NASG 2012 Convention

"Get Your ChooChoo to Chattanooga"

August 7 - 11, 2012

Sponsored and Organized by David Blum

Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Steel Boxcar

The Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis steel boxcar appearing in its transition paint scheme is the official car of the 2012 NASG Convention. The photo shown is a representation of the car. Final graphics may vary, and the car will have knuckle couplers.

The convention car is based on a steel sided, steel roof boxcar with Youngstown doors used in the 1940s and 1950s by the NC&StL. The featured car appears in its mid 1950s transition paint scheme with a yellow stripe on the car. The car will also feature the well known NC&StL logo "To and From Dixieland". These boxcars were built in 1942 to the 1937 American Association of Railroads design with 10-foot interior height by Pullman-Standard as NC&StL class XM-34 in series 18500-18999. After the NC&StL was merged into the Louisville and Nashville RR in 1957, these cars became L&N numbers 13400-13884. Today, the NC&StL is part of the CSX railroad. The car road the rails with the yellow stripe and without a stripe. Both model versions are available.

The American Models car is available exclusively from the NASG for the 2012 Chattanooga Convention. They come ready-to-run with hi-rail wheels, American Flyer-compatible couplers. Scale code 110 wheel sets, for easy conversion to scale operation, are available.

About Chattanooga

Chattanooga, Tennessee, home of the historic Chattanooga ChooChoo Hotel, was the site of the N.A.S.G. Convention in 2012. The dates were Tuesday, August 7th through Saturday August 11th, 2012. Chattanooga is located in eastern portion of Tennessee near the Georgia border. It is about two hours north of Atlanta via Interstate 75. It is also accessible from Interstates 24 and 59. Providing convenience and a high level of client satisfaction, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport offers many of the benefits that travelers have come to expect from larger airports. Delta, Allegiant Air, US Airways Express, and American Eagle all provide regular flights to and from major cities such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Orlando, Tampa, Memphis, and Washington, D.C.

Since its renaissance in the 1990s, Chattanooga has become a hotspot for family fun and entertainment. Some of the most recognized and enjoyed attractions in the area include The Tennessee Aquarium, the IMAX theater, Rock City, Ruby Falls, the Incline Railway, and the Tennessee Valley Railroad. Outdoor family activities include the Chattanooga Zoo, Lake Winnepesaukah and the Chattanooga Market where food, crafts and entertainment can be enjoyed from around the region. Known as the "Gateway to the Deep South," Chattanooga is rich in Civil War history. Visitors and residents alike relive the battles for Chattanooga at Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge, as well as in local museums.

The host hotel, the Chattanooga Choo Choo, is conveniently located off Interstate 75 at 1400 Market Street. The hotel features shops, swimming pools, gardens, a trolley, a model railroad, and a variety of restaurants. The convention meetings, exhibits, clinics, etc. were all at the hotel.

Some of the best attractions, such as the world-class aquariums and an IMAX theater, are almost within walking distance of our convention hotel. Free transportation is available to most downtown attractions from the garage adjacent to the convention hotel. Check out the Ruby Falls at Lookout Mountain, Creative Discovery Museum, the Tennessee Aquarium, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Raccoon Mountain Caverns, and Southern Belle Riverboat Cruise.


The Lookouts

Join up for an evening of AA Baseball, as we cheer on the local Dodger affiliate, the Lookouts. A small, but modern stadium offers seats close to the field (Lower Box seats for $8, such a deal!). In an atmosphere you've got to enjoy (sitting with all your model train buddies). The Chattanooga Lookouts take on Mississippi.
(more info...)

Chickamauga Turn

Experience a "turn" with the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum as we take you to historic Chickamauga, GA. This trip will last approximately 6 hours (10:00am - 4:15pm) and includes a 1-3/4 hour stop (layover in railroad lingo) in Chickamauga from roughly 11:55am until 1:45pm, and a shorter layover at Wilder Tower in Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park during the return trip to Chattanooga. Note that times can vary slightly. Layover time allows passengers to stroll through the quaint one stoplight downtown area, visit the Chickamauga Depot which houses a regional history museum and large model train display, or walk a block or two to view the Gordon-Lee Mansion (history link) and Crawfish Springs city park. Downtown Chickamauga has several antique and variety shops as well as a few small restaurants and coffee shops. Watch out for the Civil War cannons that stand guard over the main intersection in town!

