Modeler’s Retreat


March 3-4 2017

Friday March 3 || 6:00 until 10:00 P.M. (Doors open at 5:30)
We will open the doors at 5:30 for folks who want to set up or grab a great seat for the presentations. There are two presentations scheduled for 6:00 and two additional scheduled for 7:15. Following the second set of presentations, there will be a railfan viewing party and the display room will be open until 10:00.

Saturday March 4 || 9:00 A.M. until 4:30 P.M.
Display Room set up begins at 8:00, The Display room open at 9:00 for viewing and conversation, presentations begin at 9:30. We have 5 hours of presentations in two rooms with comfortable seating and great video projectors. A 90 minute lunch break is scheduled so you can enjoy the lunch (included with preregistration) or explore plenty of fast food options within one mile of the Retreat.

Registration $20.00 in advance. Display table free with pre-registration, limited commercial display space available.

2017 Clinic Presenters (as of 12/15/17).
Dennis Bartholow || Digging into DCC and sound to open up the infinite realm of realism.
Dennis has a wealth of experience installing DCC sound into all types and scales of locomotives. Perhaps the real magic is in how he tunes the DCC programs to create amazing sound quality.

Jim Bernier || Model Railroading ‘Hacks.’
This will include methods to mount ground throws on foam, homemade DCC++ system for $30, homemade ground foam, and other ideas.

Joe Binish || Interlocking Tower Operations.
Replicating Interlocking tower operations for prototypical model railroading.

Jim Dick || National Reefer Fleet Movements, Fully utilize reefers in a prototypical manner.
The railroads used the reefer in a wide variety of ways offering interesting opportunities to replicate their use in your era, location and industry mix.

Mike Engler || Scratch Building.
Mike’s craftsmanship and attention to detail has created models and dioramas that have been awarded “best in show” at national modeling events, the most recent being the 2016 National Narrow Gauge meet in Augusta, Maine. Mike will share with us tips and techniques that will help us all become better model builders whether we are working on a scene for our layouts or a contest model model.

Martin Hrabe || The Cricut, craftsmen results from a crafting machine.
Martin will bring his Cricut cutting machine and show us how he designs and produces great model railroading projects. This is another great application of new technology to make model railroading more enjoyable.

Jason Klocke || Scenery tips and techniques.
Jason fantastic CGW layout has been well (and rightly) publicized. In his presentation, he will share with us scenery tips and techniques that he uses to create his amazing CGW layout.

Barry Karlberg || Modeling a Piece of the Prototype on an HO, Portable Module.
Barry researched the town of Monticello, IL, on the Illinois Central Railroad. Beyond the track layout, he researched the industries in the town, the car types used by the industries over the years and interviewed people who lived and worked there. With this information Barry built a portable HO model railroad where the challenges of car movement, correct car spotting and turning of the engine for the return trip is simulated. While this railroad provides the opportunity to enjoy many hours of construction, decoration and operations It might also be a great foundation for a home layout. Barry also travels with it to prototype meets where it provides a hands-on experience in prototype switching.

Jeff Otto || Planning for realistic operations.
Service planning, track planning to support the service, operations planning to make it happen. Jeff’s railroad is well known for its excellence in performance and operations. Jeff will share how his railroad was planned knowing what services it would provide how the track work would support the service and how a prototypical railroad would operate it.

John Niemeyer || “Scale Illumination” with LEDs.
It is not simply about light it is illumination correctly scaled to replicate the bulbs and fixtures you are modeling. John will illustrate how he does this in buildings, marker lights, landers and even a miner’s helmet.

Rodney Ouellette and Ross Hammon || Two Eras with Different Two Routes.
Concept Model the Prototype as close as practical : Minneapolis & North Bay, East Minneapolis to Duluth via St.Cloud, Brainerd (Early 1980s); Minneapolis & Northwood Belt, Minneapolis to Mason City (Late 1950s). Much like changing the set at a theater for two different plays, Different depots, signs, water towers, etc., allow the operators to have two different experiences.

Ken Zieska || Interchange Operations in the Twin Cities.
By the late 1800s the Twin Cities became a railroad crossroads for commerce, agricultural and people, opening up the new frontiers to the established markets of the country. In 1960, fifteen railroads interchanging traffic from the North, South, East and West in the Twin Cities Terminal. Presentation is on the ongoing project to preserve the history of railroad interchange operations in the Twin Cities prior to the era of mergers.

Ken Zieska
11810 52nd Ave. N
Plymouth, Mn 55442-1820

For more information on either registering or presenting email to Ken at

Sponsored by the Twin Cities Division of the NMRA.

Meetings will be held at
Mount Olive Lutheran Church of Plymouth
12235 Old Rockford Rd. Plymouth, MN 55441