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The Wilmington Chapter NRHS Official Newsletter
Internet Edition


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President Mike Burkhart called the meeting of the Wilmington to order at 7 PM. The minutes were approved as read by Secretary Dan Frederick. The Treasurer's report was approved as read by Dave Warner. President Mike Burkhart had to report the passing of another long-time Chapter Member - Jack Rathburn passed away on April 23, 2012. National Director Steve Barry noted that the officers in our regional elections were running unopposed - but write-in votes are permitted. He also gave a 'heads up' on the 2013 National Convention in Alaska. New member, Jim Tevebaugh, provided some information about the Friends of Furness Foundation and walking tour scheduled for September 22, 2012 (see details in the Schedule Notes section). Treasure Dave Warner noted that NRHS National dues were going up next year and that our Chapter Dues did not cover our typical expenses. He proposed a small dues increase and after some discussion, the motion was tabled. There is a Survey-by-Return-Mail enclosed in this newsletter for Chapter Members.

The evening's computer presentation on our Chapter's new projector was presented by Bruce Barry. We saw images from the following locations: MD, VA, NY, Ontario, Philadelphia, FL, NJ, WA, OR, and even Larry's Scrap in Ohio. We were treated to images of CSX, NS, Wellsboro & Corning, Bath & Hammondsport, Levona Avon & Lakeville, VIA, Orangeville Brampton Rwy (near Toronto), GO, SEPTA, Conrail, Amtrak, NJTransit, Wheeling & Lake Erie, the Polar Express, IC, CN, BNSF, UP, Central Oregon & Pacific, Portland & Western, Albany & Eastern, Willamette & Pacific, and Willamette Valley. We even got to see a few semaphore signals. It was a great show to 'break in' our new equipment.

Jack Rathburn

It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of long-time Chapter Member Jack Rathburn. The Editor did see an obituary at the time in April, and in fact, the memorial service was not held until May 20 at the Forwood Manor Home. At least six Chapter Members and former members were in attendance. Jack was listed on the Chapter's membership list in July 1973 (the earliest one the Editor could find). Jack was a very active member attending most monthly meetings, taking Chapter Trips, and various model & prototype activities in the area. He loved to see steam locomotives in slide presentations - especially in later years as the images became scarcer. At the service, it was noted that he liked to take "day trips" to ride trains, observe, trains, and just have a good time. As noted by many at the service, Jack was always a real gentleman and pleasure to be with. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.


District 1 - ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, and the UK. 1441 members.

District 2 - PA. 1489 members.

District 3 - NJ, DE, MD, DC, and the Rappahannock and Old Dominion Chapters in VA. 1480 members.

District 4 - Rest of VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, MS, and southern AL (Alabama Gulf Chapter). 1477 members.

District 5 - Rest of AL, TN, KY, WV, OH, IN, MI. 1462 members.

District 6 - MN, WI, IL, St. Louis Chapter in MO, IA, ND, SD, MT, ID, WY, UT, NV, WA, OR, BC, Japan, AK, HI. 1458 members.

District 7 - Rest of MO, CA, AZ, NM, TX, LA, AR, NE, KS, OK, CO. 1451 members.


The predecessor companies to be represented are listed below. In parentheses are the respective roads each became part of (NW=Norfolk & Western, SR=Southern, CR=Conrail) and the make of locomotives to be painted. Images of the color schemes are available on Norfolk Southern's web site.

Central of Georgia Railway (SR, GE) was formed in 1833 to connect Macon, Ga., with Savannah, completing a rail link between Chattanooga and the port. It was famed for two passenger trains named after prize-winning race horses, the Nancy Hanks and the Man O' War.

Central Railroad of New Jersey (CR, EMD) was the first American railroad to have its employees wear uniforms, and in 1892 one of its locomotives set a world speed record of 105 mph.

Conrail (GE) was created by the U.S. government in 1976 from the bankrupt Penn Central, Lehigh & Hudson River, Erie Lackawanna, Central Railroad of New Jersey, Lehigh Valley, Reading and Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines, becoming the largest railroad at the time, with 34,000 route miles.

Delaware, Lackawanna and Western (CR, EMD) was created in 1849 to connect the rich anthracite coalfields of the Lackawanna Valley of Pennsylvania to northern New Jersey. A hurricane in 1955 knocked the railroad out of operation for a month, with the resulting financial difficulties forcing it to merge with the Erie Railroad in 1960 to form the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.

Erie Railroad (CR, EMD) was key to economic development along the Southern Tier, which includes Binghamton and Elmira, N.Y. In 1851, Secretary of State Daniel Webster was strapped to a rocking chair on an open flatcar, wrapped in a blanket and clutching a bottle of rum, so he could ride the just-completed railroad.

Illinois Terminal Railroad (NW, EMD) began life as the Illinois Traction System in 1896 as an interurban electric railroad in central and southern Illinois. Hit by the Great Depression, it was reorganized as the Illinois Terminal in 1937 and attempted to survive as a passenger railroad until relinquishing that business in 1956, when it was acquired by a consortium of railroads. It was operated as a freight railroad until acquired by NW in 1982.

