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Newsletter Column Index September 2017 37th National Narrow Gauge Convention in Denver 2017 – Recap Let me first explain I have been to one NMRA National Convention and two National Narrow Gauge Conventions in the past – over 11 years ago since the last one. I am still amazed that […]

Newsletter 9/17



Newsletter Column Index August 2017 What draws you to model railroading? What makes you want to be a part of the NMRA? I have always liked building things. I remember as a kid building things with cardboard from cereal boxes while watching Saturday morning cartoons. As I have gotten older […]

Newsletter 8/17




Newsletter Column Index July 2017 When you go on vacation do you seek out opportunities to find trains? I don’t usually “seek them out” but when an opportunity presents itself I am happy! Recently I was at Disneyland with my family. On one day, most had gone back to the […]

Newsletter 7/17




Newsletter Column Index May 2017 What is your favorite part of model railroading? Do you like wiring or do you prefer creating scenery? Do you like hand laying track or building freight cars? There are so many aspects of and different subjects in this hobby that it’s no wonder it’s called […]

Newsletter 5/17









Newsletter Column Index February 2017 I’ve got some great news this month: It’s official that I am Master Model Railroader #585 and the third currently living in Utah! What does that mean? Well, for me it means I’ve accomplished a goal I’ve had for awhile. I first heard about the AP […]

Newsletter 2/17





Newsletter Column Index November 2016 We had a good turnout of entries for the Popular Vote Model Contest at the 2016 Intermountain Train Expo! We had about 100 ballots cast for favorite models in four categories plus a “Best of Show” where people voted for their overall favorite from all of […]

Newsletter 11/16



Newsletter Column Index September 2016   There are two main types of contests that I have entered in the past. I may have mentioned this before but my first contest I ever entered was an NMRA National Convention Contest. Although the judges were very nice and explained their reasons, I was […]

Newsletter 9/16



  Newsletter Column Index August 2016   There are two main types of contests that I have entered in the past. I may have mentioned this before but my first contest I ever entered was an NMRA National Convention Contest. Although the judges were very nice and explained their reasons, I […]

Newsletter 8/16


  Newsletter Column Index July 2016   At what point does your hobby get in the way of your hobby? To some that may sound like a weird question but to others you know exactly what I am talking about! I guess the more appropriate way to phrase it is […]

Newsletter 7/16


  Newsletter Column Index June 2016   I first started trying my hand at model railroading in my teenaged years. My first set was a Tyco Silver Streak train set that had brass track. I never got it to run very well. I know my uncle loved trains but he wasn’t […]

Newsletter 6/16



Newsletter Column Index May 2016 Are you an ambassador for your hobby? We can all help promote Model Railroading in our own way. I was a Boy Scout merit badge counselor for years without anyone asking for my help. Eventually I made some effort and I found an opportunity to help […]

Newsletter 5/16


Newsletter Column Index April 2016   You know what one of the best things about being in the NMRA is? I bet you thought I would say the AP Program! No, that’s the second best thing. The best thing is members helping members. In general I think model railroaders like […]

Newsletter 4/16


Newsletter Column Index March 2016   When I found out where the Layout Tour was going to be in March I was excited! Rick Luther has earned his Golden Spike and I know is interested in earning other certificates in the AP Program to eventually earn his MMR. I know he […]

Newsletter 3/16




Newsletter Column Index January 2016   It’s that time of year again where people make New Years Resolutions. If we look at the word resolution we see it is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” I actually like that it could go both ways! I’m not one […]

Newsletter 1/16


Newsletter Column Index December 2015   Some time back I made the decision that when I had “train time” I would just work on projects that specifically got me one step closer towards an AP certificate. For me, as I’ve said in the past, the AP has helped me focus my efforts when […]

Newsletter 12/15







Newsletter Column Index September 2015   Has the weather been too nice to work on your railroad? For me, going to the basement where it’s cool has been nice. Sometimes there are many distractions in life that keep us away from our hobbies. That’s OK because your hobby will be there […]

Newsletter 9/15









  Newsletter Column Index March 2015   What have you done lately in your model railroad world? If you have been following my column you might have noticed that I jump around a bit on the actual topic but always bring it back around to the Achievement Program. That is a bit […]

Newsletter 3/15


Newsletter Column Index February 2015 One thing I like about the Achievement Program is that is has allowed me to stretch myself and grow in ways in this hobby that I might not have even thought of on my own. I’ve said that before but it is something that came up […]

Newsletter 2/15


  Newsletter Column Index January 2015 I’m not one to make “New Year’s Resolutions” because I think one should always be improving one’s self. However, when the opportunity presents itself I like to “resolve” to do better at a given subject. Such an opportunity presented itself or rather I took a […]

Newsletter 1/15



  Newsletter Column Index December 2014 This time of year we often see trains under the Christmas tree. In fact, I just got back from Disneyland with the family and under one of the trees that was decorated outside there was a large “dummy” train set up as though it were […]

Newsletter 12/14


  Newsletter Column Index November 2014 The contest at Wasatch Rails was a good experience for me. I really enjoyed looking at the models entered and seeing all the details in them. I am especially grateful to Rick Luther for his assistance and the others that provided guidance. When not too […]

Newsletter 11/14


  Newsletter Column Index October 2014 WASATCH RAILS 2014 — THE MODEL CONTEST IS BACK! We will have the model contest at Wasatch Rails 2014 with People’s Choice, Judge’s Choice and NMRA judging. The categories will be the standard NMRA model contest categories. Special certificates for all who enter and maybe […]

Newsletter 10/14



  Newsletter Column Index September 2014 There are many things that take up our time and some are more important than others. Sometimes that importance changes over time too. We like spending time doing those things we like but sometimes it’s important to spend time doing something we don’t like to […]

Newsletter 9/14


  Newsletter Column Index August 2014 Often people wonder where or how to get started in model railroading. Well, anyone reading this has probably already started! However, for this crowd, the topic of improving upon one’s skills and/or trying their hand at something they haven’t tried before is relevant! This month’s […]

Newsletter 8/14


  Newsletter Column Index July 2014 It was a GREAT convention with lots to do! One area I enjoyed of the convention was the contest room. A few of us received training on judging models which is helpful with being a new AP Chairman. Even though I’ve been building models for […]

Newsletter 7/14



  Newsletter Column Index June 2014 Don’t forget to bring some models to the upcoming convention. If you are still working on something, hurry and get it done! I know it feels great to finish one I’ve been working on for more than a decade! I took some pictures of it […]

Newsletter 6/14


  Newsletter Column Index April/May 2014 One thing I think is really cool about model railroaders is we come together and are united in our Love of Trains. There are so many types of trains, scales, areas of interest, prototype, freelance, and on and on but the best part is we […]

Newsletter 5/14


This is my second layout video using the iCar. Gary Petersen’s Salt Lake Southern layout is awesome! This time I ran the iCar at the end of the train looking backwards as though standing on the back platform of the caboose. You can watch it in FULL HD but takes […]

iCar Caboose Ride



Below is my first article in what is to become a long-time monthly article in my division of the NMRA newsletter. For more information regarding these articles see this page: AP Newsletter Articles Achievement Program Jim Wanlass, Division AP Chair For me the first real steps of the AP Program […]

Newsletter 3/14


I can’t believe where the time has gone! Anyway, I have been making some progress my 4×8 railroad. I just haven’t had time to post anything. Sometimes it is slow going but at least there is some progress. For example the frogs are wired for power now and locomotives do not […]

Quick Video Clip