We've Moved

posted Mar 18, 2017, 12:05 PM by James Lilly

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

1001 G Street, NW
Suite 800W
Washington, D.C. 20001

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.

Welcome Kids of All Ages

posted Feb 12, 2017, 4:18 PM by James Lilly

Would a childhood be a childhood without a ride on a train?  Whether you are young, young at heart, or anywhere in between, we welcome you to join our organization, volunteer, and/or ride a trip.  Yes, we know kids these days often have music in their ears or electronics to play with on their phone, but still nothing beats a good old fashioned train ride like the young man (and a member) at the left who is seen enjoying time aboard Dover Harbor last year.  On one of our journeys, eventually even the electronically dependent will give up the internet or music, enjoy the experience, and talk about the journey long after the trip is over. Bring one of your kids, grandkids, and of course yourself, especially if you are still a kid at heart! Adventures and memories departing soon! All aboard!

PS - Camera phones encouraged!

Photo by J. Lilly

Did You Know?

posted Feb 3, 2017, 11:51 AM by James Lilly

Inside Washington Union Station is a statue of A. Philip Randolph (1889 – 1979). Mr. Randolph organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925 and was a prominent figure in the labor and civil rights movements. The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was the first African American U.S. Labor Union.

Shade of the Orange Blossom Special

posted Jan 8, 2017, 12:14 PM by James Lilly   [ updated Jan 8, 2017, 12:14 PM ]

Evoking memories of the classic east coast first-class heavy weight passenger train the Orange Blossom Special, which carried snowbirds to Florida from the  Northeast during railroading's golden years,  The Washington, D.C. Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (DCNRHS) is offering a trip to the sunshine state aboard classic Heavyweight Pullman Dover Harbor to help you escape the winter blues! The Florida Special departs Friday evening, March 17th from Washington, D.C. In the best traditions of the legendary Pullman Company, meals, cocktails, and beverages will be served by a white-jacketed porter who will attend to passengers needs, help with luggage and even shine dress shoes. Passengers will each have a comfy Pullman berth, access to a shower, and full use of the spacious lounge for relaxation, conversation, pictures, cards, or the pleasures  of a good book. Dover Harbor will arrive in Florida on the 18th. Passengers will have several days to enjoy sandy beaches, warm waters, and attractions of America's winter getaway state at a destination of their choice!  The return adventure begins March 22nd as Dover Harbor departs Miami in late morning arriving back in Washington, D.C. mid-afternoon on 23 March.  
DCNRHS has a limited number of slots available for sale to the public. 

Visit http://www.dcnrhs.org/a/dcnrhs.org/home/travel-with-us/trips/2017031701 for more complete details and to reserve your space on this event today. All proceeds from the trip benefit the programs of DCNRHS, a not-for-profit founded in 1944.

William Phillips, III

posted Jan 7, 2017, 9:29 AM by James Lilly

William (Bill) H. Phillips, III
1944 – 2016

It is with great sadness that we report the death of member William (Bill) Phillips. Bill passed away on December 31 at age 72 after a short illness. Bill was an investment consultant, a church leader, and a neighborhood activist. He also had considerable experience in politics as a Capitol Hill staffer, a fundraiser, and campaign manager. An avid rail buff, Bill was a  familiar face as a steward on the Dover Harbor and regularly volunteered as a server for the yearly Chef’s Table event. Recently, he had been acting as a neighborhood liaison with CSX during the construction of the  Virginia Avenue Tunnel  replacement, which is adjacent to the Garfield Park neighborhood where he lived. Bill and his wife, Monica, enjoyed a cross  country rail trip just this past October that included dinner on board  the Coast Starlight as the sun set over the Pacific. Bill was skilled in woodworking and kept Dover Harbor’s wood trim expertly polished. He is  survived by his wife, Monica Sullivan, two children, several  grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, and a sister. His complete obituary appeared in the Washington Post on Wednesday, January 4.

Bill will be greatly missed.  He was a consummate Porter.  Always there when a passenger needed something with a big smile, and attentive, but quiet and not obtrusive. He is one of the few people in DCNRHS who could run the entire lounge of the Dover Harbor (24 passengers) by himself.  As Chapter member and fellow crew member Jim Lilly put it "He was a model member, a model porter, an all around gentleman, and just a joy to work with. I am crushed at his loss." That would seem to sum it up nicely.

Bill was buried on January 6, in Beltsville, MD, with a heavyweight Pullman pin in his label. The picture shows Bill working in the lounge of Dover Harbor on July 4, 2015. Photo by J. Lilly

An Organization in Motion...

posted Jan 6, 2017, 11:38 AM by James Lilly   [ updated Feb 12, 2017, 3:53 PM ]

DCNRHS is an organization is motion, as this picture, taken from the rear of our restored passenger car Franklin Inn  as he rockets up Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, shows.  As 2017 dawns, join us or renew your membership. We already have great plans for 2017.  Our Banquet has been announced as well as the first of our trips, the Florida Special. We are also offering our RailCamp Scholarship so if you know of a worthy applicant, share the information with him or her.

Get on-board with the activities and adventures of DCNRHS... We are in motion...

Our Programs Make a Difference!

posted Dec 28, 2016, 2:35 AM by James Lilly   [ updated Dec 29, 2016, 7:53 PM ]

Read this article by Chapter member and 2016 Railcamp Scholarship winner Bill Didden.  He calls his Railcamp experience "amazing."  Bill was one of two senior high students DCNRHS awarded scholarships to in 2016 to attend RailCamp.   Beyond our RailCamp efforts, DCNRHS provides a monthly educational program, offers historic tours and events, restores and operates vintage railroad equipment that enables thousands of people to ride aboard our cars each year on the rails of North America, gets involved in public projects through Section 106 initiatives, and provides historical information for a variety of venues, including this web site. Your support of DCNRHS through donations and patronage helps to make programs like this possible.  

2017 Calendar Available for Free Download

posted Dec 28, 2016, 2:18 AM by James Lilly

Our 2017 Color Dover Harbor Calendar is now available for download here.  In what has become a tradition in the railfan community, our one-page calendar is a handy annual reference for the entire year with federal holidays highlighted.  The feature photo this year shows Dover Harbor on the Potomac Eagle Railway on September 4, 2016.

Join Us Trackside for the Busiest Day on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor - and curl up with a book too!

posted Nov 22, 2016, 6:58 PM by James Lilly   [ updated Nov 22, 2016, 7:09 PM ]

At the Martin F. O'Rourke Memorial Railroad Library, we are once again having again "Train Day" on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, November 27. Come join us for a day of train-watching on Amtrak's busiest day of the year!

We will be having cider and donuts, both for the crew and the public.

We will be giving away coffee-table books and magazines to the public all day while they last.  The tower should be open, and the new caboose! 

Sunday November 27, 2016 (and Saturday):

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

Photo of Tower and new caboose from trackswide  by Erik Delfino

View looking soundbound - Photo by Teresa Renner

What year was this photo taken?

posted Nov 5, 2016, 7:59 AM by James Lilly   [ updated Nov 5, 2016, 8:03 AM ]

The Williamsburg, VA depot is a beautiful station built by the C&O Railway and still serving Amtrak passengers today.  Once a common site would have been a train of heavyweight Pullmans headed west. On October 29, 2016, through the photographic talents of Logan Dahir, we were able to recreate a bit of that nostalgia and Americana with our own Pullman Dover Harbor as she brings up the markers on Amtrak No. 66, headed for Washington, D.C.

 Photo by Logan Dahir

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