Conventions & Mini-Meets

2020 Albuquerque Convention logo 2

2020 annual convention – transcon nm 140!

Updated:  March 20, 2020 – REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!  See below!

COVID-19 UPDATEWe are in communication with the hotel and New Mexico public health authorities and at this time they have NOT recommended that the Society cancel this convention.  We will continue to monitor the situation and will post updates here.

DATES:   *16-21 June, 2020  Marriott Pyramid North

CONVENTION HOTEL:  Marriott Pyramid North

  • Convention regular room rate is $99/night, suite for $119/night (these rates are good for 3 days before and 3 days after the convention dates).  Our Motto:  Arrive early and stay late!
  • Reservations:
    • Online  —  Marriott Reservation [website is a bit complex; phone call may be simpler]
    • Phone  —   505-821-3333 (ask for local reg’n, not centralized)


The ’20 AQ convention, with a few exceptions, is going to focus on the 140 year railroad history of the NM-segment of the Southern Transcon.  Since that history begins with track laying by the Atlantic & Pacific RR (Western Div.), a 50% interest of the AT&SF, in 1880, coverage will also include the northern AZ history.  We will have 3 evening guest speakers; our Laguna Pueblo speaker will talk about their history with the A&P and AT&SF, and the “Flowers Agreement”.  Our BNSF guest speaker (Joe Sloan, community relations) will talk about recent improvements and current operations on the NM Transcon.  Our BNSF-sponsored speaker (Chelsea Marshall, C2 Art Advisors) will talk about the AT&SF/BNSF art collection, its history, the artists, and show some 40 of the paintings.  Three photo clinics will show the NM Transcon in the 1880s, 1943, and the 1970s-1980s.

EXTRA FARES ( subject to adjustment ):

Tuesday, June 16 – bus(s) to Las Vegas,  ride Amtrak SW Chf #3 to AQ depot; bus(s) will return us to hotel; lunch at Castaneda; Allan Affeldt will say a few words.  (full-day).  Attendees limited to 90 first come, first served.

Wednesday, June 17 –  bus(s) to Santa Fe,  ride Santa Fe Southern to Lamy and return; lunch at Lamy; Allan Affeldt will say a few words.  (full-day).  Attendees limited to 150-ish, first-come, first served.

Thursday, June 18  –   bus(s) to 2926 restoration site, lunch there (2926 will host, donations welcome!), followed by: the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History (some may do Museum first, followed by 2926)  (easy full-day).  

Friday, June 19 (during clinics) – bus/van to Acoma/Sky City, lunch on your own there.   (very full-day)

Saturday, June 20 (during clinics) – bus(s) to Indian Pueblo Cultural Ctr., lunch on your own there.   (half-day)

Note:  Regular convention clinics, vendor room, and contest will occur on Friday and Saturday, with the Annual Business Meeting on Sunday.


Evening Guest speakers:

All guest speakers are preceded by a social hour.

Wednesday, June 17, 7:30 PM – Laguna Pueblo  speaker on their relation with the AT&SF and the Flowers Agreement

Thursday, June 18, 7:30 PM – Joe Sloan, BNSF – Recent Improvements and Current Operations on the Transcon

Friday, June 19, 7:30 PM – Chelsea  Marshall, C2 Art Advisors, The BNSF/AT&SF art collection


  • Jurgen Dietrichkeit – Scaling Immensity – Lessons learned from modeling a subdivision (the Belen cut-off)
  • Matthias Meeh – Modeling AT&SF searchlight signals (Jurgen’s layout)
  • Randy Dunson – Railroader’s history  of the Belen cut-off
  • Al Hovey – New Members and Interest: introducing young people to modeling
  • William Penner – Boom and Bust on the Belen cut-off
  • Fred Isbell – Modeling the BNSF Transition Era
  •  Al Richmond – The Enigma: a photographer named Sanders (A&P 1880’s photos)
  • George Shaw – History of the A&P RR (and its Western Division; NM & AZ)
  • John Taylor – Jack Delano’s 1943 photos of the NM & AZ AT&SF “Transcon” and 2926: restoring and operating – lessons learned
  • Mike Tomei – Modeling AT&SF’s GP-39-2s.
  • Bob Walz  – Santa Fe Locomotive Servicing Facilities, Clovis-Gallup and Santa Fe Trains 13 & 14
  • Evan Werkema – Photographing the NM Transcon in the 70s/80s
  • Stan Kistler —  DVD video presentation: Remembering the Santa Fe


