2023 RPM Conference wrap up

Four years after the last metro Chicago Railroad Prototype Modeler (RPM) event, modelers came out in numbers for the RPM Conference in Naperville, Illinois. The Northern Illinois University conference center was a bustling place with 440 modelers attending! The lead image captures RCW honcho Frank Hodina talking with Pete Hall.

Presentations covering a variety of topics ran in five classrooms over the two-day event. All but one of the thirty-two presentations were repeated. A few presentation PDF files can be downloaded from the 2023 RPM Conference website.

Two rooms were full of vendors, some of them showing new products.

Two rooms were filled with display models of various rolling stock, locos, and structures. Here are a few photo galleries from the event.

In addition to these galleries, Doug Harding and Darrall Swift have posted images on their Facebook profiles. If you are on that social media platform, you should be able to find their photos.

The RPM Conference crew of Bonnie Hodina, Frank Hodina, John Golden, Jerry Hamsmith, Eric Hansmann, Steve Hile, Tom Madden, and Mike Skibbe kept busy. We have several groups and people to thank for their help with the event. Thank you to Resourced Rails for the lanyards and to the Mod-U-Trak N and HO scale railroad modeling groups for displaying and operating their sectional layouts during the event. Thanks to the many presenters and vendors participating in the RPM. We especially thank the NIU facilities staff for their help with the RPM.

Most of all, the RPM crew thanks the modelers who came out to the event. It was great to see many friends and to hear conversations and laughter between presentations. Prototype modeler meets have become amazing places to share ideas and knowledge that help each of us push our hobby efforts forward.

Resin Car Works kit info

For the early registrants who received the Wabash mini-kit, a PDF is available to download that covers the steps to modify the Tichy kits. We hope to see several of these at the 2024 RPM.

New Resin Car Works kits were sold. The UTLX short 8K gallon Class X-3 tank car kit instructions are mostly the same as previous RCW UTLX X-3 tank car kits. Additional prototype files for the short 8K gallon car have been added to that Extras page.

Kit instructions for the CNJ automobile box car and the late 1920’s offset side hopper with Enterprise side sheets are nearing completion and will be posted to the website soon. An announcement will be made here on the blog.

Ed Rethwish and Jerry Hamsmith presented on the Illinois Central 29000-series steel-sheathed box cars. A special mini-kit was produced and sold out at the event. Frank plans to offer this again in 2024. Instructions for this mini-kit are available on the RPM Conference website.

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9 thoughts on “2023 RPM Conference wrap up

  1. It was great to have the Chicago RPM (aka Naperville) back this year after the long hiatus. Thanks to all who kept the flame going and to those who joined the crew to help make it happen in 2023. I really enjoyed this year’s event. The new venue seemed to really work well. Good clinics, good assortment of vendors, nice turnout of models. And many thanks to Bill Darnaby for opening his layout to viewing – there’s simply no substitute to seeing it live.

    Well done to team Naperville! Looking forward to seeing everyone again next year.

  2. Woah sorry about the typo…. Will the Wabash mini kit be available to those that couldn’t make it?

    1. Matthew, there are no plans to issue the Wabash mini-kit at this time. It was a one-time offer for RPM attendees. – Eric H.

  3. A great return of a great event! I’ve already made my hotel reservations for next year! The eight presentations I attended were outstanding (my apologies to Bill Darnaby for my phone malfunction) and I can’t wait to see next year’s lineup.

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