HRA Completes National Market Survey, Member Profiles

The HeritageRail Alliance announces the results of recent market research designed to get a better understanding of railroad museum visitors, trolley museum visitors, tourist railroad visitors, and non-visitors in order to better target and ultimately grow visitation.  Specifically, the study explores brand health metrics across these visitor categories; profiles visitors and non-visitors; and identifies the reasons why non-visitors avoid heritage rail attractions.

The survey was performed by H2R Market Research of Springfield, MO, and was conducted among a professionally managed panel of adults living nationwide who have visited an attraction.  Respondents were screened to ensure they were leisure travelers and were household decision makers regarding attraction visitation.

A total of 2,000 traveling visitors were interviewed for this study, providing a maximum margin of error of +/-2.2% at a 95% confidence level.

Among the total, 1,098 have visited at least one railroad museum, trolley museum or tourist railroad, which provides for a maximum margin of error of +/-3.0% at a 95% confidence level.

The survey results compare railway preservation sites to other types of similar attractions, discusses geographic distribution, brand health, visitor profile characteristics, functional and emotional drivers of visitation, degree of visitor satisfaction, and barriers to patronage.  Also included are opportunities for the HeritageRail Alliance to inform, guide, and influence Alliance members and the industry.  One of these opportunities is evolving the HeritageRail Alliance website to promote Alliance member sites and drive visitation.  This opportunity is being fulfilled by the introduction of member profiles.

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Each Alliance member can now self-promote themselves with their own member profile.  An upgraded search function and home page portal will make it easier for the general visitor to find an Alliance member.  Go here for an example:

The 2019 HeritageRail Alliance Market Research study is available to Alliance members only.  Only hard copies will be distributed.  Members in good-standing need to contact the Alliance Executive Director (, provide the name of an individual, and a mailing address for that individual.

About the HeritageRail Alliance

The HeritageRail Alliance was formed in 2013 by the merger of the Tourist Railroad Association, Inc. (TRAIN) and the Association of Railway Museums (ARM).  The purpose of the Alliance is to lead in the advancement of railway heritage through information exchange, education and advocacy.   The Alliance is guided by the principles set forth in “Recommended Practices” and incorporates other best practices generally accepted in the wider museum, preservation, and heritage railroad operations communities. Lastly, the Alliance exists to support a strong and vibrant railway preservation and heritage railroad operations industry.

Media Contact:

Lynette Rickman, Executive Director