By Aaron Isaacs, HRA editor
Until about a year ago the HeritageRail Alliance online magazine contained a page called Progress Reports. It was an attempt to list all the active equipment restorations and other large capital projects such as new buildings and track extensions.
When the new web site was launched, I was a bit overwhelmed with other things and let Progress Reports lapse. Well, it’s back and bigger than ever, with about 400 projects listed. To view it, click on Magazine, then on Progress Reports. This time it’s organized alphabetically by state, which should make navigation easier. I’m adding photos of each project, but there seem to be some formatting issues that need solving. If you only see a dot in the 3rd column, click on it and a photo should open. If you see an incomplete photo, click on it to view the whole thing.
It’s almost certainly an incomplete list. I put it together by searching museum and tourist railroad websites, reading printed and online newsletters and Facebook pages, soliciting feedback on Railway Preservation News (RyPN.org) and by reaching out to friends in the industry. You’d be surprised how many organizations keep these things a secret. I’m sure they don’t mean to, but the projects don’t show up online, or the websites are years out of date.
You the reader can help. There’s a place to file updates and I hope you do. If we’re missing a project, if you have a status update and if a project has been completed, please let me know. I can also be reached at email@example.com.
So it’s a start, and I think a pretty good one. It certainly reinforces what a dynamic industry railway preservation has become. Even though the projects often take years to complete, about 10 percent get done every year. We celebrate those at the Fall HRA conferences and they are posted in this magazine each Fall.