View the open house tour by going under the For Visitors menu and selecting Event List or Event Calendar.
When you click on a link for a model railroad venue, there are some demographics that will display, if the owner has provided them. Of particular note is one for ADA accessibility. There will also be a Google map displayed.
We've been asked "Where is the PDF list of events?"
The answer is, "Right under your nose!"
The Model Railroad Open House site is database driven. Changes may occur in real time. PDF files are static as of the time they are generated.
Our approach is this: navigate the site and display whatever events you like, whether the complete list or a list for a day. Then Print to PDF. Both Windows and MacOS have the ability to print to a PDF file rather than to an actual printer.
There you have it, a custom PDF file for your purposes!
Many visitors like to plan their trips based on a geographic cluster of model railroads open on the same date. To facilitate this, under the For Visitors menu you will find links to maps labeled "Week of...". These will show open houses for an entire week, plotted on Google Maps. Once viewing a map, you may toggle on/off specific days during that week and the map will update.
Note: Once generated and made available, these maps are static. They will not be updated as cancellations or new events are posted. Always check the live listings for confirmation!
But Wait, There's More!
If you register and login to the site (Registration Information), you can maintain an itinerary of events that you plan to attend. You can return later to review your travel plans.
My Event Registrations - Only available when logged in.
Many of the resulting pages will bear "ICAL" icons which enables you to have the displayed event(s) create a calendar entry for your Outlook, iCal, or other electronic calendar. Entries include address information that will directly engage a smart phone's GPS capabilities.
Open House Etiquette
- Honor the open house hours. Do not show up before the starting time and please do not stay beyond the end time.
- Do not park in the layout owner’s driveway, and be sure to follow parking regulations as posted on the street.
- Leave bulky coats and carry bags in the car; they have a habit of damaging scenery!
- Sign the guest book; every owner enjoys seeing where visitors were from.
- No Smoking, even if the host is smoking. Layout rooms generally do not have sufficient ventilation to handle smokers.
- Respect private property; make sure litter is not left behind.
- Do not pick up or handle any models, and be careful of bumping into control panels or controls mounted along the edges of the layout.
- Never lean on the scenery, and be careful of snagging things with bulky or loose clothing.
- Use diplomacy when talking about scales, prototypes, etc., especially if the owners are different from yours.
- Most owners are happy to answer questions and talk about their layouts; remember that others may have questions too.
- If the layout room is crowded, try to keep moving so everyone gets a chance to see the entire layout.
- If the host is busy, talk with other visitors. Model railroaders tend to be pretty friendly and willing to help.
- Don't forget to thank both the layout owner and his/her spouse as you leave.
While none of these items is particularly difficult to comply with, it is amazing how often people ignore them. If everyone uses a little common sense, the layout owner will have a great day and will not hesitate to participate in future tours.
Before you shoot off an e-mail, here are some features we are looking to add:
- Maps that show flags for all of the open houses on a given day -- Done! We got it in this year!
- Indication of scale on the main event list -- Done!
- PDF of entire guide -- Not needed; your operating system can print a PDF.