Conventions & Mini-Meets

2023 annual convention – The Fast fifteen

Houston, Texas – June 7-11, 2023 

The 2023 Annual Convention Committee was held in Houston, Texas and featured the Society’s traditional mix of high quality clinics on historical and modeling topics by well-known authorities on the Santa Fe; extensive vendor/swap meet area catering to Santa Fe interests, an Extra Fare tour of Santa Fe operations on Galveston Island and a visit to the railroad museum there, and great Santa Fe camaraderie with others sharing your interest in the history, lore and modeling of The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway!

Thursday, June 8, 2023  – EXTRA FARE to Galveston

Participants departed by bus from the Convention Hotel to travel to Galveston Island, home of the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe, to see sights and visit the Galveston Railroad Museum .  Points o f interest at the Museum included the Briscoe Santa Fe calendar collection and numerous other exhibits.

convention clinics

The Convention clinics included:

  • The Santa Fe in World War II – Bob Walz
  • Modeling the Santa Fe in World War II – Bob Walz
  • Courier Nurses on the Santa Fe – Merrill Walz
  • The ATSF Hereford Subdivision in HO Scale – Sammy Carlile
  • The Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe in Oral History – William Osborn
  • The Santa Fe in Photo and Memory Across Arizona – Brian Rhoads
  • Helium Tank Cars 1926-1962 – Jay H. Miller


Upcoming conventions

The Society is planning Annual Conventions at the following locations:

  • 2024: Albuquerque, NM, June 26-30 [Updated 5/13/2023]
  • 2025: Chicago, IL
  • 2026: Phoenix, AZ

Society Mini-Meets

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.

Upcoming Mini-Meets

The Society is pleased to announce that MINI-MEETS are restarting!  Here are the planned mini-meets so far:

  • October 14, 2023, Denver Area Mini-Meet. [Updated 7/15/2023] Time 9 am to 1 pm.  Lone Tree Library, 10055 Library Way, Lone Tree, CO 80124.  Registration is $5.00 at the door starting at 9:00 am; program starts at 9:30.  Clinics:
    • Steve Patterson, Life at Seligman
    • Steve Patterson, Fred Harvey
    • Mike Tomei, Layout Construction Views
    • Mike Tomei, GP39s Cleburne Rebuilds

There will be sales tables, coffee and donuts and door prizes.  Contact Denny Krausman or 303-880-1879 for more information.

  • November 11, 2023, Kansas City Mini-Meet. [Updated 9/9/2023] Time 8 am to 1 pm.  Old Mission Methodist Church, Lower Level.  Mission Road and Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, Kansas. Registration is $5.00.  Starting  at 8 am.  Program starts at 9 am. No coffee or lunch served.  Clinics:
    • Keel Middleton, Modeling Blackwell, Oklahoma,  A Town that Begs  to be Modeled
    • Merrill Walz, Courier Nurses on the Santa Fe
    • Marc Montray, A Week on Raton Pass
    • Bob Walz, The Santa Fe in WW II
    • Layout tours follow the clinics

There will be sales tables.  Contact Mike Tomei or 785-842-8816 for more information.

  • May 11, 2024, Winslow Santa Fe Mini-Meet.  [Updated 7/15/2023] Time 9 am to 3:30 pm.  La Posada Resort and Gardens, 303 E. Second Street, Winslow, AZ  86047 (928-289-4366 for La Posada reservations).  Cost is TBD at the door.  Reservations and information on the La Posada available at  Contact Eric Hiser if you would like to be a clinician.

Please send us your planned mini-meets so other Santa Fe fans can attend!  Bob Chaparro, Southern California Mini-Meet coordinator, is looking for possible venues.  If interested, contact .

Convention model and photo contests

Model Contest

The model contest is divided into two groups: a popular vote contest and a technical contest. In the popular vote contest, all models participate and compete for first, second and third place ribbons and “Best of Show” based on the number of votes that they receive from attendees. Popular vote categories include steam locomotive; diesel locomotive; multiple unit diesel locomotive; freight car; passenger car; intermodal equipment (cars and support equipment); caboose/way car; maintenance of way; and structure/diorama.  In the technical contest, models are judged by interested members based on prototype fidelity (10 points), modeling effort and proficiency (10 points) and finish and weathering (5 points), with 22 points required for a Certificate of Technical Excellence, 18 points for a Certificate of Technical Merit, and the best overall model scoring 22 points or more receiving the President’s Award for Technical Excellence.  Technical contest categories include: motive power; rolling stock; and structures.

If you would like to learn more about the Model Contest, click on the following links:

Model Photo Contest

The Society also sponsors a “model photo” contest where participants recreate the Santa Fe in model form and then photograph it. You can see the ATSF entry form here and BNSF entry form here.

Past Convention and mini-meet Reports

Read about other prior Annual Conventions and see what members did, learned, and showed!

Reports on other past conventions and Mini-Meets
List of all International conventions

SFRH&MS Mini-meet Reports

other meets