Conventions & Mini-Meets

2024 Albuquerque Convention logo2024 annual convention – The grand canyon, third section 

June 28-30, 2024 with Extra Fares on June 26th and 27th! [Updated May 30, 2024-Convention Room Rate ends June 11, 2024 added]


The Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society’s 2024 Annual Convention is finally making it to Albuquerque.  Our previous attempt was derailed by COVID-19 and the Society is excited to finally make it to the home of 2926 and the Albuquerque Shops!  Please join us for this great annual gathering of Santa Fe historians, modelers and fans.

Convention chair David Johnston and co-chair Dave Kampsnider have a great Convention venue selected, backed up by a great slate of Extra Fares, clinics, and speakers!  In addition, we will have the Model and Photo contest, vendors, swap tables and the Annual Awards program to recognize both technical and popular vote winners!


The Convention Hotel is:

Embassy Suites by Hilton Albuquerque
1000 Woodward Place, NE
Albuquerque, NM  87102
Phone:  +1.505.245.7100

Room rate is $151/night plus $6/overnight parking IF BOOKED BEFORE JUNE 11, 2024 and is standard rate thereafter.  Ask for “Historical Society of NM” or “HSN” to obtain the rate.  The rate is good from June 22 through July 2, 2024.  All rooms are two-room suites with separate bedroom and living room with fold out couch, made-to-order breakfasts, and includes complimentary evening reception with one drink coupon per room guest.  If you need longer, please reserve here and then call the hotel and they will make reservations for extra time in same room subject to room availability.  NOTE: There is an “early departure fee” of $75 if you need to leave earlier than you reserved.  If this becomes necessary, contact Dave Kampsnider at 303-882-4078 at least 48 hours before departure  and he will see if the Society can get the fee waived or reduced.  No guarantee is possible.



Note that you may need to adjust the dates AT THE TOP OF THE HOTELS WEBSITE to your specific date needs.  You can also do this to check availability of shoulder days (if you go beyond Convention rate, you will get a message the Convention rate is unavailable but an still se

You can take a virtual tour by CLICKING HERE.  You can check out the renovations HERE.  Here is the Hotel’s Hospitality Guide.


The Convention Committee is planning for 15 clinics that will run multiple times.   The currently planned presenters and topics are:

  • Clifford (Randy) Dunson, The Belen Cut-off and Settling of Eastern New Mexico
  • Bob Foltz, The New Mexico Division: Designing a Railroad for Operation
  • Bob Foltz, A Different Twist on Building ATSF and Southwestern Structures
  •  Denny Krausman, Modeling the ATSF Built Cars of the 50s and 60s
  • Chuck Larrabee and David Wiegand, Working on the Santa Fe
  • Matthias Meeh, Modeling AT&SF Searchlight Signals (for MSFM Jurgen Dietrichkeit’s layout)
  • Keel Middleton, Blackwell, Oklahoma–A Santa Fe Town You Can Model
  • Sammy Carlile, Encounters on Raton Pass
  • George F. Shaw, History of the A&P (and its Western Division: New Mexico and Arizona Territories)
  • John Signor, An Overview of the History of Abo Canyon
  • John Taylor, Jack Delano’s 1943 photos of New Mexico and Arizona ATSF Transcon
  • John Taylor, The 2926 Restoration
  • Robert (Bob) Walz, Nos. 13 & 14: Santa Fe’s El Paso-Albuquerque-Denver Service
  • Evan Werkema, Growing Up in Albuquerque
  • C2 Art Advisors, The BNSF Railway Art Collection

In addition, on Thursday evening, Master Santa Fe Modeler Jürgen Dietrichkeit will host a Modeler’s Roundtable at the Convention Hotel.  Modelers – don’t meet this great opportunity to discuss the newest trends and tricks in Santa Fe modeling!!!


Registration Options

  • Full member registration is $160 until May 1, 2024; $180 May 1st and after.  Full registrants get full access to clinics, vendor room, contest room, Saturday Awards Banquet, Sunday Breakfast, patch and pin and can purchase Extra Fares.
  • Full non-member registration is $180 until May 1, 2024; $200 May 1st and after.  Full non-member gets same as full registration plus one year regular membership, a greater than 50% savings. Can purchase Extra Fares.
  • Family registration (with one Full Registrant in family) is $140/person until May 1, 2024; $160 May 1st and after.  Family registrants get full access to clinics, vendor room, contest room, Saturday Awards Banquet, Sunday Breakfast and can purchase Extra Fares.
  • One Day registration is $35, maximum one day.  Admission to clinics, vendor room but not contest entry, Saturday Banquet or Sunday breakfast unless purchase ticket for food.  No Extra Fare.
  • Saturday swap meet entry only $10.  Admission only to swap meet for those not otherwise registered.
  • Vendors:  free registration; you pay only $15/six-foot table with free electricity if you bring your own extension cord.  Identify the # of tables in registration.  Vendors get access to vendor room only.
  • Extra Saturday Banquet tickets:  $60 each
  • Extra Sunday Breakfast tickets: $45 each

Additional Convention merchandise can be purchased during the registration process.

