RPM updates!

As winter loosens its grip, several railroad prototype modeler events are on the RPM event calendar in the weeks and months ahead.

RPM gatherings are set from Vancouver, BC to Farmington, CT, and from Toronto, ON to Savannah, GA. Take a few minutes to review the RPM event calendar for details and links to make plans for the upcoming months. Bring some models to display, whether they are completed or in-process. Maybe I’ll see you at an upcoming RPM!

RPM Chicagoland news

Mike Skibbe has news to share on the RPM Chicagoland event.

For the past four years, Katie and I, plus a dedicated group of volunteers, have rejuvenated the “Naperville” RPM through our work to host the RPM Chicagoland event through its 26th year. This is the first and longest running RPM conference, where we all have a chance to get together with like-minded modelers and share information, presentations, and great modeling.

While the event has been at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Lisle, IL for the last 7 years, the hotel has booked our dates with another group and has not been able to provide a different set of dates that works within the national RPM and Model Railroading calendar. We have also investigated options to move to another hotel, but the price of events in the Chicago market continues to go up. It has pushed other events out, like the O Scale March Meet, which is also having issues supporting increasing ballroom costs.  

With the possibility of a pandemic, and all sorts of large national events starting to get cancelled, maybe it was a godsend to not be under contract with a hotel for 2020.  

A team of local modelers, under Frank Hodina’s Resin Car Works flag, continues to evaluate options for a 2020 event. Frank will be taking the lead on the event from here on out.  If nothing else, focus will shift toward a 2021 event.

On my end, I’m shifting my focus to work with the NMRA on an RPM component to the National Convention. The NMRA has always provided event insurance for RPM meets, and RPM started out at the NMRA national conventions. I discussed the possibility of merging RPM Chicagoland into the NMRA with the core group, as it would solve hotel issues and provide a true national level RPM that moves around the country. However, there are challenges to overcome with that model and a general feeling that RPM Chicagoland should remain separate from the NMRA. RPM Chicagoland will remain separate moving forward.  

Thank you to all who donated time and effort to make RPM Chicagoland great these last four years. Katie and I can’t thank the following people enough for helping with administration, mini-kits, presentations and more: Matt Gaudynski, Harz Sondericker, Eric Hansmann, Jeremy and Kristen Dummler, Frank Hodina, Tom Madden, Aaron Gjermundson, Ted Culotta, and the HO and N scale Mod-U-Trak groups.

And we look forward to the 27th show. Please watch the RPM Chicagoland site and the RCW blog for updates.

Mike Skibbe

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6 thoughts on “RPM updates!

  1. Hello
    I understand the plight of the show, and because of the inflation of our currency for the last 70 years it take so much more to purchase all things and services.
    Have you considered creating a website where individuals can list their models with their names, pictures and descriptions as a once a year or monthly online meet this would cost very little currency it also could allow purchases to be made through the owners of the site for a fee to support the site.
    I understand that to view the hobby in real time is preferred, but everything has to change as do each and everyone of us.
    Good Health

  2. Many, many thanks to Mike & Katie and the entire team for all the work you have done to carry forward a great tradition of a great meet. As we all know, there has been over a quarter century of incredible hobbyist gathering to share ideas and their work and to be a part of the cutting edge of the hobby. We have no doubt that Frank and the team going forward will carry on an important part of our changing and growing hobby. We wish all the best to those who have carried the torch thus far, and to those who do so going forward. We look forward to attending the next Chicagoland RPM. Lonnie Bathurst and the St. Louis RPM team

  3. Mike,
    First, thanks so much for the great events of the recent past. RPM Chicagoland became an annual highlight on my calendar, and it fit nicely with our cross-country drive to see out family near Toledo each October. While saddened by the news, I hopeful that the event can continue in another venue in the same general area and in the same timeframe. In the meantime, this year may be the time for us to make our trip in August, and put the Collinsville schedule on our radar.

  4. Congratulations on carrying the flag for so long, and so well! I’m thrilled that the event will keep going.

    When I was running St. Louis RPM, we had to skip a few years—specifically 2007, 2008 and 2010. Nevertheless, our numbers continued to rise despite the breaks. I’m confident that if you have to skip 2020 your numbers and status will continue to grow. Let me know what I can do to help!

  5. The St. Louis RPM has been successful with a location about 12 miles east of St. Louis in a smaller community with an event center and numerous motels nearby (several across the street in fact). Is there a suitable facility a little farther from Chicago with a similar situation. It means not everything is in one building, but if things are reasonably close together, we can make it work.

  6. what about renting a hall or high school gym,
    there must be plenty of motels in the area?,
    don’t any of them have conference rooms?

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