Special Time and Location Highlight Special January Public Programming

posted Dec 1, 2019, 4:31 PM by James Lilly

January’s program will feature a new theme, a new date, and a new venue!  DCNRHS is partnering with the Old Greenbelt Theater in Greenbelt, MD to sponsor train-themed movies as part of their 
free Monday Matinee series.  January’s offering is the classic movie, Twentieth Century, set aboard one of the most famous named trains from history. 

This replaces the January program at the Lyceum, so be sure and update your calendar.  We’ll be back at the Lyceum on February 15 as usual. 
 Hope to see you at both!  Open to the public.

2020 Membership Drive

posted Nov 10, 2019, 7:41 AM by James Lilly

All aboard....

Already a member? Time to renew your membership.    You can send back the form recently mailed to you, make a donation via paypal via the link on http://www.dcnrhs.org, or visit http://dcnrhs.shuttlepod.orgFor more information see our membership page

Not a member?  Joining is easy and any amount 1$ or more gets you membership, discounts on certain events and activities, a chance to support our great programs,  and an electronic copy of our monthly newsletter.  Just make a donation via paypal via the link on http://www.dcnrhs.org, or visit http://dcnrhs.shuttlepod.org.  For more information see our membership page

About our programs and 2019.  

2019 has been a great year for DCNRHS in many ways. We recognized our 75th year as an educational organization, acknowledged the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Trans Continental Railroad (and had Chapter participants at Promontory, Utah for the celebration), hosted our annual banquet, and had an innovative series of monthly programs covering various aspects of Washington, D.C. railroad history. Unfortunately missing among those public offerings has been operation of Dover Harbor for most of this year. Amtrak has initiated an ambitious two-year renovation trackside at Union Station. As a result, accommodation of Dover Harbor for many of our usual offerings has not been available. we can assure you we are working as closely as possible with Amtrak to restore this service.

Let there be no mistake, Dover Harbor is ready to go. Our Operations and Equipment committee volunteers have given countless hours maintaining and improving the car’s condition. In addition to a lot of behind the scenes efforts and routine maintenance, we replaced the lounge carpet with identical period-specific carpet and completed a major overhaul on the generator. Our coaches Collinsville Inn and Franklin Inn have been in leased service much of the year on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

When DCNRHS got started 75 years ago, our nation was enduring the wartime imperatives thrust upon her. We are fortunate to now to be able to commemorate that wartime year than to have to live it. In 1944 Americans sacrificed in many ways, through direct service, industrial work, shortages of desirable goods, rationing, war bonds, and along with progress towards victory, there was much sadness and personal loss. Freed from those challenges, we are able to concentrate on personal pursuits and group endeavors… in our case, a continued appreciation of what our railroads have meant to our nation and specifically to the Washington, D.C. region. Our monthly programs bring history and memories to the local community. Our Martin F. O’Rourke Memorial Library, unmatched in available railroad history for this area (excluding the Library of Congress, but that’s a whole different league!) is an established source of information. Our three passenger cars maintain historic configurations that are becoming increasingly rare.

Each year, we must account for the financial resources necessary to operate so many endeavors successfully. Administration of DCNRHS incurs those costs associated with any such organization. Fairly significant amounts are involved with safe storage of our six cars, transportation expenses, parts, and occasional professional services. One major calendar based item (every ten years) will be upon us in two years. Dover Harbor and Franklin Inn will both require a rather involved inspection to meet Amtrak certification for continued operation as a passenger conveyance. Automobiles can get by with a basic inspection and an “Antique Car” tag. Not so with rail cars. We are looking at as much as $100,000 cost for each car.

Fund raising carries with it a combination of charity, commitment, promoting ideas, history and challenge. It also brings satisfaction and accomplishment in that we are supporting a cause that has a definite and worthwhile purpose… both for us to enjoy today and for others to appreciate tomorrow. What we can do today will have an immediate and lasting impact on tomorrow and beyond.

Please consider climbing aboard!  

Vermont Rails

posted Nov 10, 2019, 7:27 AM by James Lilly

DCNRHS recently operated a long weekend trip 12 - 15 October with our Pullman DOVER HARBOR to Burlington, VT. The fall colors were glorious. It was a joint trip hosted by both Amtrak and the Vermont Rail System.  Our Mechanical Officer for the trip Tom Shevock captured a picture our our famous Pullman at the Sheburne Museum during the trip.  Yes, that's right,  our heavyweight Pullman was the only car in the consist during its journey on VRS.  Sure makes you wonder what exactly the term heavyweight means, doesn't it?  


