News 2021 NMRA National Train Show - Cancelled

SJ Z-man Jan 23, 2021

  1. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    I got an e-mail from the Pacific Coast Region (PCR) regarding the Convention being held prior/during the National Train Show, here in Santa Clara, California (Silicon Valley). DAMN !

    Announcement of Cancellation

    Santa Clara, California—The host committee of the 2021 national convention of National Model Railroad Association, Inc., NMRA 2021 Rails By The Bay, announced today that it has canceled its convention that had been scheduled for the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel & Conference Center on July 4-11, 2021. A multi-day video virtual event—which will retain the name NMRA 2021 Rails By The Bay—is under development.

    "Planning and running a convention of this magnitude requires signing transportation and outside tour contracts plus having commitments from layout owners for tours and operations at least six months in advance,” said Ray deBlieck, chairman of the host committee. “Based on current government orders in Santa Clara County and the public health situation, we were unable to obtain commitments from bus companies and tour sites. Many key layout owners also wanted to wait and see how the situation developed before committing to tours or ops. We also could not determine what the allowable room capacity for in-person events would be. We had a timetable with milestones in January for certain commitments and we could not secure those commitments with the required lead time. But bright spots are that our committee has tremendous talent and we had numerous excellent clinic commitments.”

    Planning for a substitute video virtual event has begun. Tentatively scheduled to start July 6, the four- to five-day event will mix live and recorded video and will have virtual participation by clinicians and layout owners local to the Santa Clara area. Video clinics, layout tours, museum, and railfanning tours are expected, with Q&A sessions and layout owners’ panels to provide interactivity. Slack channels or breakout rooms are expected to allow live post-presentation discussions. The committee expects to cooperate with the successful NMRA-X virtual meeting team. More detailed information is expected to be released by April 2021.

    The convention Registrar will contact all convention registrants in the near future and offer an opportunity to register for the July 2021 video virtual event at a $49 fee (covers all days), donate their registration fees to NMRA, or receive a full refund.

    The planning committee draws members from 21st Century Limited, a California nonprofit corporation that successfully ran NMRA’s highly regarded 2011 and 2001 national conventions, as well as local modelers and operators. Pacific Coast Region of the National Model Railroad Association, Inc. is a co-sponsor. NMRA’s 2022 national convention is under continued development.

    The National Train Show, which is separately planned and operated, also is cancelled.

    BNSF FAN likes this.
  2. rray

    rray Staff Member

    Yeah, I could have sworn that is exactly what was published in video format back in Sep-Oct timeframe, but I could not find the thread or video link anymore. Almost like it was an on again off again event.

    Well, that gives me time to make more progress on my TTZ modules before a public unveiling.
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  3. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks for getting the word out Jeff. Disappointed but not surprised.
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  4. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    Mid December, the NMRA Show/Marketing guy answered my e-mail that it was on, after I had heard such that Contracts where not abled to be signed (under the then current COVID conditions), understandably. The PCR Convention was adamant the Convention was a go.

    Sucks for us (BAZ BoyZ) as this is our house, last time was 2000 in San Jose ! I worked just a few blocks from the 2021 Convention and Show sites !

    I think I'm going to do like a lot of the Europeans do. Rent a Hall/Bldg (lots of idle ones) and set up for a WEEK !!!
    Helitac likes this.
  5. rray

    rray Staff Member

    Yeah, we should organize our own Z Scale Convention for 2022.
    And it should have attractive criteria with at least a city hopper accessible airport nearby.

    1) And we should pick a time of year that it's not too hot, nor too cold weather wise.
    Thinking May- June when everything is turning green.

    2) And we should pick a location that is not too expensive, and not super traffic congested.
    Thinking it would allow more people to attend, and we could more easily and less stressfully attend nearby attractions.

    3) And we should pick a location near prototype railroad activity day trips.
    There should be at least a couple decent prototype destinations available within an hour drive.

    4) And we should pick a location where people could bring their RV's and camp if they don't want to stay in a hotel.
    Thinking some people might want to BYOZ and stay at a campground where the can have a campfire at night with get togethers.

    5) And there should be non rail attractions that those who wanted could visit and possibly stay a couple extra days.