Interstate Railroad (SR, GE) was incorporated in 1896 to serve southwestern Virginia coalfields. Despite its name, it operated entirely within Virginia. It was acquired by Southern in 1961.

Lehigh Valley Railroad (CR, GE) was built to haul coal, replacing water transport down the Lehigh River, and was also known as the Route of the Black Diamond.

New York Central Railroad (CR, EMD) was organized from 10 roads paralleling the Erie Canal between Albany and Buffalo, N.Y., and became known as the "Water Level Route." Today, the former NYC line between Cleveland and Chicago is the busiest on the NS system, with more than 100 freight trains daily.

New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad (NW, GE) was commonly referred to as the Nickel Plate Road, a moniker it acquired when the Norwalk (Ohio) Chronicle referred to it in 1881 as "the great New York and St. Louis double track, nickel plated railroad," supposedly indicative of its solid financial backing.

Norfolk Southern Railway (SR, GE) (not to be confused with today's Norfolk Southern) was a line serving southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina, chartered in 1883 and acquired by Southern Railway in 1974.

Norfolk & Western Railway (GE) originated as City Point Railroad, a 9-mile road between Petersburg and City Point, Va., in 1836. Following numerous mergers and acquisitions, it became the Norfolk & Western in 1881.

Pennsylvania Railroad (CR, GE), incorporated in 1846, billed itself as the "Standard Railroad of the World" and was for many years the largest American railroad by tonnage and revenues. PRR opened the Horseshoe Curve railroad engineering marvel; carried President Lincoln to his inauguration; implemented the "line and staff" organizational structure used by business today; built Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan; and electrified the route between New York and Washington, among its many achievements.

Reading Company (CR, EMD) was one of the first railroads built in America, and built its fortune hauling coal. It featured the first iron railroad bridge in America.

Savannah & Atlanta Railway (SR, EMD), began life as the Brinson Railway in 1906, slowly expanding from Savannah toward the Northwest. It was consolidated with other small railroads to become the Savannah & Atlanta in 1917. Central of Georgia bought the S&A in 1951.

Southern Railway (GE) originated as the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company in 1827. It put into service the nation's first regularly scheduled steam passenger service on Christmas Day, 1830, with the locomotive "The Best Friend of Charleston." The Southern was incorporated in 1894 from the reorganization and consolidation of numerous predecessors and absorbed another 68 railroad companies over the next six years.

Virginian Railway (NW, EMD) was the only railroad created through the capital and credit of one man, oil magnate Henry Huttleston Rogers. After building a short line, the Deepwater Railway, to haul coal out of West Virginia and then being blocked by the bigger railroads, he created another railroad, the Tidewater Railway, to reach Norfolk, Va., then combined the two into the Virginian in 1907. It was acquired by N&W in 1959.

Wabash Railroad (NW, EMD) was formed in 1877 and served the mid-central U.S. It was acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1927 and leased to Norfolk & Western in 1964. In 1991, N&W, by then part of Norfolk Southern, purchased the Wabash outright. Made famous by the 1904 song "Wabash Cannonball," there was in fact no such train by that name until 1949.[from NS Website]

Bellevue is one of 12 NS classification facilities, where freight cars are collected and sorted for their final destinations. When completed in 2015, Bellevue will be the largest classification yard on the NS system. The community of Bellevue has been a railroading center since the late 19th century, when NS' Nickel Plate Road predecessor line came to town. Bellevue Yard opened in 1966 on NS' Norfolk and Western Railway predecessor line. Today, 100 to 110 trains pass through daily, while 20 to 30 originate in the area and a like number terminate in the area. For the most part, the trains carry vehicles, vehicle parts, agricultural products, and consumer products. [NS Press Release]


Notices, announcements, schedules, etc. are provided here as a service to the members. The Chapter has no affiliation with any commercial operation, museum, or tourist line.

Until May 30, 2015 Civil War 150th Anniversary: The War Came By Train@ B&O RR Museum in Baltimore. Monday - Saturday (10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.), Sunday (11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) Between April 19, 1861 (The Baltimore Riot of 1861) and April 21, 1865 (Lincoln's funeral train leaving Baltimore for Illinois), the B&O stood witness and participant in the greatest conflict the U.S. has ever faced and changed the course of American history. The War Came By Train serves as the B&O Railroad Museum's primary attraction for the five year commemoration of the War's sesquicentennial. The National Landmark Roundhouse will exhibit the largest assemblage of Civil War railroad equipment in the world featuring locomotives and rail cars that served during the war, significant military and personal artifacts that will change annually to portray each year of the war (some artifacts never before on public display), and a narrated train ride to the original site of Camp Carroll, the largest Union encampment in Baltimore.

April 21 thru Dec. 30, 2012 ROLE OF RRs in PA During the CIVIL WAR at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg Railroads were a key to the successes of both the Union and Confederacy during the Civil War, and the contributions of Pennsylvania's railroads were an integral part of the Union's eventual victory. From supplying the Armies with munitions and food, to transporting troops, prisoners and communications, the Civil War was the first war in which railroads were a major factor. Photographs, documents and artifacts tell the story of Pennsylvania's railroads during the War Between the States.

