Rails By The Bay 2021 logo

NMRA 2021 Virtual National Convention


July 6 – 10, 2021
Santa Clara, California


Clinic Schedule   Breakout Room Schedule   Vendor Focus Schedule

Convention Schedule at a Glance

This year's convention will run July 6-10, from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) with the following daily schedule:

  8:00 AM –   9:00 AM • Morning Meetups
  9:00 AM - 12:00 PM • Morning Clinic Session
12:00 PM –   2:00 PM • Lunch Break
  2:00 PM -   5:00 PM • Afternoon Clinic Session
  5:00 PM –   7:00 PM • Dinner Break
  7:00 PM –   9:00 PM • Evening Clinic Session
  9:00 PM – 10:00 PM • After Party

Clinic Schedule

The Rails By The Bay Daily Schedule below is current as of and is subject to change without notice. Check the News & Updates page frequently for additions, deletions, and updates.

NMRA 2021 Rails By The Bay
Clinic Schedule
(Current as of: )
Day / Date Start Time (PDT) Daylight Clinic Track Zephyr Clinic Track
Clinician Topic Clinician Topic

July 6
9:00 AM Welcome – Gordy Robinson and Ed Slintak
Robert Stafford's BN Coal & Grain Unit Trains clinics will follow opening.
10:00 AM Ray Persing Scratchbuilding in Wood Byron Henderson Make Only New Mistakes
11:00 AM Robert Pethoud Basics of American Steam Locomotives
2:00 PMMark Juett, MMR®Setting Up for OperationsPhil EdholmPrinting Interiors for Your Models
3:00 PMMark Juett, MMR®Using JMRI for Car ForwardingNeil EricksonThe Oahu Railway Wahiawa Branch in On30
4:00 PMClark Kooning, MMR®Clarks Tool Ideas Clinic: Part 1 Part 2 (combined)Paul HobbsFifty Years of Amtrak and Business Cars, Private Cars
7:00 PMClifton LintonEthanol by rail -- a 21st century prototype you can modelPaul Deis, ModeratorLayout Owner Panel with James Brassill & Dave Falkenburg, Dave Tateosian, Dave Adams, and Dave Stanley
8:00 PMBruce MordenLayout Without a Plan: Changes as You Go AlongPaul Deis, ModeratorLayout Owner Panel with Jim Providenza, Seth Neumann, Paul Weiss, and John Zach

July 7
9:00 AMBob FrankroneCreating Operations on the Louisville Southern LinesDave LullStructures on an Extraordinary O Scale Traction Layout
10:00 AMGuy CantwellBlurring the line: Freelancing from the PrototypePete SteinmetzWeathering With Pan Pastels and Other Media
11:00 AMIrwin NathansonLet's Visit the Diamond Point RailwaysPhil EdholmUsing 3D Printed Building Framing in an O Scale Model
2:00 PMSteve "Breezy" GustA Day in the Life of a Train DispatcherDoug Harding, MMR®Western Grocer - A look at a Mid-Century, Midwestern Grocery Distribution Company
3:00 PMBryan FraserWhat is Model Railroading?Frank SchneiderSurface Mounted LEDs
4:00 PMClark Kooning, MMR®40 Minutes with ClarkBob Weinheimer, MMR®Getting Started in Operations
7:00 PM Clifton Linton Dispatcher's Fireside Chat - What it was really like with Steve "Breezy" Gust, Thomas White, Rick Kang, and Mark Amfahr Dave Adams, Moderator Jim Vail Tribute with Guy Cantwell, Craig Symington, Jerry Boudreaux, and Dave Adams.
8:00 PM Bruce Morden Direct Traffic Control

July 8
9:00 AMBob FrankroneLove Those LoadsRobert PethoudOperating the Fall Creek Branch
10:00 AMBill DeckerSo You Want to Build a Dream Model Railroad?Pete SteinmetzDead Rail Systems in Smaller Scales
11:00 AMBob Weinheimer, MMR®Operations on the Pennsylvania SouthernAl DaumannMaximizing Small Layout Operations (Squeezing 10 Lbs of Ops into A 5 Lb Layout)
2:00 PMTony KoesterUpdate on the Nickel PlateFrank Markovich, MMR®Building The Demonstration Layout For the "Magic of Scale Model Railroading" exhibit at the California State Railroad Museum
3:00 PMMark Juett, MMR®Installing Sound DecodersFrank SchneiderMake Your Own Decals
4:00 PMMark Juett, MMR®Using Decoder ProMichael HillSimplifying Wiring on your panels with Arduinos, Neo-Pixels and Resistor chains.
7:00 PM Seth Neumann What Would You Do DifferentlyPaul Deis, Moderator Layout Owner Panel with Rick Fortin, Richard Croll, David Parks, and Richard Eberli
8:00 PM Scott McGhee Madera Sugar Pine

