Layout Tours

Of course, the main attraction for the convention are the layouts. They are located at various places around the Portland metro area with some in Washington. Some layouts in the Seattle, WA area will be open for touring on Sunday and Monday, 25 and 26 August, 2019, before the convention officially opens. Others will be open in southern Oregon for touring on Sunday, 1 September 2019, after to the convention officially ends. The convention guide, distributed as part of your registration package, will have full details of the layouts, the times when they will be open, and maps to them. Touring the layouts can be done either in a self-guided mode or by using the convenient tour buses. View some pictures of the layout sites at our RCGRS Gallery.

Operation Sessions

This is an excellent opportunity to run trains yourself. You will be part of a two-person crew running trains around a layout, picking up and delivering loaded or empty freight cars or picking up and or delivering passenger cars. You will be using waybills to identify the freight cars to pick up and and add to your train. The waybills will also identify the destinations for those cars. Dispatchers will coordinate the various crews, granting right-of-way and issuing movement orders. All of this will be done just like a real railroad operation. You don't need to bring your own locomotives or cars; they will be provided. If you haven't participated in an operation session before, don't worry. We will have experienced members on hand to guide you through the process and answer questions. It's always a lot of fun. Look at a short video highlighting some of the ops sessions aspects.

Ice Cream Social

This is a chance to get together with other attendees and talk about the great layouts you have seen, plan excursions to other layouts, make plans regarding your own layouts and just have a relaxing time. You can attend this event without cost, but the ice cream itself will cost you a little.


Great food along with great company after a busy day touring layouts and checking out the vendor offerings and attending clinics. Enjoy a ride on the SP #4449 from the Oregon Rail Heritage Society museum, home to Portland's three city-owned steam engines, to Oak Parks on the Willamette River where a great meal will be served. The menu includes ribs, chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, salad fixings, cole slaw, fries, chips, relishes, cakes and pies for desert, and beverages to include sodas (regular and diet), coffee, milk, tea, and water in a buffet style.

Convention Banquet

The convention banquet will highlight the week with guest speaker Doyle McCormack telling us about his experiences with the famous SP Daylight 4449 restoration and pulling the American Freedom Train on its 1976 tour.


There are several instructive, informative, and useful clinics on the agenda. Many are repeated so you can better schedule your attendance. They will be held in the afternoons beginning on Wednesday, 28 August 2019. All the clinics are free to attend, but there is a small charge for materials for the model building clinic.

Vendors Hall

Vendors will have booths set up for you to browse through. They will be open each day beginning on Thursday, 29 August 2019.

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