First, James McNab, who created the PICL Report style for SwitchList, is the guest on the The Model Railway Show. James talks about how he chose his Iowa Interstate branch prototype, and the benefits of a smaller layout and a specific prototype.
Second, next weekend is the annual Bay Area Layout Design and Operations Meet, my favorite model railroad event. This year, we'll be at Harry's Hofbrau on Saratoga Avenue, so access to beer may encourage some interesting discussions.
There's a bunch of great talks this year that I'm looking forward to. Seth Neumann and Chris Drome will share how they successfully built an RFID car reader that's automating switchlist generation on Seth's layouts, Dave Falkenburg will be sharing lessons on designing modules based on prototype locations from his N scale modular group's experiences, and Tom Knapp will be sharing details of the Pacific Coast Railway's operations. I remember seeing Tom's Nn3 modular layout based on the Pacific Coast Railway at the 1981 NMRA national convention in San Mateo. As a high school kid, this was my first real exposure to serious model railroading, and the layouts I saw that trip certainly started me off the right way in the hobby.
In addition to some fun talks and panels, we'll be offering free layout design advice to all attendees, so sign up for a time slot and bring that sketch of the dream layout you've been considering.
As usual, all will be invited to operating sessions at local layouts on Sunday. My Vasona Branch will be operating from 1:30 to 4:30 on Sunday. Although all operator slots are full, you're welcome to stop by to see the layout if you're not operating elsewhere. Drop me a note if you're thinking of stopping by!