Saturday, June 16, 2012 Conrail Technical Society Excursion Conrail T&HS announced an excursion from Washington, D.C. to Harrisburg and return using the Juniata Terminal PRR E8's operating via Perryville, NS Port Road to Columbia to the Enola Branch. Train will operate through Enola Yard and cross Rockville Bridge and return through Harrisburg and then operate over the Royalton Branch back to the Port Road. Departure from Washington is 8:00 am. Tickets are $ 172.50 in coach. Tickets are ordered through the CRHS website.

Saturday & Sunday, June 23-24, 2012 Great Scale Train Show 9AM-4PM, $9, State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD

Tuesday-Sunday, July 3-8, 2012 READING RAILROAD DAYS at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg

Saturday & Sunday, July 14-15, 2012 6th Annual Toy & Model Train Flea Market @ Williams Grove9-4 Sat., 9-2 Sun., Steam train rides, model train display, stands with collector items to purchase. Raffle each day to for a chance to operate Locomotive 52! Free parking. Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association, Mechanicsburg, PA (717)-766-4001

Saturday & Sunday, August 4-5, 2012 Greenberg's Train & Toy Show 10-4, Adults $7, Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium, MD 21093, FREE PARKING

Sunday, August 26, 2012 Central PA Chapter's 37th Annual Train Meet 9-2, Adults $3, Warrior Run Fire Dept. Social Hall, Second St., Allenwood, PA

August 26 - September 3, 2012 54th Annual Summer Show @ Williams Grove Steam train rides! GREAT FOOD! Nightly entertainment! Blacksmith shop Steam Traction Engines operating daily Antique Tractors Hit and Miss Engines Car show on Sunday, August 26th. Horse pulls on Tuesday, August 28th at 7:00pm. Consignment sale on Saturday, Sept. 1st. at 8:00am Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association, Mechanicsburg, PA (717)-766-4001

Saturday, September 15, 2012 The Great Lehigh Valley Train Meet Sat. 10 am - 4 pm, all scales, one day, Merchants Square Mall, 1901 South 12th Street, Allentown PA 18103

Saturday, September 22, 2012 MEMBERS DAY at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg

Saturday, September 22, 2012 Friends of the Furness Railroad District Tour & Mini Exhibition In the Fall of 2012 a festival is being held in the Philadelphia to Wilmington areas, to highlight the creative talent of the 19th century architect, Frank Furness. The festival will begin in early September and continue with events, tours, exhibitions, lectures, and symposia throughout this fall season, ending in early December. The second scheduled event will be on Saturday, September 22nd when the Friends of the Furness Railroad District will sponsor a tour and mini exhibition in Wilmington, DE. The tour will begin at Furness' Wilmington Amtrak, Railroad Station (formerly the Pennsylvania Railroad Station, 1907-8), and the adjacent but separate Pennsylvania Office Building (1905), followed by a walk along the Railroad viaduct to see some Furness inspired newer construction related to the Railroad Station, and then on to the Furness designed B&O Railroad Station (1888). We will then proceed up the hill to visit the Central National Bank (1885-1905 and later), also known as the Security Trust and Deposit Company, and now known as the Kimba Academy, a charter school. The tour will then conclude with a mini Furness exhibit at the adjacent Wilmington Historical Society where a talk will be held and refreshments will be offered.

Sunday, October 7, 2012 GARDEN RAILWAYS TOUR at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg

Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 27-28, 2012 Great Scale Train Show 9AM-4PM, $9, State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD

Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 3-4, 2012 TRAINS & TROOPS at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg


Thursday June 21, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting "Do It Yourself" Slide Night bring some slides and/or prints to share with fellow members

Thursday July 21, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Mike Burkhart

Thursday August 16, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting PSE (Possible Special Event -or- not)

Thursday Sept. 20, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Possibly A. Guest

Thursday Oct. 18, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Probably A. Member

Thursday Nov. 21, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Frank Ferguson

Sunday Dec. 2 or 9, 2012 5 PM Annual Holiday Dinner in lieu of normal monthly meeting

The Wilmington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) meets at 7:00 PM on the third Thursday of each month [except August & December] in the Darley Room at the Claymont Community Center on Green Street in Claymont, Delaware. Visitors are always welcome. Admission to regular meetings is free. Check out our Website (thanks to Russ Fox) at:

The Transfer Table is published six to ten times per year as the newsletter of the Wilmington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Items in this publication do not represent the official position of either Officers or Members of the Wilmington Chapter or the Editor of this publication.

Permission to reprint articles and news items appearing herein is granted to NRHS Chapters and other newsletters provided appropriate credit is given.

Contributions are always welcome and should be sent to the editor at or send to: P.O. Box 1136, Hockessin, DE 19707-5136.
Deadline for entries is the 25th of the month.

Chapter Officers
President: Mike Burkhart
Vice President:  Dave Watterson
Treasurer: Dave Warner
Secretary: Dan Frederick
National Director & Trip Director: Steve Barry
Editor: Greg Ajamian
Web Master: Russ Fox

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