LACONIA — Hundreds of model railroad enthusiasts from all over New England are arriving in the Lakes Region today for a four-day convention called ''Tracks to Lakeport.''
Convention headquarters are the Margate Resort, where dozens of clinics and presentations are scheduled throughout the weekend for model railroad hobbyists, who will be able to operate their scale models on a number of modular layouts.
Those attending will get to learn a lot of New Hampshire railroad history and visit historic stations and railroad museums around the Lakes Region.
Among those making presentations over the weekend will be Dwight Smith, founder of the Conway Scenic Railroad, who worked in the Boston and Main Railroad's traffic department in the 1950s and 1960s.
Smith will speak in the Gunstock Room at the Margate at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on "Where the Heck are Those Freight Cars Going" and at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, again in the Gunstock Room, on "Shortlines of NH 1950s-1960s"
Other local speakers will include Dr. Bruce Heald, speaking at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Blackstones Lounge on the history of the MV Mt. Washington, and Marty Cornellisen of the Alton Historical Society, who will present A Trip on the Lakeshore Railroad through Old Photographs at 9:15 p.m.
Warren Huse will speak at 9:15 p.m. Friday in Blackstones Lounge on the history of the Laconia Car Company.
Rail fan excursions will include:
Friday, October 18,
Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad "Train to Lakeport", departs Meredith Station at 1 p.m. and returns at 3 p.m.
Saturday, October 19
Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad "Fall Foliage Special" departs the Meredith Station at 11 a.m. and travels north, passing by Lakes Waukewan and Winona., arriving at Common Man Inn in Plymouth at 12:20 p.m. for a buffet lunch. Returns to Meredith at 3:30 p.m.
The event is hosted by the Seacoast Division of The Northeastern Region of the National Model Railroad Association.