The Gateway Division hosted the 2001 National Convention and National Train Show for the National Model Railroad Association from July 8–15, 2001.
Traditionally, every NMRA convention includes a wide variety of activities. Tours visit model railroad layouts in homes and at clubs. Other tours visit area industries, rail facilities, or model railroad manufacturers, so participants have an opportunity to see the real locations they are modeling. Tours to well-known historical and entertainment venues offer families a chance to visit the area. Contests offer a chance for modelers to show their best work and be judged for Achievement Program merit points and other awards. Clinics cover all aspects of the hobby, often tying into local or regional railroads, history, and geography. Auctions provide an opportunity for hobbyists to dispose of items or find the perfect purchase. Special Interest Groups schedule events, and lunches and banquets are planned.
The National Train Show runs the final Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the convention, usually in a large convention venue. Vendors ranging from individuals and small businesses to major companies and publishers come to sell their products, offer advice, and introduce new items. The show is open to the general public, so modular layouts in many different scales introduce children and adults to the hobby and the NMRA.
For the Gateway Division, the convention and train show was the culmination of five years of planning and preparation involving not only our local members, but volunteers across the country and abroad. We developed software for registration, reserved hotels and the convention center and bus companies, built or expanded home layouts, devised bus routes, tours, clinic schedules, and advertising campaigns, and recruited even more people. We even designed a small layout that Division members built on the convention floor while the train show was open.
The Gateway 2001 NMRA Convention was a great success. We thank everyone who attended or visited us on our web site.
Each registrant received a perfect-bound copy of the Gateway 2001 Convention Timetable listing all policies, procedures, events, tours and activities.