San Francisco Bay Area Annual Convention


For 2018, the Electric Railroaders’ Association returns to the San Francisco Bay Area for its four-day convention over the Labor Day weekend. It was 2004 when we last held our convention here and a lot has changed. The convention will feature streetcar charters, shop tours, a ride on the new Sonoma-Marin (SMART) and eBART diesel commuter rail lines, provision for a ferry ride, two museums, and just the right amount of time on your own with a pre-loaded Clipper Card.


Atlanta and New Orleans Annual Convention


The 2017 ERA Annual Convention will take place in two cities, Atlanta from July 1–4 and New Orleans for July 4 and 5. Highlights of this year’s convention will include riding the new Atlanta Streetcar through the Martin Luther King historic district, a tour of the MARTA heavy rail shop, a visit to the famed Southeastern Railway Museum, and a tour of New Orleans’ comprehensive streetcar network starting with North America’s oldest railroad, the St. Charles Streetcar (1835). This is ERA’s first visit to these two dynamic metropolitan areas, making it a convention not to be missed!


Washington Metropolitan Area Convention


For its 2016 Annual Convention, the ERA will return to the Washington metropolitan area this Labor Day weekend after an absence of almost 30 years when the 1987 convention was held in Baltimore. From our convention headquarters at the Crystal City Marriott in Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood, we’ll visit numerous rail-related sites in and around Washington, Baltimore and Norfolk, Virginia.

John Pappas

Texas Triangle Convention


The 2015 Annual Convention will be held on Labor Day weekend, September 3–8, 2015, in Houston, Austin and Dallas / Fort Worth. We will have two luxurious convention headquarters: the Magnolia Hotel Houston from Thursday to Saturday, followed by the Magnolia Hotel Dallas, site of our 2015 Annual Banquet on Monday. Activities will include a tour of the entire 22-mile Houston METRORail network, a tour of DART’s light rail Central Maintenance Facility in Dallas and a visit the Plano Interurban Railway Museum.

The Journal MPLS

Minneapolis-St. Paul Convention


The 2014 Annual Convention will be held on Labor Day weekend, August 30–September 2, 2014 in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The luxurious Hotel Minneapolis will be our headquarters and the site of our 2014 Annual Banquet. Activities will include an excursion along Lake Superior aboard the North Shore Scenic Railroad, a ride on the Minnesota Streetcar Museum’s Como-Harriet Line, and tours of both Metro light rail lines. Be sure to block out the weekend on your calendar and plan to join us for another memorable convention.


Denver-Salt Lake City Convention


The 2013 Annual Convention will be held on Memorial Day weekend, May 24–30, 2013 in Denver and Salt Lake City. The luxurious Magnolia Hotel will be our headquarters in Denver and the site of our 2013 Annual Banquet. We will spend three days in the Mile High City, then spend a day riding to Salt Lake City on the California Zephyr, one of the world’s most magnificent train journeys. Our home base for the following two days will be the AAA Four Diamond-rated Little America Hotel. Be sure to block out the weekend on your calendar and plan to join us for another memorable convention.

Boston Convention


The 2012 Annual Convention will be held on Labor Day weekend, August 30 to September 4, in Boston. We will return to downtown Boston’s historic Omni Parker House Hotel as our convention headquarters. Full details and applications will be on this website and mailed to all members and friends well in advance. In the meantime, be sure to block out the weekend on your calendar and plan to join us for another memorable convention.

Chicago Convention


Chicago is one of North America’s most popular traction and tourist destinations and the site of the 2011 Annual Convention. The Chicago Marriott O’Hare will serve as our convention headquarters. The Greater Chicago area is home to four outstanding electric railroad museums and heritage operations, and one of the nation’s oldest and most comprehensive rapid transit and commuter rail networks.

Portland Convention


Portland, with five light rail lines, a streetcar, an historic trolley and more, is the exciting site of the 2010 Annual Convention. Our convention headquarters will be the Courtyard Portland City Center, a Marriott hotel in downtown Portland. Activities will include a visit to the Oregon Electric Railway Museum in Brooks, a ride on the Mount Hood Railroad, chartered streetcar trips on both the Portland Streetcar and the Willamette Shore Trolley, and much more.

