Page Updated 9/28/2016 to describe the 2017 meet

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT O SCALE WEST

This web page provides a complete description of the O Scale West meet and its activities.

O Scale West was started by Rod Miller in 1991 on the theory that there were many O scalers west of the Mississippi who were not being served by the at that time eastern-only O scale meets. The first meet was successful beyond everyone's expectations.

There has been an O Scale West meet every year starting in 1991. The following shows the year, where the meet was held, and for interest, the amount of the family registsration fee and the amount of the table rental fee.

  1. San Mateo, CA - Family $10, table $15 ($10 for each additional table, electrical $5)
  2. San Mateo, CA - Family $10, Table $15 ($10 for each additional table)
  3. San Mateo, CA - Family$ 10, Table $15 ($10 for each additional table)
  4. Union City, CA - Family $15, Table $15
  5. San Mateo, CA - Family $15, Table $15
  6. San Mateo, CA - Family $15, Table $15
  7. San Mateo, CA - Family $20, Table $20
  8. Santa Clara, CA - Family $20, Table $30
  9. Santa Clara, CA - Family $20, Table $30
  10. Santa Clara, CA - Family $20, Table $30
  11. Santa Clara, CA - Family $20, Table $30
  12. Santa Clara, CA - Family $25, Table $35
  13. Santa Clara, CA - Family $25, Table $35
  14. Santa Clara, CA - Family $30, Table $35
  15. Santa Clara, CA - Family $25, Table $35
  16. Santa Clara, CA - Family $25, Table $35
  17. Santa Clara, CA - Family $25, Table $35
  18. Santa Clara, CA - Family $25, Table $35
  19. Santa Clara, CA - Family $25, Table $35
  20. Santa Clara, CA - Family $30, Table $40 (O Scale National convention)
  21. Santa Clara, CA - Family $30, Table $40
  22. Santa Clara, CA - Family $25, Table $30
  23. Santa Clara, CA - Family $25, Table $35
  24. Santa Clara, CA - Family $30, Table $45
  25. Santa Clara, CA - Family $30, Table $40
  26. Santa Clara, CA - Family $35, Table $45
  27. Santa Clara, CA - Family $35, Table $45
  28. Santa Clara, CA - Family $35, Table $45 (the 2018 meet will be May 24 - 27, 2017)

O Scale West

The OSW meet is designed to provide a spectrum of fun and interesting activities for the O scale model railroader, including a swap meet, contests, clinics, movies, and layout visits.

O Scale West also includes full participation of the S scale community, modelers, dealers, and manufacturers. This has enhanced OSW by the addition of some excellent S models in the model contest, some excellent S layouts on the layout visits, and some excellent modeling clinics presented by S scale modelers.

This activity of the S scale community is called S West. The S West events are numbered, e.g., at OSW 2016 the included S activity is named S West 11, indicating this is the 11th annual S West meet.

For ease of writing this web page, when OSW is written, it means the combination of OSW and S West.

O Scale West Activities

Swap Meet
The swap meet is for O and S scale items only. G guage, tinplate, HO, etc. are not permitted.

Approximately 200 tables are rented by O and S scale modelers, collectors, scale hobbyshops and brass dealers, and manufacturers of O and S scale products.

Model Contest
The model contest provides an opportunity for you to exhibit your modeling work, and to have it judged by your modeler peers. At your option you can categorize your entry as display only, and it will not be subject to voting.

Winners are determined by popular vote. Some of the categories are:

The O and S scale contests are combined. E.g., there may be both S and O models in the same category. When voting for your favorites in each category, please vote for the best model, not for your scale.

There is a limit on the number of entries in the contest. The maximun number of entries per category by one entrant is two entries except for the Display category where the limit is four entries.

Click here to view photos of O Scale West model contest entries that have been taken over the years.

Photo Contest
The photo contest provides an opportunity for you to exhibit your photographic work, and to have it judged by your modeler peers.

Winners are determined by popular vote. Some of the categories are:

Home Layout Visits
Every year approximately 25 home and club O scale layouts are opened by their owners/members for visiting by O Scale West attendees. The spectrum includes spare room-sized layouts, long-established clubs, and large basement-sized layouts. Layout track gauges include O gauge (2-rail), Proto:48, On3, On30, S and Sn3. Some exceptionally well done 3-rail and HO layouts are also open for visiting.

O Scale West does not provide any organized transportation, such as a bus, for those wishing to visit the layouts, so access to an auto is needed. O Scale West provides in the registration area a ride-to-share/ride-wanted signup board to facilitate connections between those with space to share and those looking for a ride.

Most layouts are open in the evenings; a few are open during the daytime. Most local layouts are open during the meet; some are also open before and after the meet.

Some nice layouts that are within a three to five hour drive (weather permitting) from Santa Clara are usually open Sunday after OSW. Discounts at local motels and restaurants may be available; check with the layout owner.

Thursday Night Videos
The movies normally are videos projected onto a movie screen. The subjects range from historical prototype to models and layouts. The movies may be commercially produced, and sometimes may be rare footage from private collections. Modelers are encouraged to share their movies/videos; movies/vids that are to be shared need to be provided to OSW in advance so that compatibility with our equipment can be assured.

Meet Cars
Every year in the past OSW has attempted to offer prototypically accurate O scale and S scale meet cars. It has become increasingly difficult to get cars delivered in time for sales at the meet which causes much extra work to sell cars when the arrive after the meet. In addition, the funds that purchased the cars are tied up until the next year's meet when the majority of sales take place. If OSW is able to arrange for meet cars for the 2017 this page will be updated.

For information about previous years' meet cars, see Previous Meet Cars, for a history of previous meet's cars.

