Conventions & Mini-Meets

2020 Albuquerque Convention logo 2

2020 annual convention – transcon nm 140!

Updated:  February 24, 2020                            

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, Robert Mooney (pueblo archivist) 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.

Tentative EXTRA FARES ( talks ongoing, stay tuned ):

Tue  –  bus(s) to Las Vegas,  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)

Wed –  bus(s) to Santa Fe,  Santa Fe Southern to Lamy and return;

lunch at Lamy; Allan Affeldt will say a few words.  (full-day)

Thurs   bus(s) to 2926 restoration site, lunch there (2926 will host, donations welcome!),

followed by: the Nat’l Mus. of Nuclear Sci. & Hist.   (easy full-day)

Fri – bus/van to Acoma/Sky City, lunch on your own there.   (very full-day)

Sat – 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:

Wed – ???, Laguna Pueblo  (Rob’t Mooney, Pueblo Archivist)

Thurs – ???, BNSF – latest Transcon/Belen “news”    (Joe Sloan, Comm.Relations)

Fri – Chelsea  Marshall, 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
  • Dr. Mike Hartshorne – 2926: restoring and operating – lessons learned (Pres, 2926 Soc.)
  • 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”
  • 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 open when The Warbonnet mails to the membership.  Stay tuned!

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.

The Society is planning Annual Conventions at the following locations:

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

Past Convention Reports

The 2019 Convention – Pueblo, Colorado

The 39th Convention of the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society was held July 26 thru 28, 2019 in Pueblo, Colorado.  The theme of the convention was “The Chico”.  The Convention was held at the newly renovated Pueblo Convention Center in the heart of downtown Pueblo.  The Pueblo River Walk with restaurants and shops adjoins the Convention site.

Extra fare activities

Wednesday, July 24, 2019.

The Convention toured the Transportation Technology Center a center for advanced railroad research and testing providing unique facilities for worldwide clientele. The center provides research, testing, and training for technology and safety-related issues for railroads around the world. The center is owned by the U.S. Department of Transportation and is operated by Transportation Technology Center, Inc., a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads. After the TTC, the Convention participants visited Vestas Tower facility located eight miles South of Pueblo is the largest wind tower factory in the world. We also stopped by the Steel Mill Museum for an depth review of the steel mill history and operations.

A Welcoming Fiesta Buffet Dinner was held at the Pueblo Union Depot with a mariachi band and a talk by the local Harvey Girls. Next to the depot is the Pueblo Railway Museum was open and gave engine and caboose rides.

Thursday, July 25, 2019.

In the morning, we traveled to Canyon City to ride the Royal Gorge Railroad. On the return, we stopped at the Holcim (Portland) Cement plant.  Layouts were open for tours during the afternoon.

Convention activities, Friday july 26 through sunday july 28, 2019

Friday: Clinics, Vendor Sales, Model/Photo contest.  Spouses tour of the Rosemount Museum with luncheon.  Special guest evening speaker:  Larry Green.

Saturday: Clinics, Vendor Sales, Model/Photo contest and ending with the Society’s Awards dinner.   Allan Affeldt, who restored La Posada and is restoring La Castaneda, will speak.

 Sunday: Breakfast, Business Meeting, Albuquerque Convention presentation

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
    • Cost is $15 pre-registered, $20 at door.  Includes swap table if wanted (extras $10/each)
    • Speakers include:
      • Keith Jordan, The Redlands Loop: Modeling a Santa Fe Southern California Branch Line; Memories of Warren Scholl
      • Paul Nash – Santa Fe Operating Divisions and Their Day-to-Day Functions
      • James Brown, ATSF History of Chillicothe, IL with Edelstein Hill
      • Bruce McKeown, One Can Still Make Models for Our Model Railroads – Part Two
      • Ramon Rhodes – The Santa Fe Railway in Chicago During the 1990s
    • Layout tours on Friday and Saturday evenings.
    • Contact Tom Cain to prepay and register.
  • 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
      • Looking for additional 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!):