S. Berliner, III's Courtesy Page for the Boston Chapter, National Railway Historical Society (NRHS)
keywords = National Railway Historical Society Boston Chapter Maine Central Lowell Granite New York Haven Hartford Providence Worcester PanAm Guilford Old Colony MBTA rail way road track train traction transit history calendar fan trip
Updated:  24 Jul 2020; 19:15 ET
(Created 10 Apr 2015)
[Ref:  This is bostonch.html  (URL http://sbiii.com/bostonch.html)]
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S. Berliner, III's Courtesy Page for the

Boston Chapter
National Railway Historical Society

New England Region; Chapter Number 13
Established 1939

note-rt - This page is a semi-official "Home Page" for the Boston Chapter;
only minimal updates will be made as available.

courtesy of S. Berliner, III
(former member of the Long Island - Sunrise Trail Chapter Board of Directors)
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing

Except for our Calendar of Events, Meetings, and Directions,
and for:

NewMembsh and Renewal
[For New Membership or for Renewal of Membership, click here.],

this page is otherwise unindexed so far; please scroll down.

The Boston Chapter, the local chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, primarily draws from eastern Massachusetts.  The primary focus is on railway history, especially that of the Boston & Maine (and predecessor Boston & Lowell), the Granite Railway, Maine Central, Old Colony, Providence & Worcester, Pan Am, Guilford, and New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroads, the MBTA, as well as Boston-area traction and transit.

Please note that the adjoining area is served by the Cape Cod Chapter.
[The Seven Railroads Chapter formerly based in Palmer, Massachusetts, seems now to be inactive (21 Nov 2015/02 May 2017).]

[Please also note that there is an Arkansas-Boston Mountains Chapter of the NRHS; they don't seem to have a website but, since they are in Springdale, Arkansas, some 1,500 miles away, I don't quite see there being any overlap problems! - SB,III]




The Boston Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society is a group of dedicated railroad enthusiasts who gather regularly for companionship and fun to preserve and enjoy the Boston area's significant contribution to railroad history, as well as all other aspects of railroading.  The Chapter has monthly meetings at which slides and movies of the Boston & Maine (and its predecessors, including the Boston & Lowell), the Granite Railway, the Maine Central, the New York, New Haven & Hartford, the Providence & Worcester, the PanAm, the Guilford, the Old Colony, the MBTA, and so many other roads are shown, as well as regional, national; and even foreign roads, and traction and transit subjects.  News of general interest is discussed.  In addition, the Chapter sponsors rail trips around the New England area; Photo run-bys are always arranged.

Periodic meetings begin with a short business session. after which current local railroad and transit issues are discussed, followed by the evening's entertainment program, usually slides video, or film, current or historic.  The content is chosen by the presenter.  From time to time, related material is donated to the Chapter and is offered for sale to members first and at reasonable prices.  Several members have authored books on local subjects and a number have contributed their materials to railroad and traction books both currently in or out of print.  Meetings are open to everyone.

Calendar of Events


Until the present Coronavirus Pandemic is over, there will be no further "live" meetings of the Boston Chapter of the NRHS.   new (24 Jul 2020)

Stay tuned for further developments; members on the regular e-mail list will be notified directly. 0

Regular meetings are normally held on the second Friday of each month,
starting at 8:00 p.m. (or arrive earlier and socialize).


None scheduled for the immediate future; as noted above.   new (24 Jul 2020)

- - - * - - -


[Future Meetings - no dates set yet.  Series of publicity films from AAR, N&W, AT&SF, CRI&P, 1950s; Washington, DC, streetcars 1956-1961 - this is a lengthy presentation and will probably be shown in three parts. - Stay tuned.]


09 Aug 2019 - Members Night

13 Sep 2019 - 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike in Utah this past May by Derek Carter, who was there.

11 Oct 2019 - Midwest traction filmed near the end of streetcar service, Kansas City, Chicago, and St. Louis, 1950s-60s.  No narration; music and subtitles.

There was no Jul 2019 meeting.