A uniformed Civil War re-enactor rides the train to point out areas of interest and relay interesting historical information. Please note that this trip is primarily about the train ride experience and the historic nature of the route and destination. The scenery along the route is secondary as portions of the line traverse a diverse variety of views into Americana. The train travels through pre-Civil War Missionary Ridge Tunnel and later passes Chickamauga Battlefield en route to the Town of Chickamauga.

Lookout Mountain/Incline Railway

Lookout Mountain is the perfect destination for out of the ordinary experiences and amazing natural beauty. Lookout Mountain attractions include three top rated world famous natural attractions that showcase the natural beauty of Lookout Mountain and views of the Chattanooga Valley. Create memories you'll treasure!

Take a ride on one of the steepest passenger railways in the world - Lookout Mountain's Incline Railway. Known as "America's Most Amazing Mile", The Incline's trolley-style cars climb through the natural beauty surrounding historic Lookout Mountain at a breathtaking 72.7% grade - straight up! Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenic views of the mountains and valleys from the observation windows on the train as well as the panoramic views from the observation tower at The Incline's top station. And while you're up top, be sure to visit the many points of Civil War interest, the Battles for Chattanooga Electric Map & Museum and Point Park, part of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park system, just a few short blocks from the Incline top station. Then, after you descend back down to the Incline bottom station, explore historic St. Elmo, where a wonderful collection of unique shopping and dining experiences await you!
(more info...)

Ruby Falls

Join us on Lookout Mountain to gasp at the remarkable beauty of Ruby Falls. On your way to the waterfall, enjoy the many geological wonders located throughout the cave. After your tour, be sure and take in the many scenic views from the top of the Lookout Mountain Tower. Ruby Falls is a must stop for any trip to or through the Chattanooga area.
(more info...)

Rock City

Rock City will amaze you... It's in our nature! Located atop Lookout Mountain, just 6 miles from downtown Chattanooga, Rock City is a true marvel of nature featuring massive ancient rock formations, gardens with over 400 native plant species, and breathtaking "See 7 States" panoramic views. Take an unforgettable journey along the Enchanted Trail where each step reveals natural beauty and wonders along the woodland path. Experience the magic of Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village, visit one of our regional gift shops and dine at the Big Rock Grill. Rock City is splendid year-round!
(more info...)

Riverboat Lunch Cruise

Enjoy a delicious lunch on our sightseeing riverboat cruise. We serve a buffet lunch which includes deli meats, cheeses, breads, condiments, homemade baked beans, homemade cole slaw, potato chips and Chattanooga based Moon Pies, soft drinks, iced tea and coffee! After lunch sit back and relax as you enjoy the informative commentary in the climate controlled riverboat or join us on the promenade deck for a breath of fresh air. This is a experience you won't want to miss!
(more info...)

Chattanooga Attractions

Model Railroad Museum

For train enthusiasts of all ages, the Model Railroad Museum, started in 1973 as a joint venture between the Chattanooga Area Model Railroad Club and the Chattanooga Choo Choo, is a definite stop when you visit the Choo Choo. One of the least expensive, yet most fun of the Chattanooga attractions. Enter a miniature world portraying, in fact and fancy, Chattanooga and the Cumberland Mountain country. This model railroad was built in HO-scale, which is 1:87 (87 model boxcars hooked together would equal the length of one real boxcar). Over 50,000 man-hours have been spent to make the layout what it is today, with a replacement value of nearly $1,000,000.

The Model Railroad is 174 feet long and 33 feet wide at its widest point. It includes over 3,000 feet of track, 320 structures, 150 switches, 120 locomotives of all types, 1,000 freight cars, 80 passenger cars, three major yards, two small yards, and four passenger stations. This model railroad exhibit ranks as one of, if not the largest, in the world open to the public. A self-guided tour will allow you to browse the landscape at your own pace with plenty of time to read about the history of Chattanooga trains and the unique features of this display. Don't miss this one-of-a-kind experience! The museum will be available to registered attendees all week. Just show your badge.

Other Chattanooga Attractions

Downtown Chattanooga offers a bevy of restaurants, including but not limited to BIG RIVER (micro-brewery & good food too), art museums, Moon Pie emporium, an aquarium, and all available via free transportation from the garage adjacent the hotel to downtown.

