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December 2009 Meet Report and Contest Recap

December 2009 Meet Report

We had many beautiful models displayed again for all of us to enjoy.  We had switching contests, photo contests, and fun was had by all.  Thank you to *all* the participants who entered and put on such a good show for the rest of us;  we hope you enjoyed our deep admiration and appreciation for your sharing it with us.

Click on the links below to see the:
Model Contest
Show and Tell - check out Steve Anderson's scale model of his future new layout!
Switching Contest
Photo Contest
Volunteers and PeopleSee photos of our current Registar, Ted Stephens, as well as many of the friendly people who make our quarterly Coast Division Meets possible.

Click here to see the upcoming Coast Division Model Contest and Photo Contest categories for future meets

You can click on any of the thumbnails below, to see a larger photo of the absolutely gorgeous models presented at the December 2009 Meet.
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Model Contest

Our December 2009 Model Contest had another great set of displayed models.   The theme was "My Favorite Model".

As always, NMRA contests are not about winning, rather, they are about the fun of participating, about sharing your pride and joy in modeling with all of us (your appreciative audience), and having fun self-inspiring and self-challenging yourself.

Congratulations to our winners, and to all of our participants in the Popular Vote Model Contest for December 2009:

Category 1st Place 
2nd Place 3rd Place

Favorite Model

(open to any category)

Spreckels Station by:  Jim Eckman

100% scratchbuilt by Jim, from *paper*



See and learn all about about Jim's techniques for scratchbuilding structures out of *paper* at his web site:

One of the greatest things about NMRA - the great model builders we all get to meet, and the willingness withi which these skills are shared with us all.

See more of Jim's buildings and models at the Coast Divsion Show and Tell in Sept 2009:


Thank you, Jim! 

And congratulations for 1st Place in Model Contest for December 2009.

     George Freisleben
    -  Pacific Electric #1356

George, still active at age 94, completed this 100% scratchbuilt model  in 1965, 34 years ago.  





 I hope that all of us are still modeling and active when we reach George's age.  :-)     

  Terence Hurley

Stucco Building  in San Francisco, on the North Judah Line

Terence just joined NMRA at our December 2009 Meet - however, he's been an accomplished model builder and garden railroader for some time.  Welcome, Terence!





Great stucco and model - welcome to our new member and thanks for participating.
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Here are all the additional participants - wonderful work by all and well worth seeing.

John Houlihan's scratchbuilt O scale turnout,
check out the detail! :


and Steve Wesolowski's Favorite Model, "Curves":   

Thank you to all who participated - we love seeing your wonderful models.

In the end, NMRA contests are not about winning, rather, they are about the fun of participating, about sharing your pride and joy in modeling, and having fun self-inspiring yourself.  We all love to see your pride and joys, and you are all winners for participating. 
Thank You to *all*, you put on a great show and inspired the rest of us.   We hope you enjoyed our admiration of your work.  

So for March 2010, bring an entry and participate!  Bring something to share, and enter for the Fun of it in the Coast Division Model Contest.
Click here to see the upcoming Model Contest categories.  :-)

Model Contest and Show and Tell Chair: John Sing
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Show and Tell   at September 2009 Coast Division Meet

At the September 2009 Meet, we had another excellent Show and Tell display.   This time, we had:
Thank you to all who brought a model for us to enjoy!

More of Jim Eckman's
amazing printed paper models (see more at ):

 Here's Jim's instructions on how he does this, check it out, you can do it too! ==>    
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John Stutz's scratchbuilt lattice girder bridge spans:


Eugene Brichacek's
photos of UP 844's April 2009 visit to the San Francisco Bay Area:


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Ronnie LaTorre's 
photo of “Railfan Paparazzi":


Steve Anderson's
superb scale model of his next Sn3 model railroad.  You *have* to check these out.
I hope all of our real layouts become as detailed as Steve's scale model of his layout! :


  And see below, Steve's description of this layout.


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Coast Division Model Contest and Show and Tell Chair: John Sing

We had our Clinics and Model Railroad Roundtable as we do at every Coast Division meet:
Coast Division Clinics chair:    John Marshall

Thanks again to all who participated, and we look forward to seeing you at Model Contest and Show and Tell in upcoming Meets.  Bring something that you would like share - a model(s), display about your current project, a work in progress, it's up to you, as any category is always welcome for Show and Tell.   We love to see what you're up to!
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Results of the December 2009 Switching Contest : 

We are researching to get the names of the participants and winners of the December 2009 Switching Contest. 
If you can help me out, send me an email with names of the December 2009
Switching Contest participants and winners by clicking here.  Thanks!

Our winners in the Brakeperson category (5 car problem)!

First Place Second Place Third Place
   We're researching!   (
   We're researching!

   We're researching!

Our winners in the Senior Brakeperson category (6 car problem)!

First Place Second Place Third Place
We're researching!

    We're researching!
  We're researching!


A special thanks to our Coast Division Switching Contest Chair: Mark Schutzer,  who kept the Allen Fenton Timesaver switching puzzle running smoothly for so long, and to Dave Loveless, who staffs the TimeSaver for us, now that Mark is Coast Division Superintendent.

The Timesaver :

Is a fun, devilish little switching puzzle devised by the late, great model railroader, John Allen

Click on  these links above to learn more about the Timesaver, about John Allen, or his world famous HO Gorre & Daphetid model railroad, which inspired an entire generation of model railroaders worldwide.   John Allen lived in Monterey, California, and was a long time member of the Coast Division until his passing in 1973.

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Results of the December 2009 Photo Contest :    (Congratulations to all who participated!)

The theme was:  "My Favorite Photo".

There were many artistic, noteworthy, and creative entries, and every one is worthy of award and mention.   Thank you to all who brought your photo to share, we all love seeing your work.  

