Freights at the Ferry

posted Jun 12, 2019, 4:49 PM by James Lilly

Saturday June 8th was a beautiful day along the Potomac River in Maryland and West Virginia.  

Member Grant Lilly captured this photo of a CSX freight passing the historic and restored former B&O Railroad Station at Harpers Ferry, WV.

Grant Lilly also snapped this vertical photo of a train at Harpers Ferry Tunnel.

DCNRHS Receives $10,000 Grant from UPS Foundation for DOVER HARBOR

posted Jun 12, 2019, 4:08 PM by James Lilly   [ updated Jun 12, 2019, 4:11 PM ]


Washington, D.C. - June 12, 2019 - The National Railway Historical Society, Washington, D.C. Chapter, Inc (DCNRHS) received a $10,000 grant from the UPS Foundation, which drives global corporates citizenship and philanthropic programs for UPS (NYSE: UPS).

The grant will be used to restore the lounge of the DOVER HARBOR to its 1934 grand appearance when it rolled out of the Pullman Shops in Chicago.

The Dover Harbor is the last heavyweight Pullman railroad passenger car in its original configuration operating unrestricted on the main lines of America. The car represents first class rail travel during the “Golden Age of Railroading” in America. The Dover Harbor project is unique in that it provides the passenger with an authentic mainline railroad experience that many ordinary Americans experienced when traveling overnight by train.  It was not a car for the wealthy or elite but rather represents the same experience that families, business travelers, and vacationers encountered in their train travels of yesteryear.  For more information and a complete history of the Dover Harbor, visit

Through this project DCNRHS will return the 25 seat lounge of the Dover Harbor to the appropriate 1934 era appearance as represented in the Pullman company official photos. This includes installing appropriate window blinds, removing curtains first installed in the 1960s, sanding priming and painting in a three-tone paint scheme with ornate gold pin striping, refinishing wood, cleaning and restoring brass, and as appropriate refurbished upholstery in period materials. The project scope will include the adjacent foyer and public restroom to present a unified appearance to passengers and visitors. For this project our volunteers have over several years spent many hours researching the materials, colors, and fabrics needed for this project.  This included trips to archives in Illinois to obtain period photographs and records.

The project includes an estimated 701 hours of volunteer labor, including support from regular Chapter volunteers and UPS volunteers.  One of our members, Wayne Poates, a UPS employee from Richmond, regularly coordinates opportunities with UPS area offices/terminals. The project also will use contractors for specific high-skill, time-consuming jobs to ensure the finished product is of highest quality.  The non-volunteer labor, services, and materials costs are estimated to be $33,425.00.

DCNRHS' Treasurer, Chief Mechanical Officer, and Manager of the project said of the grant "This will present as authentic an appearance in a 1930s environment as we can provide. This grant is fantastic and beyond providing the means to complete the project will lift the hearts and spirits of our volunteers who work so hard to preserve and operate our equipment. Thank you UPS! Beyond that, I am truly humbled!"

Established in 1951 and based in Atlanta, GA, The UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing clearly impacts social issues. In support of this strategic approach, the UPS Foundation has identified the following focus areas for giving: volunteerism, diversity, community safety, and the environment.

In 2017, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $118 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS Foundation can be found on the web at  To get UPS news direct,

"The UPS Foundation is honored to support the National Railway Historical Society, Washington, D.C. Chapter, Inc's efforts to restore and preserve this historic piece of American rail history," said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS. "Our goal is to fund powerful programs that make a lasting difference to the global community."

Photo from Dean Edmonds

DOVER HARBOR in the media

posted Jun 4, 2019, 5:48 PM by James Lilly

The HeritageRail alliance, which DCNRHS is a member of, recently with permission reprinted on their web site an article from The Timetable on the replacement of DOVER HARBOR's carpet.  See to check out the article.

Kevin Keefe from Classic Trains Magazine also mentioned DOVER HARBOR in a blog recently.  See that article here:

Both articles are an interesting read. 

