I returned last Thursday from attending the 23rd National Narrow Gauge
Convention in Denver, Colorado with two friends. We had a great trip,
saw lots of real and model trains, and even bought some new toys!
There were 1660 or so registered for the event, so there were modelers
all over the convention hotel(s). Great operating layouts in hallways
and rooms at the hotel, all scales from Nn3 to Gn3, and mostly all
awesome. And the dealers! We wandered around checking everything out
in the main room and then discovered there was another larger room with
dealers! Wow - what was going to run out first, our money or time? I
picked up a Bachmann On30 Shay (wow!) and one of their 0-4-2T switchers
for a fraction of what I would have paid here in Canada, US$150. and
$40. Looks like I'll have to start something in On30!
With so many things happening at the same time, it was a juggling act to
be able to participate in what you wanted. I was able to attend some
of the clinics I wanted, and they were mostly very informative. Resin
casting, digital photography, display layouts, D&RGW snow fighting,
etc. But there were many more that I could not get to.
There was a free shuttle bus to Caboose Hobbies, absolutely astounding!
Way too many things to take in at once.
We made it to the Georgetown Loop Railroad one morning, and to the
Colorado Railroad Museum on another day. Nice stuff there, but it was
soo hot. Visited some home layouts on the way back to the hotel, as
they were more or less on the way. The descriptions could have been
better, as the two were only partially completed, making the effort less
A long drive to the north of Denver to visit a renown layout was
somewhat of a disappointment too. It was very hot, and visitors had to
wait in the stuffy upstairs for half and hour or more until others
passed through. The first two smaller layouts with no waiting had cool
drinks and cookies, but not the larger one. The layout, while great,
wasn't the best for visiting, with very narrow access, lots of people,
up and over platforms, etc. It looks great in the magazines, but our
experience wasn't the greatest.
We stayed after the convention and did a tour of Colorado's narrow gauge
steam railroads - the Cumbres & Toltec, Durango & Silverton, and a few
other railroad sites. Got lots of photos!
The only wrinkle on our trip was the few inches of snow while traveling
over the highway past Vail. The actual snow wasn't a problem to us, but
it did stop traffic for 45 minutes or so below the 10,660' summit.
After that it was sunshine and clear driving all the way back to Denver.
I brought along a few of my old pinhole photos to enter in the photo
contest at the convention, and was pleased to win first and second place
in black & white models, and third place in color models. I've posted
copies of the images on my website in case anyone would like to see
Great trip it was!
18 years ago