There are THREE TYPES of registration for the 2020 Convention:

  • FULL REGISTRATION.  Full registration gets the registrant unlimited access to the Convention and comes with 1 Awards Banquet Dinner, 1 Sunday Breakfast, 1 Convention Patch, 1 Convention Pin and access to the Extra Fares (for an additional fee).  Full registrants may also register family members (see Family registration).  Cost is $178 until May 23, then $205, per full registrant.
  • FAMILY REGISTRATION.  A Full Registrant may register family members (spouse, significant other, or person under age 18) accompanying the Full Registrant.  This is done by adding their name when asked and clicking family registrant.  A Family registrant gets unlimited access to the Convention and the Extra Fares (for an additional fee).  A Family Registrant must PURCHASE an Awards Banquet meal, Sunday Breakfast, Convention Patch or Convention Pin (or any other merchandise) separately–there will be a list of all registrants tied to the Full Registrant and click what you want for each person when selecting sessions/items.  Cost is $25 per family member.
  • ONE-DAY (Friday-only or Saturday-ony).  A One Day Registrant gets unlimited access to the Convention except for the Awards Banquet and Sunday Breakfast.  One Day Registrants are not eligible for the Extra Fares unless they do not fill up.  Cost is $35/day per registrant, must select either Friday or Saturday.

One limitation of the on-line registration is that it cannot handle “multiple” items (e.g., more than 1 shirt per person, more than 1 pin per person).  You can order 1 additional patch, pin, Banquet ticket or Breakfast ticket by selecting that item.  If you need more, you must contact the Registrar, Dave Kampsnider, at and make separate arrangements.  We regret any inconvenience.

Ready to Register?

  • Click here for hard copy of the registration form to mail to the Convention Registrar, Dave Kampsnider.
  • Click here for the on-line registration form.

NOTE ON COVID-19 and CANCELLATIONS.  The Society is monitoring developments and is in communication with the venue and the State of New Mexico.  Currently, the State’s guidance is “go.”  Because the Society is on the hook for a cancellation penalty if the Convention is cancelled, there will be a fee ($25) to help us defray a small portion of that penalty.  The fee increases in the weeks before the convention.  If you want to avoid the fee, cancel prior to April 1, 2020.  If the Society is able to avoid the cancellation penalty, all fees will be returned.  We regret this necessity and hope you understand.

Planning to Participate in the Model or Photo Contest?  Here’s more information:

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.

Future Conventions

The Society is planning Annual Conventions at the following locations:

  • 2021: June 20-25:  Kansas City, MO, contact Mike Tomei

Past Convention 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

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

Please send us your planned mini-meets so other Santa Fe fans can attend!

  • 2020 Indianapolis Mini-Meet.  Get flyer.  March 21, 2020, 9 AM to 6 PM, Allisonville Christian Church, 7701 Allisonville Rd., Indianapolis, IN  46250.  THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED!
    • Contact Tom Cain if questions or prepaid.
  • 2020 Winslow Mini-Meet.  May 9, 2020, 9 AM to 4 PM, La Posada Hotel & Gardens, 303 E. 2nd Street (Route 66), Winslow, AZ  86047.  Click here to check on room availability.  Cost is $5 at the door.
    • Speakers include:
      • Stuart Forsyth – World War II – Cajon Helper Service
      • Ann-Mary Lutzig – History of the La Posada
      • Still need some more speakers!!!
    • Contact information or if you would like to speak at the mini-meet
  • 2020 Denver Mini-Meet.  May 9, 2020, 8:00 am to noon.  Heritage Enclave Clubhouse, 9698 Brook Hill Ave., Lone Tree, CO  80124.  Cost is $5 at the door.  Flyer
    • Speakers include:
      • Marshall Hancock, Canyon Diablo Bridge, The Model
      • Bruce Barrett, Santa Fe Images
      • Denny Krausman, Researching and Modeling Boxcars 1950 to 1965
    • Operating session at Dave Kampsnider’s in Castle Rock on Saturday afternoon.  Contact Denny or Dave to reserve.
    • Contact Denny Krausman or 303-880-1879 for more information.

We are looking for a new Southern California Mini-Meet coordinator.  If interested, contact

Past Mini-Meet Reports:

The Society has had Mini-Meets in the following areas (click on link to see past mini-meet reports!):