Frequently Asked Questions

The NGRC is an annual gathering of Garden Railroaders that started in Denver in 1984 and has traveled around the country every year since.  BAGRS has hosted the NGRC in 1989, 1993, 1998, 2006, and 2016, which was the last time this event was held in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The convention can be broken down into four basic but very important parts, Garden Layout Tours, Clinics & Workshops, social gathering usually involving food or a meal, and the Exhibit and Vendor Hall. See the Calendar page for the daily schedule.

Once your registration for the convention is confirmed and they are ready for distribution, you will gain access to the detailed maps under the “Layout Tour” header. Click on the links for those days and it will take you to the appropriate map. We are also working on the tour information and that will also be available online so that you can view it on a smart phone, tablet or computer.

Registration is in the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara hotel lobby in the Magnolia Room. MAP HERE Registration is scheduled to open at 3pm on Sunday July 3rd. Can I visit layouts before I check in at the hotel? Yes, you can use the online information for that day. We ask that you get to check-in as soon as possible so that you can receive your badge(s) and convention book .

Yes. Check out the Calendar pages for complete information.

Can we take the bus on the tours and still get back to the convention center to take the bus to the other events? Yes, the buses will be back at least an hour before they have to leave again to Roaring Camp for the BBQ. How about the Ice Cream Social? Yes, all buses will stop at Accucraft Trains for that event and then leave at 2pm to get back to the Convention Center in time for the opening of the Exhibit Hall. Are the buses Handicap Accessible? We have two buses that can take a wheelchair. All of the buses are kneeling buses to make getting on and off the bus easier. Can I bring my dog on the bus? We request that you do not bring any animals on the bus. If you must have an animal with you we suggest you arrange alternate transportation. Will there be food? Is there a food stop on the bus tours? Sorry, no food on the buses and no food stops are scheduled. Some of the layouts that are open on the longer days plan on having some food available and the rest of the time the buses get back to the convention center in time for lunch.

 You can self-drive or pay for a seat on one of our tour buses. Once you register, maps will become available online to guide you to each of the open layout each day. A single convention book containing layout descriptions and directions will be given to each registered family. 

Yes, on Sunday we will have many layouts open a second time. If you go to the Saturday Train Show in the Exhibit Hall and Join one of the local Garden Railway Clubs:  SVGRS, REGRS  or BAGRS, you will be given a “Sunday Supplement” that will contain descriptions and directions for the layouts that are open on Sunday. Unfortunately, we do not have Single Day Passes for the other days of the week.

First of all, we may be a little prejudiced here, but what better place to be than San Francisco over the Fourth? We also can get the best rate on the Hotel and Convention Center that is located right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Traffic in the Bay Area is lighter on that Holiday Week. We will have a fireworks show and there is always live major league baseball at one of our venues if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

We highly recommend staying at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara convention hotel next door and reduced rate reservations are now available. We also have some other alternatives on our accomodations page.

Cost and time involved to produce it could not be justified by anticipated sales. Sales of layout DVDs have been dismal these last few years and our production company, MovieMIX, advised against doing another.

All the info is Right Here!