The NRHS, America’s largest rail preservation organization, today announced the 2012 recipients of its annual Heritage Grants Program. NRHS will award $50,000 to support 21 non-profit organizations from 14 states and the District of Columbia. Recipients include NRHS chapters, historical societies, museums and municipalities.
Projects range from the restoration of rare locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars, and railroad structures to the creation of an exhibit featuring the history of African-American railway workers in the Pacific Northwest. One project involves digitally converting priceless railroad images in a process that will result in a blueprint for other NRHS chapters to follow in preserving and generating revenue from their own collections. Through these diverse projects, NRHS funding will leverage hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours and in-kind matching donations.
“This year’s applicant pool was the largest in NRHS history and one of the best in recent memory, making the award decisions painfully difficult,” said NRHS President Gregory Molloy. “While we’re excited to fund these important projects, the fact remains that scores of equally significant rail projects will go without our support this year, underlining the urgency of our mission.”
Since the program’s inception in 1991, NRHS has now awarded 221 grants for a total of $548,000 to support a wide variety of railroad history preservation projects.
This year’s recipients and their projects include the following:
Alexander Chapter NRHS, Hickory, North Carolina: $4,200 to finance the emergency crane lifting, move, and stabilization of two rare passenger cars from the West Virginia Midland Railroad.
Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania: $2,000 to provide roof repair materials to stabilize the roof of the Bellefonte Central Railroad caboose.
Clinton County Arts Council / Clinton Northern Railway, St. Johns, Michigan: $3,100 to repair and restore the exterior of a 1902 wooden sleeping car, the Sault Ste. Marie.
Chesapeake Railway Association, Gaithersburg, Maryland: $1,500 to remove all asbestos insulation under the historic heavyweight Pullman solarium Meadow Lark.
Collis P. Huntington Chapter NRHS, Huntington, West Virginia: $2,500 to repair and paint Chesapeake & Ohio Mallet locomotive no. 1308.
Washington D.C. Chapter NRHS: $4,200 to fund the “Digital D.C. Railroad Heritage Project” consisting of an online museum of Washington, D.C.’s railroad history, an online process to submit and identify images and data of potential historical value, and an e-commerce function.
Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Albuquerque, New Mexico: $2,000 to develop a standardized interpretive signage system for the 64-mile Cumbres & Toltec Railroad.
Gold Coast Railroad Museum, Miami, Florida: $2,800 to restore interior paint and upholstery of the Presidential Railcar Ferdinand Magellan, which served four U.S. presidents.
Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society, Edinburgh, Indiana: $2,500 for sandblasting, repairing and painting the exterior of 87-year-old Monon business car no. 2, Lynne.
Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, Nevada City, California: $2,500 for the purchase of roof restoration materials for the 109-year-old Lake Tahoe Railway & Transportation box car no. 4, built in San Francisco.
Oklahoma Railway Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: $1,000 to help fund the restoration of Rock Island caboose no. 17834, built in 1915.
Oregon Black Pioneers, Salem, Oregon: $2,500 to produce a traveling exhibit with the Oregon Historical Society on the history of African-American railroad workers in Portland from the 1800s to 1940s.
Queen Anne's Railroad Society, Centerville, Maryland: $1,200 to fund the rehabilitation of the Pennsylvania Railroad freight station in Centreville, Maryland.
Railway Restoration Project 113, Minersville, Pennsylvania: $1,500 to fabricate, insulate and install jacketing on the boiler of Central Railroad of New Jersey steam locomotive no. 113, currently being restored.
New England Electric Railway Historical Society/Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport, Maine: $3,800 to restore Bay State Street Railway car no. 4175 to operational status for its centennial in 2014.
South Carolina Railroad Museum, Columbia, South Carolina: $2,500 to repair the museum’s 1924 Pullman dining car, used for educational trips and public charters.
Southampton Railroad Station Society, Southampton, Pennsylvania: $500 to repair the stone foundation on the Southampton’s Philadelphia and Reading Railroad station building.
St. Louis Chapter NRHS, St. Louis, Missouri: $2,800 to cosmetically restore Wabash no. 573 steam locomotive—one of two surviving Wabash Railroad steam engines.
New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society, Albuquerque, New Mexico: $1,000 to clean the engine boiler and smoke box of Santa Fe no. 2926, a 1944 steam locomotive being restored.
Town of Pittsfield, Maine: $3,300 to replace the roof of the historic Pittsfield Railroad Station, one of Maine’s only original publicly accessible train stations operating as a transportation museum.
Western Railway Preservation Society, Baker City, Oregon: $2,600 to purchase trucks and couplers for a rare, wooden frame “Red Crown Gasoline” Zerolene tank car that once ran on Oregon's Sumpter Valley Railway.