Saturday, May 12, 2012

Great Day For a Layout Tour!

Today was the spring layout tour for the Twin Cities Division of the NMRA.  It was also the first time I've ever opened a layout of my own up for public visitation.  I'm still shocked that I was invited to be on the tour, but judging from some of the visitor comments, they were pleased with what they got to see.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but having been on a few previous tours (as a spectator), I knew a little about the protocol.  I built myself a little railroad crossbuck to use as a driveway marker.  I made up a couple of "This Way To The Trains" signs.  I bought cookies (an important part of any layout tour).  Realizing this morning that I didn't have a guestbook for people to sign, I ran out and bought one.

At 11:50am, I placed my signs into position.  I put the dog outside, and popped a model railroading DVD into the player, on infinite loop.  I arranged copies of each of my magazine articles for people to see.  There were information sheets on the layout, describing the various buildings that people would see.  Everything was in place, I was ready.  It's now 12:00 noon, show time.

I waited.  12:15.  Still waiting.  What if nobody comes?  Turned out to not be a problem, as the first visitors arrived within a few minutes of that thought.  There was a pretty steady flow of traffic from that point, continuing until just after the 5:00 closing of the tour.  Lots of familiar faces from the TCD, plus many people that I had never met before today.  All in all, 33 people signed the guestbook, and I know a few people didn't sign it, so I'm estimating my overall attendance to be somewhere around 40-45 people.  Seems like a pretty good turnout to me!  At one point, I think my dog was the star of the show, not the layout.

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