A Brief History: Pacific Northwest Chapter
National Railway Historical Society

The following items highlight the 50+ years of PNWC activity. It is the intent of the Board of Directors to continue to maintain and publish this list, forward updates to any Board member.

1959 Members help build the Portland (now Oregon) Zoo Railway steam locomotive Oregon designed by Chapter member George Burton to help celebrate Oregon's Centennial. First Portland Zoo Railway trip June 9th.
1965 Incorporated, State of Oregon, July 21st, by Miln D. Gillespie, Walter R. Grande, & John (Jack) M. Holst.
1965 Hosts the first west coast NRHS annual convention that included a field trip to Oaks Pioneer Park to view Portland Park Bureau's transportation exhibit (UP 3203, SP 4449 & SP&S 700) & a rail fan trip to Seaside.
1966 First public excursion, Portland to Goldendale, 253 miles, $6.95 adult, $3.95 child.
1968 Offices established in Portland's Union Station.
1968 August 27th, Chapter receives Determination Letter from the IRS granting 501(c)(3) Educational Charity tax-exempt status.
1969 Railcon '69, 3rd annual NW (Northwest) railfan conference hosted by PNWC and Pacific Northwest Live Steamers.
1971 Major restoration work begun on Stimson Lumber Company's #1 42-ton 2-truck Shay Peggy damaged by the 1964 Old Forestry Building fire, subsequently moved to Oaks Park. Hydrostatic test passed in May. Moved and given in 1972 to Western (now World) Forestry Center. Peggy was also damaged in 1939 Tillamook Forest fire.
1972 Emperor of the North Pole filmmakers enlist the Chapter's help to locate 1930's era rail cars.
1972 BN (Burlington Northern Railroad) celebrates donation of SP&S Mount Hood #600 & #76 baggage/dorm cars, at June 16th Union Station ceremony.
1972 Junction City centennial commemorated with PNWC co-sponsored display of railroad development materials.
1973 Peggy, former Stimson Lumber Company Shay locomotive, June 2nd ceremony celebrating permanent display at WFC (World Forestry Center).
1973 BN donates several SP&S, GN (Great Northern Railway), NP (Northern Pacific Railway) and OE (Oregon Electric Railway) emblem signs from various bridges & Burlington Oregon station sign.
1973 UP 1887 Albina smokestack designated Portland historical landmark as referred by Landmarks Commission & Chapter.
1974 Thousands of hours of volunteer labor restoring the SP 4449 for the American Freedom Train.
1974 Board of Vernonia, South Park and Sunset Railroad donates $25 per month for 12 months toward office rent.
1975 Baggage-dormitory car #76 leased to American Freedom Train Foundation & will be the SP 4449 crew car.
1975 Portland's SP 4449 restored to operation and with PNWC #76 baggage-dormitory car goes to Chicago to join the American Freedom Train.
1978 Hosted the NRHS annual convention “inter/rail78” which included excursions to Yakima, Seattle, & B.C.
1979 SP 4449 & PNWC #76 at Swan Island for Oregon Transportation Week celebration.
1980 Chapter 25th Anniversary celebrated with Airport Holiday Inn banquet March 21st.
1981 Excursion pulled by SP 4449 to Sacramento for the grand opening of the California State Railroad Museum.
1981 SP 4449-Railfair Sacramento Slide Show, Lloyd Center Auditorium.
1981 SPMW 328 Flanger (wood body) donated by Southern Pacific Transportation Company.
1983 Organized the 75th anniversary of the SP&S Golden Spike; special train, ceremony & sign at Sheridan's Point.
1983 Membership authorizes $1.10 million on July 15th for SP 4449 restoration and trip to Louisiana World's Fair
1984 SP 4449 7,477 mile 51-day excursion to Louisiana World's Fair in New Orleans with cars Mount Hood & 3300
1984 Chapter joins with Oregon Association of Railway Passengers to restore neon UNION STATION / GO BY TRAIN signs on Union Station clock tower. Signs originally installed 1948, turned off 1971
1985 See the Neon Be On! Union Station clock tower September 20th neon sign restoration dedication.
1985 Special SP train to Toledo with 3300 containing Walt Grande picture display celebrating 100th anniversary of the first passenger train arrival.
1985 American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners hosted at Union Station, passenger sheds restored.
