drgw_logo_105x79.jpg image not found


2018 Western Pacific Railroad Historical Convention

Salt Lake City April 19th-22nd


Train Photo
WP EMD GP-7 713 working the Warner Branch local
"Where the WP Meets the Rio Grande"
April 19 - 22, 2018 - Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Hosted at the DoubleTree by Hilton - located near the Salt Lake City Airport

  • Historic and Modeling Clinics
  • Rare Films from the Virgil Staff Collection
  • Our Ever Popular Raffle!
  • Modeling Displays and Layout Tours
  • Archive and Photo Exhibits
  • Guided Tours at the WP / DRGW Depot
  • Vendors and Special Guests
  • Saturday night Banquet Speaker: Steve Lee
Presentations include: Early WP Passenger Service, WP Mixed Train Cars, Tooele Valley RR, WP modeling,
a photo trip across the Western Pacific and more! Watch the convention website for updates.

Confirmed Shows (as of 4/2/18)...
Western Pacific Railroad - the Feather River Route
by Daniel Kuhn
This slide program follows the Western Pacific from the San Francisco Bay Area east via California's beautiful Feather River Canyon and across the Great Basin of Nevada and Utah to Salt Lake City. Historic WP diesels in both the orange and green color schemes are shown along with more contemporary UP motive power. The WP leg of the original vista-dome "California Zephyr" is also featured in this scenic look at America's final transcontinental mainline rail segment.
Daniel B. Kuhn
Western Pacific 106 at 100 Years
by Michael and Patty Clawson and Eugene Vicknair
A updated look at the history of WP business car 106, the "Charles O. Sweetwood", including newly uncovered information on this unique railcar, plus a review of the events to celebrate its centennial held in 2017. The WP 106 was built as part of Pullman's lease fleet in 1917, then became a Western Pacific Superintendent's car in 1942. From January 1951 to November 1953 is was used in a ground-breaking blood drive program to support wounded Korean War soldiers. Today it survives in the WPRM collection.
Preview of 2019 NMRA National Convention
The 2019 convention will be held in Salt Lake City, more information HERE!
The Tooele Valley Railway by Jacob Wayne Lyman
A historical look at the Tooele Valley Railway, an important WP connection in Utah
Growing Up Along the Rio Grande by Jeff Pearce
Looking back at important WP partner and one-time parent, the Denver and Rio Grande Western
WP's First Passenger Trains by Frank Brehm
WP's earliest passenger operations, leading up to a look at the first scheduled through train on the railroad
WP Maintenance-of-Way Cars by Kerry Cochran
An overview of WP's varied MOW fleet
Western Pacific Mixed Train Cars by Eugene Vicknair
History of WP's small fleet of dedicated mixed train cars and a look at the trains that used them
Mary Lawser Murals of the California Zephyr by Allan Huskins
An examination of the murals painted by Mary Lawser for the Dome Coaches of the California Zephyr
Designing and Building Model Scenery by Rob Spangler
Scenic planning and implementation of backdrops, fascia and landforms
Virgil Staff films
Films from the Staff collection archives
Layout Tours (as of 3/6/18)...
Rob Spangler's Western Pacific 8th Sub
Thursday, April 19th & Friday April 20th
5:30 PM ~ 9:00 PM both nights
Anyone wishing to visit must email Eugene at convention@wplives.org so we can get a head count.

Rob's Western Pacific's 8th Subdivision is a photo-freelanced extension of the WP set in Utah in the 1978-1982 era. The layout is approximately 30 x 30 ft. The layout has been under construction for just over three years and is nearly 80% complete. It has come a long way from the tours of two years ago. Major progress has been made in the track and scenery area. Scenery and building details are outstanding. He has several levels and a lower deck staging yard. The mainline is nearly 100% finished along with the backdrops and fascia. Construction details include the use of structural backdrops to reinforce the 60-foot long serpentine peninsula, and octagonal helix. Rob has used codes 83, 70 and 55 flex track installed with caulk. Control is NCE DCC.


