PCR San Francisco Bay Area
Layout Design & Operations
Weekend Meet
February 3 - 5, 2023
Golden State Model Railroad Museum, Richmond CA.

Sponsored by:
Pacific Coast Region - NMRA
Layout Design Special Interest Group
Golden State Model Railroad Museum

PCR Logo-new LDSIG Logo

We’re in the East Bay this year!
Golden State Model Railroad Museum
900-A Dornan Dr.
Richmond, CA, 94801.

The Important Stuff

Welcome to the 2023 S.F. Bay Area Layout Design & Operations Meet! This will be our 30th (or so) annual meet!

The Bay Area Layout Design and Operations meet is a model railroading event for modelers interested in model railroad design, model railroad operations, railroad and local history, or any related topic.

The event is a mix of clinics and talks, in-person events, and tours of model railroads in the San Francisco Bay Area. We also invite attendees to participate in operating sessions on local model railroads, and especially invite folks who haven't done operations before to join in. If you've like feedback or advice on model railroad design, you can sign up for a layout design consulting session where you can brainstorm or seek advice from other modelers about your future layout design.

This meet is open to ALL, regardless of club affiliation or membership. NMRA, PCR, LDSIG, or SBHRS membership is NOT required!

The 2023 meet, like last year, will be a hybrid event. You can attend Saturday clinics in-person at the Golden State Railroad Museum in Richmond, CA, or you can partipate in the clinics via Zoom.

Friday's tour and dinner, Saturday night layout tours, and Sunday operating sessions are in-person.

Learn more about attending the meet.


Friday, February 3 - Tour and Dinner

Tour of Richmond Pacific Railroad, the terminal railroad serving industries around the Richmond waterfront.

Group no-host dinner after tour with talk by Justin Fox, president of the Southern Pacific Retired Executives Club. Justin will talk about SP marketing initiatives and the impact on rail operations.

Saturday, February 4 - Clinics Day

You can attend Saturday's clinics and talks in person at the Golden State Railroad Museum in Point Richmond or virtually via a Zoom meeting. Clinics will be from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm PST.

Tentative Schedule for Saturday:

  8:00 In-person registration opens.
  8:00 ZOOM room opens.
  8:30 Registration & Opening Remarks Seth Neumann, Chairman
  9:00 Yard Ops Western Style Mark Amfahr
  10:00-10:15 break
10:15 Circle Back to BN Yardley 1976 Dave Clemens
11:15 Automated Trains Using JMRI David Parks
12:15-1:30 Lunch Break / Birds of a Feather Discussions
  1:30 Pacific Fruit Express (PFE) Operations
in the 60's and 70's
Robert Leachman
  2:30 Layout Design Challenge:
British Exhibition Layout
Robert Bowdidge, moderator
Travers Stavac
Brooks Moses
Cal Sexsmith
Mike O'Dorney
Doug Smith
  4:00 Closing Remarks Seth Neumann

Saturday evening, February 4: Layout Tours

Visit layouts in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties on Saturday night. List of layouts will be provided to registered attendees the week before the event.

Sunday, Februrary 5: Operating Sessions

As in past years, attendees are invited to participate in a model railroad operating session on one of the layouts in the area. Operating sessions associated with the meet will happen on Sunday. Times for each layout may vary, but generally will be between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm (either half-day or whole day, depending on the layout.)

If you're interested in joining in, watch for an e-mail after you register from David Parks. It'll give details about the layouts that will be holding operating sessions, and how to sign up to participate.

Attendance Options

The 2023 meet will be a hybrid event. You can attend clinics on Saturday either in-person or via a Zoom video event. The in-person ticket includes a box lunch on Saturday.

The Friday tour of the Richmond Pacific is only available to attendees with in-person tickets. Attendees with virtual or in-person tickets can participate in Saturday night layout tours and Sunday operating sessions.

In-person Attendance

CLICK HERE for in-person tickets. Ticket includes all other in-person events. Early-bird in-person price is $35.00 until January 1, and $40.00 after. In-person tickets include box lunch. Because of space limits at the museum, in-person attendance is limited. Register early to ensure you can attend in person!

In-person registrants will also get the Zoom link for the virtual event. The link will let you watch and participate in the sessions even if you need to skip the in-person meet because of changed plans or illness.

Be aware that the in-person event will be livestreamed to YouTube. Your attendance at this event is your consent to appear on YouTube.

The in-person portion of the 2023 Layout Design and Operations meet will follow any Contra Costa County Public Health Directives in effect.

Zoom Virtual Attendance

CLICK HERE for virtual tickets. Early-bird virtual price is $15.00 until January 1, and $20.00 after.

Once you've registered, you'll get instructions on joining the Zoom meeting on Saturday, Feburary 4. Note that you will need access to a computer with a web browser or tablet with the Zoom app installed.


You can also watch the Saturday clinics for free on YouTube. You won't be able to ask questions during the clinics, nor particpate in any of the in-person events.

After you register, watch for e-mails from "Layout Design SIG members" with updates about the event and details on all the activities.

Track Planning & Layout Operations Consultations

As we've done in the past, we will again offer FREE layout design and operations consultations to meet attendees. If you are planning a layout, please have your "Givens & Druthers", maps, sketches, and other materials available as digital files to get a free consultation from group members! They can also help with questions about operating your layout, including how to get started. After you register, you'll get an e-mail with details on how to request a layout design or operations consulting session.

Layout Planning and Ops consultation sessions will take place via Zoom at a time convenient for the volunteer consultant and the help-seeker outside of the scheduled Meet hours. The number of sessions offered may be limited by consultant availability. Sign-ups will close on February 3, 2023.

Layout Design Challenge

Every year, we propose a layout design challenge and encourage interested attendees to design a model railroad based on the challenge and discuss their design choices and tradeoffs during the Challenge session during the clinics.

This year's theme invites you to design a British exhibition-style layout for an American prototype.

Read more about the challenge rules and how to participate. Contact Robert Bowdidge (rbowdidge@mac.com) now if you'd like to participate in the challenge.

Contact Us

For more information about the meet, contact:
Seth Neumann
Phone: (415) 602-1510
e-mail: sneumann@pacbell.net


Here's some links to related information across the web.

Page maintained by: Robert Bowdidge.