1985 Chapter supports proposal to City of Portland from Pacific Railroad Preservation Association (PRPA) to be designated the official custodian of the SP&S 700 and UP 3203 (OR&N 197).
1985 Deschutes River Rail Excursion, day 1 passenger count 800
1986 SP 4449 & 3300 used in the movie Tough Guys starring Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster.
1986 First Day of Light Rail Operation, September 5th, celebrated with NRHS-TriMet special envelope and USPS cancellation.
1986 Chapter hosts exclusive member premiere of Tough Guys movie on September 24th at the Music Box Theater.
1987 SP 4449 management moves from Chapter to the City of Portland and advisory committee.
1987 76 converted to Museum car & goes to Ashland with exhibit for Oregon & California Railroad completion centennial.
1987 $5,000 donated to Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society to preserve SP Jefferson line for trolley operations.
1988 Chapter's “Museum Train” (Mount Hood & 76) to Salem for the 50th Anniversary of Oregon's Capitol building.
1988 3300 & 6800 leased to newly re-formed Mount Hood Railroad.
1988 Closed Victoria Station Restaurant artifacts donated to Chapter.
1988 Chapter lease of Brooklyn “roundhouse” is replaced by a City of Portland lease.
1989 3300 & 6800 leased to Rimrock Excursions to run on the City of Prineville Railroad.
1990 Mount Hood, 3300 & 6800 go to Wishram behind SP&S 700
1990 Wigwag crossing signal on loan to Columbia Gorge Model Railroad club.
1990 SP switch crew runs cars through a miss-aligned switch, 3300 derailed & heavily damaged.
1990 Astoria Jazz Festival special train, October 6-7th.
1991 Oregon and Northwestern Railroad Baldwin, built September 1950 as SP 5239, AS-616 purchased.
1992 Regional Light Rail System resolution supporting a 20-year completion schedule.
1993 Rail Sensation '93, an official Rose Festival event, co-sponsored with OreARP (now AORTA – Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates) & PRPA.
1993 RELCO donates two Portland Terminal Company ALCO S-2 (# 36 & # 39) locomotives.
1994 Semaphore signal loaned to Willow Creek Railroad for display at Western Antique Powerland.
1994 Chapter moves out of the Brooklyn “roundhouse” area.
1994 Lathe donated to Vernonia Restoration and Preservation Association for work on their Oregon-American Lumber Company Shay #102.
1996 100th anniversary of the February 14, 1896 opening of Union Station celebrated, NRHS Historic Plaque Commission plaque placed indicating placement on the National Register of Historic Places by U.S. Department of Interior; “one of the oldest continuously-operated railroad stations in the US”.
1996 Internet Web presence established.
1997 Railroad history display at the Washington County Historical Society.
1997 Hosted Spring NRHS National Board of Directors meeting including touring the under-construction WestsideMAX (Metro Area Express) light rail tunnel.
1997 Display at OMSI's (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry)“Holiday Junction”.
1998 ex-NP Speeder goes on loan to Canby Historical Society for cosmetic restoration and display.
1998 Six sold-out mini-excursions operated on 3-days between St. Mary's and Hopmere.
1998 Wilsonville-Beaverton Commuter Rail demonstration, 22 runs (5,996 passengers) during Westside MAX opening.
1998 Display at OMSI's “Holiday Junction”.
1998 Union Pacific Baldwin AS-616 sold to the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis.
1999 Jordan Spreader arrives in Astoria in front of the first train since 1996
1999 Two coaches provided for Morse Brothers/Portland & Western Railroad rock train dedication.
1999 Taste of Beaverton excursions carry more than 2,500 behind PRPA operated SP&S 700
1999 Display at OMSI's “Holiday Junction”.
2000 Mission Santa Ynez sold to Jim Davis who plans to restore the railcar.
2000 Mount Hood and staff help with the grand opening of the St.Helens-Scappose Chamber of Commerce housed in the refurbished ex-BN/SP&S depot in St. Helens.
2000 Research materials donated from noted author and member (1957-1999) Walter R. Grande who died in 1999
2000 Fall Colors excursion on PNWR (Portland & Western Railroad) over Cornelius Pass to North Plains and to Clatskanie October 14th.
2000 Continued working with Western Antique Powerland to establish railroading as part of their development.
2001 Joined Oregon Steam Heritage Foundation (now Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation) to site a permanent home for a museum & Portland's locomotives.