Layouts At the Hotel

Three NASG members, Lance McCold, Jim Schall, and John Amburgey, have built a three-module, 12-foot switching layout which will be set up in the vendor area. It is built along the lines of the familiar "time-saver" switching module. Turnouts were built using Fast Tracks jigs and are manual-throw. Track uses code 100 and engines are operated using DC (with plans to eventually upgrade to DCC).

The Crescent City S Gaugers will have their 15' x 25' layout displayed in the vendor area as well. This display layout can best be described as "hi-scale" in nature. The layout incorporates American Models code 148 flex track and turnouts. Most of the equipment operated is produced by S Helper Service or American Models, using hirail wheel flanges with scale style couplers (Kadee or clones). A combination of freight and passenger trains comprise the consists. Occasionally, a highly modified model of A.F. origins makes an appearance. The layout also incorporates a DCC control system (Digitrax). The layout has a refinery, several smaller industries, and a fairly large yard scene.

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

12 - 5pmRegistration open
7pm - ?

Baseball game Chatanooga Lookouts. Free transportation, 20 at a time, next door to the hotel. Game starts at 7pm. Gates open at 6pm.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

9am - 12Registration open.
9am - ?Incline Railway.
1pm - 8pmRegistration open.
5:30pm - ?

Clinic for first-time attendees. A chance for first time attendees to meet a few "regulars" and each other, and to get questions about the convention answered.

6:30pm - 8pmIcebreaker Reception.
7:30pm - ?Hospitality room opens, train layout, and conversation.
9:30pm - ?NASG BOT meeting.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

9am - 12Registration open.
10am - 4:15pmChickamauga Turn Train excursion (busses leave at 9am).
1pm - 8pmRegistration open.
5:30pm - 10pmVendor room open.

Friday, August 10, 2012

9am - 12Registration open.
9am - 5pmVendor room open.
10am - 2pmRiverboat lunch tour. Buses leaves at 10am.
1pm - 8pmRegistration open.
3pm - ?

Layout tours. The plan is to leave about 45 minutes after the last river boat bus returns, so at about 3pm.

6:30pm - 9pmVendor room open.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

9am - 2pmRegistration open.
9am - 2pmVendor room open.
12 - ?Train races/engine pull.
3:30pm - ?NASG General Meeting.
6pm - 6:45pmPre-banquet lubrication (cash bar).
6:45pmBanquet, followed by awards and a preview of the 2013 Convention.
9pm - ?

Auction. Please bring your (ex-)prized possessions for the auction block. NASG charges 10% of the selling price on goods sold at the auction. Donations are also accepted for the auction (where all proceeds go to NASG2012 convention). Our auctioneer is the incomparable Jamie Bothwell, star of stage and bike trails. Enjoy Jamie's comedy stylings, even if you have no intention of buying.

Clinics Schedule




Layout Tours

James Bailiff Layout, Chattanooga, TN

22' x 24' HO-scale layout, with HOn3 mining train, based on Cincinnati, Ohio area, set in the fall of 1952. An 8-foot diameter helix leads to a 14-track staging yard below. Trains are controlled by DC and/or DCC via a simple toggle switch.

Jerry Holmes Layout, Chattanooga, TN

35' by 27" L-shaped S-scale layout that is 15" wide, modeling the C&O, from Hinton, West Virginia to Clifton Forge, West Virginia, set in 1953. Coal country! The 2.7 scale mile mainline track is finished, with the yards about 90% finished, and scenery about 70% finished. Trains are controlled via NCE DCC with sound.

David Wheat Layout, Chattanooga, TN

David's layout is Sn3.

Pre-Convention Layout Open House

- click for larger view -
Copyright © Tom Robinson; used by permission

Tom Robinson's S gauge Tennessee Central Railway.

Post-Convention Layout Open House

GP7 built by Jim Schall
- click for larger view -
Copyright © George Courtney; used by permission

Gary Cameron has an American Flyer-based layout.

Tennessee S Gauger Hi-Rail modular layout (although flagged "hi-rail", the modules have a "scale-like" appearance), and the Train Center's permanent American Flyer layout (see right and below).

American Flyer exhibit at the Train Center.
Copyright © Dean Odiorne; used by permission

A.F. layout at SE Regional Train Center
- click for larger view -
Copyright © Dean Odiorne; used by permission

Suburban station aluminum 4ft module
- click for larger view -
Copyright © Dean Odiorne; used by permission

Pre- And Post-Convention Layout Open House

Copyright © Pete Silcox

Copyright © Pete Silcox

Pete Silcox's layout, "Georgia RR", is an S-scale layout is in a 20'x20' space that models the Georgia Railroad and Central of Georgia set in the mid 50s.

