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Around the Bend

The Midwest Region 2024 Convention
May 2, 2024 - May 4, 2024
South Bend, Indiana

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subject to change except the dates for the event.)

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Thank you for your interest in the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA), Midwest Region (MWR) 2024 Convention hosted by the Michiana Division and sponsored by Visit South Bend Mishawaka. We sincerely welcome you to the convention. We have a great event planned for both veterans and beginners in the hobby of model railroading as well as those interested in non-railroad events.

“The purpose of the Midwest Region is to promote, stimulate, foster, and encourage by all manner and means the art and craft of model railroading and the preservation of the hobby's history, science, and technology.” The Region accomplishes this through its 10 Divisions, publishing the Waybill (a quarterly newsletter), holding Conventions and by promoting the NMRA Achievement Program. Around the Bend is our 2023 convention organized to acquaint you with all aspects of the hobby.

This year, the Steel Mill Special Interest Group will participate in the Midwest Region Convention featuring Steel Mill clinics and vendors. “The mission of the SMMSIG is to share information concerning modeling steel mills and railroads as well as to foster camaraderie among persons with interests in these topics.” If you have an interest in the fascinating steel industry and enjoy modeling -- come to this convention and learn more about modeling the steel industry as well as all facets of the hobby of Model Railroading.


Download a PDF copy of the Convention flier: https://www.mwr-nmra.org/atb/atbimages/atbflyer.med.vsb.pdf - (9.5Mb)

Download a Jpeg picture of the Convention flier: https://www.mwr-nmra.org/atb/atbimages/atblargeflyer.vsb.jpg - (200 kb)

Media Outlets: Download a copy of latest Press Release: https://www.mwr-nmra.org/atb/atbdata/atbpressrelease.pdf - (200 kb)

Please visit:   https://www.visitsouthbend.com/ for more information about the South Bend area.
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The event will be held at The Century Center, 120 Doctor M.L.K. Jr Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601. Please see the listing of area hotels. We have not reserved space in any hotel but will notify attendees if this changes. Parking in the Century Center lot is $5 per day. There is plenty of free parking on Saturday and Sunday, but not Thursday and Friday.

Century Center website: https://centurycenter.org/

Travel directions and Unloading/Loading instructions: https://www.mwr-nmra.org/atb/atbimages/centerdirections.pdf

Summary:

  • The event is on Friday and Saturday. Set-up will begin on Thursday, May 2nd, 2024 - 1-6pm.
  • Registration and early check-in is Thursday 2-5pm and continues 8am-5pm Friday and Saturday.
  • There is a Layout Tour and an Op Session Thursday 7-10pm.
  • Friday dinner is on your own, no speaker, but Layout Tours and an Op Sessions are scheduled in the afternoon and evening. See the program schedule for details.
  • Friday’s program includes five clinic sessions with three rail clinics each plus 1 steel modelers clinic per session. Two rail clinics in the morning and three in the afternoon.
  • There will be one or more off site rail themed excursions at least one non-rail excursion on Friday.
  • Saturday’s program includes five clinic sessions with three rail clinics each per session. Two rail clinics in the morning and three in the afternoon.
  • Nothing will be planned at the Century Center after 6 PM on Saturday.
  • There will be a MWR board of directors meeting held Sunday morning after the conference. The time for this meeting is to be determined.

Click Here    to download a PDF calendar style version of the preliminary schedule - which is subject to change.

Click Here    to download a complete PDF listing of clinicians and clinic descriptions.

Click Here    to download a complete PDF listing of clinicians and clinic descriptions.

There will be several operating layouts on display at the Convention Center in the Layout Room. Come and see:

  • The HO Scale SJV Model Railroad Club T-Trak Modular Layout
  • The Santa Fe Modular Club
  • The HO Scale Holland Mi Modular Club
  • The Battle Creek Model Railroad Club
  • This room will also feature live, interactive, switching puzzle layouts to test your operations skills.
  • One such layout will be Tom Stathis' HO Scale operating switching layout shown below. Visit the room to run this challenging little railroad and have some train fun.
  • Switching Layout

Below is a list and web page links to descriptions and photos of all the individual tour and ops layouts:

Click Here   to download descriptions and photos of all the layouts. (Multi-Page PDF.)

This year the Display and Workshop Room will have a new look and feel. It's a space where:

  • Modelers can showcase their modeling accomplishments for all to enjoy.
    • Click Here    to complete a Display Entry Form if you are interested in displaying models and/or photographs - this will help us plan the room setup.
    • Use this same form if you are also interested in making an appointment to have you model evaluated for an AP award.
    • Achievement Program Merit award evaluations are limited and will be available by appointment only. We will contact you about an appointment after you have registered.
    • If you are submitting a model for an AP award, you must also complete NMRA Form 902 ver. E.    Click Here for that form.
    • Please bring printed copies of all forms to the display room with your model.

  • Family entertainment will be available: Streaming train videos, puzzles, games, etc.
  • Registrants can design and build a small scenic diorama or experiment with static grass.(Limited materials will be supplied on a first-come-first-served basis.)
  • Ron Christensen, MMR® created this diorama to demonstrate the use of static grass. Learn how to make these type of scenes from the experts.Diorama example
  • Another diorama created by Ron was featured in Model Railroad Panning 2024 by Kalmbach. It will also be shown in the display room. Diorama example
  • Shown below is one of the city scenes on Robert Olson's home layout. Trolley cars that use working overhead wire takes you back to large cities in the 20's era. Bob has constructed this interesting layout using ordinary things that are available. The buildings, interurban cars and trolley cars are all scratch built in O scale. Bob will be conducting a workshop in the display room.Olson Layout

  • Display room viewing hours: Friday 8am - 5pm, Saturday 8am - 3pm. Model pick up Saturday 3pm-5pm.
  • No food or drinks allowed in the display room. Coats and bags must be checked at the door.

