Some of you may have noticed a strange occurrence on Facebook between April 24th and April 25th and still might be wondering what happened to the NMRA. Well, the NMRA-X is what happened, and it is here to stay! The NMRA-X is the new virtual experience formed to bring some of the benefits of the organization live, right to your computer screens! Our very first NMRA-X Virtual Convention was held from 7pm EDT on April 24th to 7pm EDT on April 25th and consisted of 25 straight hours of clinics and tours from around the globe, featuring a new presentation every hour. Broadcasted through both the NMRA Facebook page and group, NMRA-X was a huge success with both members and non-members alike and it definitely broke the mold in the model railroading community. If you missed out on any of the action, all the videos are saved in the NMRA Facebook group:
Marketing and the Social Media Team have been pushing for this and plan on making NMRA-X the virtual model railroading destination by continuing to bring you more valuable content over the coming months.
The next event is “Ask the Master Model Railroader” scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd at 5pm EDT. Additionally, four, 12-hour NMRA-X Virtual Conventions are set for May 16th, May 30th, June 13th and June 27th. These can all be accessed from the NMRA Facebook group and the NMRA Facebook page. It is our hope to add additional streams soon. We hope to see you all there!
A special “thank you” goes to Gordy Robinson, Martyn Jenkins, Gert “Speed” Muller, Brad Anderson, and Jordan Kramer for pulling together and running the entire event, the presenters for sharing their knowledge and time, and the group from the A Modeler’s Life Podcast for wrapping up the event!
We are all stuck at home, lots of our Regional and National conventions have been cancelled this spring due to Covid-19, so I have worked hard with support from the team at A Modelers Life podcast to deliver an NMRA first. A virtual convention.
We will have clinicians and layout tours from across the world, representing the true global nature of our hobby and the NMRA.
Once per hour we will have a different clinician start their clinic using facebook live in our NMRA facebook Group. Before the event I will add the schedule of clinicians/tours.
We still have a few time slots to fill and could always use reserve clinicians so its not too late to get involved.
All Event times are in British Summer Time (UTC +1), please adjust for your local time zone.
Gordy Robinson NMRA Social Media Team, Div Rep for Div 12 (Scotland), NMRA British Region
As everyone is aware, the coronavirus has had a devastating impact around the world. It has caused the death of tens of thousands of people and that is not something to be trivialized.
The NMRA National convention, Gateway 2020, is scheduled to start on July 12, 2020, in St. Louis, Missouri. That being said, the local host group has determined that they can no longer continue with the preparations and operation of the convention. Among the reasons for this decision is the fact that one key member is ill with COVID-19. The host group requests your prayers for him.
Additionally, some members of the local model railroad community have withdrawn their model railroads from the tours, based on their understandable and valid concerns about allowing persons in their homes who may have the COVID-19 virus. Even if the virus is well under control, that does not mean that everyone who attends the convention would be virus-free.
Robert Amsler, Manager of the Meetings and Trade Show Department has advised the Officers and the Board of Directors of this decision and the Officers and Directors fully support cancelling the convention. Neither the Gateway 2020 crew nor the NMRA made this decision in haste or without careful consideration of all involved. The cancellation is in the best interest of the NMRA members, their family members, and the NMRA. It is noteworthy that the NMRA has never cancelled a convention before Gateway 2020 and that includes during World War II.
For those who have registered for the convention, the refund policy will be published as soon as possible at Gateway2020.org. We, the Gateway 2020 Committee, will need some time to make the necessary changes to the website to process the refunds.
Again, all involved regret this decision but we trust that you will understand the necessity and reasoning behind the decision.
As I write this note, we’ve all been put in a sort of “lock down” due to the Coronovirus (COVID-19). Each Division of the Region has already taken appropriate steps to comply with the various State of Emergency directives. I won’t list which events we have missed or are going to miss over the next four to eight weeks. It wouldn’t add anything positive.
I would like to echo some encouraging words I heard from Marty McGuirk on his blog a couple of days ago. First, our involvement in the hobby is just that, a hobby. Yes, we’ll be missing out on some of the social aspects of Division meetings and train shows and sales. Second, if I miss out on going to a show to buy something, it’s not a loss as I probably don’t have a real need for more stuff.
On Monday 3/16, I spent some additional time in my train room, working on the layout. With the new “standard” of not going out in the evenings, I’m hoping to get a lot of work done on my layout. It’s in the “some track work is done and some not done” stage. Today I pushed forward on that timeline.
Since my crystal ball is broken (and I haven’t found a reputable repair shop), I can only say: be careful with yourself and your health; get some modeling done, and maybe have something ready for judging or showing off at the first Division meet or MER convention in the Fall.
Now’s it time for me to head back to the train room and get some more track installed.