- click for larger view -
Copyright © Bob Hogan; used by permission

- click for larger view -
Copyright © Bob Hogan; used by permission

Bob Hogan's "Sierra Northern Railroad", after 25 years of modeling in Sn3, is Bob's first S-scale standard gauge layout. The new layout still has some Sn3 to remember the old days.

Chattanooga Railfanning

Chattanooga has been a rail center since creation in the mid 1850s and played a significant role in the Civil War. The Southern Railway (Norfolk Southern) has a major yard (DeButts yard) and shop there, including several bridges that pass over the yard and shop area with good viewing areas.

NMRA Headquarters and Library is located at the entrance to the Tennessee Valley Railroad. Visitors can access the library during regular operating hours of 8am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. The library is closed for major holidays and occasionally for collection maintenance.

Yes, there is active railroading and railfanning in Chattanooga!

Civil War Engines

April 2012 marks the 150th Anniversary of "The Great Locomotive Chase". Convention attendees can visit many of the actual sites, as the "Chase" events took place between Big Shanty (today's Kennesaw) and Chattanooga. The 4-4-0 "General" (Rogers 1856) is on display in the former Big Shanty, now Kennesaw, a scant few feet from where the "Chase" actually began. The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History is a beautiful contemporary museum and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian. The museum displays the "General" in a special room and contains a fine pictorial history of the "Chase" and locations. It also is home to another lesser known piece of southern steam locomotive history. The Golver Machine Works was transported (as it last sat) from its original building and set up again inside the museum. It is a wonderful re-creation complete with tools and locomotives under assembly. Very interesting!

The other star of the "Chase", the 4-4-0 "Texas" (Cooke 1856), is enshrined within the Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum in Grants Park. Again, plenty of "Chase" history here as well as the traditional Civil War history and pictorials. It's just off I-20 east of downtown Atlanta & I-75 (your route north to Chattanooga).

Convention goers arriving from Atlanta will parallel the route of the "Chase" on their drive to Chattanooga. Many sites are easy to get to and there are several near and in Chattanooga itself. The old Big Shanty (a section of Kennesaw) is a neat little RR town in it own right with the CSX mainline making a sweeping "S" curve past the old station on the grade north. Both the museum in Kennesaw and the TVRM in Chattanooga are offering special events and presentations in honor of the 150th Anniversary.

The Convention in Review


The hotel, the Chattanooga Choo Choo, is an ex-train station. Behind the station, where the tracks are, they have gardens, passenger cars for sleeping rooms, restaurants in dining cars, a trolley that travels the length of the facilities, and an old locomotive on display. Note the Bike Share bikes in front (referenced near the bottom of this page). Photos by Pete Silcox. Used by permission.

Contest Results
(photos were published in The Dispatch)

Amateur: Kit and Converted Structures

  1. Art Weller: Oil field tank battery
  2. Michael Warman: model train store

Amateur: Scratchbuilt Structures

  1. Michael Warman: Barber shop

Amateur: Diesel Locomotives

  1. Rob Berridge: industrial switcher (critter)

Amateur: Steam Locomotives

  1. Rob Berridge: A5 steam switcher

Craftsman: Scratchbuilt Structures

  1. Jim Schall: gas station

Craftsman: Scratchbuilt Freight & MOW

  1. Jim Schall: LNE bobber caboose
  2. John Griffin: Seaboard fishbelly hopper

Craftsman: Kit & Converted Freight & MOW

  1. Jim Schall: LV container gondola

Craftsman: Hi-rail Passenger Cars

  1. Jim Schall: LNE combine

Craftsman: Kit & Converted Diesels

  1. Jim Schall: LNE FA2 AB lashup
  2. Tom Robinson: Tennessee Central Railway Alco ABBA FA2 lashup
  3. John Griffin: CNW Alco DL109 diesel

Craftsman: Kit & Converted Steam Locomotives

  1. Jim Schall: Reading RR 2-8-0

Craftsman: Hi-rail Steam Locomotives

  1. Jim Schall: Southern Railway PS-4 Pacific
  2. Jim Schall: Southern Railway streamlined Pacific

Master Craftsman: Structures

  1. David Jasper: Em's Millinary
  2. Nelson Steinmetz: Sante Fe depot

Master Craftsman: Freight Cars & MOW

  1. Bob Hogan: WP wood caboose #602
  2. Bob Hogan: T&NO outside braced box car
  3. Alvin Clapp: NKP "war emergency" outside-braced box car