Details

posted Sep 16, 2019, 6:23 PM by James Lilly   [ updated Sep 16, 2019, 7:16 PM ]

The difference between riding the DOVER HARBOR, and riding other railroad cars or riding is often in the details.  DCNRHS works tirelessly to create an environment with a 1930s ambiance, maintain and restore our railroad car in authentic Pullman configuration and workings, and provide service in the best traditions of the Pullman Company. 

We often have passengers take pictures of the DOVER HARBOR, most are large area photos of the lounge, a bedroom, or the exterior of our classic Pullman at a scenic location. Recently a talented local photographer, Dennis Dame, visited DOVER HARBOR. He spent several hours focused on documenting some of the finer points of the car.  Below we are going to share several of his photos, which we believe highlight some of the details that make a DOVER HARBOR trip incomparable.

Some of these images are rather large but we preserved them in original form for clarity, so this page may take a little while to load.  For full resolution, click on the image.

All of these photos are copyrighted.  DCNRHS has been graciously given permission by the photographer to use them for our purposes.



A Riveting Sunset


The setting sun reflecting on the exterior of the car body suggests that it won't be long until it is time to crawl in your cozy Pullman berth.


Shades of Yesteryear


The table lamps and the window shades speak to an elegant era of rail travel by-gone, except on-board the DOVER HARBOR.



Fine Furnishings


The furnishings aboard DOVER HARBOR are original Pullman, from cigar stands to settees.



Card Sharks and Con Men


A trip aboard DOVER HARBOR often finds passengers talking, reading, taking in the scenery, and playing card games in the lounge.  Ever vigilant to serving our passengers you may just have a Porter remind that, as the original sign says, "Card Sharks and Con Men have started their winter campaign..." so beware!



Authentic


The blankets adorning our Pullman berth are authentic, made in USA, wool replicas of 1930s Pullman blankets.  They are warm, light, and comfortable, perfect for snuggling....


They don't make them like this any more...

Although DOVER HARBOR is equipped with refrigeration to keep ice cream frozen and your New 
York Strip cold to modern standards, the kitchen retains the exterior look of the ice box from 1934!  They don't make refrigerator latches like this any more!



Sleep in Pullman Safety and Comfort...



That's the slogan The Pullman Company used to advertise its service.  Today our our porters make your bed to the exacting standards of the Legendary Pullman Company.   A passenger boarding a Pullman in Abilene or Zenith always knew what to expect in his room. 


Buffet


We frequently use our original 1934 stove, oven, grill, and warmer in the original kitchen (which Pullman called a Buffet).  Beverages to order?   Yes, we've got ya covered.



Heavyweight


Heavy springs.... but don't let these fool you.... They are original in design, but were replaced in 2013 to give passengers a smooth ride aboard our 90 ton steed.




34 Volts... 

The Pullman light fixtures aboard our car, which still are based on 34 Volt design of Pullman, cast of glow of elegance throughout the car. 













Pullman National Monument

posted Aug 27, 2019, 7:49 PM by James Lilly   [ updated Sep 3, 2019, 5:12 PM ]

Did you know that the former Pullman factory in South Chicago is now a National Monument?  This photo of the main administration building was taken by one of our members in 2012.  The factory site hold deep significance to DCNRHS, as this is the location where the Maple Shade was built in 1923 and rebuilt into our DOVER HARBOR in 1934.  For more information about the P
ullman National Monument, visit their official web site.

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 ]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


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 www.doverharbor.com.

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 UPS.com/foundation.  To get UPS news direct, pressroom.ups.com/RSS.

"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 https://heritagerail.org/2019/05/out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new-carpet/ to check out the article.

Kevin Keefe from Classic Trains Magazine also mentioned DOVER HARBOR in a blog recently.  See that article here: http://cs.trains.com/ctr/b/mileposts/archive/2019/05/30/amtrak-s-latest-buzzkill.aspx

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 www.railwaymailservicelibrary.org.

2019 SPRING DOVER HARBOR TRIPS NOTICE

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 (www.dcnrhs.org), 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.


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