Westside Reunion - April 17, 2010
Sierra Railroad Seminar Flyer

Take a break from your usual routine
and try logging modeling.

We think you’ll find the hobby interesting and will challenge your modeling skills.

With many eras and a wide variety of logging methods, there is something to appeal to any modeler.

From complex structures –

– to interesting and unique rolling stock, this hobby has much to offer.

If mining is of interest, any number of prototype railroad mining operations would be a good basis for a model railroad, such as The Merced Gold Mining Company pictured here.

Modeling the unique world of mining offers the same challenges and modeling possibilities that modeling logging equipment does. From the most complex of structures,

to some of the most unusual equipment, the modeler’s talents and imagination are fully engaged.


Click Pictures to Enlarge

Jim Vail, Jack Burgess, and Dave Braun

The Logging & Mining Modeler's Convention is a great place to meet and talk to fellow modelers. Jim Vail, Jack Burgess, and Dave Braun are taking a few moments to discuss a subject or two.

Glenn Tyra Glenn Tyra started it all by hosting the first "West Side Reunion" in his home way back in February of 1986. There were a total of 18 attendees including Glenn's Mom.
Click Photo to Enlarge! Model railroad hobbyists can find a wide variety of model railroad equipment in the Logging & Mining Modeler's Convention dealer sales area. All scales, including N, HO, S, O, and G, are represented. Antique logging, mining, and railroad memorabilia, photographs, books, videos, and souvenirs are also available at the show.
Click Photo to Enlarge! Sometimes you have to hunker down low to see all the details of a scale model log car, ore car, caboose, locomotive or some other piece of logging/mining railroad equipment on display at the Logging & Mining Modeler's Convention. Visitors can see scale model equipment representing hardware from the 19th century all the way to modern times.
Click Photo to Enlarge! Skillfully assembled scale models of lumber mills, engine houses and all kinds of logging, mining and railroad equipment are on display at the Logging & Mining Modeler's Convention.
Click Photo to Enlarge! Informative clinics that cover model building, historical and technical aspects of logging and mining history and the model railroading hobby are part of the Logging & Mining Modeler's Convention. Shown is Joel Bragdon, presenting a clinic on mold making and casting for modelers.

That’s Right! We have added mining to the scope of the Modeler’s Convention.
We’ve been thinking about this for some time and it just seemed to be a natural combination of interests. We have made several changes to the model contest rules and expanded the categories, so now more awards than ever are given. So come join us as we celebrate our 27th year!

Included in the event are informative and entertaining clinics presented by experts in the field of model railroad construction and operation, railroad, mining and logging history and the technical aspects of those areas. Professional photographers, researchers, film makers, historians and others keep the audiences entertained and interested with their well presented programs.

A major part of the event is the model contest that’s open to models in all scales and representing all kinds of railroad, mining and logging equipment including structures and dioramas. Voting for the winners is by popular ballot, with each attendee allowed one vote. We have revised the rules for the contest and added several new categories and will include First, Second, and Third Place plaques in all categories as well as one ”Best Of Show” Award. We heartily encourage anyone to bring models for the contest, even if they are only slightly related to mining, logging and/or railroading. Our judge will help you determine the most appropriate category for your model.

There’s also a large and well-stocked dealer area where attendees can find a wide variety of model railroad and logging related items to purchase. Children’s toys, shirts, hats, video tapes, books and photographs are among the treasures to be discovered in the convention’s dealer sales area.

Admission price for the all day event is $20.00 per person. 8 ft. Dealer tables are available for $40.00 for the first table, which includes 1 Pass. Each additional 8 ft. table is $20.00. Each additional person at your table(s) is $20.00 for their pass. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. Please reserve tables early. Make all payments payable to John R. Swiger.