Master Craftsman: Passenger Cars

  1. Bob Hogan: SP Lark 3-unit diner/lounge

Master Craftsman: Diesel Locomotives

  1. Gary Ippolito: Amtrak RS-3M
  2. Gary Ippolito: CN GS-413B switcher
  3. Bob Hogan: SP GE 70-tonner

Master Craftsman: Steam Locomotives

  1. Alvin Clapp: Nickel Plate 0-6-0
  2. Bob Hogan: Sierra-Nevada Lumber Co. 2-8-2 in Sn3

Amateur Best-in-Class

  1. Rob Berridge: A5 steam switcher

Craftsman Best-in-Class

  1. Jim Schall: scratchbuilt gas station

Master Craftsman Best-in-Class

  1. Gary Ippolito: Amtrak RS-3M


  1. Bob Hogan: SP Lark 3-unit diner/lounge


Jim M., Jeff E., Claude D., and Andy M. ride the train at Cass, WV. Photo by Jamie. Used by permission.

Convention Report
As Told by Jay Mellon

Altoona Model Works: Bob Spaulding has recently thrown his hat into the S ring. He produces a line of craftsman structure kits. I picked up his engine house and depot kits. These are nice kits with clear instructions.

American Models: They presented a nice selection of some of their latest releases. AM also produced the convention car that was actually present for pickup in the vendor hall.

DesPlaines Hobbies: Ron Sebastian was there with a great deal on S Microscale decals ($0.99 each). I succumbed to several sets. Work on the SD45 model is progressing with drive train production details being resolved.

Great Decals: Bill Mosteller had S scale coupler gauges (resin) and S decals (mostly Southeastern roads).

Hoquat Hobbies: Jeff Wilson had his usual good selection of S equipment which also included a set of AM PAs that I have been searching for about 20 years. They now have a new home.

Iron Rail Models: These are the folks who acquired Downs Models and are actively producing modern tank car models. I have obtained a number of them in the past year and picked up a new one at this convention. Very nice models.

Michigan Models: Tom Hawley had a special IRM tank car that I picked up. Tom relayed that he intends to curtail his long distance trips and stick closer to home in the future.

M.L.W. Services: Andy Mallette was promoting his CN reefer kit. There were some delays to correct details on this kit. Kit production should begin later this coming Fall.

NASG Clearing House: Roy Meissner was present with his usual collection of gauges, hats, shirts, etc., plus his custom truck (vehicle) kits.

Pikesville Models: Dave Blum had a very large selection of AF items present. He is also developing a coil steel cover model that the scale folks should be interested in.

Pine Canyon Models - They have been busy bringing older kits back into the inventory, as well as developing new kits. These kits are very nice.

Port Lines Hobbies: Doug Peck did not have his usual display of S goodies, but, instead, brought a large selection of S items obtained from estate acquisitions.

River Raisin Models: Dan Navarre was taking deposits on orders for his SP 0-6-0 and C&O Heavy Pacific projects. He also displayed a nice selection of currently available models (love those SP beauts!).

S Helper Service: Don, Robin, and Mike were there, selling off inventory, following the company sale to MTH. If you need additional parts for SHS models, better act now "while the gettin' is good." It was sad to think that this may be the last time we see SHS at a convention.

The Railroad Crossing: Richard Krieg offers a service for custom-built structures, as well as his own line. I picked up a small depot model.

The Supply Car: I finally caved and ordered one of the Bob McCarthy custom passenger car kits (MoPac "Eagle Height"), having been inspired by Bob Hogan's clinic presentation.

S Scale Loco and Supply: After a LONG absence from the convention scene, Fred Rouse appeared with a whole bunch of S parts (drivers, etc.). His focus currently is to get a complete line back into inventory (see his website for a list).

Union Station Products: Mark Meeks is the fellow producing the car sides for these Supply Car custom passenger car kits. Be nice to him.

Lionel and MTH did not have representatives there, but MTH did have an introductory brochure available for their S line ( There were also several vendors present selling AF equipment, in addition to Dave Blum.

Welcome Reception: This was a relaxing affair that included a barbecue chicken dinner, allowing attendees the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones.

