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September 2011 Meet Report and Contest Recap

September 2011 Meet Report

We had many beautiful models displayed again for all of us to enjoy, and we had a new meet location to enjoy as well, the Janet Pomeroy Center near the San Francisco Zoo, in the Sunset District of San Francisco.  We had our usual model contests, photo contest, 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 your beautiful work with us.

Click on the links below to see the:
Model Contest
Show and Tell  
Switching Contest
Photo Contest
Volunteers and People

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 beautiful models presented at the September 2011 Meet.

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Model Contest

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.

Unfortunately, our September 2011 Model Contest did not have any entries.    We did, however, have
superb Photo Contest and Show and Tell participant entries see those below :-).

Let's have a great turnout on December 4, 2011 for our final Model Contest of 2011!   

The category will be "Open Category"
(i.e. any of the NMRA model categories can be entered for our Popular Vote contest).
Bring a model that you are proud of.  Competition in NMRA Contests are really about challenging yourself to see how good can be, and to enjoy the camaradie of your fellow contestants.

So for December 4, 2011, bring an entry and participate!  Bring something to share, and enter for the Fun of it in the Coast Division Model Contest.  Let's fill up the December version of this table below!

Click here to see the upcoming Model Contest categories.  :-)

Category 1st Place  
2nd Place 3rd Place (tie)
Steam Locomotive

Diesel Locomotive

Passenger Car

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Merit Awards!

At every meet, we offer
NMRA Achievement Program Merit Award judging, for those who are pursing their Master Model Railroader.

Thank you to our NMRA Achievement Program judges:  Bob Wirthlin, MMR and Tom Vanden Bosch who did Achievement Program judging, and gave a Merit Award, for Frank Markovich's superb O scale "Backwoods Shop":

   The judges in action :-) :  

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* who have participated and displayed at our Model Contest, Show and Tell, and Photo Contest over the years - you have put on a great show and inspired the rest of us.   We hope you enjoyed our admiration of your work.  

Model Contest and Show and Tell Chair: John Sing
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Show and Tell  at September 2011 Coast Division Meet

At the September 2011 Meet, we had another excellent Show and Tell display. 
Thank you to all who brought a model for us to enjoy!  
The displays included:  

Tom Vanden Bosch
displayed his NMRA National Convention Model Contest 1st place Diesel award winner from the  X2011 West Model Contest in Sacramento!  
Tom was awarded for his scratchbuilt HO Gulf Mobile & Ohio Ingalls Diesel:

    Back in September 2006, Tom had showed us this model under construction:     Diesel Loco - 1st Place


   Read more about the Ingalls Diesel here

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Edwin Ness just knocked our socks off with his O scale model of his current home when it was under construction back in the late 1940's / early 1950s. 
Edwin is a retired carpenter.  This model uses scale-sized model lumber and is built and framed with the exactly correct construction techniques, spacing, and dimensions. 

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The future of our hobby is well assured.  Dominic DiMaio
, age 12, displayed this superbly weathered N scale SP SD50.  Dominic, great to see you at our meet.


Jim Eckman
continues to amaze and inspire us with his structure techniques using paper:

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Thx, all, for sharing and inspiring us,
and for your participation.  

Participate by bringing a model - it's simply for the fun and joy of it all!   Come on out in December 2011 and share with us something that you would like us to see - we look forward to it!

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

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We had our Clinics and Model Railroad Roundtable as we do at every Coast Division meet. 

And of course, our ever popular Model Railroad Roundtable, moderated by Jerry Littlefield

X2011 West Clinic Handout alert!

Did you know?  The X2011 West NMRA National Convention has a ton of their clinic handouts online, free for anyone worldwide to download, at:

Go there and enjoy  :-)

Got an idea for a clinic?   Want to see what's coming up?   Contact the 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 September 2011 Switching Contest :  

Here are the results for our Allen Fenton Switching Contest to the September 2011 meet:

Winners in the Brakeperson category (5 car problem)!

First Place Second Place Third Place
  John Sing (5:46)
    Ronnie LaTorres (7:11)
    Chris Drone (9:13)

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

First Place Second Place Third Place
    Alan Havens (5:07)
  John Sing (8:27)
   Ronnie LaTorres (8:40)

A special thanks to our Coast Division Switching Contest Chair:  Steve Peters, who keeps the Allen Fenton Timesaver
switching puzzle running smoothly and staffs the TimeSaver for us.   Thx, Steve! 

Here's a picture of Steve: 

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Participate and give it a try, it's a blast.    Remember... it's not about winning, it's about you and your switching.  You have to give it a try :-).

What is the Timesaver ?  (click below to find out!)

It 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 September 2011 Photo Contest :    (Congratulations to all who participated!)

The theme was:  "Steam Locomotives".

There were many artistic, noteworthy, and creative entries, and every one is worthy of award and mention.   Thank you to all who brought your photos 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

"First Day After Christmast"
by Tom Vanden Bosch

  "Ardenwood Double Header" 
by Steve Wesolowski

"SP 4449 at Martinez" 
by Pat LaTorres

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We had a superb palette of Photo Contest entries, here are more entries, all of them interesting, artistic, and just excellent.


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.  
Here's a picture of our Coast Division Photo Contest Chair:  Keith Wandry:  
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Upcoming Model Contest categories:

Coast Division Model Contest categories are rotated annually according to the following schedule (i.e. we always have the same categories as shown below, every March, June, September and December).   The categories for the upcoming Coast Division Model Contest Meets are as follows (click here for definitions of categories):

December 2011:     "Favorite Model"  (open to any category)

March 2012:            Caboose, Freight Car, Maintenance of Way

June 2012:               Structure, Display/Diorama, Self-Propelled Cars & Traction

September 2012:      Steam Locomotive, Diesel & Other Locomotives, Passenger Car

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    

December 2011:             Caboose
March 2012:                   Railroad Structures
June 2012:                      Diesel Locomotives
September 2012:             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
One of the great things about our Meets is sharing information and kibitzing about all things related to trains.   It's the People that make our hobby as much fun as it is.

Our Chief Clerk for the Coast Division is Darrell Dennis:

Darrell does all of the following:  Minutes from every Coast Division Meet, minutes from every Board of Operations meeting, and also is a consistent exhibitor at our local NMRA Coast Division table at every local train show.  Thank you, Darrell, for your contributions!

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Our thanks to our many Coast Division volunteers, we could not do any of this without each and every one of you.   Volunteers -  thank you!
You can see our current volunteers on the Coast Division Call Board by clicking here.

The September 2011 Meet was held at the Janet Pomeroy Center in San Francisco.  Thank you to our hosts for having us at your facility: :


Tom's Trackside Trains - one of our best sponsors
Tom Van Horn, owner of Tom's Trackside Trains in Menlo Park, Calif, is one of Coast Division's strongest supporters.   If you
are ever in Menlo Park on Wed-Sunday,, stop by and visit him and his shop.   Well worth the visit, go and support Tom!

Tom's Trackside Trains  558 Santa Cruz Ave. Menlo Park, CA 94025   - in the rear of Cindy's Flowers shop, go to the side door on the right
(650) 692-9724    Hours:   Thursday 12 – 5 PM,  Friday 12 – 8 PM,  Saturday 12 – 5 PM, Sunday 10 – 1 PM, closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, holidays


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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 December 2011.  

See you there!

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Last updated: November 25, 2011
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