"Trainspotting Day" at the Library

posted Nov 21, 2017, 2:15 PM by James Lilly   [ updated Nov 21, 2017, 2:23 PM ]

Join us Sunday, November 26. at our Martin F. O'Rourke Memorial Railroad Library http://www.railroadlibrary.org  . It's our annual Train Day, where we'll see Amtrak, MARC, and maybe even NJTransit on the exodus to Thanksgiving weekend. Also present at the Bowie Railroad Museum where our Library is located will be Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Welcome Center and the Ntrack Modelers in the depot!

This is the busiest train day on the Northeast corridor, and great for children (and adults) of all ages!

Come enjoy cider and doughnuts!

Hope to see you there!

Where: City of Bowie / DCNRHS train library
   Bowie Railroad Museum
   8614 Chestnut Ave.
   Bowie, MD 20715
When: 10am - 4:00pm

Vintage Photo of MP54 Railcar At Union Station - 1979

posted Nov 19, 2017, 6:18 AM by James Lilly   [ updated Nov 19, 2017, 3:40 PM ]

MP54 Self-propelled rail passenger car at K Tower at Washington Union Station, 1979
MP54 Railcar passing K-Tower at  Railcar at Washington, D.C. Union Station - 1979.  

One our members, Alex Mayes, provided us with this beautiful, historic photo he found on the Internet.  We are providing it for educational purposes and do not own copyright to it. The photographer and exact date are unknown so if you know who took it please share with us so we can give proper credit and learn more about the photo.

We believe this MP54 and a sister railcar were used by the Washington Terminal Company to shuttle employees between Ivy City and Union Station.  When they were retired, there made their way to the Wilmington and Western Railroad.

Our New Address - Still in the District of Columbia

posted Oct 31, 2017, 6:19 PM by James Lilly   [ updated Nov 19, 2017, 6:24 AM ]

DCNRHS has a new business address and phone number as of 1 October 2017. 

1325 G ST NW
Suite 500 
Washington, DC 20005-3146 

phone: 202-627-6978 

We do not have regularly staffed office hours, so if you are looking to meet with a member of our organization, we suggest you contact them in advance to make arrangements.

Train Day at the Library 2017

posted Oct 31, 2017, 6:15 PM by James Lilly

Again this year, the Library Committee is hosting “Train Day” at Bowie Tower on the Sunday after Thanksgiving – the railfan’s favorite holiday. This is the day when Amtrak runs the most trains of the year as people return from the Thanksgiving “exodus” and there will be lots of action on the Northeast Corridor. The library will be open from 10 am to 4 pm, rain or shine. Come have free cider and donuts, view the Chessie System caboose, and browse the wonderful collections we have assembled.


When:  Sunday, November 26, 2017, 10 am – 4 pm


Where:  Martin F. O’Rourke Memorial Railroad Library

Bowie Huntington Railroad Museum

8614 Chestnut Ave.,

Bowie, MD 20715

Library Web Site

Dover Harbor Brings up the Markers on The Crescent

posted Oct 25, 2017, 5:19 PM by James Lilly

It's fall, and that means you can expect to find Dover Harbor roaming the mainlines of America.  Here is a video from youtube of our grande Pullman bringing up the markers on The Amtrak Crescent #19 With Dover Harbor at Austell,Ga 10-12-2017.  Dover Harbor was on the way to New Orleans as part of our Crescent City Special Trip. 

October 20 Program Free and Open to the Public

posted Oct 2, 2017, 4:19 PM by James Lilly

On October 20 at the former B&O Station in Silver Spring (8100 Georgia Avenue), Alex Mayes will present "2016 in Review - Part 1"  This narrated program cover major rail events he attended in 2016 as well as several other rail photography adventures. Alex is a phenomenal photographer and this is a program you won't want to miss.  