Convention Layouts: Several southeastern clubs (ed: the "Georgia Division" and the "Carolinas Division" of the Atlantic Coast S Gaugers) combined efforts to produce a room-filling layout that featured an amazing array of A.F. accessories and train activity. Plus, it was situated adjacent to the hotel bar, so we could view trains and "wet our whistle" simultaneously. I got a good view of the new Lionel U33c models, as well. Our club (Crescent City S Gaugers) brought our display layout to this convention (set up in vendor hall). We hope everyone who visited the vendor hall had a chance to enjoy it. We were happy to contribute to the convention by providing some S entertainment. The NASG switching layout was also in the vendor hall.

Tours: The rail tour that we took (Copperhill, GA) was substituted for the planned Chickamauga event, due to some rail maintenance issues. The ride was very scenic through heavily forested terrain, complete with its own "loop" to gain elevation in a short distance. Plus, we got to experience a serious "gulley washer" during the return rail trip.

The layout tour took in the HO-scale layout of James Bailiff, the S/Sn3 layout of David Wheat, and the S-scale layout of Jerry Holmes. D. Wheat's layout is a work in progress, but included some nice modeling in the narrow gauge scenes. Jerry's layout models the C&O with some excellent scenes that included serious coal trains using Berkshire head-end power. A very nice layout. In addition, Jerry's view of Chattanooga out his back patio area is simply "breath-taking". A hearty thanks to all of our hosts, allowing us to visit their layouts.

Clinics: There were several that I was interested in attending, but only made it to one; Bob Hogan's presentation on The Supply Car custom passenger car kits. Bob's presentation was well done and thorough. Plus, following the clinic, we got to view Earl Henry's custom SR passenger cars (from these kits) up close. Very nice! I am interested in modeling a MoPac stream-lined train. So, I "bit the bullet" and ordered one of these kits to give it a try.

Other "Stuff": I was late to the General Business Meeting, as we were packing our club layout, following the closing of the vendor hall. Apparently, there was much discussion regarding the cessation of publishing the annual membership issue of Dispatch. I do find them to be a valuable resource, even if they are not current. I would be in favor of publishing a special "layout issue" in lieu of the membership issue. Also, NASG elections are coming up this Fall; a plea was made for officer nominations.

I had the pleasure of meeting John Degnan of Sergent coupler fame in the vendor hall. He provided an up-close comparison of the Sergent coupler with the Kadee 802 coupler used by many S scalers. Then, he was off to Knoxville to discuss the production efforts of the "new and improved" coupler with Frank Sergent himself.

As has become their custom and our benefit, we were serenaded by Andy Mallette and Dave Heine during the pre-banquet "happy hour". Food and company during the banquet were excellent, and made some new friends. I never did get to see the contest models. Apparently, there was a considerable greater submission of model entries at this convention, as opposed to last year's joint NMRA/NASG event. Hopefully, pictures of the contest winners will appear in the Dispatch. And, as usual, the antics of auctioneer Jamie Bothwell were very entertaining. Not to be disappointed, Jamie provided a new batch of "S scale zombies" for some lucky winners. And, my donation of a collection of "whacked" SHS hi-rail couplers brought a whopping $0.10 into the NASG treasury. Hey, just doin' my part.

Post-Convention Layout Tour: Pete Silcox and Bob Hogan graciously opened their layouts for visitation on the Sunday following the convention. Pete's layout is a work in progress, but includes some neat scenes such as the rock/gravel quarry and Stone Mountain backdrop. I have seen a number of pictures taken of Bob Hogan's layout, as well as Earl Henry's description on the S list. They are accurate, but I was still amazed when I actually saw it. Simply stupendous modeling. Although I might be a bit prejudiced as a SP fan myself, I think it is the nicest layout I have ever seen. If you have the opportunity to see it, don't pass it up. And, he has a whole wall full of those custom-built passenger cars. Bob is a humble guy, but when it comes to modeling stream-lined passenger cars, I would pay strict attention to his advice.

Next Convention: It was announced that the 2013 NASG convention will take place in Scranton, PA ("Steam Town"). Rumor has it that there will be a special event there: the "Tour de Jamie" bike race. So, for all you Lance Armstrong-wannabes, the time to start training is NOW. I had a great time at this convention. Isn't that what it's all about? We need to profusely thank Dave Blum, Jerry Holmes, and all the others who helped put this convention together. Until next year.

What State Am I In?

