The National Railroad Historical Society announced this week that it was canceling its annual convention due to the coronavirus. The gathering had originally been scheduled to take place this month in Fullerton, Calif. and was postponed until September. On Wednesday night, NRHS leadership emailed members announcing that it was canceled altogether.
“The NRHS Convention Committee could not get a firm commitment from the host hotel that the venue would be fully operational in August and the State of California may not be ready for large gatherings,” officials wrote. “Additionally, the age group of our organization puts many in a vulnerable position if traveling.”
Full refunds will be given to all members who registered and details about how that will happen are being sorted out now. The annual membership meeting will be held via video conference.
Sources close to the NRHS have said that this is the first time the group has ever had to outright cancel a convention. The group is not alone though. Numerous railroad historical societies have canceled their annual gatherings this year and the National Model Railroad Association canceled its annual convention and train show set for July. It is the first time in the group’s 85-year history that the event is not being held.