National Model Railroad Month

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Roger Hensley, Oct 31, 2003.

  1. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    November 1st starts National Model RR Month (U.S. - Canada). I received this message today and decided to share my answer with the group.

    On Thu, 30 Oct 2003 23:29:18 EST <Barb> writes:
    > It is my understanding that November is model railroad month.
    > Do you have a web site where I could get further information?

    There is no site for National Model Railroad Month that I am aware of. There is a site for the new 'World's Greatest Hobby' program at The older program started by Kalmbach Publishing (Model Railroader and Trains magazine) was the National Model Railroad Month where the hobby would be promoted prior to the Christmas season which is the traditional startup time for the model railroad hobby.

    Now, that said, I can tell you that a number of groups are doing things to promote the hobby during the month. Our Central Indiana Division, NMRA is holding a free open Meet where everyone is welcome to talk trains, view display models and operating layouts and see clinics including one for the kids where they can assemble a model boxcar with parental and division members help. They get to keep the model when they are finished. See: This is in conjunction with a local Lions Club Pancake Breakfast
    which exposes the hobby to more non modelers than would otherwise be the case.

    A number of clubs are holding open houses and several divisions are doing train shows this month. One division in Atlanta, is holding a month long series of open layouts, one or two each weekend day during the entire month of November.

    I hope that this has helped.
  2. rcwatkins

    rcwatkins Member

    MRR month. I thought it would be in Dec. or something.
  3. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    Not if you want to sell merchandise and magazines for Christmas. The idea is to introduce the hobby just while merchandise is hitting the shelves. Of course, now, hardware stores, Woolworths, Sears, Wards and other various department stores no longer carry much in the way, if anything, of train stuff. There are even fewer hobby shops. So, promoting the hobby is more important now than ever.
  4. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    Last night put some display railroads (Z and N) running outside for the goblins to enjoy. Some looked, said 'nice', went off to collect more candy.

    Others oohed and ahhed and spent a lot of time enjoying. One lady said she would like to run trains all through every room of her house. Some teenage guys want to start layouts, one was already building HO in his room. A large group of teenage girls with 2 moms were thrilled with the miniature modelling aspects. Some fathers (one whose 2 year old has wooden trains) are now very interested in starting up.

    Why wait till November? 31 October is close enough. Promoting this great hobby of ours can be a year 'round activity.
  5. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Hi all:
    This is also "Take your train to work month". So, pack 'em up and ship 'em out!

    Whoo Whoo,
  6. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Glen and Judy,

    you two must be some of the most active promoters of our hobby. What a great idea to catch the kid's attention at Halloween, to get something positive out of that tradition (which seems to have more and more negative aspects - to put it politely :()!!!

    You said, you had your layouts 'running outside'. Literally? Didn't you have problems with the weather etc. (Is it still THAT warm in Texas? :D) And - no problems with vandalism or thefts? Just curious, ya know! :)

  7. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    Hi RailRon,

    'Garden Railroads' for an evening only. These are small and portable, one is shown in the avatar. The Z scale is 16" x 24" and sat on top of the dust cover / cat guard of Judy's fall village scene (where the cat likes to lie, BTW a little ordinary black pepper seems to work good to keep her off the other RRs, thanks to all for suggesting this) so was at adult height, not child height.

    It was a warm and muggy night... (but not raining), and I stayed outside with them at ALL times. It would take an extremely sick individual to get any pleasure out of vandalizing a model railroad, but still wasn't about to take any chances. Yes, it is still warm in Texas. But the number of goblins seems to get less every year. I think a lot now go to church / community sponsored parties instead where there are no sharp objects embedded in apples or strange chemicals placed on the lollipops.

    Recently a Z scaler friend down in Houston held a neighborhood open house train party - had 128 neighbors and their kids drop in for the afternoon to run and talk trains. Has made at least one convert as a result. And 128 more people are now aware of this hobby without having had to drive to or pay multiple admissions to a train show. Local neighborhood open houses are a great way to spread the word about model trains and get to know your neighbors at the same time. Another up in Montreal did similar with G and Z scales (talk about opposite ends of the spectrum!) and had over 400 visitors!

    We have had these railroads on public display a lot, (museum, train shows, restaurant). There seem to be several different types of people when it comes to seeing a model display -

    1. A quick glance, then off to watch mind-numbing TV or play video games. Obvious proof of the result of mind-numbing TV or video games.

    2. Long appreciative study, then with a bashful smile after learning that these are hand made as a hobby "Great, but I could never do anything like this." (lack of time, patience, skill, etc listed as reasons.) These are the ones that need to be encouraged and convinced that they can do it.

    3. The enthusiastic "How did you do this? How can I get started?" Give them lots of info and a promise to answer their questions anytime.

    4. And then a few that have trains stored in the attic and really want to get back into the hobby but just don't have any room.
  8. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Hi Glen:

    Non train events are a great way to expose people to the hobby who would not ordinarily "seek it out". Our club just did a set up at the Kings Mountain Arts and Crafts Fair in NC. I think moms have as much or more fun with our interactive layouts than the kids. Probably because their brothers wouldn't let them play with their trains!

    There's lots of events, large and small, throughout the year where you can go and set up a layout for a day or two and let folks see what a great hobby this can be for kids of any age.

    Great idea to bring your layouts outside.


Share This Page