NRHS Announces Recipients of Railway Heritage Grants

Continuing its role as the leading advocate for U. S.rail preservation, the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) has announced 12 recipients of its annual National Railway Heritage Grants program. Spanning eleven states, the recipients include historical societies, museums, and an NRHS chapter. Projects range from the restoration of rare locomotives, passenger cars, and trolleys to the preservation and care of historic rail images and artifact collections. Through these varied projects, NRHS funding will leverage hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours and in-kind matching donations—all in support of railroad preservation.

Since 1991 the society has provided nearly $650,000 to rail preservation efforts, awarding matching grants for projects that preserve, research, educate, or publish railway history. Nearly 100 grants have been awarded to NRHS chapters, while more than 150 have gone to other organizations – many of them for projects endorsed and supported by NRHS chapters. Funding is provided by additional gifts to the society.

This year’s grants total $46,000 and were given to the following:

$5,000 to the Alaska Community Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska (, for the restoration of Alaska Railroad steam locomotive No. 557, a 2-8-0 built in 1944. The grant will fund the purchase of boiler stay bolts, a vital step in the locomotive’s restoration to operating condition.

$700 to the Arizona Railway Museum in Chandler, Arizona (, to fund the purchase and construction of storage shelves for donated artifacts and collections.

$2,500 to the Brunswick Heritage Museum in Brunswick, Maryland (, to preserve, catalog and protect the museum’s vast photographic collection depicting life in a company railroad town. With images that span the 1870s to presentday, the collection serves as a priceless resource for historians and the public.

$5,000 to the Chehalis Centralia Railroad and Museum in Chehalis, Washington (, to complete the rebuild and reconditioning of steam engine No. 15, a 2-8-2 Mikado built in 1916 for the Puget Sound & Cascade Railway. Restored by the museum in 1989, the engine needs an overhaul to ensure an additional 15 years of operations.

$5,000 to the Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society in Clifton Forge, Virginia (, to restore a rare wooden-sided box car at the society’s museum. Built in 1929, car No. 940157 was converted to Maintenance-of-Way use in the 1950s and is possibly the last surviving example of wooden MofW rail equipment.

$5,000 to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois (, to inspect and repairthe motors of the museum's Electroliner, one of two revolutionary streamlined electric trains that debuted on the North Shore Line in 1941. The train has been restored externally to its as-built design; once repairs are completed, the train will operate on the museum's five-mile route.

$4,500 to the Klamath Rails to Trails Group in Klamath Falls, Oregon (, to restore the exterior of a 1941 Weyerhaeuser Snow Dozer Plow to its original condition. Once restored, the snow plow will be permanently attached to the railway along the Oregon California & Eastern State Line Trail, conveying the trail’s OC&E heritage and the railroad’s economic significance to the region.

$2,400 to the Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Association in Mount Pleasant, Iowa (, to replace the rock platform of its former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy depot with historic brick. The organization operates one of the last remaining electric railways in the state of Iowa.

$5,000 to the Minnesota Streetcar Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota (, to help build the museum's first library/archive room, part of an addition to the existing George K. Isaacs car barn. The library/archive will house the museum's extensive collection of Minnesota streetcar photos, company records, maps, drawings, small artifacts and books.

$2,400 to the Missouri Pacific Historical Society in Kirkwood, Missouri (, to purchase archival storage materials to preserve and catalog its collection that dates to the 1950s. The MPHS Archives contains documents, photos, maps, books, slides, and more from MP predecessor railroads.

$3,500 to the Monterey, Tennessee NRHS Chapter to help restore an original 1950s crew car that served the eastern route of the Tennessee Central Railroad. The Monterey Chapter has teamed up with the Monterey Depot Historical Society to restore the car, one of a few still in existence, and move it inside the depot museum.

$5,000 to the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad in Cumberland, Maryland (, to repair and coat the roof of Pullman private car No. 204, built in 1917 as the “Winchester.” The car is being restored to operation and its appearance will reflect its time on the Western Maryland Railway between 1943 and 1964.