July 9
9:00 AMPaul DeisBuilding a Layout, Design to DetailsRay Persing3D Printing for Model Railroading
10:00 AMJoe FugatePainting in a post-Floquil worldDon WinnKitbashing - Think outside the Walthers box!
11:00 AMBob Weinheimer, MMR®Evolution of an Operating SchemeJack Burgess, MMR®Photoshop Elements as a Modeling Tool
2:00 PMGuy CantwellScenery techniques - Modeling the Central Valley and the Western SierrasCharlie Getz & Chris PalermoNMRA's Magic of Scale Model Railroading Exhibit at the California State Railroad Museum: A Guided Tour
3:00 PM Bob Frankrone How to add a scene to a layout in 15 easy steps Dave Falkenburg & James Brassill Silicon Valley Lines Under the Layout Tour
4:00 PMSeth NeumannRe-Animating a US&S type 506 CTC ConsoleJoe FugateMake it run like a Dream
5:00 PMDinnerMichael Gross - My Life in Trains
7:00 PMEarl GirbovanModeler's Showcase featuring Dave Adams, Dave Croshere, Paul Deis, Fran Foley. Earl Girbovan and Jesse Walden John Abatecola, ModeratorLayout Owner Panel with Jack Burgess, MMR®, Guy Cantwell, Howard Lloyd, and Tony Thompson
8:00 PMClifton LintonButane by Rail - A Prototype You Can ModelEdwin Hall, MMR®Basic Airbrushing and Detailing and Painting a Southern Pacific Cab-Ahead

July 10
9:00 AMGuy CantwellFast Forward - 15 Years of layout Construction in an HourSteve RedekerModeling the Hetch Hetchy Railroad in 1919: A Black and White Approach to Scenery
10:00 AMJesse WaldenAn Operating System for Smaller LayoutsPaul DeisTuning Up Your Rolling Stock
11:00 AMRoger SekeraDeveloping Your Operations from Start to Timetable and Train OrderSeth NeumannAn Update on the Union Pacific Oakland Sub
2:00 PMMike OsborneLABRF: Los Angeles to BakersfieldBill KaufmanDeveloping Operations for Your Layout
3:00 PMChris PalermoSeasickness Unknown: The Pacific Coast Companies Create the Alaska Cruise BusinessEd MerrinFocus Stacking and Low Perspective Smartphone Photography
4:00 PMSeth NeumannModel Railroad Communications (Phones for Ops)Joe FugateSiskiyou Line 2 Clinic
5:00 PM Dinner NMRA President Gordy Robinson - Thanks for Coming
7:00 PMKristine McNaryZimo DCCPaul Deis, ModeratorLayout Owner Panel with Ed Merrin, Chuck Oraftik, Bill Kaufman, Dave Houston
8:00 PMBruce MordenUsing Sanborn maps and aerial photos for layout designEdwin Hall, MMR®Detailing & Painting the Southern Pacific 1941 Lark

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Breakout Room Schedule

Using Breakout Rooms

  • TO ENTER - Click on the Breakout Rooms icon (4 squares) at the bottom of your screen to get a list of all the breakout rooms and who’s in them. Some of the breakout rooms will be dedicated to specific topics, but many will be available for people just to hang out and socialize in. To enter a breakout room, hover over the area that tells you the number of people in the room and a Join button will appear, allowing you to join the room.
  • TO LEAVE - click the button in the bottom right corner that says Leave Room then select the option you want from there.

QUESTIONS? – Look for volunteer staff throughout the convention or in the Great Hall. They will have Staff before their name.

NMRA 2021 Rails By The Bay
Breakout Room Schedule
(Current as of: )
Day / Date Start Time
Breakout Room Hosted By
Room Name Topic
July 5
7:00–10:00 PM LDSIG Zoom Room LDSIG Meet & Greet – Open to all, especially SIG members. All SIG program participants (you don’t need to belong to Layout Design or Operations SIGs to attend) are invited to briefly introduce themselves and their interests. A layout plan may be shared. Layout Design SIG
Seth Neumann

July 6
12:00–1:30 PM VENDOR FOCUS CTC and layout control, signaling, and a range of solutions for layout control Model Railroad Control Systems
Seth Neumann
12:00–2:00 PM Scratch Building Is Scratch Building Dead? Ray Persing
12:00–2:00 PM YouTube Modelers For the YouTube modeling community Human(c)ity Junction
Heath Hurwitz
1:00–2:00 PM For Ladies in the Hobby Women in the hobby are invited to a Meet & Greet Cydney George-Abatecola, Michelle Kempema, Christine Zambri
5:00–6:30 PM VENDOR FOCUS Multiscale 3D Printed Figures Miniprints
5:00–7:00 PM B&O Railroad Historical Society About the BORHS: Check out their information, archives, and collections Travers Stavac
5:00–7:00 PM ProtoSteam Throttle Progress Mark Stafford