Program details: The program begins with a trip to the Northeast Corridor following winter storm Jonas which swept through the mid-Atlantic region in January, and then the opening day of the new D.C. Streetcar System in February.  April includes the “Farewell to the 734” excursion on the Western Maryland Scenic, and the beginning of the series of ex-Norfolk & Western Class J No. 611 trips in Virginia and North Carolina.  The next segment covers the annual convention of the Southern Railway Historical Association in North Carolina, and the final public excursions pulled by N&W 611 between Manassas and Front Royal in June.  The program concludes with a ten day trip to Arizona which includes chasing the Grand Canyon Railway’s train between Williams and the south rim of the canyon, visits to Union Pacific’s ex-Southern Pacific Sunset Line and BNSF in Northern Arizona, and a visit to the Copper Basin Railway.

The fun begins at 8 pm. 

Editors Note:  For a brief time we understood the program for October had been cancelled. The rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated. We hope you will join us.

Racing the Sunset on the former B&O

posted Oct 1, 2017, 8:44 PM by James Lilly

One of our youngest members, Mason, 13, went railfanning and camping trackside just east of Orleans, West Virginia on September 25, 2017 along the former B&O Railroad (now CSX).  He was listening to the scanner when he and his father heard that was P029 westbound (Amtrak No. 29 The Capitol Limited) at Turkey Foot signal. Mason reports soon after he heard the roar a CSX freight off to the east, so they set up for a shot of something.... and waited. Around the bend from Turkey Foot towards Orleans came the freight on the far track, and then the gleam of a second headlight. Just as the trains got to to their location, the Capitol Limited passed the CSX freight. 

Here is Mason's photo.

Chapter Picnic Comes Roaring Back

posted Oct 1, 2017, 8:18 PM by James Lilly

Thanks to the Library Committee's sponsorship and hardwork, the DCNRHS members' picnic returned this year on September 16 as a great success.  The event was held at the Chapter's Library. The weather was beautiful, and about 35 people attended. There were hot dogs and hamburgers, cooked by Warren Schultz, and dozens of people brought side dishes to enjoy – brownies, cake, all kinds of salads, etc. We spent the afternoon watching trains go by on the Northeast Corridor – one north-bound train sounded the horn for us! Thanks go to Donna Dolan, Andy Van Scyoc, Richard Walter, Scarlett Wirt, Pam Williams and her museum staff, and all the members of the Library Committee.  All in all, it was a fantastic day. 

Our 2017 RailCamper in His Own Words.

posted Oct 1, 2017, 8:04 PM by James Lilly

Cadence Hinnant was the winner of our 2017 RailCamp Scholarship.  Cadence wrote a report on his adventure at RailCamp 25 June - 1 July 2017.  You can read his report here

Not a Photo of the Southern Crescent... but worth a look...

posted Aug 21, 2017, 5:26 PM by James Lilly   [ updated Aug 21, 2017, 5:27 PM ]

The Southern Crescent was an overnight long-haul passenger train operated by the Southern Railway between Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, Louisiana, with connections North and West in those two cities. The line was operated as a privately-run train for eight years after Amtrak took over most of the nation's other passenger trains on May 11971. The last run of the Southern Crescent, Southern train numbers 1 and 2, took place on January 311979, with Amtrak taking over the route on February 1, renumbering them 19 and 20. Credit: https://clemsonwiki.com/wiki/Southern_Crescent .

The train still operates today. 

One of members and a wonderful photographer, especially  of railroads, took a picture of a different crescent today. Alex Mayes captured the sun peeking out behind the moon in the shape of a crescent in the Southern sky. This was the 85% solar eclipse (sun blocked by the moon) which graced the Washington, D.C. area  peaking about 2:42 pm for just a couple minutes. The picture, one of about 30 Alex took,  is spectacular and we thought it worth sharing.

Alex said "I found the best viewing was when the sun was partially obscured by clouds, as when the sun was out full it was too bright, with no contrast for good photos. I used my Canon EOS 7D with a Tamron 16-300 MM lens, zoomed out to 300 MM—no filter on the lens.  Bracketed the exposures widely to ensure at least a few of the images came out OK."

Thanks for sharing, Alex.

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