At its Fall online conference, the HeritageRail Alliance presented awards to these projects that were completed in 2021:
Significant Achievement – Steam
Two big engines, Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 #1309 (Baldwin 1949) and Santa Fe 4-8-4 #2926 (Baldwin 1944) were under restoration by the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and the New Mexico Steam and railroad Historical Society for many years and are major accomplishments. That said, it would be a real oversight to not recognize the return of Nevada Northern 2-8-0 #81 (Baldwin 1917) by the Nevada Northern, and Northern Pacific 0-6-0 #924 (Rogers 1899) by the Northwest Railway Museum. All had been out of service for many years and required a major restoration effort.
Significant Achievement – Diesel
The B&O Railroad Museum is being recognized for its beautiful cosmetic restoration of an art deco icon, the first E unit, Baltimore & Ohio #51 (EMC 1937).
Significant Achievement – Electric Car
We featured Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee interurban #761 (Standard 1930), restored by the East Troy Electric Railroad, on the cover of our July magazine issue. Among other challenges was the renewal of the difficult “shadow lining” paint scheme that imitates stainless steel fluting.
Significant Achievement – Passenger Car
The Whippany Railroad Museum accomplished a top to bottom rebuild of Delaware, Lackawanna & Western suburban club car #2454 (Barney & Smith 1912). Shortly after the restoration was completed, vandals broke most of the windows and the museum had to replace them.
Significant Achievement – Freight Car
The Central of Georgia Railway Historical Society has rebuilt C of G flatcar #10746 (Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad 1925). The car was donated in 2011 by Georgia Power, after sitting for years outside the company’s plant near Rome, Georgia. A down-to-the-frame rebuild, it was the society’s first rolling stock restoration. It’s now displayed at the Georgia State Railroad Museum in Savannah.
Significant Achievement- Non-revenue Car
The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society has restored Wabash wood caboose #2543, one of only two in existence. After decades of outdoor display, there was a great deal of water damage and rot. Its steel underframe and trucks were reconditioned and the wood deck replaced.
Significant Achievement – Infrastructure
Usually, we don’t give awards to large, well-funded corporate projects, but one must applaud the decision of the Broadmoor Resort to completely rebuild the Manitou & Pikes Peak cog railway, a $200 million project. They could have given up on it and abandoned it but chose not to.
Significant Achievement – Archives
Across North America, rail preservationists are expanding their archival holdings and making them available to the public. An outstanding example is the Lake States Historical Society in Baraboo, Wisconsin. A spinoff of the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, it has assembled a major collection of over 100,000 photos and other archival materials with an emphasis on the upper Midwest. In 2015 they constructed a new purpose-built archive building. In 2021 they upgraded their website, are digitizing photos as fast as they can, and are presenting those online.
Friend of Railway Preservation
As chairman of Railroad Development Corporation, Henry Posner runs the Iowa Interstate Railroad. He has long been a friend of railway preservation, purchasing and operating a pair of Chinese 2-10-2s. Now he is the Chairman of the East Broad Top Foundation, which has purchased the EBT and brought it back from the dead.
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Ross Rowland formed the High Iron Company in 1966 to operate mainline steam excursions. That led to the Golden Spike Centennial Limited in 1969 and the American Freedom Train in 1975-76. He restored Chesapeake & Ohio 4-8-4 #614, ran it in freight service to demonstrate modern steam technology, and almost returned it to passenger service on the stillborn Greenbrier Presidential Express. His efforts did much to keep railway preservation in the public eye.
Boiler Specialist Bob Yuill’s team locomotive career began in 1972 when a group near his hometown in Pennsylvania was restoring a locomotive to operation for mainline excursions. By 1975, Bob was a contractor with a company that was restoring steam locomotives including mechanical work for the Adirondack Railway that operated during the Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympics. In 1980, he headed south to the Southern Railway Steam Department. Bob became General Foreman, a position he held until the end of the program in 1995. He saw to the day-to-day repairs on the fleet of locomotives, performed all the purchasing of materials and supplies, machining, and boiler work. He also was responsible for the design work of new parts from drawing board to machine shop. In 1996, Bob struck out on his own forming Historic Machinery Services Corporation (HMS) and building a dedicated facility specializing in steam locomotives and period restoration for specialized equipment and industrial machinery. HMS received a National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award for its work on the Schroeder Saddletree Factory.
Robert Yanosey is the most prolific publisher of railroad history books ever. He founded Morning Sun Books in 1986 after a 15-year career as an Erie-Lackawanna towerman, Penn Central trainmaster, Conrail, and New Jersey Transit. To date, he has published over 900 books on every aspect of railroading across North America. The large majority are in color, which was unheard of when he started. Altogether they contain over 200,000 photos. Yanosey has authored about 75 of them himself. Morning Sun publishes around 50 new titles of hardcover, softcover, and eBooks each year.