Conversations West 2018


A doubleheaded mixed train on the Tonopah & Goldfield Railroad crosses the Nevada desert under a July sun near Tonopah Junction, Nevada. It carries a Pullman from San Francisco. Photograph by Lucius Beebe. California State Railroad Museum, BC1176.

September 22, 2018 at the California State Railroad Museum

In conjunction with co-host California State Railroad Museum, the Center for Railroad Photography & Art is proud to announce a special western regional conference in Sacramento, California. This one-day event will be held at the museum on Saturday, September 22, and will feature a full day of presentations about railroad photography and art in the western United States, and several opportunities to socialize with other attendees including a closing reception on Saturday evening.

Events will kick off on the evening of Friday, September 21, with an opening reception from 6:00-8:00 p.m. for the Center’s newest traveling exhibition, Beebe & Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy. Adapted from the popular book of the same time by John Gruber, John Ryan, and Mel Patrick (available for purchase here and at the conference), authors Gruber and Ryan will lead two gallery talks on Friday night. The reception will take place at the museum’s Transcontinental Gallery. Attendance for this reception is free and open to the public.

The conference itself will take place on Saturday, September 22, in the museum’s auditorium. Registration and refreshments begin at 8:00 a.m., and the conference will start at 9:00. We break for lunch at 12:15 (there are many restaurants in Old Sacramento) and resume at 2:15; presentations will run to 5:45 p.m. Following the last presentation, we will host a reception in the museum’s Roundhouse Gallery from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Appetizers and refreshments will be served, and a cash bar will be availalbe at both receptions.

Location: The conference and receptions will be held at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California.

125 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Download a printable brochure for the California State Railroad Museum

Parking Information

  • Short-term Parking – A small number of limited-term, metered parking spaces are available on the streets of Old Sacramento. Street parking is metered from 10 am to 10 pm. However, these spaces are not suitable for guests visiting longer than 90 minutes.
  • Long-term Parking – All-day parking is available at two parking garages located at both ends of Old Sacramento:
    • Old Sacramento Garage– Entrance at I Street between 3rd and 2nd Street. Daily rates (6am-6pm) $1.50 each half hour, $13.00 day maximum charge. Evening rates (6 pm-6 am) $7.00 nightly maximum charge. Weekend pre-pay rates (Friday at 2:00 pm through close on Saturday) $10.00 starts at 2:00 pm-hours may vary.
    • Tower Bridge Garage– Entrance on Capitol Blvd and Neasham Circle near the Tower Bridge. Daily rates (6 am-6 pm) $1.50 each half hour, $15.00 day maximum charge. Evening rates (6 pm-6 am) $9.00 nightly maximum charge. Weekend pre-pay rates (Friday at 3:00pm through close on Saturday) $10.00 starts at 3:00 pm-hours may vary.

Hotel Information: All hotels are within one-mile walking distance from California State Railroad Museum.


Richard Steinheimer, right, shares Trains magazine with two Southern Pacific workers at Truckee, California, in 1984. Photograph by Shirley Burman, who will present both her and Steinheimer’s photographs of the Southern Pacific.

Register now for Conversations West

Presenters include

  • Ted Benson and Tom Taylor
  • Shirley Burman
  • John Gruber and John Ryan
  • Richard Koenig
  • John Signor
  • J. Craig Thorpe

Friday, September 21 (optional)
California State Railroad Museum, Transcontinental Gallery

  • 6:00-8:00 p.m., Beebe and Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy exhibition opening and reception
  • 6:30 & 7:30 p.m., gallery talks by authors John Gruber and John Ryan

Saturday, September 22
California State Railroad Museum, auditorium

  • 8:00-9:00, Registration and coffee hour
  • 9:00-9:30, Opening remarks
  • 9:30-12:15, Presentations
  • 12:15-2:15, Lunch break (attendees on own for lunch)
  • 2:15-5:45, Presentations
  • 6:00-8:00, Reception in Roundhouse Gallery


Please note that the schedule is subject to change as necessary.