2018 Olympia Convention

Our 2018 convention will be held in Olympia, Washington, joint with the Milwaukee Road Historical Association.

Dates: Wednesday, July 18 through Saturday, July 21, 2018. Early registration rate (before June 8): $175. Late registration rate (after June 30): $185. THE CONVENTION IS NOW SOLD OUT. You can Click here to download the convention program but the registration portion of the attachment cannot be used at this point.

Location: Hotel RL, 2300 Evergreen Park Dr SW, Olympia, WA 98502, (855) 512-6999. We have a special convention rate from the hotel of $109 per night. The Hilton Hotels booking code is UPHS0715. You must book no later than June 8 to get this rate. To book on-line, go to Red Lion Hotels and use group code UPHS0715 when booking .

Getting to the hotel : From SEATAC: An airport van service is available from Capital Aeroporter: www.capair.com 800-962-3579. The fare is  $47 one way, $84 roundtrip direct to Hotel RL. By Train: Take LINK lightrail from the SEATAC station to Int’l dist. station. LINK runs every 10 minutes ride is about 45 minutes, cost $ 3.00. Then it’s a short Walk to AMTRAK. Buy an Amtrak ticket SEA to OLW (Olympia-Lacey); cost is $18 and up. Trains leave at 9:45 am, 11:30 am, 2:20 pm and 6:10 pm. At OLW you can call Hotel RL for pick up.

From Portland Airport: Board light rail at airport station, take the RED line train to Old Town/Chinatown station. cost $2.50. It’s a short Walk to AMTRAK. AMTRAK runs trains Portland to Olympia (OLW) at 8:20am, 12n, 3:00pm, 3:56 (this is #14, which typically runs late), and 7:20pm. Cost is $26 and up, about a 2hr ride. At OLW, call Hotel RL for pick up.

Agenda (subject to change)

On the agenda we have a reception at the hotel, an extra-fare tour of rail-related sights in Tacoma and Seattle, extra-fare rides on the Chehalis – Centralia and Mount Rainier Scenic steam railroads, swap meet, clinics and banquet. Our banquet speaker will be Mr. Bill Brodsky, past president of Montana Rail Link and Milwaukee Road manager before that, who will tell us of his efforts to save the Milwaukee Road’s Pacific Extension. Topics for clinic presentations include Union Pacific and Milwaukee Road operations and traffic in joint territory in Washington, vintage movies and photos of Pacific Northwest railroading, and Union Pacific’s Project M, concerning acquisition of Milwaukee Road properties in the Pacific Northwest.

Wednesday  July 18

  • 12 noon-5 p.m. – Registration desk open at the hotel.
  • 5 – 8 p.m. – Ice breaker reception at the hotel.
  • 8-10 p.m. – Clinic presentations: Rob Leachman, UP and Milw Rd in the Portland – Seattle corridor, Jeffrey Torretta, UP in the Blue Mountains.

Thursday July 19

  • 7 a.m. – Breakfast
  • 9 a.m. – $25 Extra fare event. Bus tour or rail-related sights in the Tacoma – Seattle area. Passenger stations, freight yards, Boeing model railroad club and more. Lunch on your own at Pike Street Market in Seattle.
  • 10 a.m. – $50 Extra fare event (no charge to MRHA members). Women’s tour, a bus tour to cultural sights including a fine lunch.
  • 6-7 p.m. – Dinner on your own.
  • 7-10 p.m. – Clinic presentations: Wayne Monger, movies and slides of the 1962 BAERA passenger special, last passenger train across Milwaukee Road’s Pacific Extension and 1958 ride on Olympian Hiawatha out of Tacoma, Alan Freed, a 1980 speeder adventure across the abandoned Milwaukee Road Pacific Extension

Friday July 20

  • 7 a.m. – Breakfast
  • 9 a.m. – $100 Extra fare event. Buses leave hotel for rides on the Chehalis – Centralia and Mount Rainier Scenic steam railroads. Lunch included.
  • 3-5 p.m. Silent auction of Milw Rd & UP items
  • 6-7 p.m. – Dinner on your own.
  • 7-10 p.m. – Clinic presentations: Bill Russ, Milwaukee Road dynamometer car X-5000 and tests in the Bitterroots, Peter White, Union Pacific’s Project M: Acquisition of Milwaukee Road Lines West Properties, Dale Sanders: Milwaukee Road’s Coast Division

Saturday July 21

  • 7 a.m. – Breakfast & UPHS Business meeting
  • 9 a.m. – Swap meet opens
  • 10 a.m.-12 noon – Clinic presentations: Wayne Monger, The Port Townsend Railway and the Photography of Phillip C. Johnson, Keith Ardinger, Northwest States of Mind
  • 12 noon-1 p.m. – Lunch on your own.
  • 1-5 p.m. – Clinic presentations: George Foster, 1970s movies of Western Washington trains, Blair Kooistra, Remembering Milwaukee Road’s Coast Division, Bob Butler, Construction of Fife Yard, A Panel of Retired Agents, Operators and Dispatchers, A Panel of Retired Engineering and Operations Managers
  • 5-6 p.m. – Social hour, cocktail reception before banquet.
  • 6-8:30 p.m. – Banquet. Banquet speaker: Mr. Bill Brodsky, former president of MRL.

Sunday, July 22

Although not officially part of the convention, we have arranged a catered bike ride on the abandoned Milwaukee Road main line right of way from Hyak, through the Snoqualmie Pass Tunnel and down the west side of the Cascades to Cedar Falls. The trip is all downhill, 23 miles in length. Spectacular high bridges are crossed along the way. Our hosts, Compass Adventures, will take us to Hyak from their store in North Bend, WA, and then return us to our vehicles at their store at the end of the ride. You can sign up at https://compassoutdooradventures.com/mrcd/ . For more information, you can email Compass Adventures at thomas@compassoutdooradventures.com .

See you in Olympia!


UPDATED: July 6, 2018 RCL