At the annual banquet in Tyler, TX, ATRRM announced its annual awards.
Significant Achievement Awards
Two awards for significant achievement were given.
Mount Ranier Scenic Railroad
For many years Mount Ranier was a straightforward tourist railroad that specialized in steam power. In the last year it has transformed itself, adding a logging museum and opening its shop as a museum of railroad technology.
The transformation was triggered by the closure of the Camp 6 Logging Museum in nearby Tacoma in 2010. Some of the Bunk Houses and Bunk Cars moved to The Mt Rainier Scenic Railroad’s Mineral Lake Shop Complex at Mineral, Washington.
Mount Ranier Scenic was also cited for having six steam locomotives under steam in 2014.
Shore Line Trolley Museum
Following the catastrophic flooding caused by two recent hurricanes, Shore Line raised $2 million and constructed two new carhouses with significant new trackage on the highest land on their property. At the same time they have been repairing the motor damage to dozens of electric cars caused by the flooding. These two projects were by far the largest capital expenditures in railway preservation in 2014.
Friend of ATRRM Award
This award was given to outgoing ATRRM Treasurer Alan Barnett, in recognition of his crucial role in the ARM-TRAIN merger and the startup of ATRRM.
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Lindsey Ashby has been in the tourist railroad business since 1968, when he was part of a group that rebuilt a short narrow gauge tourist rail line from Central City toward Black Hawk, Colorado and operated the line through 1981.
He was involved in rebuilding the Georgetown Loop Railroad between Georgetown and Silver Plume, Colorado in 1973-84. He and his family ran the Loop for 30 years under a contract with the Colorado Historical Society – which owned the physical property. During that time they amassed a major collection of vintage narrow gauge rolling stock. Their contract was terminated by the historical society in 2004, a move that shocked the preservation community.
Following the closure of Rio Grande’s Tennessee Pass route, in 1998 Ashby purchased the iconic 12-mile portion between Canon City and Parkdale, Colorado through the Royal Gorge and operates the Royal Gorge Route Railroad over these tracks.
Lindsey is a past President and Board member of the Tourist Railway Association from 1989-97. He is also a Past President and current Board member of the Colorado Railroad Museum.
Donald Curry made his first visit to Seashore, which was then only 14 years old (celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2014). The museum was in rather primitive conditions as streetcar systems were closing and cars were being rapidly acquired, with track and wire installed as quickly as possible to hold them all.
Donald participated in the first operation of a car at Seashore on January 1, 1954. He worked as a music instructor in Cape Elizabeth, ME High School, a profession that gave him summers off. He began summer seasonal work at Seashore in 1954, assuming a leadership role in Seashore’s restoration program, taking over from volunteers. He has worked continuously at the museum since then.
Initially there were no heated facilities, so given the harsh Maine climate, only a seasonal program was possible. Donald oversaw development of Seashore’s shop facilities and restoration programs, first in the very small Shop 1, then in the Town House Shops which were constructed in 1967.
After retiring from teaching, and after insulating and heating part of the restoration shop, he began a year round shop program in 1978. Donald developed within his restoration team the ability to replace almost any part of a streetcar and re-learned lost skills such as hot riveting. From 1988 until 1996 he served as Seashore’s Museum Director, where he helped develop interpretation, outreach, and long range planning and oversaw the evolution of the Museum’s primary visitor facility.
In 1996 returned to restoration activities and has continued in that role to this day, where he is now the lead restoration expert. Has been a regular participant at ARM and ATRRM Conferences, leading seminars on many occasions. Nationally known as a resource for other trolley museums and has organized group purchases of hard to obtain materials (such as authentic rattan seat fabric). He is known as an avid writer about museum restoration programs and maintains thorough restoration/curatorial records.
Donald Curry is now the longest serving employee in the rail preservation field.