Our 2023 RGM&HS Convention was held in Denver, Colorado on August 27-30, 2023, and will ran sequentially with the 2023 National Narrow Gauge convention which ran August 30th – September 02, 2023.
We had a great line-up of programs for the 2023 that will include color photography and explanations of Rio Grande Standard and Narrow gauge operations. The programs we are considering will cover both freight and passenger operations on the D&RGW system. The speakers and the full list of programs is shown below:
Jeff Pierce our Society President kicks off the 2023 Convention Sunday night with our first session on the state of the RGM&HS. Jeff will recap the health of the organization and highlight some of the initiatives the society is working on. He will wrap up by covering some of the logistics of the convention over the coming days.
Jeff volunteers his time as a President and staffing the society exhibit booth a various railroad and model train show events in Utah and throughout the area. Jeff has been a featured speaker in both the WP & RGM&HS conventions. He is an Operations Manager at the Salt Lake City International Airport and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah area.
RC Farewell has spoken at our 2021 virtual convention and will give a video program titled Rio Grande’s Desert Crossing and take your questions about the program at the end of the session.
RC blames his father for a lifelong obsession with western railroads and the D&RGW in particular. A degree in Geology / Geophysics and a focus on computer applications of same with the USGS eventually took RC to Denver and the D&RGW.
After a number of professional moves, RC ended up at the COORS Brewing Company’s IT department from which he ultimately retired. Side gigs included the Colorado Railroad Museum and authoring six hardcover books on Colorado railroads and the D&RGW in particular.
RC lives in Arvada, CO, with his wife, Sgt. Peggy Farewell, USMC. His cameras remain active, especially during Ski Train season.
Jeff is a retired Cartographer with the
Rodney Guggenheim He has done several clinics at the Narrow Gauges Conventions on the Colorado railroads and he will give a slide presentation on Rio Grande Standard Steam from the Maxwell collection. Rodney is a board member of the Galloping Goose Historical Society and live in Dolores, Colorado area. With D&RGW being his main modeling interest Rodney models dual gauge in HO and HOn3 and has a layout based on the Alamosa/Salida area. His main collection is RGS, SPNG and working on Rio Grande diesel Locos, UP steam and early diesels. He also sells decals made by Microscale with Rio Grande Diesel Cab Numbers.
Ed Dickens is the senior manager of Union Pacific Heritage Operations and has been heading Union Pacific’s steam team since 2010. He has an extensive and rare background in steam engines. After military service, he operated and repaired the bygone engines for the Georgetown Loop before gaining additional experience working on them for the Durango Silverton Narrow-Gage Railroad. Dickens joined Southern Pacific in 1993 and worked in the Denver area, becoming a locomotive engineer in 1994. While running diesels, he continued to impart his expertise within the steam locomotive fraternity, assisting other railroads with their heritage programs.
William Reed grew up most of my childhood in Montrose and Gunnison. His Dad was a District Manager for BLM and managed the Gunnison Basin Resources area. He was also a train guy so early on in his life he was exposed to the Durango and Silverton in 1981. He was immediately hooked and there was something about seeing those narrow gauge trains that really left an impression. The following summer he rode the D&SNG and that solidified his love and interest for the D&RGW narrow gauge. Around 8 yrs old at the time. After that ride anytime he went to the public library he would check out as many D&RGW related books as he could carry and began researching and studying the history and operations of the D&RGW narrow gauge network.
Since William lived in Montrose and later Gunnison becoming fascinated with the 3rd Division from Salida to Montrose and on to Ouray. Learning about the coal that was moved out of Crested Butte to the CF&I plant in Pueblo and other destination points showed me how critical that line was to the D&RGW and their relationship with the CF&I.
