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COVID-19 update

We are transitioning back to holding some monthly membership meetings in person. But we are working to make the programs available via Zoom. Keep an eye on the schedule below.

Upcoming events

renewal linkRenew — You can renew your membership online, using a credit card or PayPal account.
Donate — Help the chapter further its mission.donate image

Anniversary banquet program: Potomac Railroading
PRR GG1 #4935 rests at Harrisburg Available on YouTube. Former Trains Magazine editor Kevin Keefe presented B&W images from the Kalmbach archive covering action of the Mid-Atlantic region from the late 1940s through the early 1980s. He presented via Zoom at the chapter's 50th Anniversary banquet October 15, 2022.

August 2022 program: Steam Extrusions in the Mid-Atlantic Region
Ex-C&O 1309 2-6-6-2 Mallet steam locomotive Available on YouTube. Alex Koehler highlights steam excursion programs in the mid-Atlantic region between 2015 and 2022. Includes: Western Maryland 1309, New Hope and Ivyland 40, Reading and Northern 2102 + 425, Walkersville Southern, Stewartstown Railroad, and N&W 611.

May 2022 program: Rio Grande - Through the Rockies; Not Around Them
DRGW F9A #5771 Available on YouTube. Jim Kleeman covers the fabled Denver & Rio Grande Western. Dipping into his slides going back to 1987, along with some additional material from the Rodney Peterson Collection, he visits most of the DRGW system prior to the UP takeover. Highlights include: The Moffat Line, Tennessee Pass, The Great Basin Desert, and Soldier Summit

Newsletter linkNewsletter — We're very proud of our newsletter, Potomac Rail News.
– See last month's issue.
– Read the issue from two months ago.
– See the issue from three months ago.
Meetings — We meet the third Tuesday of every month at 8:00 p.m. Sometimes on Zoom. Sometimes in person in downtown Rockville. Check the calendar.
Chapter Information — Learn more about our chapter and how to become a member.
Parking symbolParking — There are many parking alternatives for the membership meeting. See a map with alternatives.
Link to photo page
— See a sample of photos from our chapter.
Visiting our area? — As railfans, we can offer sightseeing suggestions for visitors to the Washington, D.C. area. Sample our collective wisdom.
Fun photo linkJust for Fun: Wayne Sherwin uses his digital editing skills to create some interesting images.

March 2022 program: Eastern Shortline Steam Railroads in the Early 1960s
1960s steam locomotive Available on YouTube. A program featuring 8mm films of chapter member Jerry Hott. Railroads included are: The Virginia Blue Ridge Railway, Ely-Thomas Lumber Company, Ft. Eustis Military Railroad, Buffalo Creek and Gauley, and The East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad.

February 2022 program: Pursuing the Reading: One Man's Obsession.
Reading FP7 locomotive 903 Available on YouTube. Dale Woodland traces his interest in the Road of Anthracite beginning with his trips to Philadelphia in 1946 behind Reading Pacifics to his involvement railroads operating on former Reading trackage now. He is currently Director of Museum Operations at the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg, PA.

A thank you for our donors
Aberdeen B&O station
Many thanks to our members who donated to our fund-raising drive to help preserve the B&O Railroad’s only existing station on the Philadelphia Subdivision. We sent $4,400 to the Friends of the Aberdeen B&O Train Station, Inc.

November 2021 program: Rodney Peterson's All Roads Lead to Chicago.
Santa Fe train at Dearborn Station Available on YouTube. Jim Kleeman drew upon material from Rodney Peterson's extensive slide collection for a nostalgic look at passenger service in Chicago and the Midwest from the 1950s to the 1970s.

October 2021 program: Shortline and Mainline Photo Journeys: 2020 - 2021.
Maryland Midland locomotives with classic pickup truck Available on YouTube. Bob Kaplan discussed how he went about railfanning during COVID-19, while trying to stay safe.

September 2021 program: Contemporary California.
BNSF freight train Available on YouTube. Alex Mayes took us to the popular locations in the Golden State during visits in 2018 and 2021, including the Surf Line, Cajon Pass, Tehachapi Loop, Frost, Santa Susana Pass, and Donner Pass. Scenes of a few tourist lines and a whale watching cruise off the coast of Monterey are included.

August 2021 program: 2020 Railroading on Cape Cod.
Two locomotives, MPI/GE HSP46 and FL9 Available on YouTube. Doug Scott showed a multimedia PowerPoint presentation set to music. Doug will talk only at the beginning and end of the presentation.Railroads covered will be Mass Coastal freight, Bay Colony freight, New Bedford, Cape Cod Central passenger trains and the summer Boston-to-Hyannis CapeFLYER weekend passenger service. The NRHS Cape Cod Chapter runs the former New Haven Railroad West Barnstable train station as an active station and museum.

July 2021 program: Wintertime Steam.
Snow plow train Available on YouTube. Alex Mayes starts with the Cumbres & Toltec line-clearing event with steam-powered snow blower OY February 29 and March 1, 2020. He follows with a Durango & Silverton excursion to Cascade Wye the next weekend. The program then segues to February 2008 with scenes from Winter Steam Spectaculars on the Nevada Northern Railway and the Heber Valley Railroad.

April 2021 program: City of New Orleans: A train, a song, a region.
City of New Orleans trainset Available on YouTube. Past Akron Rail Club President Craig Sanders presented a program documenting the origin of the classic song, its namesake train, and railroading in the deep South.

March 2021 program: Railfanning the Western Maryland in the 1970s
Western Maryland locomotive Available on YouTube. John King covered the final years of the railroad before it was dissipated by the Chessie System.

February 2021 program: Rodney Peterson's Pennsylvania Railroad
GG1 locomotive pulling passenger train Available on YouTube. Jim Kleeman presented images of the Pennsylvania Railroad taken through lens of the late Rodney Peterson. The program covered scenes from the late 40s to the early 70s.

Golden Spike 150th anniversary celebration
Jupiter (CP#60) at the Golden Spike 150 celebration at Promontory Point UP #119 at the Golden Spike 150 celebration Member Jay Creswell captured these two images at the May 10, 2019 event marking the completion of the transcontinental railroad 150 years earlier. (Click to enlarge.)

Potomac Chapter is a group of railfans based in the National Capital Area. We are chartered as a branch of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS). We seek to increase public awareness of railroads and their history.

Contact us: For more information, you can call Vice President John Sery at (301) 431-0088 or Director Bob Dixon-Gumm at (301) 762-5073. You can write to us at:

    Potomac Chapter NRHS
    P.O. Box 235
    Kensington, MD 20895-0235

E-mail our Webmaster:
Bill Holdsworth,

For membership information e-mail
Rick Davidson mailto:rdavidsonjr AT gmail DOT com
Download a membership form

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