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An Illinois not-for-profit corporation dedicated to preserving the legacy of the C&NW and its predecessor roads since 1973.
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2017 CNWHS convention will be held in Rockford, IL. Thursday 5/18/17 through Sunday 5/21/17. Click here for Information

CHICAGO & NORTH WESTERN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
2017 Annual Meeting *** May 18-21 *** Rockford, Illinois
Holiday Inn, 7550 East State St., Rockford, IL 61108
For reservations call 815-398-2200 and ask for special C&NWHS Rate of $79.95 per night + tax All reserved rooms will be released April 18, 2017, but available at the meet rate until gone
HIGHLIGHTS
Railfan picnic with brats, hamburgers and hot dogs at Rochelle Railroad Park
Bus tour of past and present Rockford, Belvidere and Caledonia railroad sites Presentations and photos of the C&NW in Rockford, Freeport, Belvidere and Caledonia Day trip to Illinois Railway Museum with one-of-a-kind special tours and photo opportunities Groundbreaking for the C&NWHS Archives at IRM
Must-see evening keynote presentations by Mike McBride, Mike Schafer and Nick Fry
Silent Auction -- Model & Photo Displays & Contest -- Modeling Clinics Swap Meet -- Layout Tours -- Layout Operations – “KD” Line Segment Trolley Ride Feel free to bring photos and models to display – awards given for best in show
Questions? Looking to Volunteer?
Registration questions: Registrar John Berg jberg@hbci.com
Meet questions and volunteer requests: 2017 Meet Chair Rick Woods rwoods613@gmail.com
DAILY MEET ACTIVITIES (TIMES ARE APPROXIMATE) Thursday, May 18
Mid-Morning: Afternoon:
Evening: After Dinner:
- Rochelle Railroad Park Picnic, food @ 11:30 (food advance sign up) - Silent Auction and Model/Photo Display
- Presentations and Clinics
- Happy Hour with cash bar
- Pasta buffet dinner (included in fare)
- NON-RAIL “Beautify a Birdhouse”
- Presentation – “Working On the North Western” by Mike McBride - Open showing of members’ slides, movies & videos
Friday, May 19
Morning: - Bus Tour of area railroad hotspots and historical sites
- NON-RAIL: Nicholas Conservatory/Anderson Japanese Gardens
After Bus Return:- Silent Auction and Model/Photo Display
- Deli Lunch (and Board Meeting with working lunch)(included in fare)
Afternoon: Evening:
- Presentations and Clinics
- Silent Auction and Model/Photo Display
- Membership Meeting including Archives Update
- NON-RAIL “Mixed Media Project”
- Presentation: “Growing Up With the North Western”, Mike Schafer - Brief Board Meeting
Saturday, May 20
Morning: Afternoon: Evening:
- Breakfast Buffet at the hotel (included in fare)
- Spend the day at Illinois Railway Museum (included in fare)
- NON-RAIL: Midway Village Museum and Urban Farm Girl Market
- BOTH RAIL & NON-RAIL Lunch at IRM (included in fare)
- C&NWHS Archives Groundbreaking
- Return to hotel – final Silent Auction, Model/Photo Contest voting
- Happy Hour, Pick-Up Silent Auction Items, Pick-Up Models/Photos - Banquet (included in fare, choice of 3 entrees with dessert)
- Keynote Speaker, Nick Fry of the Barriger National Railroad Library - Raffle Drawings
Sunday, May 21
Morning: - Swap Meet, (contact Rick Woods, $15 first table, all others - $10) Afternoon - Trolley rides on the C&NW “KD” Line remnant (extra fare, sign-up)
- Layout Tours
- Layout Operations (must sign up in advance)
NON-RAIL EVENTS
Thursday Evening – Join other non-rail attendees in a “Beautify Your Birdhouse” project
Friday Daytime – Visit the new Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, ride the Rockford Trolley on the old “KD Line, lunch (on your own) and explore the grounds of Anderson Japanese Gardens -- one of finest Japanese Gardens in North America
Friday Evening – Join other non-rail attendees in a “Mixed Media project”
Saturday Morning – Visit Midway Village Museum and Urban Farm Girl Market. Then lunch and groundbreaking of the C&NWHS Archives at the Illinois Railway Museum (IRM) in the afternoon.
2017 MEET MAJOR DAYTIME ACTIVITIES
Thursday: Railfanning and Picnic At the World Famous Rochelle Railroad Park
http://www.rochellerailroadpark.org -- Located at the very busy crossing of the UP (ex- C&NW) Chicago-Omaha mainline and the BNSP (ex-CB&Q) Chicago-Twin Cities mainline, this crossing sees as many as 120 trains per day. This is an all weather event as the park has a shelter. We will feast on burgers, brats and hot dogs with sides. There is no fee but registration is required in advance and there will be a freewill donation collected to offset the costs.
Friday: Railroad-Focused Bus Tour of the Rockford Area
Hop aboard as we cruise in comfort in a deluxe motor coach while viewing all the railroad historic sites and current hotspots that the Rockford area has to offer. Each bus will have a guide on board to point out structures still standing (and those that have been removed) as well as sharing a wealth of information and answering questions. Featured will be the C&NW in Rockford, Belvidere and Caledonia, but we will also see and hear about the CB&Q, MILW, IC steam lines as well as the Rockford & Interurban and Elgin & Belvidere traction lines.