Entering High School his family moved back East due to a promotion of his Dad took with the BLM that required him to do time in the DC Office. Although not physically in Colorado his love and passion for the narrow gauge only got stronger since he was so far away. William currently reside in Ashland, Virginia and have worked as a Manager in the Logistics Industry for the past 25 yrs. He also have a great relationship with the Management at the D&SNG and the C&TS. He has done some collaborative work with D&SNG which has allowed him generous access to the world that captivated me as a young boy back in 1981. William have 5 children and have been married to wife Becky for nearly 16 yrs now.
Gil Bennett has spoken at many railroad events and is one of our featured speakers for the convention and will give a talk on some of his Rio Grande painting he’s been commissioned to do in the past.
Gil is an industrial illustrator that has had over 30 years of experience. He began painting from a young age, and after receiving a degree from the University of Utah, began his own studio in the Wasatch Front. Gil began working in industrial illustration after meeting and working with famous illustrator Howard Fogg. Since that time, Gil has been featured in numerous magazines in the US and abroad, has received dozens of awards for his model building and paintings. Gil has had work featured in rail road museums in Utah, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Wisconsin.Gil has completed over 2000 watercolor and oil paintings that have been purchased and featured by the likes of W. H. Miner, Tidemark, Xerox, Union Pacific, Utah Railway, and various other publishers and private collectors. Gil currently lives and works in Saratoga Springs, Utah where he enjoys the company of his dog, Jack, his wife Gayleen, and his four sons.
Matt Darling has spoken at many railroad events including our 2017 convention and will give a talk on the photo collection of Ray Cheedle D&RGW carmen/freelance photographer based in Grand Junction in the 50s, 60s, 70s.
Matt is the Curator of Cross Orchards Historic Site of the Museums of Western Colorado in Grand Junction, CO. Matt has a Degree in History from Mesa State College, completed an apprenticeship in automotive repair and has numerous certifications in small engine repair, giving him a unique set of skills. Matt has been a lifelong railfan especially of the Grande. When not modeling the Grande Matt enjoys hiking in the Colorado Rockies with his girlfriend Dr. Christine Noel.
Doug Delmonico promises to have an interesting presentation about his time on railroad called Tracks and Falling Rocks. Doug started on Rio Grande narrow gauge in 1972 as an equipment operator. By the early 80’s he was head of the Work Equipment department for DRGW at age 30! Eventually Doug had 72 people working for him covering several road crews plus a 20,000 square foot shop in Burnham. After the SP acquisition In 1989 Doug became head of all maintenance equipment for SP. Doug founded Encore Rail System where he made countless engineering innovations in crosstie life extension technologies.
Chuck Graham will be sharing his recent personal experiences doing box car restoration work in Chama NM on the former D&RGW narrow gauge, now the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR.
Chuck has had an interest in the D&RGW since the 1960s and currently serves on the Society’s Board of Trustees, with published articles in the Green Light and the Prospector. He has modeled the D&RGW since his teens and currently has an HO home layout featuring the dual gauge operations in Alamosa and the narrow gauge across Cumbres Pass, Chama, and beyond. He has been a longtime member of the HO modular narrow gauge group called the Mudhens, and has recently joined the Friday Boomers NG group. He has degrees in chemistry from Wittenberg University in Ohio, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a retired research chemist, living in suburban St Louis.
Mike Carlson is a past President of the society and has spoken at our 2021 virtual convention. He will be sharing an update on the Ingles photo collection that was donated to the Society.
Chuck Conway will be sharing roughly 100 pictures taken on the Rio Grande between 1950 and 1990 from the Colorado Railroad Museum collection featuring both steam and diesel pictures along standard and narrow gauge D&RGW territory.
Chuck is an author who has written several books about the Denver & Rio Grande Western railroad. including “Rio Grande: Crest of the Continent”, “Rio Grande – Heart of the Rockies”, and “Rio Grande: Jewel of the Wasatch”.
Jeff Pierce our Society President will wrap-up the 2023 Convention on Wednesday with his closing remarks on the convention and then share early details about the 2024 Joint Convention with the MoPac in Pueblo, Colorado for those in attendance.