SPH&TS Convention 2014 - San Luis Obispo

Southern Pacific

Historical & Technical Society

2014 Annual Conference
San Luis Obispo, California
October 29th - November 1st

NEW! Updated info on the convention — September 9, 2014

Timetable Correction: The no fee visit to the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum on Wednesday has been expanded. Hours will be 3:00 pm to 6:00pm. See convention schedule for other details.

NEW! Planning on submitting a consist for the "Wall of Trains"? We are accepting requests for entries. Click here for info.

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Convention Presentations (tentative):
Slide Potpourri of California Espee (Burket), Transition Era Cuesta Operations (Thompson), Oil and The SP (Zehnder), Trolleys through the Wonderland, the Early Pacific Electric Railway (Crossley), Modeling PFE Wood Ice Reefers — Revisited (Hartley), The Southern Pacific on the Central Coast, 1985-1990 (Hornbeck), Modeling Transition Era Beet Trains and the Guadalupe Interchange (Inman), Working the Carrizozo Sub (Signor), Milepost Memories Along the Southern Pacific: Milepost #4 (Lange), San Luis Obispo's First Railroad: the Pacific Coast Railway (Merriam), Slip-Sliding Away — Heavy Rains on the Coast Line, 1978 (McGinley), Piggyback with Paul (Koehler), SPH&TS Archives Preview (Coscia), Old Timers Panel (various)


Co-Chairmen Andrew Merriam and Logan Bertolette have arranged an added bonus to the Wednesday tour of the newly-opened San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum. In addition to the behind-the-scenes event included with the cost of your registration, the museum has offered the society use of their business car "La Condesa" to debut and sell our upcoming book publication, The Southern Pacific along the Pacific Coast, featuring the steam photography of SP Employe Malcom "Mac" Gaddis.

Several people responded and observed that the Old Timer's discussion in the last email regarding the SPH&TS Convention needed an introduction to set the larger context. Given the general interest and popularity of reminiscing about the good old days on the SP and the fact that this event was not available last year, this year's convention co-chairs decided to have two Old Timer's presentations in San Luis Obispo. Both Thursday and Friday evenings will have programs in the 7 to 9:30 pm time slot.

Bill Burket, an engineer with significant experience on the SP Western Division, will be moderating and working with former SP Western Division engineers Jeff Garrett, Mike Nichols, and Mike Flaherty. Their working title is: "Tales of Diesel Days on the SP Western Division" circa 1975 thru 1986. Each will provide a couple of incidents that occurred in their professional careers that will give insight on our favorite railroad. Questions from the audience will also be entertained. (Presentation on Thursday evening)

Vince Cipolla's group will be generally focusing on the steam era and Owenyo as identified in the previous email. "Steam Stories Around SLO" will include stories from retired Signal Maintainer Sid "Portugee" Marcus. Godfather will also recount his experiences working out of Owenyo, describing operations of the transfer dock between narrow and standard gauge, the depot and hotel, car repair, and firing steam on the "Jawbone." (Presentation on Friday evening)

Saturday afternoon will feature a special event before the banquet reception. Many of our authors who have written premium publications for the society will be on hand to sign books for you. We have confirmed attendance from David Coscia, Rod Crossley, Mark Hornbeck, Mike Jarel, Joe Dale Morris, John Signor, and Joe Strapac, so bring your SPH&TS books or buy them from the company store in the vendor room.

We will provide more information as it comes available. We look forward to seeing you at our ongoing series of oral history on the Southern Pacific.

Convention Headquarters:
Embassy Suites, San Luis Obispo
333 Madonna Road
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

Hotel Information:

For information about San Luis Obispo and its many offerings go to visitslo.com.

View photos from past conventions!