Hyatt Regency O Scale Kings

O Scale West History

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:

  1. San Mateo, CA
  2. San Mateo, CA
  3. San Mateo, CA
  4. Union City, CA
  5. San Mateo, CA
  6. San Mateo, CA
  7. San Mateo, CA
  8. Santa Clara, CA
  9. Santa Clara, CA
  10. Santa Clara, CA
  11. Santa Clara, CA
  12. Santa Clara, CA
  13. Santa Clara, CA
  14. Santa Clara, CA
  15. Santa Clara, CA
  16. Santa Clara, CA
  17. Santa Clara, CA
  18. Santa Clara, CA
  19. Santa Clara, CA
  20. Santa Clara, CA
  21. Santa Clara, CA
  22. Santa Clara, CA
  23. Santa Clara, CA
  24. Santa Clara, CA
  25. Santa Clara, CA
  26. Santa Clara, CA May 5 - 7 <-- Note! Dates for 2016 OSW!

The O Scale West 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.

The activity of the S scale community is called S West. The S West events are numbered as OSW e.g., OSW 2016. The S scale activity is named S West 11, indicating this is the 11th annual S West meet. The above logo represents both the O scale and the S scale.


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, 50 year old clubs, and large basement-sized layouts. Layout track gauges include O gauge (2-rail), Proto:48, On3, On30, S and Sn3.

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.

A packet of maps to the open layouts, including days and hours they are open, can be picked up at the meet. If you are registered for the meet, you can receive this packet when it becomes available during the last half of January by sending to the OSW address (on the newsletters and registration forms) a self-addressed 9 x 12 Priority Mail envelope with postage affixed to it. If you need open layout information well before the meet so that you can plan your itinerary, such as making airline/train reservations, please contact Rod Miller (see below.)

Thursday Night Videos

Over the years we have showed movies, then later videos projected onto a movie screen. Most of the media was the property of Don Olsen and Catenary Productions, who generously shared them with us. Don has now retired, and we are working on a replacment program. Rather than repeat the details here, please go to the OSW details page for information about that program.

Meet Cars

Every year OSW offers prototypically accurate O scale and S scale meet cars.

Information on the meet cars for the next meet can be found on the meet details pages.

For information about previous years' meet cars, see Previous Meet Cars, for a history of previous meet's cars. Some cars from previous years may be available for purchase by mail, see Previous Meet Cars.


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 building locomotives.


Want to learn more about 2-rail O scale? Visit the O Scale Kings website.