Friends of the Burlington Northern Railroad
2018 Convention and Membership Meeting
June 6-9
Holiday Inn Express and Suites
Aurora, Illinois


This page will be updated promptly should any changes occur.
Last modified on March 4, 2018.
Pre-Convention Operating Session
Prior to the start of the official convention, local model railroader Ted Schnepf has graciously opened his O-scale MILW Road layout to our attendees to operate. Check out the layout at this webpage.

BNSF's Logistics Park Chicago (LPC) Intermodal Hub Tour
Logistics Park, Chicago (LPC), handles all BNSF International traffic in international containers servicing Chicago and connections from CSX/NS to PSW LA/So California Ports and PNW Ports Seattle, Tacoma and Portland. The tour will consist of a narrated bus tour around the yard as well as a presentation from staff about the facility and an opportunity for questions. There will be an extra charge to cover the cost of renting a bus.

Metra 14th Street Facility and BNSF Chicago Operations Center Tours
Thanks to our partnership with BNSF, we've secured a rare opportunity to tour BNSF/Metra's 14th Street commuter servicing facility. The group will ride a Metra commuter train, tour the 14th Street Shops, and the BNSF offices in Chicago Union Station. This tour is limited to the first 30 people who sign up and preference will be given to FOBNR members. Steel toed boots are required to participate in the tour. The facility also is not ADA accessible. There will be an extra charge for train tickets and a box lunch to be served at the facility.

Illinois Railway Museum Tour
The Illinois Railway Museum has one of the largest collections of historic rolling stock in the nation! In addition to a guided tour, several restored BN and predecessor railroad rolling stock items will be on display, along with opportunities to ride multiple types of passenger trains. There will be an extra cost to pay for admission to the museum, lunch, and the guided tour.

Venture Crew (Boy Scout) Modular Layout
On Friday evening, Venture Crew 57's HO-scale model railroad layout will be the centerpiece of our modeler's showcase. Additionally, attendees are invited to bring any BN/BNSF/MRL models to display Friday evening for all to see and appreciate.

BN Activity in the Aurora Area
A slide show by Mel Finzer who photographed the area extensively in the 70's and 80's.

Railroad Rate Setting and the Opheim (MT) Branch
A presentation about the odd history of rate-setting and the Opheim (MT) branch by Rick Burn, who worked for the Milwaukee Road in the 70's but worked closely with his BN counterparts at the time.

Railfanning Opportunities
Chicago is BNSF Railway's eastern hub and a major connection point with eastern carriers. Several opportunities will be provided to railfan several BNSF lines including the ex-ATSF Chillicothe Sub in the Joliet area, the ex-BN Chicago Sub between Chicago and Aurora, the ex-BN Mendota Sub between Aurora and Mendota, and the ex-BN Aurora Sub between Aurora and Rochelle. To the extent possible, we plan to have some railfan guides available to help guide those who may not be as familiar with the area.

Member Slide/Digital Photo/Video shows
Bring digital photos and/or video you'd like to share for member shows. We'll provide a computer, projection equipment and a screen. Bring your photos on a CD/DVD or USB drive.

The Saturday night banquet is the culmination of our convention. A buffet dinner at the Riverside Diner will be followed by our annual auction.

Post-Convention Railroadiana and Model Railroad Show
Kane County Fairgrounds (Front Building), 525 South Randall Road, St. Charles, IL 60174

Hotel Rooms
The convention is being held at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Aurora: 111 N Broadway, Aurora, IL 60505. For reservations at our group rate, call 1-630-896-2800 by May 6. Rooms are $119 per night on weekdays and $159 per night on Friday and Saturday. Mention you are with The Friends of the Burlington Northern Railroad convention when making your reservation and be sure to let them know you want a room on the east side of the building which faces the BNSF main line.

More Information
Events, dates, and times are subject to change. Please contact Benjamin Hucker at if you have any questions.