Click on any of the thumbnails below to see a larger copy of the Photo Contest Entry.   By Popular Vote, the Photo Contest winners were:

First Place Second Place
Third Place

"Keddie Wye"
by Ronnie LaTorres

  "UP 844 in San Francisco Bay Area"
by Eugene Brichacek

"UP 5071 in Feather River Canyon"
by Pat LaTorres

We had many entries, all of them interesting, artistic, and just excellent.  Click on a thumbnail below to see all of our other beautiful Photo Contest entries:    


Thank you to *all* who participated.  We hope you enjoyed a few minutes of fame and the ongoing admiration, of your fellow NMRA modellers and guests.

Bring a photo to the next Meet's Photo Contest!  Click here to see the upcoming categories.

Coast Division Photo Contest Chair: Pat LaTorres
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Upcoming Model Contest categories:

Coast Division Model Contest categories are rotated annually according to the following schedule.

Therefore, the categories for the Coast Division Model Contest in March 2010 are:


March 2010:      Freight Car, Caboose, Maintenance of Way

June 2010:            Structure, Display/Diorama, Self-Propelled Cars & Traction

September 2010:   Steam Locomotives, Diesel & Other Locomotives, Passenger Car

December 2010:     "Favorite Model" (open to any category)

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Results are determined by Popular Vote.  Arrive and enter early to get more votes!

  NMRA Judging is available at the Coast Division Meet to any Model Contest participant for:

- Achievement Program Merit Points
- Regional/National Contest entry preparation 'dry-run' and friendly expert advice     
- Or, just to see how you would have done (smile!)

Please contact the current Coast Division Model Contest Chair, John Sing,  or the current Achievement Program chair Kermit Paul, if you would to have your model judged at the upcoming meet.
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Upcoming Photo Contest categories:

March 2010:                             Steam Locomotives

All photos should be matted (inexpensive, resusable mattes can be had at most art supply stores) and should be between 5x7 and 11x14 in size. Hope to see your work there!

Results are determined by Popular Vote. Bring your photos early to get the early votes.

Photo Contest Chair:  Keith Wandry  
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Volunteers and People

Our thanks to our many Coast Division volunteers, we could not do any of this without each and every one of you!
All about the Dec. 1, 2009 announcement of a Scale Model Railroad Exhibit project at the California State Railroad Museum

  • Charlie Getz, HLM - NMRA At-Large North America Director reported: 

    • In a December 1, 2009 press release by the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, the Museum announced that it will provide the space for a 3,500 square foot model railroading exhibit, to be designed and constructed by the NMRA in CSRM’s Roundhouse Gallery, adjacent to the widely acclaimed “Small Wonders: The Magic of Toy Trains” exhibit.
    • This large exhibit will trace the history and growth of the fascinating hobby of scale model railroading from the early 19th century—when American railroads were just getting started—to the present. Spectacular and inspiring examples of vintage models created in machine shops will be included, contrasted with today’s highest quality models and layouts to illustrate the constantly changing nature of this fascinating hobby and pastime.
    • Funding for the exhibit will be raised by the NMRA, but please note that it will NOT come from NMRA member dues money. All plans are very preliminary, but the NMRA is currently planning corporate and private fund raising, which may or may not include member donations. Because of the NMRA's position as a standard bearer in the hobby, NMRA is serving as the "point person" for this project.
    • Noteworthy that as plans stand right now, this is NOT going to be a huge layout. What's being discussed is an world-class exhibit showing the evolution of scale model railroading from its earliest beginnings, through the tinplate and Depression era, through the war, and up into today. We may show a small train layout in various stages of construction, so the general public can see benchwork, wiring, scenery, etc -- and realize it's actually not that hard to build a model railroad - that it's something that they themselves can do and enjoy.   And, that there is a wonderful amount of help, tools, resources, and interesting people doing this hobby worldwide today.
    • The California State Railroad Museum has over half-a-million visitors a year, and is California's #3 tourist attraction.  There's virtually no better way to expose that many people to all the facets and fun of scale model railroading.  This new exhibit is expected to generate additional guest interest and increased visitation for the Museum - <>and in the process, expose a half-a-million visitors a year to the role and continuing contributions made by the NMRA to the worldwide growth and success of the hobby of scale model railroading.
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Registrar and Auction volunteers -  thank you!

  • We would like to thank Ted Stephens, who does the essential job of meeting all of us at our Meets as our Registrar.   Thank you, Ted, for volunteering!

  • Thanks to our many Auction volunteers, who make our treasure hunting run smoothly and help raise money that self-funds our Coast Division.

More volunteers!

Our Coast Division Superintendant, one of our National NMRA Directors, and our NMRA National Convention 2011 Chairperson:

Thank you, Mark Schutzer (
Coast Division Superintendant), Charlie Getz (National NMRA Director), and Ray DeBlieck (NMRA National Convention 2011 Chairperson), for all your continuing contributions.

You can see our current Coast Division Call Board by clicking here.

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The Job’s Daughters
provided the crowd-pleasing fare of Polish hot dogs, drinks, snacks and chili for lunch. Thanks a bunch as usual! 

Thank you all
for your continued service!   We and Coast Division are all better due to your volunteering.

and Thank You to all of you for enjoying our Meets:   

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Steve Wesolowski, our Publicity Chair (and super helper on Model Contest) recently said it well for all of us:  

"So many people happily volunteer to make our Coast Division Quarterly Meetings possible.  In appreciation, whenever you have the chance, please remember to thank someone else in our Division who in whatever way, helps to make our Coast Division Meets the success they are today."

Thank you, Steve, well said.  :-)

Invite a new friend to come to the next Meet, and see what we're all about!

See all of you at the Coast Division Meet in March 2010.
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