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April 21-24, 2020


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All entrants in the Model Contests must be NMRA members in good standing.
One exception, Non-Rail attendees may enter the Arts and Crafts Contest.

All convention attendees, Rail and Non-Rail, are eligible to enter the Arts & Crafts Contest.

Entries that have previously won first place in an NMRA National or Regional Contest may be entered as a Display Only.

Required Forms

A completed Contest Entry Form #901 must accompany each entry in the Model, Popular Vote, Photography, Arts & Crafts, and Thumbs Contests. No exceptions.

A completed Model Contest Judge’s Score Sheet #902 must accompany each entry in the Model Contest. No exceptions.

An entry in the Popular Vote, Photography, Arts & Craft, and Thumb’s Contest does not require a #902 Judges Score Sheet.

Both #901 and #902 forms can be found on the NMRA web site at:

Form #901 information will be entered in the contest book in chronological order with an attached claim check. The contest chairman will keep the #901 form on file. Entrants will keep the claims check and sign and return the claims check at pick up time.

Form #902 and supplemental information (plans, photographs, documents, etc.) will be displayed with its entry.

Additional Requirements

Please notify the contest chairman prior to the convention about any entries larger than a 2’ x 4’ footprint.

Electrical connection may not be available. So, plan accordingly.

No sales of any kind will be allowed in the Contest Room.

All entries must be retrieved by 4:00 pm on Friday afternoon. We will not be liable for any entries remaining in the contest room after this time unless prior arrangements are made.

If a model is the only entry in a contest category it can receive a 1st place plaque only if the model has earned an AP Merit award. Otherwise it will receive a 2nd place award.

Contest Categories


The categories are:
     Steam Powered Loco - Entry must be powered.
     Diesel, Other Powered Loco and Traction – Entry must be powered.
     Passenger Car
     Freight Car
     Non-Revenue (MOW)

The Photography Contest will be for prints only, no slides. All prints must be mounted and the combined size of the mount and photograph must not exceed 12” x 16”. Each photograph shall have the entrants name on the back. Only a title may be present on the front. No more than three entries in each category. Entries must not be framed.

The categories are:
     Model – Color
     Model – Black and White
     Prototype - Color
     Prototype – Black and White

Non-Rail / Arts & Craft

The categories are:
     Arts & Crafts – Any non-needle work - e.g. painting, drawing, sculpture, woodcarving,  photograph
     Needle Work – e.g. quilting, knitting, crochet, needlepoint, weaving embroidery, felting
People’s Choice
All registered convention attendees will receive a ballot in their registration packet and will be eligible to participate in this popular vote contest.
The categories are:
     Best Model
     Best Non-Rail
     Best Model by an entrant Under 18 years
     Best Thumb’s

Under 18

Any model entered by a person under 18 years old at the closing of the contest.


Thumb’s entries display the humorous side of model railroading. The Thumb’s contest is based on the old Thumb’s cartoon that was published in past model train magazines. We are looking for model train related jokes, or which one can make the viewer laugh the hardest.


At the banquet Friday evening a plaque will be presented to the first place winner in each category, except for a trophy awarded to the winner of Thumb’s contest.

Ribbons will be presented to each 2nd and 3rd place entry in each contest category at the close of the contest.

Models achieving 87.5 points or better will receive an AP Program merit award.

NMRA Achievement Program

Achieving a merit award is a stepping-stone to earning an AP certificate.

If you have questions regarding this program, contact:
Jack Hamilton, MMR, PNR Achievement Program Manager
Jeroen Garritsen, PNR, 1st Division Achievement Program Manager

Contest Room Schedule

Set up – Tuesday AM
Check in – Tuesday – PM
Open & Check In – Wednesday & Thursday
AP Evaluation – Thursday PM
Contest Evaluation – Friday AM
All entries must be picked up by 4 PM
Plaques will be awarded at the banquet

A Final Word

We hope all convention attendees will participate in at least one contest. Certainly everyone can participate in the People’s Choice Contest just by completing and submitting their ballots. For those who do not wish to enter the formal contests, we ask you bring and display examples of your craftsmanship for the pleasure of all.