Railway Post Office Program Handouts

posted May 17, 2019, 1:42 PM by James Lilly   [ updated May 21, 2019, 7:21 PM ]

Handouts from the May 17th program on the Railway Post Office are available below.  Railway Mail Service Library Curator Dr. Frank Scheer gave a fascinating talk on the history and operation of railway post office and has generously provided his slides, speaker notes and supplemental material for our members.  For more information, or to contact him, go to


posted Apr 10, 2019, 7:50 AM by James Lilly   [ updated Aug 8, 2019, 9:34 PM by Mike Gingerich ]

On Monday, April 8, 2019, Amtrak notified us that our 2019 Spring trips and events aboard Dover Harbor may be affected by station construction. We are still operating trips and events.  We will post notices of any changes.

The construction is expected to last for at least two years. Some of our trips that had been scheduled before Amtrak published notice of the construction issue were affected.

While Amtrak's new policies may affect our traditional private rail car trip planning from Washington, D.C., trips continue to be scheduled around Amtrak's construction schedule. Please know that we will continue DCNRHS' longstanding tradition of offering rail oriented trips.  Work continues to make opportunities available to enjoy the comfort and elegance of Pullman travel on Dover Harbor.  Please watch our web site (, and future editions of The Timetable and Trip News year for announcements about these opportunities.

Please see our current up coming trips page for our current offerings.

Two versions of Passenger Technology - DOVER HARBOR sits alongside an ACELA Trainset at Washington, D.C. Union Station in November 2017 - Photo by J. Lilly.

Board of Directors Adopts DCNRHS 2030 Strategic Plan

posted Apr 1, 2019, 7:15 PM by James Lilly

DCNRHS' Board of Directors at the March 11, 2019 Meeting adopted a new vision and strategy for the future of DCNRHS.  For details and to read the plan, click here

1941 Capitol Limited at Silver Spring, MD

posted Feb 28, 2019, 2:56 PM by James Lilly   [ updated Mar 3, 2019, 1:51 PM ]

Davidson Miller, the father of one of our members and DOVER HARBOR volunteers Eric Miller, took this wonderful photo of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's Capitol Limited at Silver Spring, MD circa 1941.  The locomotives are E6A and E6B Diesels.  Amtrak's train by the same name still serves this route but no longer stops at this iconic station on Georgia Avenue. The train is painted in the striking royal blue, silver, and gold pin striping livery created by Otto Kuhler. Note the Nash dealership in the background; this building is extant.The Capitol Limited was the first dieselized streamlined train in the east.

Wear Your Vintage 40s Clothing or Railroad Uniform, or Your Military Uniform

posted Feb 20, 2019, 7:04 PM by James Lilly   [ updated Feb 20, 2019, 7:06 PM ]

The Chapter has announced additional details about our 75th anniversary gala, including news that participants  are invited to wear their US oriented vintage 40s clothing, vintage railroad uniforms, or their military uniform.  Feel free to come like the couple in this picture from the archives of the Library of Congress. Active Duty and former service members are welcome uniforms from any era. 

New Vintage Photo from the DCNRHS Archives

posted Feb 20, 2019, 6:55 PM by James Lilly

This is a photo taken at Washington, D.C. Union station after the wreck of the Federal Express on January 15, 1953. For the story of this real-life runaway train, see the article on our web site.  The hoto is from our Chapter archives. 

1940s B&O Train from Washington, D.C. Westward (video)

posted Feb 10, 2019, 8:50 PM by James Lilly   [ updated Feb 10, 2019, 8:51 PM ]

This is one of our favorite videos, a classic Baltimore & Ohio Railroad video showing just what it was like to ride a train in the 1940s.  It shows it from a passenger and a crew perspective, with some spectacular footage.  We hope you will enjoy it. Enjoy. 

B&O Passenger Train 1940

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