The registration link is now open:   REGISTER FOR CONVENTION.  NOTE:  Some of the prices in the Registration mailed with The Warbonnet are incorrect; Family registration is $140/$160 and shirts come with pockets.  The on-line registration is correct. [3/21/2024]

Extra Fares

The Convention Committee is offering five Extra Fare activities for Full and Family Registrants.  You must be registered as a Full or Family registrant to register for an Extra Fare.

Tuesday, June 25th (Pre-Convention)

The possible Tuesday, June 25th Extra Fare won’t happen.

Wednesday, June 26th (Pre-Convention)

Castaneda Hotel and Amtrak Adventure.
Extra Fare participants will bus to the La Castaneda Hotel Harvey House in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  We will be greeted by a Harvey Girl and have lunch at the La Castaneda Hotel.  Tours of the hotel will be available.  The Harvey Girls House across the street will be open. Participants will than board Amtrak#3 for a trip through Apache Canyon on the way back to Albuquerque. Trip limited to 90 people. Amtrak fare and lunch included.  Cost is $125/person (7 slots left as of 5/18).

Learn more about the La Castaneda Hotel by clicking

Santa Fe Excursion.
Extra Fare participants will bus to Santa Fe and be dropped of near the famous Plaza. Visit/lunch at the La Fonda Harvey House and visit the historical sites of downtown Santa Fe. Bus will return to Embassy Suites.  Cost is $50/person (SOLD OUT).

New!  Santa Fe 2926 Evening “Photo Shoot” with Steve Crise (Note: The Society is not responsible for ticketing of this event – you must REGISTER at the link below)

This event was just added by the New Mexico Heritage Rail group.
Join us as we go back in time to 1948. Enjoy the sights and sounds of living history as New Mexico Heritage Rail puts on display the fully restored ex-Santa Fe steam locomotive 2926 at a private night photo shoot from 7:00 pm-9:30pm on June 26th. This event will take place at the Albuquerque South Rail Yards, 1100 2nd Street, SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102. The photo shoot will be led by award-winning photographer Steve Crise. Steve’s comprehensive approach and decades of photography experience will ensure that every photographer gets “the shot” no matter their level of experience. Space is limited, so purchase quickly. Tickets are $100 plus any applicable taxes and fees.  Purchase tickets at the following link:

Thursday, June 27th (Pre-Convention)

2926 Steam-up and Nuclear Museum Adventure.
First Half the Extra Fare participants will first bus to the New Mexico Heritage Museum where they will be a PRIVATE EVENT steam-up the Santa Fe 2926 Northern. The 2926 will run down the spur track.  This group will then go to the Nuclear Museum.
Second Half of the Extra Fare participants will first bus to the Nuclear Museumpart of the Smithsonian Museum system.  This is a fantastic museum and listed as a “must see”!  This group will then go to the New Mexico Heritage Museum for the PRIVATE EVENT.  You must be registered with the Convention group to attend the 2926 steam-up.
Box lunch will be provided around noon when the groups switch venues.  Cost is $145/person.  26 slots left as of 5/18.

Learn more about the 2926 Restoration Project by clicking
Learn more about the Nuclear Museum by clicking

Friday, June 28th (During the Convention; Conflicts with Clinics)

Spouse Tour Acoma Pueblo (Sky City)
Extra Fare participants will bus to Acoma Sky City, one to the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the country-evidence dates it from A.D 1150. Tours and Box lunch provided. This is an all day trip, bus back in afternoon. Cost is $110/person (28 slots left; 55 person limit).

Saturday, June 29th (During the Convention; Conflicts with Clinics) 

Spouse Tour the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and National Hispanic Cultural Center
Extra Fare participants will take a morning bus to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. The Center depicts the history and culture of New Mexico’s 19 Indian Pueblos.  From the Center, an afternoon bus will take participants to the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Mayan temples, Spanish architecture and adobe pueblos influenced this 51 acre site. Box lunch provided. Bus back to Embassy Suites.  Cost is $105/person (37 slots left; 55 person limit).


Contact Dave Kampsnider at 303-882-4078 or (replacing the _at_ with @).

Upcoming conventions

The Society is planning Annual Conventions at the following locations:

  • 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:

  • May 11, 2024, Winslow Santa Fe Mini-Meet.  [Updated 5/5/2024] 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 $5.00 at the door.  Reservations and information on the La Posada available at
    • Clinics include:
      • The Bridges at Topock, Craig Foster
      • The Last Decade of Santa Fe’s Seligman Sub, Steven Cigolle
      • The Santa Fe Railway in Winslow, Ann-Mary J. Lutzick, Director, Old Trails Museum/Winslow Historical Society
      • 2926 and Ancillary Developments, Dave Traudt and David Johnston
    • Contact Eric Hiser at if you would like to be a clinician or need additional information.
  • June 15, 2024.  East Coast Santa Fe Modelers Meet[Updated 4/28/2024] Time 8 am to 5 pm. LENAPE VALLEY CHURCH – 321 W. Butler Ave – New Britain, PA 18901. Cost is $25 before May 30th or $35 at the door.  Contact Mike Davis at for more information.
  • November 16, 2024, Save the Date for the Kansas City Mini-Meet.  More details will be forthcoming.

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