2011 NMRA National Convention
July 3 to 9, 2011 - Sacramento, California
The Unconventional Convention

Tours, Tweaks & Status

As we enter the last week before the Convention and last few days of the on-line X2011 e-Store, I thought it appropriate to provide some comments for anyone needing that one remaining piece of information to help make your last-minute tour choices, as well as the status of tours and clinics.

Dennis Stokely, Outside Activities Manager

Sold Out & Cancelled Tours / Clinic Changes

Layout Tours Prototype Tours General Interest Tours Last Minute Clinic Changes

General Announcements

MORE TIME TWEAKS – this time on returns
Traffic has been heavier than normal in the East Bay recently, in large part due to a couple of road construction projects. In order to allow for potential delays and provide more time than originally provided in layouts, tours L301 and L402 will not return until 5:30 PM and 7:00 PM, respectively, instead of the originally announced 5:00 PM.

We have previously announced that the tour desk will have coupons for admission to California State Parks in the Sacramento area allowing for one free admission with one paid admission. This includes the Leland Stanford Mission, the California State Indian Museum, Sutter’s Fort and the Governor’s Mansion. The coupons are valid on Sunday July 3rd, the opening day of the Convention before the opening of the Tour Desk. We anticipate having a supply of coupons available in the Tour Desk area by 10:00 AM Sunday in order to allow participants arriving early the opportunity of visiting those locations on Sunday.

Those of you that have participated in Industrial Tours on previous conventions know that some facilities require liability release forms be completed by tour participants. This year is no exception and forms are required by the California State Railroad Museum for tours of the SP Shops and by Sierra Pacific Industries for their Lincoln Mill. These tours have a lot of attendees participating and we request you pick-up a form from the Tour Desk before the departure of your tour and complete it before your tour leaves in order to expedite your departure. If any of the other destinations notify us in advance of the need for a Liability Release we will make them available in advance as well.

In view of the anticipated hot weather, the UP has informed us that although they cannot bend their footwear restriction prohibiting open-toed shoes or high heels, they will allow shorts to be worn during our tours of their Roseville Yard.


G101 — Sacramento River Dinner Train

The Unconventional Convention’s unconventional dinner train. Everybody does wine tasting, although not usually on a train. We have a beer tasting, plus a buffet dinner and musical entertainment. Plenty of seats left, but we won’t be selling this one at the convention tour desk due to the event starting at 5:00 PM on arrival day. Please note the change in departure time.

G102 — River Cats Baseball Game with BBQ and fireworks

We had to modify this tour and make transportation on your own but we still have a FEW tickets left in the group block.

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P201 / P202 / P211 / P212 — Western Pacific Museum in Portola and Feather River Canyon

STILL OPEN! All four tours were sold out, but our bus company found a way around a stretch of road with length restrictions so we increased the size of the bus. We now have a few more seats per bus on the tours without locomotive operation. Sorry, we cannot add more spots to locomotive operations. PLEASE NOTE THE TIME CHANGE ON P201 AND P211. In order to guarantee sufficient time for all P211 participants to enjoy the locomotive running, we had to move the departure time ahead fifteen minutes.

P203 — Sierra Railway at Railtown 1897 SOLD OUT
L201 — Sierra Sunrise Layout Tour and BBQ at Railtown 1897

Tour L201 cannot be increased beyond the two buses we have now and seats are getting low. Additionally, we need to provide a meal count to the caterer in advance and that will limit the number of tickets available for sale at the tour desk on Sunday.

G202 — Fireworks at Rancho Cordova

We only have a few seats left on this one and cannot add another bus because we are at capacity on the trains at Rancho Cordova.

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P301 — Modesto & Empire Traction
P303 — Central California Traction

These are our short-line tours. Neither are traction. Sorry trolley fans, but we have other tours for you. Please note the late afternoon time for the CCT tour is designed to provide evening lighting for the photo-op portion of that trip.

