Conventions & Mini-Meets

2023 annual convention – The Fast fifteen

Houston, Texas – June 7-11, 2023

The 2023 Annual Convention Committee is pleased to invite you to the Society’s Annual Convention in Houston, Texas.  Please join us for our 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!


The  Convention Hotel is the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Hobby Airport.  Rate is $114 plus taxes, single or double.  Rate available from June 4 to June 14, 2023.  Rate includes free breakfast for two on Wednesday through Saturday at the hotel main restaurant.  Register online:

The electronic link is the preferred method of making reservations.   If you cannot make the reservation via the link, the hotel phone number is 713-645-3000 and you MUST ASK to transfer to HOTEL RESERVATIONS and NOT HILTON INTERNATIONAL RESERVATIONS.  The group rate ID is SFRH&MS-43.  NOTE:  There is a US$75.00 charge if you arrive and choose to check out earlier than the check out date confirmed upon arrival. Please contact the Convention Committee if an emergency requires you to depart earlier.


Thursday, June 8, 2023  – EXTRA FARE to Galveston

Participants will depart 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 include the Briscoe Santa Fe calendar collection and numerous other exhibits.  Check out the Museum site at  We will also visit the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine and other sites.  Return same day to Convention Hotel.  Registration includes a box breakfast, box lunch and two bottles of water.

Friday, June 9, 2023 – CONVENTION ACTIVITIES

Friday will include Convention clinics, Company Store, a Vendor Room, registration of models and photos for the Contests (see rules below – they have changed) and lots of Santa Fe camaraderie .  Model and photo contest popular vote typically starts in the early afternoon.

Saturday, June 10, 2023 – CONVENTION ACTIVITIES

Saturday will include Convention clinics, Company Store, a Vendor Room,  model and photo contest popular vote, technical voting for those who wish.  It is followed at 6:00 pm by the Convention Reception and Annual Awards Banquet.


Sunday starts with the annual breakfast at 8:00 am followed by the Annual Business Meeting around 9:00 am.  The Annual Business Meeting usually ends around 10:30-11:00 am and closes the official Convention.

convention clinics

The anticipated Convention clinics include:

  • 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

Many others are planned but have not announced final topics.  Watch here for updates on additional clinics.

registration details [registration open!  Click here!)

A member attending the Convention should register as a FULL REGISTRATION.  This gives you access to all Convention activities EXCEPT the Extra Fare and includes a pin, patch, Saturday Awards Banquet and Sunday Breakfast.  ADDITIONAL FAMILY gives a family member access to clinics, vendor room, includes Saturday banquet and Sunday breakfast but no pin or patch.  A FULL or ADDITIONAL FAMILY registration is REQUIRED to attend the Extra Fare.  A ONE-DAY TICKET gives a non-registrant access to the Convention Clinics, Vendor Room and the Contest Room (to view and vote, not to enter a model or photo).  ONE-DAY TICKETS are available for either Friday or Saturday only.

  • Member Full Registration:             $150 until May 1, $175 thereafter
  • Non-Member Full Registration:  $170 until May 1, $195 thereafter (includes 1 year membership, a $20 savings)
  • Additional Family:                               $100 until May 1, $115 thereafter
  • One-Day Ticket:                                   $35
  • Extra Saturday Banquet                  $55
  • Extra Sunday Breakfast                   $40

Cancellation and Refunds

Full refund if cancelled by May 1, 2023.  50% refund if cancelled by May 15, 2023.  25% refund if cancelled by June 1, 2023.  Hotel reservation cancellation fees per Hilton policy.

Extra Fare

The cost for the Extra Fare Trip to Galveston is $85.00 and you must be registered as a Full Registrant or as “additional family” to participate.  It is on a first-come, first-served basis and attendance is limited to around 120.


The Full Registration includes a pin and patch.  Full registrants may buy additional merchandise on the registration page.  This merchandise will be made available to you at the Convention for you to take home.

Non-registrants who wish to purchase a pin or patch may do so on the Company Store by going to Shop, 2023 Convention and choosing the “Non-registrant” patch or pin.  These will be shipped after the Convention from Oklahoma City and will have shipping and handling added.

Vendor Tables

The tables are six feet long and cost $35/table for the Convention period.  If you need electrical hookup, a hookup will be provided for an additional $10/hook up.

Questions?  Contact Dave Kampsnider, Registrar, at or 303-882-4078.

Upcoming conventions

The Society is planning Annual Conventions at the following locations:

  • 2023: Houston/Galveston, TX, dates June 7-11
  • 2024: TBD [Updated 2/12/2023]

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 13, 2023, Winslow Santa Fe Mini-Meet.  [Updated 3/18/2023] 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 $5.00 at the door.  Clinicians include (order yet to be established):
    • Stuart Forsyth, Cajon Pass During World War II:  Helper Service
    • C. Keith Jordan, Citrus and Streamliners: Modeling the Santa Fe’s Second District
    • Patrick Pritchett, Restoring and Modeling the Santa Fe “Heavy Mountain” #2926
    • Fred Isbell, Modeling the BNSF Transition

    Reservations and information on the La Posada available at

  • May 19-21, 2023, East Coast Santa Fe Modelers Spring 2023 Mini-Meet [Posted 1/24/2023].  Lenape Valley Church, 321 W. Butler Ave., New Britain, PA  18901.  Sign up for email updates at    *** NOTE LOCATION CHANGE ***

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