Help Wanted

Unlike my favorite type of locomotive, the Layout Design SIG is not steam-powered... it's ''volunteer'' powered. And if there aren't any volunteers to do a job, something terrible happens: nothing!

I've always felt that I owed a membership organization more than just my dues, I owed thems some other sort of support as well. Depending on the organization's need and my skills, that might be articles, books or merchandise, or even a cash donation, but what this and most other organizations really need is your time.

Please give a look at the jobs posted below, and ask yourself which one is the best match to your intersets, experience, and needs. Then call or email somebody about it. This is not just how the LDSIG grows, it's how we survive!


This list is presently very short because your Board of Directors has decided that the scope and duties of all committees should be decided upon before any further appointments are made. I would encourage those interested in volunteering to contact the Directors and urge them to complete this work as quickly as possible so that the work of the LDSIG can move forward.

Authors, Story and Copy Editors, Graphics Editors, Layout Design Journal

The Layout Design Journal (LDJ) is the official publication of the Layout Design Special Interest Group, Inc. and is one of the major benefits of LDSIG membership.

The LDJ combines stories on layout designs for specific spaces, eras, prototypes, and themes with broader articles exploring layout design best practices. Each issue also includes the latest news on a variety of LDSIG activities around the country.

The LDJ is always seeking volunteers to help with story editing, copy editing, and especially developing and editing graphics.

We also always welcomes new and returning volunteer authors to write on all topics related to Layout Design. You may reach the editor with article ideas and offers of help at ldjeditor (at)

The Layout Design Journal (and a companion publication, the Layout Design News) have been published since 1982 by a series of excellent volunteer editors, including Doug Gurin, Martin Denlinger, Dave Clemens, Michael Stimac, Joe Fugate, Byron Henderson, Eric Hansmann, Mike Peters, Riley Triggs, and Rick Mugele. Bryon Henderson has returned as Editor of the Layout Design Journal beginning with LDJ-41.


Election Committee Members

To serve a one-year term helping select Directors and conduct the election. Contact Treasurer K. Travers Stavac.

We Need YOU at the National Conventions


NMRA annual conventions are the major venues for in-person LDSIG events where LDSIG members and prospective members get to meet and discuss their interests, plans, ideas and questions. The average turnout for National Conventions is about 12-15% of our membership, with about half "regulars" and the balance drawn from those living nearby, usually within driving distance.


Preparing and presenting display material in the LDSIG room at the National Convention is a great way to share your ideas and get input on design decisions. A wide variety of material and formats is welcome, including printed or hand-drawn material (to be mounted on a wall) as well as 3-D mockups and renderings. You don't even need to be in attendance, you can ship the materials to the Local Area Convention Coordinator. Although we do take care with displays, please don't send any rare, costly, or irreplaceable materials, as they may become damaged or lost. Contact the LDSIG Conventions Chair via the Contact Us page for the local contacts for each convention.

We would like to publish some of the display information in the Layout Design Journal, and request those who presented displays at any past convention to contact the Editor via email ldjeditor (at) to work out the best way your layout ideas can be presented to the entire membership [and as an IRS 501(c)(3) educational organization, to the public].

Local Display Volunteers

Managing the LDSIG displays program at the convention is one of the functions that does not require a great time commitment (primarily pre-convention promotion and recruiting display presenters). Please consider volunteering your networking, display (and cajoling) skills to organize display programs in Sacramento (2011), Grand Rapids (2012), or Atlanta (2013). Contact the LDSIG Conventions Chair via the Contact Us page for questions and a reference to the appropriate local contacts. This is a good opportunity to meet some great people and see their layout ideas with more time to "study" than the quick look between clinics in the SIG Room.

Layout Design Consultation

Another LDSIG National Convention activity that the SIG hopes to expand and improve upon is the Layout Design Consultation Service. This free service is offered to all convention attendees and consists of having "clients" bring their ideas, Givens and Druthers, and plans for review by volunteer LDSIG members. A lot of this discussion occurs informally, but those new to the LDSIG often appreciate the formality of a sign-up and agreed time to meet. 

We always need more help-providers and especially one or two people to organize the consulting sessions at each convention. This would include managing the schedule, pairing help-seekers and help-providers with similar interests, and recruiting additional help-providers. With a little pre-convention planning, the LDSIG could better serve fledgling (and sometimes senior) layout designers think out their ideas to achieve a more satisfying layout. Please help us with your organizational skills at an upcoming convention. Contact the LDSIG Conventions Chair via the Contact Us page for questions and the Local Coordinator contact.