The 37th annual Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society Convention was held for the first time in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 21 – 25, 2017. Fittingly, our theme was The Tulsan, which was a Tulsa to Kansas City streamliner with connections to and from Chicago.
Extra Fare Activities
While in downtown Bartlesville, we visited the Phillips 66 Museum and the Bartlesville Historical Society. The Historical Society Museum has a large collection of Santa Fe photographs. Nearby was the Price Tower Arts Center and an MKT coaling tower.
Some photos of our Extra Fare trip:
Our excellent Clinic Organizer, Bob Walz, 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.
Model and Photo Contest
The Society had another good showing in the model and photo contest. Below are photos of members judging some of the entries (popular and technical votes), a model of the Bartlesville, Oklahoma depot we saw during the Extra Fare trip (model by Kevin Looff).
Click here to see photos of all the award winning models at the 2017 Tulsa Convention!
The Society gathered for its annual awards banquet on Saturday night. Both Santa Fe and BNSF modelers and photographers were recognized for their efforts. Raffle prizes were distributed. The Society then honored its members enrolled on the Perpetual Roll of Honor. New honorees in 2017 included Denny Krausman and Ian MacKellar as Master Santa Fe Modelers; Douglas J. Watts as Honorary Life Member for service to the Society; and Dennis J. Kogan received the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on the Santa Fe’s lightweight passenger fleet (and auxiliary details).
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.
- 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
- November 18, 2017 30th Annual Kansas City Mini-Meet, Shawnee, KS – Click Here for More Information
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!):