***ATTENTION*** Updates as of August 23rd:
Update: With one week to go before the convention, we would like to announce that we will be requiring masks in all indoor settings where social distancing is not possible during the convention. This includes home layouts, clinic rooms and contest room. Most of the clinic rooms are large, so distancing will be possible to some extent. We highly recommend masks in the vendor hall if it is crowded and social distancing is not possible.
Surgical masks will be available for anyone who needs one at the registration table, and cloth masks, with the Convention Logo, will be for sale for $5.
As of this writing, all of the advisories from the State are “Recommended” and “Highly Recommended”. IF the Governor issues any mandates we will of course follow them. The Convention Center will enforce any rules that are put into effect by the State, and so will we. As we have said before, we want everyone to feel comfortable being there, or at least as much as possible in this new Normal. Even those vaccinated should take their narrow gauge brothers’ concerns into account, and help them feel safe. The Convention Committee certainly will, no matter our vaccination status.
There are rumors floating around the web that hundreds of registrants and dozens of vendors have cancelled. That is simply Not the case. Our Canadian vendors had to cancel because they cannot get product across the border, but that is out of our hands. A couple more had to cancel due to product shortage, or health issues. The number of attendees that cancelled recently would fit on our fingers, which is very typical of National Narrow Gauge Conventions in general. We now know where the rumors originated, and all we will say is that it is sad that someone who never paid the first dime to take part in this Convention would want to tear it down.
The reality is that new vendors are still registering, and new attendees are still signing up. The timetable went to press a week ago, and it is already out of date in a couple of details. That’s how these narrow gauge conventions go. There will be a sign near the Registration Table with all the updates and changes.
There are a couple rooms left in the Crowne Plaza, so if you want to upgrade to a free buffet breakfast to go with your night’s stay, contact them at 828 323-1000. Be sure to mention the National Narrow Gauge Convention to get the special rate.
We are pleased to confirm that two full sized buses will make the trip through “Tweetsie Country” on August 31st. There are still a few seats available on both, but not many. The Doe River Gorge Christian Camp is promising to have their steam engine running, so that is reason enough to want to participate. Anyone wanting to add this to their convention experience should contact us immediately. Those who are already registered will be receiving an email this week, with details on where and when they can pick up their tickets for this trip. The Biltmore trip on Friday has a couple of seats available as well.
We have talked with so many people who are really looking forward to this convention. The Convention Committee has worked very hard to make it an enjoyable experience for Everyone. We welcome you to come to Hickory and enjoy some Southern Narrow Gauge Hospitality.
Welcome to the home of the 41st National Narrow Gauge Convention. We have a lot planned for convention week, more than even the typical narrow gauge convention. We all lament the cancelled convention in St Louis in 2020, but we look forward to Hickory and the other future conventions. If you have never attended a National Narrow Gauge Convention before, you are in for a treat. Check out all of our web pages and the only question you will have left afterward will be… Where do I sign up!
A National Narrow Gauge Convention is primarily for model railroaders, but all modelers have a love for the real thing. The Hickory convention brings the best of modeling and the best of rail fanning together into four + days of celebrating steel wheels on steel rails. A narrow gauge convention draws the best model railroaders from around the world to one place to share their knowledge with others in clinics, compete in model and photography contests, purchase high quality kits and equipment directly from some of the best cottage manufacturers in the industry, see the work of others in home layout tours and in modular railroads set up at the convention, and establish friendships that will last for decades.
Above and beyond the regular events of the convention, the Convention Committee has arranged with the tourist railroads in the region for special activities open to convention attendees. See the Steam Railroad Activities page for more information on these special events. The National Narrow Gauge Convention is a four day event, but many people come to the area for a full week in order to be able to take in all the things to see and do. This is not your typical train show. It is a destination event that has become the prime vacation week for model railroaders for four decades now. We welcome all fans of trains both large and small. Don’t let the term Narrow Gauge hold you back. Narrow gauge modelers are some of the most detail oriented in the hobby, so no matter what era you model or rail fan, narrow gaugers can teach you something. A National Narrow Gauge Convention is not put on by an organization like the NMRA. It is run by a group of individuals, just like you, who have a love for trains. We guarantee after you attend a National Narrow Gauge Convention, you will go home with stories and experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Check out our pages, and then sign up to attend. Y’all Come!
41st NNGC Chairman