Tours at the Lowell National Historical Park

    Our convention is just minutes away from the Lowell National Historical Park, a series of restored Mills and exhibits in downtown Lowell, served by operating trolleys from the National Park Service and the Seashore Trolley Museum.  Come early or stay late and take in the Mill Girls exhibit, a short walk from the Visitor Center as well as the Visitor Center and other exhibits in the park. The Boston and Maine Historical Society will also have its restored Steam Locomotive and Combine open for tours during your visit.

Powering the Industrial Revolution

     Friday, October 8; 2:00 – 5:00 PM

    We will meet at the Lowell National Historic Park Visitor Center for this tour which is located ten miles from the Convention Hotel.  Ample free parking is available. We will board an historic New Orleans Trolley at the Visitor Center and travel to the Wannalancit Mill where we will be treated to a guided tour of the River Transformed exhibit and learn how water powered the industrial revolution. We will then depart the mill and tour the various trolley lines within the downtown historic section of Lowell. A Park Ranger on board will point out all that Lowell has to offer. This tour will take us on sections of the line not offered to the general public. It will include a tour of the park’s car barn, formerly a coal depot served by the Boston and Maine Railroad. Be sure to save some time to tour the Visitor’s Center. The Boston and Maine Railroad Historical Society also has their display of a restored steam locomotive and combine that should be open during our visit.

Boott Cotton Mill Tour

     Saturday, October 9; 2:00 – 5:00 PM

    This tour will also originate from the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, located just ten miles from the Convention Hotel. Ample free parking is available.We will board a National Park Service Trolley for a short ride to the Boott Cotton Mill Museum. Here we will see restored looms that created the fabric that made Lowell the largest producer of textiles in the United States in the 1830s. Our Park Ranger led tour will walk through the museum explaining how the machines were powered and enabled the dawning of the industrial era in the United States. We will then proceed to the canal and board a boat that will take us through the waterways and learn about how water powered the textile industry. Be sure to leave some time to see the Boston and Maine Railroad Historical Society static display located near the Visitor’s Center.

Franklin & South Manchester tours

    There will be two opportunities to see the famous work of George Sellios, the  retired owner of the Fine Scale Miniatures line of craftsmen kits. The Franklin and South Manchester Railroad is located in downtown Peabody, a thirty-five mile drive from the Convention Hotel.  

    The F&SM tours are NOT handicapped accessible.  Very difficult, long stairway and limited rest rooms.

    The FS&M will be open on Friday morning before the convention officially begins. This will only be available to registered attendees of the convention and you must have a ticket to enter. There will be no cost for this tour, but you must supply your own transportation to Peabody. Please be aware that parking in downtown Peabody can be challenging, so please plan ahead. Sign up for the time slot you would like. You will only be allowed to visit during your assigned time slot as space in the railroad is limited. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so register early to get your preferred slot.

Pre-convention Opportunity

     Friday, October 8, 9:00 or 10:30 AM

Franklin and South Manchester and     North Shore Model Railroad Club Tour

    Saturday, October 9, 8:00 AM

    We will depart the convention hotel at 8:00am by bus and participants will have an opportunity to view both the F&SM and NSMRRC, sharing time at the two locations.

     The F&SM is the masterpiece of George Selios, retired owner of Fine Scale Miniatures. Featured in countless articles in the Model Railroad press, this is arguably the most famous model railroad in the world.

    The North Shore Model Railroad Club, located in 2700 square foot facility has been operating for more than 40 years. You will have the opportunity to watch an operating session in progress as you tour the more than 5000 feet of track. Why not grab a throttle and run a train along side one of the operators while you are there?



2020 Schedule