9:00 AM Doors Open
9:30 AM Scenery Clinic by Joel Bragdon
11:00 AM Updated WSLCo Equipment Roster by Tim McCartney
12:00 Noon Break for Lunch
1:00 PM The Bergstrom Family and West Side by Ed Sieckert
2:30 PM West Side Speeders by John Swiger
4:00 PM West Coast Logging Video by Warren Haack
5:30 PM Model Contest Awards
6:00 PM End of Show

Schedule subject to change. Thank You.

Related Activities and Events:

The 6th Annual Sierra Railway Historical and Modeling Seminar will be held Sunday, April 27, 2014, at the Senior Center, 540 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA. Doors open at 9:00 AM. For prices and registration see the Seminar Flyer. Contact: glennsutherland@sti.net. Tickets available at the door and the Logging Modeler’s Convention. For information regarding the day's events, see the Agenda.

Special Seminar Operating Session on John Zach’s Sierra Railroad layout.
If there is enough response, John Zach will schedule a special operating session for Seminar attendees on his fabulous Sierra Railroad 1955 layout. Designed and built especially for operations, John’s huge multi-deck HO layout features the entire Sierra mainline as well as Hetch Hetchy, Pickering, and West Side operations. For more information on the layout, go to www.sierrarailroad55.com. The special Seminar operating session would be held Saturday evening, April 26 at John’s home in Twain Harte (a few miles above Sonora on Highway 108). If you want to hold one of the 14 operating positions, please sign up in advance by e-mailing John at jzach@hrblock.com.

Specific jobs would be assigned just prior to the session. Numbers 15 and 16 to sign up would be first alternates, and beyond that you are welcome to come but may not have a chance to operate. Even if you just want to observe, all Seminar attendees are welcome. If you sign up as an operator, please arrive at John’s home by 7:00 p.m.

Operations will start promptly at 7:30 and should be completed by about 11:00. Directions to John’s house. Please click this link for a map to this beautiful Model Railroad. If you haven’t operated on John’s layout, and especially if you’ve never seen it, we urge you to take advantage of this special opportunity.

Steve Hayes will open his extensive HO Scale Western Pacific layout to visitors, as well. If realistic operation and detail is for you, then this is one you don’t want to miss. Please click here for his schedule and a map to his home.

Those persons interested in a ”G” Scale Yosemite Valley Railroad garden railroad tour, Darryl & Linda Bramlette will host a Model Railroad Open House on Sunday, April 27th from 10:00 to 4:00. Please click this link for a map to their home.

Railtown 1897: Steam Train Excursions and Roundhouse Tours Saturday and Sunday. Please check their website at http://www.csrmf.org/railtown/default.asp for schedule.

Related Websites:

Mike Azzarello has been actively involved in negotiating with the local Miwok Indian tribe, which owns the West Side mill property in Tuolumne, to preserve some of the historical equipment and remaining structures. If you would like to help him let the tribe know how important this effort is, visit http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/wsletter/, sign the petition, and show your support. Mike's website is http://www.wsrestoration.com/.

Also, try joining one of the discussion forums on Yahoo.com such as the West Side Lumber Co. forum, the Loyal Legion of Logged-on Loggers, Pickering Lumber Corp forum, Logging Railroad Modelers, South East Forest Industry Modeling, New England Logging and 3' Railroads, Northwest Rail Logging Society or even the Historic Sierra Railway forum. There is even a forum for Logging Railroad modelers in Europe.

Or how about Narrow Gauge? Australian Narrow Gauge Railways or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/ and search for narrow gauge groups. There are 171 different forums as of this posting.

Some Other Railroad Groups:

Tap Line's Southeast Railroad History includes some narrow gauge and logging, or if your interest is in all industrial railways try http://groups.yahoo.com/group/industrial-railway/.

Besides meeting some pretty great people, these are a great way to share information, photos, modeling ideas and techniques.

Contact Information:
John R. Swiger
635 Grand View Dr.
Grand Junction, CO 81506
Cell: 970-778-1671
E-Mail: shayman@sti.net