The Museum of the American Railroad will host the tri-annual conference of The World Alliance of Tourist Trams & Trains (WATTRAIN) November 1-3 here in Frisco! The UK-based Alliance was created in 2010 in an effort to facilitate an ongoing exchange of ideas and practices relating to the preservation and operation of heritage railway equipment and facilities.
This year’s conference in Frisco is themed “Addressing tomorrow’s challenges with today’s resources.”
Based at the Drury Inn, attendees will participate in three days of programming, presentations, and discussion groups about issues affecting the railway preservation field. Topics include staffing (recruitment and training), environmental issues including the future availability of coal, litigation, protection of historic collections, and insurance.
Speakers include several accomplished professionals in the field, such as Courtney Wilson of the B&O Museum, Stephen Ryan of international museum planning firm Freeman Ryan Design, noted British rail historian and president of WATTRAIN David Morgan, Andrew Moritz CEO of Australia’s Transport Heritage NSW and former director of the Workshops Rail Museum, and G. Mark Ray president of North America’s HeritageRail Alliance. For additional speakers and program information, click here. The conference will also include field trips to the Sixth Floor Museum, the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, the Fort Worth Stockyards, the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority, and the Museum of the American Railroad.
Representatives from the UK, Australia, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Belgium, and the United States will be in attendance. Previous conference venues have included York and Tokyo, both known for their accomplishments in rail preservation. Registration is limited. Online conference registration is available here. Hotel registration is available here.
Several WATTRAIN conference attendees will go on to Santa Fe, NM to attend the HeritageRail Alliance (HRA) Conference hosted by the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, November 7-11. HRA serves over 200 railroad museums and tourist railways throughout North America. For more information and conference registration, click here.