Interested in seeing models displayed at past conventions?     Just click Here

As the saying goes, there's a little something for everyone “Around the Bend”

That's not simply a cliché — it's the truth. From can't-miss exhibits and heart-stopping outdoor adventures in South Bend to serene walks along the St. Joseph River in Mishawaka, there are endless options when it comes to planning your itinerary. The South Bend area offers the NMRA Midwest Region Convention and more! South Bend has Arts, Entertainment & Culture, Shopping, Outdoors & Recreation, Nightlife, Attractions, and the University of Notre Dame (Art Museum, Tours, lodging at the Morris Inn, the Basilica, the Grotto, and walking beside calm lakes). Come to the Convention early and have fun in the South Bend area!
Here are a number local attractions recommended by the convention committee that might be of interest to you.

We have a great event planned for you and registration is now open.
Admission prices for the convention are as follows:

Early Bird prices prior to April 1st.

  • Full Convention:
    • $60 NMRA members
    • $70 Public
    • NMRA Volunteer rebate $12 (Redeemable at the convention.)
  • One day registration:
    • $30 NMRA members
    • $40 Public
    • NMRA Volunteer rebate $6 (Redeemable at the convention.)

Prices effective April 1st and after:

  • Full Convention:
    • $65 NMRA members
    • $75 Public
    • NMRA Volunteer rebate $13 (Redeemable at the convention.)
  • One day registration:
    • $35 NMRA members
    • $45 Public
    • NMRA Volunteer rebate $7 (Redeemable at the convention.)

Convention registration will be a little different from past events. Advance registration tickets are available by Email Only. Those without email or not wishing to use our secure on-line registration process may purchase full fare tickets at the door.

Click on the red Register Now button below you will be transferred to our Secure Ticket Vendor's website. Have your NMRA number and credit card information handy and expect the following registration process:

  1. Select the type and number of tickets you wish to purchase.
  2. Then click on the Add Tickets button. You will be taken to your shopping cart.
  3. Verify that the type and number of tickets in your shopping cart is correct.
  4. Then click on the Continue button.
  5. You will be taken to a screen where you will enter the information we need to print your badge.
  6. If you are an NMRA member purchasing a ticket for a family member, use your NMRA number and division for your family member.
  7. Once you have completed the badge information, click on the Continue to Checkout button to complete the purchase of your tickets.
  8. Your ticket(s) will be emailed to you shortly after you complete your purchase.



Questions – contact Greg Bueltmann, (312) 730-4109 or Greg@uncleheavy.com

Hotels are listed in proximity to the Century Center.

Downtown Hotels

Double Tree by Hilton Hotel South Bend 123 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601-1624 0.1 miles from Century Center Convention Center.
The double Tree by Hilton has extended us a discounted rate of $129 per night plus taxes and optional over-nite parking for Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday nights. Booking at this rate must be completed by April 1 prior to the convention. Other terms apply so please review them carefully by: clicking here to download a PDF document of the terms. You must CLICK HERE to reserve one of the 25 rooms at the special NMRA rate.

Courtyard South Bend Downtown 121 S Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601-1901 is across the street from Century Center Convention Center.
The Courtyard South Bend Downtown has extended us a discounted rate of $119 per night plus taxes and free valet over-nite parking. Booking at this rate must be completed by April 12 prior to the convention. Other terms apply so please review them carefully. You must CLICK HERE to reserve one of the 20 rooms at the special NMRA rate.

NMRA CONVENTION REGISTRATION DESK REQUEST (at Century Center Convention registration desk, not the hotel.) Please let us know how many room nights you have booked and at what hotel. This information supports the Marketing Grant reporting requirement we have for the Visit South Bend Mishawaka organization. They are paying for the event marketing and need these statistics. Example: DoubleTree 3 nights or XYZ Hotel 2 nights, etc.

Aloft South Bend 111 North Main Street, South Bend, IN 46601 0.2 miles from Century Center Convention Center

Residence Inn South Bend 716 N Niles Ave, South Bend, IN 46617-1924 0.7 miles from Century Center Convention Center

Notre Dame Area

Embassy Suites by Hilton South Bend at Notre Dame 1140 E. Angela Blvd, South Bend, IN 46617 1.3 miles from Century Center Convention Center

Ivy Court Inn & Suites 1404 Ivy Ct, South Bend, IN 46637-5684 1.8 miles from Century Center Convention Center

North of Notre Dame Area

Hilton Garden Inn South Bend 53995 Indiana State Route 933, South Bend, IN 46637-3345 2.3 miles from Century Center Convention Center

The Inn at Saint Mary's 53993 Indiana State Route 933, South Bend, IN 46637-3345 2.3 miles from Century Center Convention Center

Quality Inn South Bend 215 S Dixie Way, South Bend, IN 46637-3319 2.6 miles from Century Center Convention Center

Baymont by Wyndham South Bend 215 S Dixie Way, South Bend, IN 46637-3319 2.6 miles from Century Center Convention Center