2019 N Scale Enthusiast National N Scale Convention

Published: 2019-07-02 - By: Jenna
Last updated on: 2019-07-01
visibility: Public - Headline
Last week, George and I attended the 27th annual N Scale Enthusiast National N Scale Convention in Chicago, June 26-30th 2019.

This event was jam-packed with lots to do and see: 8 home layout tours, lunch cruise, Illinois Railway Museum excursion, a Chicago Dog's baseball game, Micro-Trains Welcome Reception, auctions, 4 different layouts, model and module contests, swap-a-rama, hobby retailers, room sales, clinics, banquet dinner, raffle and manufacturer's breakfast.

Here are some highlights from the Welcome Reception, Auctions and Clinics at the convention.

Please see separate blog articles on the Swap-a-Rama, Layouts, Banquet, and Manufacturers' Announcements.

Welcome Reception

At the Micro-Trains sponsored Welcome Reception, over dessert and coffee, NSE members held a meeting. Event hosts were introduced. This year 550 convention registrants traveled both near and far (Mexico, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK) to the event. About a dozen folks indicated that they came to the event via train and another dozen or so were first-time attendees.

Dessert, meeting, shopping!
After the meeting, folks lined up to buy (with NSE $) lots of discounted and hard-to-find NSE special run cars -- some regular releases, some singles out of a multi-pack and some prototypes never released. "This is cool inventory and at a discount," said George Johnsen, Chairman of the NSE.

Shopping Spree with NSE Currency

NSE currency!

Cool loot at a discount. George purchased an Atlas NSE special run
(Fruit Growers Express reefer Salt Lake City Fish Co) from last year's NSE convention in Utah.
He got the car (which would normally run $30 to $40) for $10 (NSE $!)

Which Room Sales to attend?
How convenient to have an ATM by the Room Sale list...hmmm...how much to withdraw?
Too bad the NSE currency can't be used for these purchases!

Layouts setup.

While lots of folks went on the trip to visit the Illinois Railway Museum, some folks stayed behind to set up the four different layouts -- Free-MoN, n-trak, Modutrak and t-trak -- for the public show to open on Friday.
These folks were gluing cows onto a T-trak module.

Gotta get that wiring right!

Auctions (Live and Silent)

Folks lined up early to get a preview of items and sign up for the silent auction as well. Lots of great items were up for grabs. NSE members get a chance to auction their items (for a 10% fee) and fellow members get to buy them!
Get your paddles ready for the auction!

Live auction items varied from single cars like this 2013 Banquet Cheese car.

Edgar Allan Poe Box Car up for grabs

Box o' trains (one said to contain a $100 bill!) and conveniently packed to ship back home.
Items like this sold for over $1500.


On Friday and Saturday there were over 10 clinics for folks to attend. Topics ranged from an Introduction to T-trak (Ray Chaffee), Basic Signaling Using PanelPro (Paul Bender) to General Q&A on anything N scale (panel).

George Michaels, TroveStar founder, gave a presentation on the three reasons
(research, historical pricing and NSE-TroveStar classifieds) to use
the TroveStar N-scale Model Trains Database.

Please see separate blog articles on the Swap-a-Rama, Layouts, Banquet, and Manufacturers' Announcements.