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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, 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, or visit  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!