July 7
12:00–1:30 PM VENDOR FOCUS The Amazing Diesel ProtoThrottle – also multiscale Iowa Scaled Engineering
Scott Thornton
12:00–2:00 PM Cool Tools Photos/Photo Processing Ed Merrin
12:00–2:00 PM CMRI Special Interest Group Computer/Model Railroad Interface as developed by Dr. Bruce Chubb Seth Neumann
12:00–2:00 PM Narrow Gauge Dave Adams
12:00–2:00 PM MSS SIG Modular Signal System Jere Ingram
12:30 PM NMRA Meet the President Gordy Robinson
3:00 PM Operations Passenger Ops Bob Ellis
5:00–7:00 PM YouTube Modelers For the YouTube modeling community TSG Multimedia
John Abatecola
5:00–7:00 PM B&O Railroad Historical Society B&O Equipment: Photos, drawings, company documents, engineering reports Travers Stavac

July 8
10:00 AM Operations Passenger Ops Bob Ellis
12:00–1:30 PM VENDOR FOCUS Multiscale Model Railroad Manufacturer Bachmann Trains
Doug Blaine
12:00–2:00 PM MSS SIG Modular Signal System Jere Ingram
12:00–2:00 PM Cool Tools Eagle CAD Seth Neumann
12:00–2:00 PM YouTube Modelers For the YouTube modeling community Human(c)ity Junction
Heath Hurwitz
12:00–2:00 PM Small Scales For those into N, Nn3, TT, TTn3, and Z scales Richard Brennan
5:00–7:00 PM B&O Railroad Historical Society Operations: Use of Form 6, freight working books, terminal operations and more! Travers Stavac
5:00–7:00 PM LDSIG Zoom Room Annual SIG Dinner. Speaker: Otis McGee on “Realizing a John Armstrong Track Plan for SP Shasta Division.” Layout Design SIG
Seth Neumann

July 9
9:00–11:00 AM Proto:87 Discussion Rene Gourley
12:00–1:30 PM VENDOR FOCUS Multiscale Laser Cut sturctures and Laser/Cast Details Inter-Action Hobbies
Darryl Jacobs
12:00–2:00 PM Cool Tools Discuss 3D Printing (and the Achievement Program) Ray Persing
12:00–2:00 PM Narrow Gauge Dave Adams
5:00–7:00 PM For Ladies in the Hobby Women in the hobby are invited to a Virtual Dinner Cydney George-Abatecola, Michelle Kempema, Christine Zambri
5:00–7:00 PM ProtoSteam Throttle Progress Mark Stafford

July 10
12:00–1:30 PM VENDOR FOCUS Multiscale fiber optic lighting systems for layouts and structures Dwarvin Lighting
Michael Groves
12:30 PM NMRA Meet the President Gordy Robinson
6:00–7:00 PM Cool Tools Hand Tools Jack Burgess, MMR®

Themed Breakout Rooms

  • Garden Scale
  • Model Railroad Technology - DCC, JMRI, Arduino, LocoFi™, Dead Rail™, etc.
  • Modeling Modern Railroads
  • Modeling Canadian Railroads
  • Modeling Eastern Railroads
  • Modeling Non-US Railroads
  • Modeling Pennsy
  • Modeling the NYC
  • Modeling the UP
  • Modeling the SP
  • Modeling the Western Pacific
  • Modeling the Rio Grande
  • Modeling Western Railroads (ATSF, BN, BNSF, D&RGW, SP, UP, WP, etc.)
  • Modular Layouts
  • O Scale
  • Small Layouts
  • Small Scales – TT, N, Z
  • Train Photography
  • Under 30 – Are you 30 years old or younger? Meet others just like you in the hobby!
  • Our Social Gathering Rooms - any topic!
    • The Hotel Bar
    • The Dining Car
    • The Lounge Car
    • The Observation Car
    • The Caboose
  • Our Vendor Rooms
    • Chief Vendor Focus Room
    • Overland Vendor Focus Room
  • Clinic Goes on Rooms
    • Clinic Goes On Daylight 1
    • Clinic Goes On Daylight 2
    • Clinic Goes On Daylight 3
    • Clinic Goes On Zephyr 1
    • Clinic Goes On Zephyr 2
    • Clinic Goes On Zephyr 3
  • Additional Rooms
    • Eureka Room
    • Mariposa Room
    • Maui Room
    • Mineral Room
    • Napa Room
    • San Francisco Room
    • Santa Barbara Room
    • Santa Cruz Room
    • Shasta Room
    • Sonoma Room
    • Yosemite Room
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Vendor Focus Schedule

Vendor Focus Schedule

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