The National Model Railroad Association each year sponsors a national convention in order to provide a place for the membership to meet to continue their association with the hobby in a common forum.
The national convention consists of multiple activities for the member to learn and participate in all aspects of the hobby. In the course of a week, the convention attendee may tour and attend:
Clinics which instruct the member in the techniques of the hobby.
Symposiums on the prototype railroads.
Tour model railroads in the surrounding area.
Tour railroad facilities.
Tour hobby manufacturing facilities.
Tour railroad related industrial facilities.
Tour the sites and special attractions of the area of interest for family.
Attend an auction of model railroad equipment.
Participate and /or view the superb hobby models in the model contests.
Attend meetings on the future of the hobby.
Meet with hobby manufacturers and industry publication representatives.
Attend the largest train show in the country.
Attend meetings specialized for your particular interest.
Attend social functions and learning clinics on non railroad related subjects.
Meet and make friends with people who share the same interest.
Meet with representatives of the association and the Kalmbach Memorial Library.
There are so many activities at a national convention it is difficult to do it all during the course of a convention week. As an example, a national convention has almost a 100 different clinics and symposiums, and over 30 model railroad visits scheduled during a week long convention.
The National Train Show:
The National Model Railroad Association® endeavors to supply the hobby at large with a national forum to provide information and dialogue on the hobby products and services available to them. To accomplish this goal, the National Train Show® is designed to provide this forum at low cost to both the hobby industry and the public.
The National Train Show® was established in 1988 by the National Model Railroad Association® as a nationally sponsored combined industry trade show and public train show to promote the hobby of model railroading. The National Train Show® is a NMRA® national organization function and is totally managed and staffed by NMRA® unpaid volunteers. The show is not put on by local host group of the city involved with the NMRA® national convention. The show is not a table flea market show nor a private show for the NMRA® convention attendees, but is open to the public at set times.
The show's only purpose is to promote the hobby in a professional manner, to the hobby industry and to the public at large. For attendees of the NMRA® national convention and other associated conventions, the show provides a private advance opening of the show. For the hobby industry, trade show only hours are provided. The show is then opened to the public. A professional advertising agency provides the show's promotion to the public through media outlets and through corporate sponsorship.
To promote of the hobby of model railroading, the National Train Show® features dozens of operating model railroads and displays of the latest related products from the industry. The show provides a concentrated market, attracting a large audience of hobbyists as well as the general public.
For the model railroading industry, the National Train Show® provides opportunities to interact with dedicated model railroaders and the public, to display products, publications, and new items. For retailers, the show offers a specialized market for railroad hobby related merchandise. For historical societies, modular railroad organizations, and other special-interest groups, the show furnishes a forum to display various facets of the hobby.
The National Model Railroad Association, Inc. advances the global scale model railroading community through education, advocacy, standards, and social interaction.
Held in conjunction with the National Train Show.