2001 Passenger support functions provided for PRPA's historic SP&S 700 4-day Homecoming Excursion.
2001 Chartered trip on Mount Rainier Scenic Railway and Chehalis & Centralia Railroad September 14th.
2002 Dust Factory movie production uses 3300, 6200 and Mount Hood at Bowers Junction, PNWR.
2002 Chapter adopts Union Station clock tower as official logo.
2002 Private tour of Artrain USA in Hillsboro July 4th.
2002 Banks to Salmonberry excursion with: 6200, 6800, Mount Hood, Gordon Zimmerman, Plum Creek & Casper Mountain.
2002 Selected to host the 2005 NRHS Convention (Go By Train 2005).
2003 West to Wheeler 185-passenger excursion in beautiful weather on the POTB Railroad May 31st.
2003 Springwater on the Willamette Trail grand opening, SP 4449 & SP&S 700 excursions, 4,000 passengers (tickets/car hosts).
2003 Lewis & Clark Explorer RDC (rail diesel car) trip to Astoria with 67 members & guests.
2003 Portland & Western Railroad 240-employee special with 6200 & 6800, Albany to Toledo.
2004 Jordan Spreader delivered to MOW (Maintenance of Way) exhibit at Antique Powerland Museum on February 14th.
2004 Banks to Salmonberry POTB 197 passenger excursion May 22nd.
2004 Exhibit at Amtrak's Empire Builder 75th Anniversary event at Union Station June 10th & 11th.
2004 1996 Commemorative Painting & Plaque commissioned by Rail Sensation Events dedicated, Union Station October 29th.
2004 Membership meeting held at the World Forestry Center with program on Peggy's relocation and new cover.
2004 Evening picnic on Washington Park & Zoo Railway featuring steamer Oregon August 14th.
2004 First annual Holiday “Train Toys for Tots” event garners 81 toys and books for deserving children.
2005 Meyer Memorial Trust grant received to pay for the Flanger move to Antique Powerland Museum.
2005 New Web site launched February 24th quickly gains top rankings on popular search engines.
2005 Hosted the Go By Train 2005 NRHS Convention, July 5-9th, highlight: SP&S 700 & SP 4449 Wishram excursion.
2005 Exhibit at Multnomah Falls for first annual June 18-19th U.S. Forest Service family days event.
2005 Train Mountain activity September 9th – 11th.
2005 Flanger SPMW #328 delivered to MOW exhibit at Antique Powerland Museum on November 10th.
2005 ORHF Holiday Express thrills 5,000+ with Chapter providing Mtount Hood, 6200, 6800 & Car Hosts.
2006 Vision developed & adopted with assistance from Alice Parman, Ph.D. outlining challenges & directions.
2006 Mission Statement adopted.
2006 Tillamook Turn excursion from Banks to Tillamook with 140 passengers on September 16th.
2006 Evening picnic on Washington Park & Zoo Railway featuring steam locomotive Oregon September 9th.
2006 ORHF Holiday Express II thrills just under 9,000 with a fully steam heated consist operating out of Oaks Park.
2007 Collections Policy adopted March 16th.
2007 Commissioned Historic Preservation Northwest Perrydale Station Condition Assessment in partnership with Northwest Rail Museum.
2007 Alco S-2 Portland Terminal Railroad (PTR) #36 moved via PTR-BNSF-P&W (Burlington Northern Santa Fe), w/Nickel Plate Alco RSD-5 #324 on August 5th.