P304 — Hays Antique Truck Museum and Heidrick Ag History Center

This is a fantastic museum with both antique farm equipment and trucks. I enjoyed touring it during our research of locations. They have a restored City of Woodland Horse Drawn Street Car (there you go Trolley enthusiasts) and a truck with an Alco diesel engine. Maybe there have been too many truck museums included in recent years' conventions and a lot of you have had your fill, impacting the light sign-ups. If not, this one is a great short tour, so give it a try.

P311 — San Francisco Trolley and Cable Car Museums

Travel via Amtrak and BART to get there and back and an all-day pass to ride on San Francisco’s restored trolleys. This tour also runs Thursday (P512) as well, but the Thursday tour conflicts with the P504 Sacramento Transit Light Rail Facility tour, so if you want to do both you need to take this one.

P321 — Photography Session at the California State Railroad Museum

An opportunity to photograph their locomotives and rolling stock with tripods and no crowds. Tour is at about half capacity at this time and should have tickets available at the tour desk on Sunday and Monday.

G301 — Aerospace Museum of California

A good short tour for those of you who like planes, as well as trains, and I know there are a lot of us. Check out their website www.aerospaceca.org to see what they have on display.

G302 — Daylight Sales

A unique opportunity to see where Dave, from train shows nationwide, prepares his shirts and hats, with an opportunity to buy on-site, instead of at a show.

G303 — Donner Summit

Tour the tunnels and see the original Transcontinental Railroad line. This tour could hit sold-out before the July 3rd convention opening. Please note there is still snow in the area which could impact the walking route or even cause tour cancellation. Be prepared for the cold and the snow underfoot. While it will be hot in Sacramento, the almost 8,000 feet elevation at Donner is a world away.

G305 —Cal-Fire Aircraft Maintenance Facility

Another tour for plane and train enthusiasts. This one will visit the Cal-Fire Aircraft Hangar where the aerial fire-fighting tankers are serviced.

L301 — East Bay by Rail - CHANGE - Return time changed to 5:30 PM. See "General Announcements" above.
L302 — Pony Express Trail
L303 — Auburn and Nevada City
L304 — Colusa Turn
L305 — Narrow Gauge

All five layout tours have seats left at this time. We will probably still have tickets available at the tour desk, but no guarantees and no additional buses once they're full.

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P403 — Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista

A Trolley Museum, and a great one. Still has seats, but no second bus will be added. There is a self-guided option (P413) of this tour for people who also want to visit the Petaluma Trolley Restoration Project in the morning.

P444 — Union Pacific Roseville Yard Tour - NEW TOUR

Due to the overwhelming demand for tour P404, we have arranged with the Union Pacific Railroad for a third bus to tour their Roseville Yard. The third bus will depart at 12:30 PM Wednesday afternoon instead of Wednesday morning. Due to the imminent closing of the on-line X2011 e-Store, tickets for this tour will only be available at the X2011 Tour Desk in Sacramento at the Convention. The tour price is $20.00.

In view of the anticipated weather the UP has informed us that although they cannot bend their footwear restriction prohibiting open toed shoes or heals, they will allow shorts on the tours of their Roseville Yard.

P405 — Sierra Pacific Industries

Also runs on Thursday (P501). Still has seats available on both, but Wednesday is getting full. If you are interested in the mill facility but don’t care about which day, you should be fine waiting until the convention, but if you care about going on Wednesday, consider ordering on-line now.

G401 — Burbank House and Schulz Museum

A botanist in the morning and cartoonist in the afternoon with a train depot and exhibit thrown in at lunch time. Nearing sell-out.

G403 — Gold Country

The Gold Discovery site that started the 1849 Gold Rush, followed by two underground mines (one not available for tour except by special arrangement) and the complex’s stamp mill (original and working model). Tickets should still be available at the tour desk on Monday and Tuesday.

G414 — Sheraton Kitchen Tour

Our shortest tour. A visit to the hotel kitchen to see food preparation in bulk.

L401 — S Scale Layout Tour and Train Rides

L402 — East Bay Half Track Tour

CHANGE - Return time changed to 7:30 PM. See "General Announcements" above.