Saturday: Spend the Day At Illinois Railway Museum
http://www.irm.org -- Located in Union, IL, IRM is the largest railroad museum in the country with over 450 pieces of prototype equipment. The museum will be pulling out all the stops for “C&NW Day” with static and moving displays featuring C&NW motive power and rolling stock. Expect to see the first EMD GP7 (C&NW #1518) as well as EMD’s F7 C&NW #411 and SD40-2 C&NW #6847. They have also agreed to conduct special “members-only and behind the scenes” tours of their Steam Shop and Electrical/Wood Shop as well as Spaulding Tower.
Sunday: Take a Trolley Ride On a Segment of the C&NW “KD” Line (Extra Fare)
http://rockfordparkdistrict.org/facilities/attractions/trolley-car-36 -- Hop aboard the Rockford Park District trolley car #36 for a pleasant and scenic ride along the Rock River while learning about Rockford’s history. The line traverses a segment of the old “KD” (Kenosha Division) line which was built as the Kenosha, Rockford & Rock Island Railroad from 1859-1862 and acquired by the C&NW in 1864. The ride features rare “street running” down Rockford’s Madison Street. The cost to ride will be $10 per person -- reservations must be made in advance using the meet registration form.
MODEL RAILROAD OPERATING SESSIONS (subject to change)
MIKE MCBRIDE’S C&NW “IRON CROSS” – http://www.rockrail.org/c-nw-southern-illinois-line
Located in Dixon, IL, approximately 54 miles southwest of Rockford, this session is recommended for travelers returning home via west and south.
GENE WHEELER’S C&NW STERLING SUB – http://www.rockrail.org/canw-sterling-subdivision Located in suburban Rockford, this session is recommended for those returning home via north and east including Chicagoland.
RICK FRESE’S C&NW GALENA DIVISION – http://www.rockrail.org/canw-galena-division Located in suburban Rockford, this session is recommended for those returning home via north and east including Chicagoland.
MEET PRESENTATIONS (subject to change)
THURSDAY EVENING: MIKE SCHAFER – GROWING UP WITH THE NORTH WESTERN FRIDAY EVENING: MIKE MCBRIDE – WORKING ON THE NORTH WESTERN SATURDAY EVENING: NICK FRY, JOHN BARRIGER III NATIONAL RAILWAY LIBRARY
THURSDAY & FRIDAY AFTERNOONS (Line-Up Subject to Change)
 Jerry Pyfer – 50 Years Along the “KD” Line
 Randy Garnhart – CGW Eastern Division Slides – Oelwein to Chicago
 Lance Wales – Rockford Area C&NW in Color in 1980’s
 Bill Shapotkin – Galena Division, Belvidere Sub from Chicago to Freeport
 Rick Woods – Overview and History of Rockford Area Railroads
 Frank Carlson – C&NW Rockford Area Train Wrecks
 Mark & Mike Nelson – C&NW/CGW in Southern WI / Northern IL
 Bill Wimmer – Belvidere Chrysler Assembly – Building the C&NW Rail Facilities
 Pete Deets – C&NW #1365 Restoration (1907 ALCO 4-6-0 steam locomotive)
 Illinois Railway Museum – C&NW-Related Equipment in the Collection

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