James Gronwald
Thursday, April 19th & Friday April 20th
5:30 PM ~ 9:00 PM both nights
Anyone wishing to visit must email Eugene at convention@wplives.org so we can get a head count.

James models the D&RGW coal hauling in the Soldier summit area in the 1950-60's era. The room is a basement room 14 x 20 feet with a dog leg of 13 x 19 feet. He has around 300 feet of double mainline track. This part of the layout is about 80% done and James's has done some outstanding hand carved mountain work which you must see. The backdrop scenery paintings by Rob Spangler are spectacular. In May of 2013 James started construction of the second phase of his layout which will be the SLC area of his layout. This phase is the new SLC area with a lot of industrial sidings. This area is about the same size as his first phase. James has also added a lot of scenery and building to the town of Green River which did not exist in previous tours of the layout. Control is Digitrax DCC.

Golden Spike Train Club of Utah
Saturday, April 21st
11:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM

Come visit the largest club layout in Utah, with over 20 scale miles of mountain Railroading to enjoy.
GSTC of Utah is located in the basement of the old Wasatch Hot Springs building at 840N Beck Street in North Salt Lake.

As part of the convention, the Golden Spike Train Club of Utah will be opening its club layout for convention attendees on Saturday, April 21, form 11 AM to 4 PM.
As part of the event, many members are going to bring their Western Pacific equipment and run it special in honor of the convention.

Here is a video talking about the club: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu6Fn3zE7XQ&feature=youtu.be

Here is their website: http://www.goldenspiketrainclubutah.org/home.html


Allen McCallum
Sunday, April 22nd
10:00 AM ~ 2:00 PM
Anyone wishing to visit must email Eugene at convention@wplives.org so we can get a head count.

Allen's layout has a closed loop mainline, mostly double track with a hidden staging yard in the middle. A branch line runs up to some mines and includes a hidden staging track on the branch. Track work is 95% complete and running and is a folded bowl of spaghetti track plan. Allen has about a 140 foot loop of main line and a long branch line. Track is Micro Engineering, bonded with contact cement. Several new buildings have been added in the city and town scenes especially around the refinery and the engine house. New scenery up in the big canyon area along with newly painted backdrops. A new bridge and semaphore signals have been added on the branch line. Many new vehicles and figures have been added on the layout, even a new train or two. The room is 17 x 40 ft. with the layout being 13 x 35 feet and occupies almost the complete room except for the aisles. The layout is Digitrax DCC controlled.

Visit Allen's NMRA Showcase photos HERE!

Fares (updated 3/27/18)...
Day Passes:

Day Passes cost $20 per day. A Day Pass gives the buyer full access to the presentations, shows and the vendor and exhibit room for that day. Buyers can also sign up for layout tours and/or the depot tours on their Day Pass date (no Depot Tours on Saturday). Please note, depot tours are space limited and will not be available once limit is reached. Day Passes do NOT include the Ogden trip or the Banquet. Day Pass holders must purchase those separately. Day Passes will be sold online through April 17, then will be available for sale at the Convention. Purchasers will pick up their Day Pass at the convention registration table.

Registration fares after April 17:
     Convention only at the door $45 $50 $55

Special Events...
(Limited space for some)
  • set up an excursion and museum tour for us on Thursday morning, April 19th.

