39th National Narrow Gauge Convention

September 4-7, 2019    Sacramento, CA

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Copyright 2018…39th National Narrow Gauge Convention, inc.   A California Corporation

Contest Room

The contest room is where modelers bring their efforts and either enter them into a competition or put them on display only. You are only competing with yourself. This is not a onetime thing as you should strive to do better next time, and the next, and so on. This is where you either get inspired or give up completely and take up stamp collecting, the choice is yours.

Model and Photo Contest registration, viewing, and voting will be in the Capital Ballroom Salon D room.  Modules and Modular layouts will be in the California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) Roundhouse in Old Sacramento Waterfront.


Wednesday, September 4

10:00 am 5:00 pm Contest entry open.

6:30 pm 9:30 pm Contest room open for entry, viewing & voting.

Thursday, September 5

8:30 am 12:00 noon Contest room open for entry, viewing & voting.

10:00 am -4:55 pm CSRM open for entry viewing and voting for modules.

6:30 pm 9:30 pm Contest room open for viewing & voting.

Friday, September 6

8:30 am 12:00 noon Contest room open for entry, viewing & voting.

10:00 am -4:55 pm CSRM open for entry viewing and voting for modules.

6:30 pm 9:30 pm Contest room open for viewing& voting.  Voting closes.

Saturday, September 7

8:30 am 12:00 noon Contest entry pickup.

10:00 am -5:00 pm CSRM open for entry and viewing modules.

Photos of Contest Entries.  Photos of contest entries may be taken whenever the contest room is open for viewing and voting.  No tripods or tablebased mounts will be permitted.  Monopods are allowed.  Please be courteous to others when taking photographs!

Contest Room Security.  Entrants must remove all packing materials from the contest area immediately after placing an entry.  Packages and bags are not allowed in the contest room during viewing hours.  Viewers arriving with bags/packages will be asked to store them in a holding area adjacent to the entrance to the contest area.  Touching any entry is strictly prohibited.  The contest room will be staffed continuously during viewing/voting hours and locked down at all other times.

Contest Rules and Procedures

Judging.  Contest winners for the general contests will be elected by popular vote of convention registrants.  Only ballots supplied with registration packets (one per registrant) will be allowed for voting.  Replacement ballots will not be supplied!  Ballot boxes will be kept under supervision in the Contest Room and the CSRM Roundhouse. All ballots must be submitted by NOON Friday in the Contest Room or 5:00 pm in the CSRM Roundhouse to be counted.  Judging for the special awards will be conducted in a manner designated by the award donor.  Awards will be presented for First, Second and Third places, unless otherwise stated in the category descriptions.

General Contest Rules.

1.  Rules and guidelines governing specific general contests will be detailed with each listing of contest categories.

2.  All models shall be built entirely by the entrant or photographed by the entrant without help from any other person. Entries should relate to narrow gauge subjects or related items.  Only registered convention attendees, vendors or volunteers may submit entries; no “proxy” entries will be permitted.  Related items include Short Line RR’s.

3.  A limit of one model or photograph may be entered for each category in the contest.

4.  A model or photograph that has won first place in a previous national convention cannot be entered in the same category.

5.  Photo size may range from 5″ x 7″ to 12″ on the longest side. (This will be strictly enforced).  Photos with mounts may range in size from 5″ x 7″ to 12″ x 16″.  (This will be strictly enforced).   No frames or glass cover will be permitted, but photos may be matted.  Un matted photos must be mounted on cardstock or foam core board or similar.  Digitally and computer enhanced photos (such as adding smoke or backgrounds) are permitted.

Contest Entry and Model/Photo Description Forms.  Each entrant must complete a Contest Entry form for each item entered. In addition, each entrant is encouraged to complete a Model/Photo Description form to be displayed with each entry prior to arrival at the convention to expedite the receipt of the entries.  No magazine articles or pictures are allowed.

Contest entrants will be responsible for placing their models/photos on the appropriate tables.  Entrants should be aware that Convention Committee members and volunteers may need to rearrange entries as needed for spacing purposes and for photographing contest winners.

