Oops, sorry Andrew, I missed your post. The GERN brand flux was certainly the highlight of the openhouse. The folks were pretty impressed with it, and I got to tell them "eventually the entire layout will be up to that standard.":rolleyes:

    The round-robin group sounds very much like what the SJMRR club does. I'm going to check it out once the holidays are done.

    The openhouse was good for me, in that I had gotten into a lull after working alot getting ready for it. And now that I saw other people enjoying my efforts, it has given me incentive to get back to work!
  13. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Well, let's say that you have a steam engine going around smelling like smoke, and one of your elderly relatives visiting happens to smell that smoke, and thus thinks it's a fire and goes around screaming "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!" Then there's the overheating desiels...:eek:
  14. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    Congrats Gary for you first successful open house. I am glad you enjoyed it and everything went fine. :thumb::wave:
  15. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    theyll be screaming FIRE and ill be screaming I WISH IT DID HAVE OPERATING STEAM!!! sign1,but the smell of deisel,steam,soot,and fumes would be SOO cool,not to mention computer controlled "breakdowns" :mrgreen:,it would really necesitate a maintenence shop on the layout :eek:.--josh
  16. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

  17. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

  18. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Way to go Gary:thumb: . Sounds like it was a good day for all.
  19. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    :thumb: great job
  20. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Hmm. This gives me an idea - maybe perhaps we can have "guage model railroad clubs" in areas where we have several members. Meet once a month and take turns whose house we get together at. Even people who don't have much of a layout - just get together and do modeling: paint figures, work on kits, shoot the breeze, etc. I know there are a few areas where we have more than just a few members. Good idea?


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