2007 Flanger wood siding replacement project completed with new paint and lettering applied in October.
2007 A Strategic Action Plan (ASAP) proposal developed with consultant Howard Lovering, LOGIC Inc.
2007 ASAP option #1, a land-based destination, adopted by unanimous vote at November 16th membership meeting.
2007 ORHF Holiday Express III thrills 9,238 again on Oregon Pacific Railroad out of Oaks Amusement Park.
2007 Fourth annual “Train Toys for Tots” garners 143 train oriented toys for the U.S. Marine Corp program.
2008 S-2 #36 delivered February 17th to Antique Powerland via Grippin-Cascade “house move” from S.S. Steiner siding.
2008 Total of 5,527 volunteer hours logged for 2007
2008 PNWC Red River 6800 in TriMet Safety Train Westside Express Service consist February 25th.
2008 Grass roots effort put together for Amtrak's first annual National Train Day May 10th at Portland's Union Station.
2008 Special Trainmaster published celebrating the June 9th golden anniversary, Washington Park & Zoo Railway.
2008 Train Mountain Excursion May 30th-June 1st reflects the move into a different type of PNWC fund raising trip.
2009 Starting January 5th the Observation Platform is on long term display in Union Station compliments of Amtrak.
2009 History booth at the January 30th Westside Express Service commuter rail grand opening in Tigard.
2009 Total of 7,023 volunteer hours logged for 2008
2009 Amtrak National Train Day at Portland Union Station attracted 5,000+ with chapter booths & Mount Hood.
2009 Special Trainmaster published celebrating the June 13th golden anniversary, WP&Z Railway (Washington Park & Zoo) locomotive Portland.
2009 Start of Trainmaster Archiving/Scanning/OCR Project June 2009
2009 Joined the Oregon Zoo to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the building of the locomotive Portland.
2009 Alco S-2 #39 scrapping completed in July.
2009 New permanent interpretive signs installed on Flanger & Spreader for Steam-Up at Antique Powerland Museum.
2009 Sixty members and guests tour the Brooklyn “roundhouse” & surrounding equipment on October 24th.
2009 2 for 1 admission to The West the Railroads Made exhibit at the Oregon History Museum October 30th – November 1st.
2009 Booth at Oregon History Museum November 21st Railroad History focus family day.
2009 Major participant again in ORHF's annual Holiday Express held on two 3-day weekends in December.
2010 Special Trainmaster, Rail trips in the Pacific Northwest …and beyond, published for public outreach.
2010 Amtrak National Train Day at Portland Union Station again attracted thousands w/chapter booths and Mount Hood.
2010 Two very successful 5-day Glacier Park Centennial Excursions via Amtrak and staying at Izaak Walton Inn were conducted.
2011 First Year, 1956 Trainmasters, uploaded to PNWC Website and released into the world in January
2012 Members only section created on PNWC Website for access to current years of Trainmasters in April
2014 Finished Trainmaster Archiving/Scanning/OCR Project in January
2014 All Trainmasters uploaded to PNWC Website and released into the world on February 9th.

President Roster

1955 C.J. Jefferson (Jeff) Keenan *1985 Richard A. Carlson
1956 Stephen E. Donohoe1986 Richard A. Carlson
1957 C.J. Jefferson (Jeff) Keenan1987 C. Douglas Auburg
1958 George R. Burton1988 Auburg/Hoffman
1959 George R. Burton1989 George R. (Bob) Hoffman
1960 Walter R. Grande1990 George R. (Bob) Hoffman
1961 Walter R. Grande1991 G. Charles (Chuck) Bukowsky
1962 Walter R. Grande1992 G. Charles (Chuck) Bukowsky
1963 E.D. (Ed) Culp1993 George R. (Bob) Hoffman
1964 Miln Gillespie1994 M. Robert Terkelsen
1965 John M. (Jack) Holst1995 M. Robert Terkelsen
1966 John M. (Jack) Holst1996 M. Robert Terkelsen
1967 John M. (Jack) Holst1997 George N. Hickok
1968 Charles W. Storz, Jr.1998 George N. Hickok
1969 Charles W. Storz, Jr.1999 George N. Hickok
1970 Roger W. Phillips2000 George N. Hickok
1971 Roger W. Phillips2001 Arlen L. Sheldrake
1972 John D. Holloway2002 Arlen L. Sheldrake
1973 John D. Holloway2003 Arlen L. Sheldrake
1974 Roger W. Sackett2004 Ronald J. McCoy
1975 Edward E. Immel2005 Ronald J. McCoy
1976 John D. Holloway2006 Arlen L. Sheldrake
1977 William D. Bain2007 Arlen L. Sheldrake
1978 William D. Bain2008 Arlen L. Sheldrake
1979 Edward E. Immel2009 Keith Fleschner
1980 Edward E. Immel2010 Keith Fleschner
1981 Ben Fredericks2011 Keith Fleschner
1982 Ben Fredericks2012 Keith Fleschner
1983 Fredericks/Duane Cramer2013 Keith Fleschner
1984 Richard A. Carlson2014 Keith Fleschner

* Jeff is credited with being the founding “father” of the Chapter.