14 Jun 2019 - Don Nevins showed a DVD of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR from movies taken in the spring of 1949, when two steam locomotives pushed a rotary snowplow to remove snowdrifts on Cumbres Pass.

10 May 2019 - Leo Sulivan showed a PowerPoint presentation of the late Sydney Towle's old-time photos of the B&M and more.

12 Apr 2019 - Ed Levay showed a Charles Smiley video of transit in the San Francisco East Bay area.

[SB,III/Webmaster's apology - due to ill health, I let this page slip - I am so sorry.]

12 Oct 2018 - {tba}

14 Sep 2018 - Due to a last-minute change of plans, we showed a movie about the official history of the California Zephyr; from its inception through to Amtrak; for those who may have missed it, or may wish to reprise it, there are almost-identical films (less the flack, much of the history, and some of the introductory material) on line.

California Zephyr in Altamont, California, prior to its first run in 1949
(picture from Wikipeda - click on image for much larger picture)

10 Aug 2018 - Members Night.

There was no Jul 2018 meeting.

08 Jun 2018 - Ed LeVay showed a movie about Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range steam, 1957-60 - a unique industrial railroad with massive articulated locomotives dragging dozens of hopper cars loaded with iron ore from the mine downhill to the boat, and dragging dozens of empty cars back up again.

    [2-8-8-4 Yellowstones! - SB,III]

11 May 2018 - Donald Nevin showed slides taken between the years 1962 and 1993 of electrified railroads in the Chicago area.

13 Apr 2018 - Derek Carter projected photos from his expedition to the United KKingdom in the summer of 2017.

09 Mar 2018 - Part II of movie about trolley operations by the Los Angeles Transit Lines and Pacific Electroc from 1940 into the 11960s - Ed Levay (memorabilia sale preceded the program).

12 Jan 2018 - Norfolk & Western Steam Passenger Service 1956-58 by Edward Levay

16 Nov 2017 - Joint Meeting with and hosted by Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts.  Trackside with Justin Winiarz, 2014-2016 - Action in the Northeast.  (This meeting was held in usual Union Church location, but note the date).

11 August 2017 - Members Night.

There was no Jul 2017 meeting.

09 Jun 2017 - Chicago, America's Railroad Capital - Chicago today with some historic material.  Presentation by Ed Levay.

12 May 2017 - Don Nevin took us from Albany via the Amtrak Adirondack to Montreal then on to Vancouver via Canadian and Super Continental with some Edmonton Light Rail and Vancouver Skytrain.

{Sneak Postviews by SB,III - from Wikipedia (not Don):}

AdirSaraSpr AdirSaraSpr80 AdirD&HPA
Adirondack - P42 #166 on #69 Saratoga Springs 2007 | 1980 S.S. | D&H PA 1975 (you wish!)

CanJasp SupCon70 EdmontLR VanSkyTr
Canadian/Jasper | Super Con Toronto/Vancouver 1970 | Edmont. LR | Vanc. SkyTrain

There was no Dec 2016 meeting.

11 Nov 2016 - Slide show on Boston MTA about 1960-61 from black and white photos; photographs and presentation by Edward Levay.  Joint meeting with MassBay RRE (Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts) and Boston Chapter, NRHS, which also had some vintage railroad merchandise for sale, including two of the John Gould paintings of Maine Central Independence Class engines at Wiscasset, in original mailing tube; also any items MBRRE might be selling.

(Photograph ca. 1960 by E. T. Levay, Jr. - all rights reserved;
click on thumbnail for larger image)

MTA PCC #3025 at Broadway portal of Tremont St. Subway, ca. 1960.

14 Oct 2016 - Film on Colorado Railroads today - diesel, freight, and some historic steam.

09 Sep 2016 - Film on 20th Century Limited.

12 Aug 2016 - Member's Night.

There was no Jul 2016 meeting.

10 Jun 2016 - Paul Shackford's visits to Colorado, mostly in the 1970s, with some steam and a trip on the Rio Grande Zephyr.

