Tips for Hosts

  • Arrange for extra help to be on hand on the day of the tour.  Someone else should be operating the layout.  Your time will be spent "telling the story" of your layout and answering questions!

  • Clean the track and made sure the locomotives you plan to run are operational.  Do a test run!

  • Think about emergency egress in the unlikely event something happens (fire, medical issue, etc.)

  • Have step stools, etc. available for short visitors, i.e., children

  • Remove any apparent hazards, especially items that may be tripped over

  • Verify that your GPS address (Google maps, MapQuest, etc.) actually puts you in front of your house.

  • Determine the maximum number of visitors you can accommodate at the same time

  • If you have special layout visitation rules, post them in advance on the Tour’s website as well as by the entry to the layout

  • Verify that your home street number (e.g. 45 Elm St.) is clearly visible from the street or on the mailbox.

  • Place a sign near or at the end of your driveway identifying that this is the right place. Print and use the Maine Model Railroad Tour signs that should have been emailed to you.  If you have not received one, contact one of the Coordinating Committee members.

  • Clearly identify any No Parking areas (street, lawn, etc.).

  • Post signs marking the appropriate entry to the layout area, especially if it is not obvious from the parking area.

  • Use the sign-in log linked at the bottom of this page, or the one emailed to you, or something similar. It is a good record of who your visitors were and any comments they had.

  • Have a greeter, (other than yourself) to:

    • Identify and deal with children

    • Identify and deal with special needs or access issues

    • Control the number of visitors in the layout area to allow no more than the desired maximum

  • Have someplace for visitors to sit down. They may have to wait to view your layout or just need to take a break. Something as simple as a couple of folding chairs would work.

  • Providing food or refreshments is up to you, as well as where they may be taken or consumed.

  • Use of bathroom facilities is up to you.

  • Close off areas that you don’t want anyone in,

  • De-clutter the layout area, not only for safety and to eliminate distractions, but also to secure non-railroad items or other items of value.

  • If people have to negotiate stairs, railings should be installed

  • Confine pets to non-visitor areas

  • Always have someone watching the layout to prevent damage to or loss of items on it.

    • Recruit, instruct, and post sufficient number of assistant hosts to enable them to monitor all visitors in all parts of the layout.

    • Invite friends, neighbors, relatives, and others to visit your layout and those of others during the date of the Tour.  The more people who visit, the more successful the Tour will be!

    • If you wish, post “Do Not Touch” or other cautionary signs as needed.

  • Consider having a handout describing the purpose, location, history, etc. of your model railroad. It will answer the most frequently asked questions and allow you more time to engage and interact with your visitors.

  • Don’t be afraid to constructively request people to control their children; remember that they are the next generation of model railroaders!