The National Narrow Gauge Convention (NNGC) is a festive, annual gathering of model railroaders and rail fans that share their love of narrow gauge railroads and fine modeling. Each fall, up to 2,000 devotees and their spouses, plus vendors of the hobby, gather to celebrate their hobby and share their knowledge and skills. It is among the largest gatherings of model railroaders in the hobby and draws attendees not only from North America but from other continents as well.
What We Are
The Narrow Gauge Convention is unique—there is no national organization or headquarters group. Each convention is sponsored by a new and different organizing committee. Following the awards ceremony on the final night of the convention, attendees have an opportunity to hear proposals from volunteer host groups for future convention locations and then vote.
The first convention was in St. Louis in 1981. The event has been held in Colorado 12 times, historic home to many well-known narrow gauge railroads. Six conventions have been in Denver, 3 in Durango and 3 in Colorado Springs. It has also been held in the heart of the two-foot gauge railroads: Portland ME in 2007 and Augusta ME in 2016. There have been 39 conventions to date, in a wide variety of cities across the U.S. There are eight individuals who have been to them all, including Bob Brown, the long-standing publisher and editor of the “Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette”—the go-to publication for narrow gauge hobbyists. St. Louis, as the originating city, has had the privilege of hosting the convention every 10th year, thus, this will be our 5th event.
The convention committee is staffed by a local narrow gauge modeling group known as the Friday Night Boomers. However, an event of this magnitude requires an enormous amount of effort by a lot of volunteers. We are indebted to the many local area narrow gaugers for their time and enthusiasm.
From left to right: Brian Post, Richard Owings Richard Rands, Greg Gray, Dave Logsdon, Pete Smith, John Kalin, Herb Koenig, Bob Lenz and Jeff Boock.
Not pictured: Steve Anderson, Cheryl Meyer & Randy Meyer, and Robin Peel.
The 2020 NNGC is co-sponsored by the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA).