- Over 2,000 NMRA Members and Their Families Attend The Convention
- Many Different Countries Will Be Represented
- The Layout Tours Are One Of The Chief Attractions Each Year
- Over 70 St. Louis Area Layouts were on the Gateway 2001 tour
The Actual Operation
- Over The Road Air Conditioned Tour Buses Equipped with Restrooms Will Be Utilized
- Each Bus Will Have A Tour Guide Who Will
- Be Equipped With A Cellular Phone For Communications With The Convention Staff
- Provided Detailed Directions and Layout Specific Instructions
- Will Manage The Tour Based on Each Owners Needs
- Communicate Instructions And Directions To The Visitors
- Maintain The Schedule
- Only A Single Bus Should Visit A Layout At Any Given Time
Layout Owner Questions To Be Answered
- How Many Will Fit in The Layout Room?
- What If It Rains?
- Extreme Heat?
- How Will I Handle The Tour Groups?
- What Will The Neighbors Think?
- How much help will I need?
- Safety Concerns?
- Security Concerns?
- Determine the number of visitors who will comfortably fit in the layout room
- If less than 43 (bus capacity) use one of the crowd control techniques below:
- Have a bowl with poker chips/or other items (equally the room capacity) at the entrance
- Tell the tour guide that the room will hold X# of visitors and that as one leaves he/she should give their chip to the next person in line
Visitor Holding Areas
- Determine the number of people that can wait in your house while they wait to see the layout (remember it could rain or the heat during the day could preclude their waiting outside)
- If your home or garage or covered patio can’t hold the 43 potential visitors less those who are seeing the layout, ask the tour guide to keep 1/2 or more of the visitors on the bus until the layout room can handle the next group of visitors
Preparing The Layout Room
- Check for safety hazards and mark them clearly
- Remove structures, locomotives and rolling stock close to the edge of the layout
- Clearly mark areas that are restricted
- Consider removing any rare or extremely valuable items from the layout room
Preparing The Layout
- Test your layout prior to the tour arrival
- If possible have one or more trains running on a continuously (operations/switching is not recommended)
- Clean the track spike turnouts that are questionable
- Test each train to determine that all cars and locomotives will run reliably
- Clean all wheels on locomotives as well as rolling stock
- Clean the rail
- Radio control have fresh batteries on hand
Arrange For Help
- Plan on having at least two people to run the trains and provide security
- The owner should be free to meet and discuss the layout with visitors
- If the visitors are passing through your home to get to the layout someone should be stationed in that area
- Have a smoking policy and a provision outside for litter
- Seating for visitors in the holding area (Good idea for older members but not required)
- Refreshments, again a nice idea since the visitors will be traveling for 3-4 hours before returning to the hotel
- Restroom, also nice idea but also not a requirement
- Photo and video cameras; each host can elect to allow any camera, only snap shots, no camera bags or no pictures
- Handouts on the layout are helpful but not a requirement
- Inform your neighbors that you are expecting large tour buses during several time periods during the week
- Insurance; the Gateway 2001 committee is arranging for insurance to cover any mishap that might occur at a layout (personal inquiry not models) (Layout/collection insurance is available through the NMRA).