Los Angeles Convention


The Greater Los Angeles region, home to one of the world’s greatest and most extensive urban rail systems, is the site of the 2009 Annual Convention. The Wilshire Grand Los Angeles will be our convention headquarters. Activites will include a tour of the Orange Empire Railway Museum, a trip to the Gold Line Shops and San Pedro Heritage Trolley, and more.

Philadelphia Convention


Philadelphia, a hotbed of electric traction with streetcars, elevated and underground rapid transit, suburban MU operation and electrically-propelled intercity trains, is the site of the 2008 Annual Convention. The Crowne Plaza Hotel Philadelphia Center City will be our convention headquarters. Activities will include a visit to the Rockhill Trolley Museum in Orbisonia, a heritage PCC fantrip throughout West Philadelphia, and a NJT River Line charter and shop tour.

St. Louis-Memphis-Little Rock Convention


St. Louis is the site of the 2007 Annual Convention. The Crowne Plaza Hotel will be our convention headquarters. Activities will included an excursion to the Midwest Electric Railway, a MetroLink Light Rail shop tour and ride, and a visit to the Museum of Transport. There will be a Memphis/Little Rock Excursion with private charters of the Main Street Trolley and Riverfront Loop heritage line in Memphis and the River Rail heritage line in Little Rock. Our excursion headquarters will be the Comfort Inn in downtown Memphis.

Edmonton-Calgary Convention


Edmonton and Calgary, the two cities that began the revival of light rail in North America in the late 1970s, are the sites of the 2006 Annual Convention. Our convention headquarters will be The Westin Edmonton in downtown Edmonton and The Sandman Hotel in downtown Calgary. Activities will include a fantrip on the Edmonton Radial Railway Society’s High Level Bridge streetcar operation, a chartered Light Rail Vehicle covering the LRT line and a tour of the system’s carhouse and shop.

Houston-Dallas Convention


Houston and Dallas are the sites of the 2005 Annual Convention. Our Houston convention headquarters will be the Houston Marriott Medical Center and our Dallas convention headquarters will be the Hampton Inn Dallas-West End/Convention Center. Houston activities include a day trip to ride Galveston’s diesel streetcar line and a trip to Houston’s new MetroRail Light Rail Storage and Maintenance Facility. In Dallas, we’ll take a tour of the DART Red and Blue lines aboard a private LRV and visit the Texas Electric interurban museum in Plano.

San Francisco Convention


San Francisco is the site of our 2004 Annual Convention. Our convention headquarters will be The Best Western Canterbury Hotel. Activities will include a ride on the San Jose light rail line, a visit to the Kelly Park trolley museum, an all-day Municipal Railway streetcar fantrip and a visit to the Rio Vista Trolley Museum.

Toronto Convention


Toronto is the site of the 2003 Annual Convention. Our headquarters will be the Days Hotel and Conference Centre. Activities will include a riding streetcars, light rail and heavy rapid transit, and something in between, the Scarborough line.

Portland Convention


The Electric Railroaders’ 2002 Annual Convention was held July 4–7 in Portland, Oregon. Much has happened since our last visit to the Rose City. The MAX light rail line has been extended westward to the suburb of Hillsboro and a new branch has been opened to the Airport. In addition, service has begun on a new downtown streetcar line which connects many of the important attractions in the center of the city. Vintage trolley service continues between downtown and the Lloyd Center on weekends and an occasional service is operated with vintage trolleys on the new streetcar line.

We took excursions to other nearby places of traction interest such as Yakima, Washington and Astoria, Oregon. Jack May worked hard on putting the convention package together.

Chicago Convention


The 2001 Annual Convention, held in Chicago, was one of our most successful to date. We visited the Illinois Railway Museum; the new PCC streetcar operation in Kenosha; the East Troy Railway Museum, and the Fox River Railway Museum. We also had fantrips on the Chicago Rapid Transit system on two different days.

A particular highlight was our excursion on the Douglas Park Line, which was held on a Saturday. Since that line normally operates Monday through Friday only, we had the entire line to ourselves. We were able to have photo stops at nearly every station on the line because we didn't have to worry about interfering with regular service. The crew on our four-car train went so far as to split it up into a pair of two car trains which were then posed on opposite platforms.

The speaker at our banquet was Professor George Smirk who gave an excellent presentation on recent improvements to the Chicago South Shore and South Bend rail service along with some long range plans for that service. We want to thank Jack May for the excellent job he did in putting the convention together.