2017 Annual Convention
We look forward to having you join us for the 37th annual Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society Convention being held for the first time in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 21 – 25, 2017. Fittingly, our theme is The Tulsan which was a Tulsa to Kansas City streamliner with connections to and from Chicago.
The convention lineup for Friday and Saturday includes some excellent clinics, exceptional contests, vendors of Santa Fe merchandise, operating model railroads and displays, along with the usual Saturday evening awards banquet and business meeting breakfast Sunday morning. In addition, there will be extra fare trips on Wednesday and Thursday to area rail facilities and historic sites. Our convention hotel is in Tulsa’s historic downtown, which has recently undergone a revitalization making it a great place to gather.
Extra Fare Activities
Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Wednesday’s extra fare starts with a bus trip across the Arkansas River to West Tulsa where we plan to tour the Tulsa Cherokee Yard, which is the third busiest on the BNSF system. Up to fifty trains a day of all types may pass through the yard and hundreds of cars a day are sent over the hump for classification. We will then travel back downtown to the historic Tulsa Union Depot for a catered lunch. Currently housing the Jazz Hall of Fame, not much is left of the original inside but it’s still a good place to watch trains and listen to music. The outside is one of the well-known art deco buildings in Tulsa. After lunch, we’re off to tour the Port of Catoosa, the farthest inland port in the United States. The Port has its own railroad to serve the many industrial customers and interchanges with BNSF and WATCO as SKOL
Thursday, June 22, 2017. Thursday’s extra fare starts with a bus trip to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, home of the Hula Depot, the smallest standard Santa Fe depot; the only surviving Santa Fe 2-10-2 type steam locomotive, AT&SF No. 940; and the beautiful joint Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe/Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Depot that currently houses the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau. While in downtown Bartlesville, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Phillips 66 Museum and the Bartlesville Historical Society. The Historical Society Museum has a large collection of Santa Fe photographs. Nearby is the Price Tower Arts Center and an MKT coaling tower. We’ll do lunch on our own at any of the many restaurants in the downtown area. In the afternoon, we plan to travel to Pawhuska to see the Santa Fe depot and rolling stock there then move down toward Tulsa to see the depot in Collinsville and the Owasso Yard.
Friday, June 23, 2017, Spouse and Companion Extra Fare trip. Our spouses and companions will board their own bus Friday morning to visit Philbrook Museum of Art. An Italian Renaissance villa built on 23 acres by oilman Waite Phillips. Philbrook features many traveling exhibits as well as an amazingly broad range of permanent art including some by the Santa Fe Railway artist E. F. Couse. Lunch will be at the Wild Fork in Utica Square, Tulsa’s premier gathering of quality shops. We’ll finish the day exploring those shops. Saturday will be carpool tours of the many areas of interest in the Tulsa area.
Our excellent Clinic Organizer, Bob Walz, has rounded up clinics covering both Santa Fe and BNSF topics including Denny Krausman- “Building a Prairie School Depot”, Bob Walz- “Otto Perry’s Santa Fe”, Mike Flick- “Tulsa Passenger Service”, Eric Goodman- “Constructing the Emporia Sub in HO”, Merrill Walz- “Business the Fred Harvey Way”, Steve Sandifer- “Howard Branch in History and Model”, Kenny Rhodes- “Riding the Vista Canyon”, Craig Ordner- “SFRH&MS Archives”, Eric Hiser- “Freight Car Distribution”, Dr. Ray Quackenbush- “Shawnee Depot and Shawnee Operations”, Ramon Rhodes- “Modeling BNSF Operations”, Mike Tomei- “Modeling BNSF Diesels”, Keel Middleton- “BNSF Operations” and more.
Full Registration is $145 for members before May 22, 2017 and $160 after that date. Non- members may register for $165 before May 22, 2017 and $175 after that date. Full registration includes all activities in the hotel, clinics, banquet and breakfast. The outside trips are extra fare as listed on the registration form and limited to space available. Extra banquet and breakfast tickets will be available, but we must know your intentions no later than June 10, 2017, to ensure an available seat and meal. Cutoff dates: The cutoff date for ordering a shirt is May 31, 2017.
One day registration is available at the door for $35.00 each day Friday and/or Saturday. This includes clinics, contest room and vendor rooms. It does not include any meals, patches, or pins.
Vendor tables are six-foot exhibit tables for $60 ($30/day per table). Vendors will be able to wait until 5:00 PM on Saturday to shut down.
Registration materials will also be mailed to all Society members in the near future.
Convention Hotel Information
Our convention hotel is The Hyatt Regency at 100 E 2nd Street near central downtown Tulsa between The Art Deco and Brady Arts Districts. We have an excellent room rate of $99 per night including complimentary wireless internet in all guestrooms. Use the dedicated web address or phone one of the numbers below to make your hotel reservations. No special code is needed, these contacts are specifically for our group.
Reservations Toll Free: 888-421-1442 Reservations Local Phone: 402-592-6464 [Please do not phone the direct line to the hotel.]
The Hyatt Regency Tulsa is offering our hotel-registered guests complimentary self-parking in the attached covered south parking garage. Hotel-registered guests who wish to valet park will incur a $15.00 charge per vehicle per day that may be charged to the room.
Cutoff date: The hotel block group rate reservation window ends on May 22, 2017.
The Society hosts an Annual Convention, continuously occurring since 1981. The Convention is an opportunity for Society members from all over the world to gather to share their interests and fascination in the Santa Fe. Conventions run from Friday morning through Sunday morning, but often include “extra fare” activities to enjoy local Santa Fe or railroad attractions before the formal start of the Convention. Included are:
- Clinics by experts on various aspects of Santa Fe history and modeling.
