FOBNR 2023 Mini-Convention

Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

June 1-3, 2023

The FOBNR board of directors has decided to hold a no-cost, mostly railfanning convention this year and return to a full-blown convention in 2024. It will be free to attend, but there will be no presentations, no tours, no firm agenda except for a membership meeting on Thursday evening that our bylaws require. Just meet up each day at a predetermined location, decide where to go, and head out. If you live close enough, come for the day and go home each night. Attend just one day, two or all three. We’ll document our progress and plans on-the-fly on our Facebook page, and also have a cell phone number to call to get the latest status if you don’t use Facebook.

We picked the Best Western Plus Hotel (1000 Gramsie Rd, Shoreview, MN, 1-651-482-0402) as the hotel we recommend you stay at should you plan on spending the night. The hotel is located along the freeway less than ten miles from the yard at Northtown. Meeting up in the morning will be much easier if most of us stay there than if we are scattered around town. The FOBNR has made no arrangements with the hotel, so you are on your own to make your reservations there, or somewhere else if you choose.

Here’s the schedule (rain or shine):

  • Thursday, June 1st, Noon: Meet at the Fridley Park-and-Ride (East lot) next to the Fridley Northstar train station (6050 Main Street, Fridley, MN) and make a plan for the afternoon. The north exit of Northtown yard and the beginning of the Staples Subdivision is right there.
  • Thursday, June 1st, 6 PM: We have reserved a room for dinner at The Exchange Food and Drink restaurant (500 5th Ave NW, New Brighton, MN) at 6:00 PM. We will all order off the menu.
  • Thursday, June 1st, 7 PM: Membership Meeting in the meeting room at the restaurant mentioned above. You don’t have to eat there to attend.
  • Friday, June 2nd, 7:30 AM: Meet in the hotel lobby, make a plan for the day, and head out.
  • Saturday, June 3rd, 7:30 AM: Meet in the hotel lobby, make a plan for the day, and head out.

If you arrive on Wednesday and spend the night, meet in the lobby of the Best Western Plus Hotel in Shoreview at 8AM on Thursday to meet up with others and plan some railfanning, with the goal of meeting at the Fridley Park-and-Ride at noon to formally kick off the mini-convention.

Let us know if you plan on attending, or if you have any questions, by sending an email to

[email protected]

as soon as possible. When received, we’ll reply to confirm your attendance, and get a little more information from you.

Each year the FOBNR holds a convention and membership meeting at some location on the BN/BNSF system. The convention includes tours of local BN/BNSF facilities and other railroad-related facilities, a display of BN historical information and items, tours of local layouts (and sometimes operating sessions), railfanning opportunities, a banquet with a speaker (usually a local BNSF official), and a board meeting.

Descriptions and photos from previous conventions:

2022 Vancouver (WA) Convention Report

2021 Vancouver (WA) – no convention (COVID-19), replaced by a mini-meet (railfanning only) in Galesburg (IL) – Report

2020 Vancouver (WA) – no convention (COVID-19)

2019 Kansas City (KS) Convention Report

2018 Aurora (IL) Convention Report

2017 Denver Convention Report

2016 Glendive Convention Report

2015 Minneapolis Convention Report

2014 Tulsa Convention Report

2013 Missoula Convention Report

2012 Amarillo Convention Report

2011 Gillette Convention Report

2010 Galesburg Convention Report

2009 Seattle Convention Report

2008 Lincoln Convention Report

2007 Bismarck/Mandan Convention Report

2006 Denver Convention (no report)

2005 Superior Convention (no report)

2004 Spokane Convention (no report)

2003 Alliance Convention (no report)

2002 Fort Worth Convention (no report)

2001 Fargo Convention (no report)

2000 Minneapolis Convention (no report)

1999 Kansas City Convention (no report)

1998 Essex Convention (no report)

1997 Galesburg Convention (no report)

1996 Seattle Convention (no report)

1995 Chicago Convention (no report)

1994 St. Paul Convention (cancelled)

1993 Galesburg Convention (no report)