L403 — Petaluma and Santa Rosa Layouts Tour

Is running on the same bus as G401 and is nearing sold-out status.

L406 — Rocklin Rocket Layout Tour

Still has seats available and probably will until after Tour Desk opening.

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DDD — Squeeze Inn Tour - NEW TOUR

If you’ve seen the restaurant discussion on the X2011WestAttendees Yahoo! Group Board, you know we have discussed restaurants that have been featured on TV shows as possible lunchtime destinations and are providing address information at the Tour Desk and on the website. We went one further! On Thursday, July 7th (Museum Day), we will have a formal tour to the Squeeze Inn for an early dinner (or very late lunch) in time to arrive back at the California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) for the evening’s Carpet Cutting ceremony.

Tour DDD leaves at 3:30 PM and at 3:45 PM from the CSRM, then returns to the CSRM at 5:30 PM. Tickets for this tour are only available for sale at the Tour Desk, now that the online e-Store has closed. Check out the Squeeze Inn Special flyer or stop by the Tour Desk and join us for a "Squeeze with Cheese".

P501 — Sierra Pacific Industries

Was addressed with Wednesday tours - see P405

P512 — San Francisco Trolley and Cable Car Museums

Was addressed with Tuesday tours - see P311

P502 / P503 — Setzer Forest Products

A family run business that currently produces molding, but used to have a full sawmill on site. A quick, inexpensive tour to see both the molding operation and the remaining mill structures.

P504 — Sacramento Regional Transit Light Rail Maintenance Facility

Added late and with seats left (outbound only by bus – you will return on the light rail system).

P521 — Southern Pacific Shops Tour - CSRM - SOLD OUT
P522 — Southern Pacific Shops Tour - CSRM

Auditorium presentation in the California State Railroad Museum before a walking tour of the shops. Tour P522 has plenty of space left.

P523 — Grade Crossing Warning Systems - CSRM

This is a very special presentation by the California State Railroad Museum Signal Maintainers. It involves open signal boxes, a train ride to get to them, and a classroom presentation to familiarize you with what you will see in the field. This is an opportunity that won’t come again soon for most, if any, of us.

G501 — Wine Tasting

Two wineries in Lodi, and the city tasting room. The tour will be back in time to make the third Sacramento Southern run at the CSRM “convention evening”.

G503 — Folsom Outlet Mall Shopping

There is no fee (everybody buys their own light rail ticket) and no seat restriction since you are not going on a bus. However, we do need you to register by end of day Tuesday July 5th in order to obtain an outlet mall coupon book.

L501 — Valley Blossom Special Layout Tour

This is the only layout tour on Thursday with seats still available.

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G602 — Guide Dogs for the Blind

Please join the Non-Rails clinic on Thursday morning whether you plan on visiting their facility or not. Tour tickets will probably still be available at that time, if the clinic peaks your interest. This is a perfect tour for Non-Rails while your partner visits the convention attendees-only admission time at the National Train Show. PLEASE NOTE THIS TOUR DEPARTS EARLIER THAN ORIGINALLY LISTED.

G603 — Napa Valley Wine Train

If you want the beer tasting, you need to go on G101 on Sunday. This tour is for the wine drinkers, but wine is not included in the tour cost, which covers the ride, dinner and gratuity on dinner. Wine selection and purchase is on your own. There are still seats left, but we are nearing sell-out.

L601 — Bay Area Clubs - North SOLD OUT
L602 — Bay Area Clubs - East
L603 — Sacramento Area Clubs SOLD OUT

Only L602 still has seats available.

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P703 — V&T and Virginia City Tour

We added a second bus to this tour when the first bus sold out. Don’t make me regret it. We still have plenty of seats. This tour will be back at the convention center in time for the Nonquet.

L701 — Peninsula Gardens Layout Tour

– A long tour, but well worth it, tour of some fantastic garden railroads. This tour will be back at the convention center in time for the Nonquet.

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