We're an extremely member friendly pain-free organization. What we enjoy the most of all is having fun!  However, as with any organization our members are of course required to pay dues and abide by our by-laws and Chapter policies as well as those of our parent organization, the  NRHS. Paying your dues is the most important and most difficult thing you are required to do; the rest is as easy as falling off a log.

If you however would like a copy of the Chapter's bylaws, please contact our Secretary or see the attachment to this page.
A copy of the NRHS' by-laws can be obtained by contacting the National Railway Historical Society.
 By-laws Adopted by Membership 4-22-2012 - The by-laws were voted on by the membership at the April 22nd Meeting which was also the GALA.


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN TO ALL MEMBERS in good standing that proposed amendments to the by-laws of the National Railway Historical Society, Washington D.C. Chapter Inc. (DCNRHS) will be submitted to the membership for ratification at the next Membership Meeting, to be held on Sunday, March 25th, 2018 at 5:00 PM.  The proposed by-laws amendments are summarized in an article elsewhere in this newsletter.

The Membership Meeting will be held at Normandie Farm Restaurant, 10710 Falls Road, Potomac, MD 20854. The Chapter banquet will be held that same evening beginning at 6:00 PM. Members are not required to purchase a ticket or attend the banquet to cast a vote, but must be current on dues and present for the 5:00 PM Membership Meeting.

The proposed changes are available for review as an attachment to this page.  You may request an electronic copy of the proposed amendments by emailing  A printed copy may be requested by sending a letter to DCNRHS, c/o Mary Ries, 6054 Hunt Club Rd., Elkridge, MD 21075.

DCNRHS By-Laws Update Summary

By Jim Lilly

I was President of DCNRHS the last time the by-laws were amended, nearly six years ago. Since then, several things have happened to necessitate an update to the by-laws, including changes to the District of Columbia’s non-profit law and revisions to the Chapter’s membership structure. 

This fall, President Scarlett Wirt appointed me to chair a By-laws Committee charged with bringing DCNRHS by-laws up to date.  The Committee’s proposed amendments were unanimously approved by the DCNRHS Board of Directors on January 22, 2018 and will be put to the membership for ratification at a Membership Meeting on March 25th   2018 (see details in notification elsewhere in this newsletter).  

The following summarizes the proposed by-laws amendments:

·       The by-laws were updated to include several new provisions emphasizing the rights and voices of members, consistent with changes in District of Columbia not-for profit law.  These include provisions that allow the membership to remove officers or directors, to call special meetings, and to nominate officers and directors at large.

·         The Membership section was updated to be consistent with the Chapter’s current memberships and dues structure now that National NRHS collects and handles memberships and renewals separately from the Chapter (many of you may recall that you used to pay your National dues through the Chapter). 

·         The Budget section was revised to clarify the definition of projected expenses.

·         The Fiscal provisions were revised to allow the Chapter to invest up to 20% of our funds in stocks and other securities that are not insured. To date we have been limited in our ability to earn interest on our savings because the current by-laws limit our investments to strictly insured accounts. With interest rates in CDs, checking, and savings accounts at historic lows, our investment income from interest has been virtually zero.   This change also helps us when we receive bequests of stock and other securities which today we are forced to sell but it may not be in our best interest to do so.

·         A Professional Staff Committee was added to manage paid staff should we need to go down that route in future years as we continue to grow.

 ·         Succession planning was strengthened by placing responsibility for board member recruitment explicitly on the President. 

·         The number of directors at large was changed from a fixed number of eight (8) to a number ranging from four (4) to eight (8) to allow some flexibility in the management structure as the Chapter evolves over time.  The larger a Board of Directors is, the more difficult is can be to manage, but this must be balanced with the need for divergent voices and viewpoints.  (The Chapter currently has 8 director at large positions, and no change is planned at this time.)

Together, these changes position DCNRHS for continued growth and success, and the Board recommends the membership adopt the changes in whole.

James Lilly,
Jan 25, 2018, 7:19 PM
James Lilly,
May 6, 2012, 3:49 PM