2012 Gatlinburg Convention

This convention will be the first SER's convention in the heart of both Tennessee's and the National Park Service's premier visitor's area. Located in the heart of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the convention site is right at the north entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Within an hours drive is Pigeon Forge and Dollywood, Townsend, Knoxville, Cherokee and of course all of the Smoky Mountain National Park.

You will have ample time before, after and during the convention for you to enjoy Gatlinburg's shops, arts and crafts driving tour, outstanding restaurants or just relax. Plan to attend now and you will see why we say - "Arrive Early - Stay Late". Enjoy your journey through our site and we will see you at the convention.


Convention Information Contacts

  • Larry Burkholder - Gatlinburg Convention Chairman - Email
  • Joe Gelmini - SER President -Email
  • SER Ladies Program Chair - Kathy Gelmini - Email
  • Gatlinburg Ladies Program Chair - Marge Burkholder - Email

A New Model Contest You Might Want To Enter At This Year's Convention

Because no two modelers will build the same model exactly the same, this competition will allow you express your own creative abilities. There are no restrictions to style, type or materials used in building the model. It can be built to scale and prototype, or not, so it can be used on your layout after the contest. 


1. The structure can be built in any scale, but must adhere to the basic dimensions shown in the plan.


Schedule of Events

Check back often to see the updated schedule of events in Gatlinburg.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

4:00 pmRegistration Open (Lobby)
5:00 – 6:30 pmWelcome Reception (Azalea)

Friday, June 1, 2012


Lodging and convention venues will be at the Glenstone Lodge in downtown Gatlinburg. Information will be posted as it is finalized. Rates will be $75 + tax per night. These rates will be in effect until May 1, 2012. After that the rate will be available only on room availability.

The rate will be in effect for 3 days before and after the convention for those who wish to spend additional time in Gatlinburg.

Contest/Display Room

Model Contest

Download and fill out Entry form #901 and Judging form #902 prior to bringing them to the contest room.

Photo Contest

Besides the normal ribbons, there will be four (4) NMRA Photo Chairman’s Awards, one in each of the four categories in photography. No slides. The categories are:


See the attached registration form.  The deadline for early registration is May 1, 2012

The convention hotel for the 2012 Convention is the Glenstone Lodge. Please make your reservations directly and ask for the model railroad convention rate of $75/night. Rate is good three days before and after convention dates.  Phone: 1-800-362-9522 Web Site: www.glenstonelodge.com

Prototype Tour Information

Dollywood Engine Facilities & Operations

Dollywood, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the United States, operates a tourist train that carries up to 600 passengers on a twenty minute dog-bone round trip excursion through the park and the surrounding wooded hills that includes a 6% grade.  The park maintains two 2-8-2 narrow-gauge locomotives that were obtained from the White Pass & Yukon Railr

Clinic Schedule



June 1


80 Seats


125 Seats


25 Seats

Sidetracks Non-rail Activities

Sidetracks Non-rail Activities

Highlander 2 Room

Friday, June 1

10:30 am Clinic: Simple Karate Moves for Self Defense – Gail Scarborough

   2:00 pm Clinic: Jewelry Making for Beginners – Kelly Nichols

   7:00 pm Special Presentation 

“Quilt Authenication” by Merikay Waldvogel

Clinic Descriptions


Pulp & Paper Industry: Railroads Supplying the Mills

by Walt Liles(Friday, 3 pm, Azalea)

Will take a look at the variety of railcars used to transport pulpwood, woodchips and other raw materials. Most of the presentation will consist of southeastern railroads and how they got raw material to the paper mills. We will also will be discussing some of the paper making processing so you get a better understanding the need of the raw materials.


Modeling Slate Roofs

Home Layout Tours

Ten home and club layouts have been identified for tours.  Because Gatlinburg is in a remote place and travel to and from can take time, all layout tours have been scheduled for Sunday after the convention is over when you can stop by on your way home or just enjoy the day if you are staying over for a little vacation.  Descriptions and maps are in your registration package.  All layouts will be open from 10 am to 3 pm Sunday.

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