- Talks by significant figures. Past talks have included former Santa Fe President John Reed and Mike Haverty, noted railroad historian Wally Abbey, and Santa Fe and BNSF officials.
- Model and Photo Contest. The Society offers both a popular vote contest for Santa Fe models and photographs and a technical contest for serious model builders leading to the coveted Master Santa Fe Modeler title.
- Past Convention model and photo contest winners
- Model and Photo Contest Rules
- Master Santa Fe Modeler
- Vendor room. A highlight of every convention is the vendor room, packed with vendors offering a wide variety of Santa Fe memorabilia, books, models, modeling supplies and other materials. The Society always stocks a complete Company Store featuring the Society’s books, magazine back issues, models and related products.
- Networking. One of the best parts of the Annual Convention is the opportunity to find Society members with similar interests, sit down with experts on Santa Fe history and modeling, and discuss your questions and interests with them. Conventions typically have ample seating and access to a lounge to facilitate building friendships with folks sharing similar interests.
- Awards Banquet. The Awards Banquet is an opportunity for Society members to share in the success of their comrades in the model and photo contest, the fun of raffles and silent auctions of Santa Fe items and models, and the excitement of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Annual Meeting. The Society’s Annual Business Meeting is Sunday morning, where Society members hear reports from the Society’s officers, directors, and operating committee members approve major changes in Society practice, provide feedback to the board on what books, products and services members would like to see. These are lively and informative sessions.
- Extra fare activities. In addition to the formal activities, most Conventions offer extra fare activities riding trains, visiting museums or seeing significant Santa Fe sites.
Society Conventions typically gather 250 or more individuals from across the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Come share in the magic of a Santa Fe Convention!
The Society is planning Annual Conventions at the following locations:
- 2018: Chicago, IL, Preston Hamilton
The convention will be from Tuesday July 17 through Sunday July 22, 2018 at Sheraton Lisle Hotel. Members who have attended RPM Naperville in the past few years will be familiar with the hotel. Room rate will be $109.
- 2019: Pueblo, CO, John Denny
- 2020: Seattle, WA, Ed Holman
Past Convention Reports
Read about prior Annual Conventions and see what members did, learned, and showed!
- 2016 Annual Convention, The 2016 Wichita Express
Our Mini-Meets are regional based gatherings generally one half to one day long on a Saturday. Interested members have organized these meets in areas not regularly visited by our conventions allowing us to reach the East Coast and the Pacific Northwest. A mini meet may include;
- Clinics by experts on various aspects of Santa Fe history and modeling. Some of these clinics are “warm ups'” for a presenter who will be at a future Annual Convention.
- Models on display for close up viewing and discussions with the builder.
- Networking with fellow Society members who live close by and a good way to attract new members.
- February 4, 2017 Southern California Mini-Meet – Click Here to View Flier
- February 25, 2017 Indianapolis Santa Fe Mini-Meet – Click Here to View Flier
- April 1, 2017 18th Northwest Mini-Meet – Click Here for More Information
- April 22, 2017 Denver Area Mini-Meet – SANTA FE MODELERS 4-22-17
- April 29-30, 2017 East Coast Santa Fe Modelers Spring Meet, Doylestown, PA
- May 20, 2017 Winslow Mini-Meet at La Posada Hotel & Gardens, Winslow, AZ
Please send us your planned mini-meets so other Santa Fe fans can attend!
Most Recent Mini-Meet Report: 2017 Southern California Mini-Meet Report
Despite all the rain that has been falling in California this year, Saturday, February 4, was a dry and beautiful day, and a great day for the Mini-Meet. The event was attended by 110 enthusiastic individuals, most from throughout California. Five came from Arizona. One individual in Howland, Ohio, learned of the event and was fortunate to be in Los Angeles on business that week and was able to attend.
For the second consecutive year, the Mini Meet was held at the Christ Lutheran Church of West Covina. Attendees miss seeing the passing trains at the San Bernardino Depot where the Mini-Meet was previously held, but they strongly favor the comfort that the facilities at the West Covina location has to offer.
The day was filled with five clinics.
- “The L.A. Terminal in the 1930’s & 40″s, by John Signor, Society editor and California rail historian;
- “Modeling Southern California in the 1960s,” also by John Signor;
- “Modeling the California Citrus Industry,” by Bob Chaparro, a local railfan/modeler and citrus industry expert;
- “Railroading in the Steam Era” was a panel discussion moderated by Keith Jordan that included five former Santa Fe employees and Stan Kistler, the noted steam historian, in a roundtable discussion;
- “Cajon, Tehachapi, Arizona & New Mexico in the 1970s & 80s,” by Charles Lang.
During the breaks between clinics, those attending spent time at the 14 vendor tables and the very large modular layout presented by the California Free-Mo layout group. Of special note is the fact that the modular layout was operating on Sunday for the church members and their families to view, and on Monday for the more than 230 elementary grade students who attend the Lutheran school adjacent to the church. The older children especially enjoyed seeing the model trains being operated. Hopefully some of them will someday be railfans and modelers.
In addition to the above, something else happened at the Mini Meet. Its something that happens at every other Mini Meet, convention and event associated with our Society. It’s the interaction among attendees: meeting new friends, renewing old friendships, exchanging information and learning about subjects relating to modeling and/or the Santa Fe Railway. It cannot be precisely described or measured, but it happened at this Mini Meet as it does at all such events.
Gene Rutledge and I thank all those who attended the meet as well as those who assisted in any way in presenting it. Planing for the 2018 Mini Meet is underway.
Past Mini-Meet Reports:
The Society has had Mini-Meets in the following areas (click on link to see past mini-meet reports!):