    I am just throwing this out there but... Reno Metro Area?

    Has an international Airport. Check.
    Reno Metro has less than 500,000 population and good roads. Check.
    30 local RV parks and campgrounds. Check.
    Non Rail Attractions: National Automobile Museum, Animal Ark Sanctuary, Nevada Historical Society Museum, Casino's. Check.
    Railroad Attractions: Virginia & Truckee Railroad, Nevada Northern Railway, Western Pacific Railroad Museum. Check.
    bostonjim and Kurt Moose like this.
  6. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    Don't forget:
    Awesome scenery from gracious mountains (with snow) that was the most challenging for the railroad to build over and, Lake Tahoe.
    Yosemite, Lassen Volcano, caves and mud flats.

    And, where Hans started his career after graduating. :)

    Sacramento International Airport is 3 miles away (and Jeff from the BAZ BoyZ) and San Francisco is ~5 hrs (without traffic ;)
    rray likes this.
  7. rray

    rray Staff Member

    I mean, hey, this could be an excellent way to pull out of the Covid Funk everyone has been stuck in, and how many years has it been since we had a Z Scale Convention? 10 years or so?

    And also, how many Z Bend Track modules do you think we could get to Reno? 50 or so? Not to mention all the new T Trak Z modules people have been building? It could very well end up being the largest Z Convention ever! :D

    What say you?

    And all these Z Bend Track hot spots are close enough to bring modules:
    6.5 hours from Boise to Reno
    7.5 hours from LA to Reno
    9 hours from Portland to Reno
    15 hours from Denver to Reno
    24 hours from Dallas to Reno

    Affordable venue at HALF the cost of a Santa Clara venue!
    Western US centrally located
    Mild climate
    Great nightlife activities
    Lots of affordable banquet facilities

    We can even have a night on the town, see the 3rd rebuild of the arch with all LED construction, and a few adult beverages at the casinos! :whistle:oow! Did someone say Casino Night?
    bostonjim likes this.
  8. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

    Biggest Z convention ever ! That sounds like something I want to attend , But
    How about some place mid USA instead
    5200 miles = 80+ hours driving (round trip) is a little too far for those of us on the east coast.
    bostonjim likes this.
  9. rray

    rray Staff Member


    Any place is up for suggestion. Just propose a location that meets lots of desirable criteria. ;)
  10. rvn2001

    rvn2001 TrainBoard Member

    The NMRA convention and National Train show are scheduled for St. Louis in 2022. Most of that stuff is here too.
    rray likes this.
  11. marmot

    marmot TrainBoard Supporter

    I was working toward attending/participating with at least one Z-Bend module for the NTS this year, so that's disappointing that it has been cancelled. But I'm continuing to build full speed ahead.

    Sounds like I'll plan on going to the St. Louis 2022 NTS regardless of whether there's anything for Z in addition to that.

    I wasn't involved in Z scale years ago. Who organized the Z scale convention that was located near Denver about 10 years ago? (That's where I am).
  12. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

    St Louis Now that's a lot more to my likeing.
    That cuts distance and drive time nearly in half plus gives me more time to plan.
  13. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

    Not to forget the famous Reno Air Races every september.. ;)

    Kurt Moose likes this.
  14. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

    Doing a train show in Reno during the National Air Races is an excellent idea!
    But I am really disappointed about losing Santa Clara, I could have done that and slept in my own bed.
    Kurt Moose and bostonjim like this.
  15. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

    All is not lost, at least as far as Northern California. For a number of years the Sierra Division of the NMRA here has put on the International Rail Fair in October, which is probably the earliest such a gathering could be deemed safe in our COVID world. Historically it has been held in Roseville, but last year it was to be held in Sacramento (still a reasonable drive for Eric an others). They have never had a Z scale layout there, which I had intended to rectify until the show was cancelled last year. It could be a great opportunity for a Z scale get-together.

    However in the previous couple of years attendance has been declining and there is some question in the division has to whether it should continue. Maybe we need to show them our support. Z scale could provide the reinvigoration it needs. After all Jeff made a great spokesperson last year on Good Day Sacramento.

    husafreak and bostonjim like this.

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