Clinics
A number of clinics on both O scale related and scale independent subjects is offered each year at O Scale West. Topics range from trackwork to scenery to modeling history to building locomotives.
Company Store
The Company Store is located to your left as you enter the ballroom. Activities at the Store include:

If You Take Amtrak to OSW

Getting to the hotel is somewhat complicated by the number of ways you can come into the San Francisco Bay Area by train.

You can come in from the north on the Coast Starlight. You can come in from the east on the California Zephyr. You can come in from Los Angeles on the Coast Starlight; perhaps continuing on from another train that terminated in Los Angeles.

Things are further complicated by train arrival schedules. You should be prepared to alter your plans if your train is late. Be sure to bring with you schedules for connecting trains such the Capitol Corridor and VTA Light Rail so that you can adjust to an adverse arrival time.

From the Southbound Starlight or Westbound California Zephyr

What you want to do is get to the Amtrak Great America station in Santa Clara, station code GAC, which is about 3/4 mile from the Hyatt Regency.

At this time the Coast Starlight does not stop at the Great America station. Trains known as the Capitol Corridor trains do stop there, so you will need to transfer to a Capitol Corridor train. This can be done as early as Sacramento, or at Emeryville.

The California Zephyr terminates at Emeryville (Oakland). You will want to catch a Capitol Corridor train there.

To get a better idea of the Great America station's location relative to the Hyatt Regency, go to Amtrak.
Then click on California Stations in the drop down menu under Destinations. On the next page there will be a map of California that has red balloons for each Amtrak train station. Zoom in using the slider on the left of the map. You will have to move the map horizontally and vertically in order to keep San Jose on the map. Go directly north from the center of San Jose and move above the Santa Clara station which is not the one you want. The first landmark near the Great America station is Levi's Stadium. Continue zooming, with perhaps the need to keep the GAC station on the map, until you can see the intersection of Tasman Drive and Great America Parkway due West of the station. The Hyatt Regency is at the Northeast corner of this intersection.

You are about 3/4 mile from the Hyatt Regency. Your choices from this point are to walk if the weather and the weight of your luggage work for you, or call the hotel and have them send a cab to pick you up (the hotel does not have a shuttle); the hotel's switchboard number is 1-408-200-1234.

Note that ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are very popular and convenient in the Bay Area, and you will find it easy to substitute one of those services for any of the above links in getting to OSW.

From the Northbound Starlight

This train does not stop at the Great America station. Your best bet is to terminate your ticket at San Jose. From there you can board a Northbound Capital Corridor train and exit at the next station Great America (GAC). Alternatively, you can get on a shuttle to the Light Rail Line. The Amtrak staff in the station should be able to provide directions for this. The Light Rail in the area of the Hyatt Regency runs down Tasman (see From the Southbound Starlight above for directions on how to view a map of the area). Get off the Light Rail train at the stop named Great America Parkway; the Hyatt Regency will be to your right as you face the direction in which the train was traveling. For more information on VTA including maps and a VTA trip planning tool, please visit VTA Light Rail info.

Note that ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are very popular and convenient in the Bay Area, and you will find it easy to substitute one of those services for any of the above links in getting to OSW.

If You Fly to OSW

If you fly into the San Francisco airport:

Take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) from the airport to the Millbrae Caltrain station.

Transfer to Caltrain, ride to Mountain View. Note that in Mountain View, the intermodal (Caltrain, Light Rail, Bus) station is a replica of a Southern Pacific Common Standard station.

At Mountain View, transfer to VTA Light Rail, get off at the Great America stop which is in front of the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara. The Hyatt Regency will be to your left as you face the direction in which the train was traveling.

Links with more information:
BART info.
Caltrain info.
VTA Light Rail info.

Note that ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are very popular and convenient in the Bay Area, and you will find it easy to substitute one of those services for any of the above links in getting to OSW.

If you fly to the Oakland airport:

You have two choices for getting to Santa Clara. One is to take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) then bus, and then light rail. The other is to take an Amtrak Capitol Corridor train to the Great America Station.

If you prefer and your schedule allows it, the Capital Corridor train is more direct and faster. The Coliseum BART station and Amtrak station are next to each other, so taking AirBART to the COLISEUM BART station will also get you to the Amtrak station. Once there, follow the instructions above for the Southbound Starlight or Westbound California Zephyr to get to the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara.

Following are the instructions on how to get to OSW using BART.

Take AirBART - Links the COLISEUM BART station to the OAKLAND AIRPORT, runs every 15 minutes.

Then: Take BART to the Fremont station (end of the line).

Then: get on the AC Transit #217 bus to the Milpitas/I-880 Light Rail station.

Finally: take VTA light rail west to the Great America stop.

Links with more information:
Oakland Airport and BART
BART info
AC Transit #217 Info
VTA Light Rail Map

Note that ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are very popular and convenient in the Bay Area, and you will find it easy to substitute one of those services for any of the above links in getting to OSW.

If you fly to the San Jose airport:

There is a shuttle bus that connects the aiport with the VTA light rail in San Jose.

Note: shuttles also run from the San Jose airport to the Santa Clara Caltrain station, but this is the opposite side of Santa Clara from where the Hyatt Regency is located, and it would be a pretty roundabout ride to get from there to the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara.

Links with more information:
VTA Light Rail Info

Note that ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are very popular and convenient in the Bay Area, and you will find it easy to substitute one of those services for any of the above links in getting to OSW.

Please note that it is nearly impossible to keep up with the changes all the above entities are continuously making to their web sites, routes, and schedules. If you find that some of the information above is inaccurate, first, we apologize, and second, please let us know what the error is so we can fix it.

TO CONTACT O SCALE WEST

Interested in learning more about 2-rail O scale? Please visit the O Scale Kings web pages.

These web pages were designed and implemented by Rod Miller.