Display-Only Table.  There will be a special table(s) set up for displayonly items for those who desire to display a model/photo in a nonvoting environment.  These items will not be included in the popular vote contest and no plaque will be awarded.   Displayonly items will be allowed only as space allows.  We highly recommend contact with the Contest Chair prior to bringing a large display, as space will be allocated in a first come, first serve basis.

Contest Registration and Pickup.  All entries MUST to be retrieved by NOON on Saturday except for the modules and modular layouts in the CSRM Roundhouse.  The 2019 NNGC Committee will not be liable for any entries remaining in the contest room after this time unless prior arrangements are made (these are discouraged and will be allowed only in the rarest of cases).

Contest entrants will sign the Contest Entry Form before placing any items in the contest room and return the signed Model & Photo Claim Form at pickup.  We thank each entrant in advance for their cooperation in this endeavor.

Model and Photo Contest Categories and Awards

Best of Show.  Registrants may vote for their favorite item in the contest. Please note that modular entries are in the California State Railroad Museum Roundhouse in Old Sacramento Waterfront.  Only first place is awarded in Best of Show.

Youth Award.  Any model built and entered by someone age 18 or younger.  Entries eligible for this award category will be identified by a checkbox on the Contest Entry Form and Model Description Form.  Only first place is awarded in Youth Award.

Automation...Automation is a relatively new category.  Any type of model can be submitted in this category though most will be dioramas or similar displays.  Models entered in this category MAY be simultaneously entered in other categories.

Automation may be powered by DC or DCC circuits.  For safety’s sake, no automation powered directly by 110V AC will be accepted.  Power strips will be supplied for the entrants’ power supplies.

Automation should have a means of activating the automation that will allow contest voters to activate the automation.  Automation with sound should be activated on a momentary or time limited basis (such as 2030 seconds), not continuous. Have mercy on the contest room attendants.  Only first place is awarded in Automation.

People’s Choice Award.  Non-convention attendees visiting the CSRM may vote for their favorite module entered in the modular contest.  Only first place is awarded in People’s Choice Award.

Model Photographs.  Color and B&W.

Black and White Prototype Photographs

Color Prototype Photographs

Structures.  Structures may be standalone or mounted on a limited base.  A limited base extending from the structure is acceptable (but not required) to contain items related to the structure, such as debris, tools, racks, etc.  No “scenery” items are permitted.

Diorama.  Dioramas may be standalone or mounted on a base, no restriction on size but if the diorama is larger than 2’ by 4’ please let the contest chairman know prior to the convention!

Modules.  A Module differs from a diorama in that it is designed to be part of an operating layout.  Individual modules will be displayed in the CSRM Roundhouse in Old Sacramento along with the modular layouts.  Modules that wish to be entered in this contest category will have a Model Description Form with a contest entry number affixed to the front of the module.  If the module is part of a larger modular layout, vote only for the individual module.

Square Footer.  Continuing with this relatively new category, the Square Footer (any scale) may be any model, display, structure, or diorama constructed solely on a 12″ x 12″ base.  No height limit, but NO part or portion of the entry may exceed the 12″ x 12″ boundary on any side (strictly enforced).

Motive Power

Rod Locomotive.  A steam-powered locomotive with side rods.

Geared Locomotive.  A steam-powered, gear-driven locomotive, e.g. Shay, Heisler, Climax, etc.

Internal Combustion.  Any motorized locomotive or vehicle that runs on railroad tracks.

Rolling Stock

Caboose.  A car used as a train crew’s office or shelter.

Revenue Freight Car.  A revenue-producing, rail-wheeled car.

Passenger Car.  Includes baggage car, combine or Railway Post Office (RPO).

Logging Car.  Any non-engine rolling stock unique to logging, e.g. camp cars, disconnects, water cars, cabooses, flanged-rail-wheeled logging equipment, etc.

Special Equipment.  Any equipment that is not rail-wheeled, e.g. donkeys, logging trucks, skidders, tractors, etc.

Maintenance-of-Way - Non-Revenue.  Any flange-rail-wheeled piece of non-revenue Equipment, not special equipment.


Favorite Train.  A train of undetermined length, including at least one motive-power unit and something the power unit is pushing or pulling.  The train may be displayed on a non-scenic length of track.


Gazette Award.  TBA

The Midwood Memorial Award.  TBA

Fantasonics Engineering Award.  TBA

FEBT Award.  TBA