The O Scale National Convention is happening, and the registration form is online and active, ready for you to fill out!
Everyone who registers for the O Scale National Convention will have a chance to win a brass Sunset Union Pacific 4-6-6-4, making this just one more reason to head to Denver, Colorado, June 17-20, 2021. For more information, click here!
Another equally big attraction will be an opportunity to hear from Ed Dickens, the Union Pacific engineer who pulls the throttle on Big Boy #4014. Ed will talk about running the largest operating steam locomotive in the world. Convention goers may also select an opportunity to join a custom-designed week of riding the rails of Colorado’s leading standard and narrow-gauge trains.
Organizers of the O Scale Convention are anticipating more than 200 vendor tables, a dozen O scale specific clinics, and numerous layout tours and other special events. Among the layouts that will be open for tours are David Stewart’s Appalachian & Ohio, Jeff MacDonald’s High Plains Route, and Bob Kjelland’s Midland Continental. Details on these layouts may be found at the convention website.
“We are working closely with the Hyatt Regency and city, county, and state officials to assure this event will be enjoyable and successful relative to COVID-19 requirements that may remain in place in June,” says Bob Kjelland, who is chairing the event. “The motel is excelling in being ready for the event and we look forward to hosting a normal show.”
To secure the convention rate of $124 a night, registrants are asked to use the Hyatt Regency’s online link https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/group-booking/DENHY/G-6NSC. Please be aware the rates are good for Thursday night through Sunday night. Anyone planning to arrive earlier or stay longer will need to make separate reservations for those dates. Also, anyone calling the motel to make reservations will be forwarded by the front desk to another number, so be sure to mention you are attending the O Scale Convention to get the low rate.
Table set up will be on Thursday, June 17, and a special event to be hosted by the Colorado Model Railroad Museum in Greeley will be held earlier in the day. Vendor rooms will be open both Friday and Saturday, with the model contest and clinics on Saturday. O scalers are invited to bring a model to display in the “show and tell” room. The separate contest will be judged by experienced modelers with rules and entry form to be posted on the convention website prior to the event. Layout tours will be held on Sunday.
Three convention cars will be offered as limited runs. Two of these cars will be new Atlas 60-foot auto boxcars lettered for the Appalachian & Ohio. Of these, 50 will be in a single-door version and 50 will be in a double-door version with a different paint scheme. Both runs will come in four different car numbers and ten cars in each run will be set up for three-rail operation. These cars will be sold only at the show, with any remaining cars to be available after June 20. The other convention car will be an InterMountain 40-foot steel reefer lettered for Pepper Packing of Denver. This same model was the official convention car when the O Scale National was last held in Denver in 1994. The Pepper Packing car is assembled and equipped with trucks but no couplers. Details and pricing on these cars also may be found on the website.
Registration will be $45, which includes a spouse and children age 16 and under. The table fee will be $55 each (a separate convention registration will be required). Individuals and businesses will receive a free convention registration for every six tables reserved.
An extra cost option will be a Friday night banquet featuring “A Taste of Colorado” and keynote speaker David Stewart, whose presentation will be “When Life Imitates Art.” David will share the backstory of the origins of the Appalachian & Ohio, its philosophical goals, its first incarnation and the subsequent reality of a real 1:1 A&O in West Virginia, as well as share photos and videos of the art of the hobby as he has developed it. This event will be limited to 50 participants.
Another option for consideration will be hearing from Ed Dickens, who heads Union Pacific’s Steam Program and is the engineer of Big Boy #4014. This event will be held off site at the nearby Forney Museum, home to Union Pacific Big Boy 4005 that is set up so visitors can enter the cab. Committee member Erik Lindgren will provide a display of breathtaking photos he has taken of Big Boy steaming across Wyoming during this event.
For anyone wanting to take extra time to explore Colorado’s great railroads, committee member Michelle Kempema will host separate event being held in conjunction with the convention. She has professionally designed an exclusive tour for anyone wanting to ride Colorado’s standard and narrow-gauge lines. Details on this special event also may be found on the convention website.
“This will be the first major O scale train show for more than a year,” says Kjelland. “This will be the perfect place and time to bring the O scale community together. And, Denver and Colorado offer so much more for families to do. Denver is a destination itself, and the Rocky Mountains are calling!”