    8:10 AM Thursday - Bus departs DoubleTree Hotel for FrontRunner Warm Springs Maintenance facility
    Guided tour of FrontRunner Maintenance Facility
    9:45 AM - Bus departs Warm Springs for FrontRunner North Temple Station - 10:01 AM train to Ogden
    Arrives 10:52 AM. Walk to Ogden Union Station - Utah State Railroad Museum
    Guided tour of Utah State Railroad Museum
    Depart Utah State RR Museum via bus at 12:40 PM
    Arrive back at DoubleTree Hotel about 1:30 PM
    Convention shows would begin at 2:15 PM
    Space must be paid for by March 19th
    --> Special Tour of the Utah State Railroad Museum
    (Extra-Fare Event)
    On the morning of Thursday, April 19, come join us for a special trip to open the 2018 WP Convention.
    We will board a charter bus at the DoubleTree Inn and travel to the FrontRunner Warm Springs Maintenance Facility for a guided tour.
    Following this, the bus will take us a short hop to the nearby FrontRunner station for a rail trip to Ogden Union Station and the Utah State Railroad Museum.
    We will receive a guided tour of the collection at the museum and chance to explore on our own before returning via charter bus back to the DoubleTree and the beginning of the Convention.

    Updated (3/25/18) Schedule for Utah State Railroad Museum Tour:

    • Depart DoubleTree Inn - Salt Lake Airport at 8:10 AM
    • Bus to North Temple Station for trip via FrontRunner to Ogden Station and Utah State Railroad Museum
    • Guided walking tour of Utah State Railroad Museum - approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes
    • Depart USRRM by bus and travel to UTA FrontRunner Warm Springs Maintenance Facility in SLC
    • Guided walking tour of Warm Springs Facility - approx. 50 minutes
    • Back to DoubleTree by bus, arrive approximately 1:00-1:15 PM
    Seating is limited! Get your seats NOW!
    Space must be paid for by April 17th

  • Guided tours of the Denver and Rio Grande Western / Western Pacific Depot
    - Special tours by State Architect, times to be announced free / max 20 people per tour DRGW / WP Salt Lake City Depot - 300 South Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City, Utah

    ~ Updated 3/16/18 ~
    Rio Grande - Western Pacific Depot tours confirmed!
    Tours will be limited to 20 persons.
    There will be two tours offered: Thursday April 19th and Friday, April 20th. Both tours start at 6:00 PM and will last about 1 hour, including a 10-15 minute presentation on the depot's history and a 45 minute walking tour.
    It has also been suggested that, if there is enough interest, we reserve a group table or room at the Rio Grande Cafe following the tour. (We would just be reserving space at the cafe, dinner is not included.)
    Tour is free, but requires sign-up.
    If you want to attend, please email convention@wplives.org with your preferred day and you will receive a response either confirming your tour spot or if the tour(s) are filled.

  • Model Railroad Layout Tours - Dates and times to be announced

  • Sunday - April 22
    - We are working on a possible special excursion to conclude the convention.

Special Guest Speaker Saturday Night - Steve Lee
Steve Lee is the former head of the Union Pacific Steam Locomotive / Heritage Program

  • MODELERS - don't forget to enter our model exhibition and contest. Bring your WP / SN / TS / CCT / OT / ABL and DRGW models.
  • Non-members wishing to join the FRRS can receive a one year Active membership for $25 more over cost of any non-member fare. This is a 50% discount over regular Active membership. As a special bonus, current members wishing to renew their Active memberships can also do so for 50% off ($25 extra) when they register. New members signing up can register for Convention as FRRS members.
  • Clinic and Event Line-Up and more information will be posted to this web page as events are finalized.
Final schedule of presentations subject to change.

Register online (below) or mail payments to:
WP Historic Convention 2018, 5643 Sonoma Drive, Apt. 1, Pleasanton, CA 94566


Online registration is now closed, please register at the door.

Hotel Information...
Information on the DoubleTree by Hilton - Salt Lake City Airport

DoubleTree by Hilton - Salt Lake City Airport
5151 Wiley Post Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84116 - phone 775.786.3232
  • Located 2 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport and 8.6 miles from Temple Square
  • Complimentary WiFi and 24-hour business center . On-site restaurant and bar / lounge
  • Free parking . Laundry service . Pet-friendly . Smoke-free
~ ~ Update - 3/30/18 ~ ~
Discount rooms are no longer available.

Questions? Please contact Eugene Vicknair, 2018 WP Convention Coordinator, at convention@wplives.org