Model Railroad TRAINing Day
We held our third annual Model Railroad TRAINing Day on February 15th. In addition to the usual one-on-one presentations we added the attraction of building a 4' x 4' HO layout. Saturday dawned bright and clear with three to four (more) inches of fresh snow that had fallen overnight. I was concerned that the roads would not be clear for the presenters, who came from all over the division and beyond.
Amazingly almost everyone made it in spite of the weather and the whole day went well. Unfortunately, the attendance from the public was lighter than expected. However, those who came seemed to have a great time. We had about six to eight young people who were really interested in the layout construction.
Kids of all ages were invited to help and participated in the construction. This started with the construction of the frame and progressed to laying the track with the bulk of the day spent on scenery. (I am not sure what the younger ones liked the most, driving screws with my drill or driving the track nails.) One of the youngsters stayed all day. He was really involved with the scenery, and he did a great job. Everyone who participated received a ticket which was placed in a container and a lucky winner was selected to take the layout home. We also succeeded in signing up four or five new members.
The layout was funded in part by the division and with the support of donations from three local hobby shops and two scenery manufacturers. We donated some money to the church for food and one of the ladies prepared a delicious lunch which was free to all who attended. They put out a donation jar and the proceeds went to support the church's monthly free community meal.
Everyone seemed to have a great time and overall the event was a resounding success. I would like to thank all of the division members who worked hard to make this event a success. We have handed out survey sheets each year, and even though they aren't all returned, they have all been positive in their responses. Of the eight that were returned this year the respondents were very appreciative of the efforts we expended. They were made to feel welcome and appreciated people taking the time to talk to them and show them how to do things. A couple of the participants especially appreciated the way we interacted with their sons. All in all a great success!