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.