Conventions & Mini-Meets

2020 SFRHMS Virtual Convention logo2020 SFRH&MS virtual convention!

Convention Date:   Saturday, 20 June 2020,

Convention Time:   8:00 am Pacific Daylight Time until 2:45 pm Pacific Daylight Time (Note:  Link will open at 7:30 am PDT)

Registration:  REGISTRATION OPEN!  Click HERE. Paying by:

  • Paypal?  After you pay using Paypal, make sure you click on “Return to Merchant” and then click on the download link to get your instructions for attending the Virtual Convention. 
  • Credit Card?  After you pay by credit card, make sure you click on the download link to the lower left to get your instructions for attending the Virtual Convention!
  • Note:  There is NO MEMBER DISCOUNT on the Virtual Convention registration.
  • Registrants will also receive an email with the same download link.  Please check your spam or junk filters if you don’t receive.  It typically arrives within 30 minutes.

Platform:  Zoom – access to internet is required for video; audio will have phone # alternatives.

Convention program

Timetable No. 40.  Effective 7:30 am 20 June 2020.  All times in Pacific Daylight Time

  7:30 am     ZOOM link opens.  Santa Fe image slide show

  8:00 am     Welcome/Introduction/Explanation of Zoom features, Eric Hiser, President

  8:15 am     Clinic:  Some Santa Fe-Served Industries You Can Model, Bob Walz

  9:15 am     Clinic:  Steam Locomotive Parts, Appliances and Fittings, Frank Peacock

10:15 am     Break/Slide Show of Members’ Images (see below how to submit)

10:45 am     Clinic:  Remembering the Santa Fe, Parts 1 and 2, Stan Kistler

12:45 pm     Annual Business Meeting, Eric Hiser, President, and Officers of the Society

  2:45 pm     Adjourn (approximate); Slide Show resumes

  3:15 pm     ZOOM link closes

our clinicians:

Bob Walz is an officer and director of the Society and a noted author on Santa Fe topics.  Bob has written on the Speedway, the New Mexico Division, and other topics.  He is the lead proponent for the Society’s Commodity Series, which addresses the Santa Fe’s relationship to grain, livestock, and other products.

Frank Peacock is a long-time Society member with an interest in steam.  Several years ago, he realized that he did not know all the detailed parts of a steam locomotive and that lack hampered his ability to recognize and identify steam and to model it properly.  He resolved to learn and share what he learned so that others can also appreciate steam locomotives and their models.

Stan Kistler needs no introduction.  The dean of Santa Fe railway photographers, Stan spent many years visiting Santa Fe tracks, mostly in California but also with memorable trips beyond, cataloging and photographing the Santa Fe.  He has gathered together many of his recollections into this video presentation. Some of us have seen snippets, but Stan is now sharing the full compilation.

our vendors:

The Society is working with both the vendors at the postponed 2020 Albuquerque Convention and other long-time vendors to provide them the opportunity to offer Convention Specials at the Virtual Convention.  Attendees will have access to a special page with details!

Sharing images for the virtual convention?

If you would like to share images of the Santa Fe or BNSF (prototype or model) for the Convention slideshow, please email and he will send you a Dropbox file transfer request.  If you are interested in licensing or donating these images to the Society for use in its modeling initiatives, please complete and return one of the following forms:

If you were registered for the 2020 ALBUQUERQUE Convention, read this!

Based on the COVID-19 situation, the Society and the Marriott have mutually agreed to postpone the Albuquerque Convention one year to June 15, 2021.  The Society will take the following actions:

  1. We are cancelling all registrations for the 2020 Convention and refunding all monies paid to the Society for the Convention, including Extra Fares, except for $10, which will help us cover the costs we had incurred.  You should receive this by check or by refund on your credit card, depending on how you paid.  Marriott has graciously waived the penalty clause, which allows us to return almost all monies to our registrants.  We wish to express our thanks to Marriott and Amtrak for working with us.  We will be sending a coupon code to members who incurred this $10 fee giving them $10 off the 2020 Virtual Convention.
  2. Marriott will cancel all reservations under the SFRHMS room rate during the 2020 convention period.  If you are planning to be in Albuquerque for other reasons during this time, you will need to make a new reservation at their regular rates.  Marriott requested this approach as they are presently short-staffed and could not handle so many individual cancellations.  It is also fairer to you as it defaults to saving you money.
  3. We will reopen reservations for the 2021 Albuquerque Convention on July 1, 2020.  Marriott will reopen the room reservations on July 1, 2020.
  4. The Society is looking into a “Virtual Convention 2020” that might occur on Saturday, June 20, 2020.  It would consist of some on-line clinics, the annual meeting, and possibly some opportunity to share photos and images of modeling projects or the Santa Fe we know and love.  We will communicate information on that as soon as possible.  Cost will be kept as low as possible given the uncertain economic circumstances.
  5. The 2021 Albuquerque Convention is a GO!  See below.

2020 Albuquerque Convention logo 2

2021 annual convention – transcon nm 140 – albuquerque, new mexico – Rescheduled to june 15-20, 2021!

Updated:  April 22, 2020 – Registration will open on July 1, 2020.

DATES:   *15-20 June, 2021  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:  will open on July 1, 2020.


The ’21 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 are working to reschedule our speakers and clinicians.  So far, most have indicated that they will be able to participate.

TENTATIVE EXTRA FARES ( subject to adjustment ):

Tuesday, June 15 – 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 16 –  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 17  –   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 18 (during clinics) – bus/van to Acoma/Sky City, lunch on your own there.   (very full-day)

Saturday, June 29 (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 16, 7:30 PM – Laguna Pueblo  speaker on their relation with the AT&SF and the Flowers Agreement (REQUESTED)

Thursday, June 17, 7:30 PM – Joe Sloan, BNSF – Recent Improvements and Current Operations on the Transcon (REQUESTED)

Friday, June 18, 7:30 PM – Chelsea  Marshall, C2 Art Advisors, The BNSF/AT&SF art collection (REQUESTED)


  • 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


Registration will reopen on July 1, 2020.  There are THREE TYPES of registration for the 2021 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.

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:

  • 2022: June:  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 Winslow Mini-Meet.  May 9, 2020, 9 AM to 4 PM, La Posada Hotel & Gardens, 303 E. 2nd Street (Route 66), Winslow, AZ  86047. CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19.  NEW DATE TBD.
  • 2020 Denver Mini-Meet.  POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19.  NEW DATE TBD.

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!):