13 May 2016 - Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Railfan Days; by Derek Carter - a 95 minute video - here's a photo of C&TS #489 back in its D&RGW days; it is one of the operable C&TS engines:

(collection of E. Levay - all rights reserved;
click on thumbnail for larger image)

D&RGW K-36 Mikado 2-8-2 #489 - 1925 Baldwin B/N 58590 3' NG, retired 1962, to C&TS 1970.

08 Apr 2016 - Brattle Station to Pigeon Cove; by Leo Sullivan.  Here's the cover of a folder issued in the 1910s by the Boston & Northern and the Old Colony Street Railway Companies, which operated these excursions:

(collection of E. Levay - all rights reserved;
click on thumbnail for larger image)

11 Mar 2016 - Derek Carter gave a program on Amtrak, Railrunner and BNSF in New Mexico from August 2015.

12 Feb 2016 - "Dome Car Magic", a DVD on dome cars, from the first car in 1945 to what is running today, mostly in Alaska and Canada.

08 Jan 2016 - Election of Chapter Officers; Chapter President Ed Levay then projected a DVD of steam locomotive operations on the New York Central Branch lines in Michigan during the early 1950s {the current slate was re-elected}.

    {more to follow}

The Chapter publishes a monthly newsletter, STEEL WHEELS, with meeting notices, previews, and recapitulations, historical vignettes and feature articles, reminiscences by old-time railroad employees, and railroad modeling information.

The Chapter's Mailing Address is:
    Boston Chapter NRHS
    P. O. Box 66202
    Auburndale, MA  02466-0002

Publication:  Steel Wheels
  Editor:  Paul W. Shakford

President:  Edward T. Levay, Jr.
Vice President:  J. Leonard Bachelder
Secretary:  Paul W. Shackford
Treasurer:  Wayne Gebhardt
Historian:  J. Leonard Bachelder
National Director:  Edward T. Levay, Jr.
Membership Secretary:  Wayne Gebhardt
  and Librarian
Technology Director:  Derek Carter

NewMembsh and Renewal

Currently, Chapter membership dues are $22.00 , which includes a subscription to Steel Wheels, and a check with your full particulars [full name, complete mailing address with ZIP code, telephone number, and e-mail address (if you wish)] should be sent to:

    Wayne Gebhardt, Treasurer
        Boston Chapter, NRHS
    6 Wendell Street
    Lawrence, MA  01841


Unless otherwise noted, Chapter meetings are held on second Fridays at 8:00 p.m. (except in July) at the Union Church in Waban, Massachusetts (next to the MBTA station)


The Union Church is at 14 Collins Road (at the corner of Beacon Street) in Waban (Newton), near the Waban MBTA stop on the Green Line.

By Public Transportation - Take the MBTA Green Line car to the Waban stop, which is the second outbound stop beyond Newton Highlands.  Beacon Street crosses the Green Line on a bridge adjacent to the station on the north sde.  If you came southbound, cross over the Green Line on the bridge.  The Church is the first building, next to the tracks, on the left.

By Auto - take Exit 21 East off Route 128 (I-95) northbound or or Exit 21A East off Route 128 (I-95) southbound onto Route 16 (Washington St.).  At the first traffic light east of Route 128/I-95, bear right onto Beacon St. and drive 0.9 miles to two traffic lights* just before Beacon Street jogs to the left over the Green Line..  The Union Church is dirctly ahead.  Turn right at the first traffic light and the church will is around a traffic island on the left.  If the church lot is full, park on the street or in the Waban Station parking lot.

Enter the church at the doorway down a few steps by the driveway; a hallway to the right leads directly to the meeting room.

(Map adapted from GoogleMaps by S. Berliner, III - 10 Apr 2015; rev. 15 and 21 Nov 2015)

* - New Traffic Pattern - two more traffic lights were added to Beacon Street at the church;
one is at Collins Road and the other immediately west of that (as of 21 Nov 2015).

(Aerial view adapted from GoogleMaps by S. Berliner, III - 21 Nov 2015)

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THUMBS UP!  -  Support your local police, fire, and emergency personnel!

S. Berliner, III

Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"
Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

To contact S. Berliner, III, please click here.

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 - All rights reserved.

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