Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday #110


Brad said...

Hi Marty,

Apologies if this is not the right forum but my name is Brad Nicholson and I am brand new to the model railroading hobby. I had been wanting to start working on my own model railroad for most of my adult life but finally was able to escape the small condo to a house with a full, finished basement in which I could actually make it happen. I picked up your "N Scale Railroading: Getting Started" book recently to help me along.

Anyway, at some point recently I read somewhere that you lived in the D.C. area, as do I (Chantilly), and was hoping that maybe if you live around here, that you could steer me in the direction of any additional local resources that I might find helpful in learning the ropes (supply stores, meet-up groups, etc.)?

Any advice you might have is greatly appreciated as I am literally starting from zero but very excited about the opportunity to start!

If easier, you can also reach me at

Thank you in advance!

-Brad Nicholson
Chantilly, VA

CVSNE said...

Hi Brad,
Yes, we're not that far away - we live in the Yorkshire area of Manassas, basically just off Centreville Road near Bull Run.
Unfortunately, we do not have a model railroad hobbyshop in the area that I can recommend - the best model train store in the area is actually Mainline Hobby Supply - but they're in Blue Ridge Summit Pennsylvania - about 60 miles north of you. It is well worth a trip up there - and when the weather is nice it's a pleasant drive up US 15 by way of Point of Rocks!
There are a number of active groups in the area - the NMRA Potomac Division is pretty active - they have a one-day meet in March/April that's well worth attending since they tend to draw on some of the local clinician talent.
For N scale, Northern Virginia NTrak might be a possibility. They usually meet in Fairfax Station - check their web site (which I can't access from here or I'd post a direct link - google search "NVNTrak" and you'll find it) - I know a number of N scalers in that group. That would be a great way to get some hands-on experience.
If you want to try operations we have a roving operating group based in the Manassas-Gainesville area - I can send you the contact info for it. It's not scale specific (most of the layouts are HO) but again, a great bunch of modelers.
I'll be sure to add you to the invite list for our next open house op session.

Brad said...

Hi Marty!

Thanks so much for the insight! I'm sure I'll be peppering you with questions again soon!