Bud R. was very confused when he and his wife Jan, along with friend Janet, were trying to figure out whether they were in Copperhill, Georgia, or Copperhill, Tennessee. Bud comments, "The state line cuts right through downtown and right through one of the local restaurants, complete with state line marked on the tables! So, here I am, can't quite make up my mind... guess I'm just in the State of... Confusion!"

Prototype Railroads

Bob Hogan's description associated with these photos of his, is as follows. "The photos include the newly restored Southern Railways 2-8-0 #630. She operated on the Chattanooga tunnel train Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Cab rides were available for a price. Also included is the TVRM's nicely restored ex-Southern Railway GP30 used on the second Chattanooga train all week. While the Chickamauga trip was cancelled due to track work on the CSX main line, we did get to experience a very long day trip on the Hiawassee Loop train, operating over former L&N trackage and a full loop over itself on the way from Etowah to Copperhill, TN. This remote line follows the Ocoee (Cherokee named) River the entire trip. The Ocoee is where the white water events took place for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and is a popular rafting, kayaking area. The 40 mile line is operated by the TVRM and our nicely restored three car train of ex-L&N and SR coaches was pulled by a leased GP38 from Helm Leasing. The TVRM also operates occasional freight service over the line and two blue and white leased Geeps were at Copperhill for this purpose. Also on site was what has been for many years the "standard" loco on this train, a GP9 #710 done up in NC&St.L colors. A surprise during our lunch stop at Copperhill, TN was the arrival of an 11-car excursion train of the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway into Copperhill, Georgia from the other direction on the same track! One town split down the middle by a state line with two governments! The Blue Ridge Scenic is a subsidiary of the regional carrier, the Georgia Northeastern Railroad out of Marietta, GA. This is a push-pull operation with a GP9 (ex-NKP) on one end and a rebuilt GP10 (ex-NYC) on the other making a head-to-head meet with our train."

Blue Ridge Scenic Rwy, Copperhill, TN. Photos by Bob Hogan. Used by permission.

- #7529 GP10 -

- #4631 GP9R -

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Copperhill, TN. Photos by Bob Hogan. Used by permission.

- #2618 GP38 -

- #2004 GP38-2 -

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Chattanooga, TN. Photos by Bob Hogan. Used by permission.

- #2594 GP30 -

- #1829 GP7 -

Hiwassee Loop Train, Copperhill, TN. Photos by Bob Hogan. Used by permission.

- #710 GP7 -

- #2604 GP38-2 -

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Chattanooga, TN. Photos by Bob Hogan. Used by permission.

- Southern Railway 2-8-0 #630 -

- Southern Railway 2-8-0 #630 -

- Southern Railway 2-8-0 #630 -


Monte Heppe has made available his PowerPoint presentation of "Building the Calabash Terminal Rail Road" available (3.05MB). The file is a .mov file. Right-click the link to save the file to your computer. It is essentially a video that animates the slides. You can pause it if it goes too fast. No sound; just slides. If you have Apple's QuickTime installed, you should be able to download and view it. If you use Windows, and more specifically Windows Media Player, you may need to download the appropriate codec driver to view this file, if you have not done so before (see this web site for how-to information).

Andy Malette has provided his PowerPoint presentation of "Adventures in Modular Railroading" (22.91MB). Right-click the link to save the file to your computer. The file is a .pptx file, which is a Microsoft PowerPoint slideshow. If you don't have PowerPoint installed, you can use OpenOffice Impress to view it.

Dick Karnes has made available his "How to Imagineer and Build Structures" hand-out (35.48MB).

Model Railroads

Jerry Holmes' layout. Photos by Bill Winans. Used by permission of both photographer and layout owner. Additional photos and videos of Jerry's C&O Railroad can be seen on the O Gauge RR forum.

Extracurricular Activities

Jamie Bothwell at the top of Lookout Mountain. Yes, he peddled up!

Jamie Bothwell is the official "chairman" of the "NASG Cycling Auxiliary", a group of NASG Convention attendees who have participated in at least one bicycle ride while at a Convention.

Jamie reported that a group of 5 riders went for a short ride on a West Virginia rail trial that used to be the C&O south of Cass, WV, after they rode the shays up the hill. Photo by Jamie. Used by permission.

Andy being interviewed

Chattanooga started a bike-share program. Our own Andy Malette was interviewed about the program. This video describes the program, and Andy is interviewed in the last few seconds of it. Photo by Jamie. Used by permission.