Posts Tagged ‘Midwest Railway Preservation Society’

Local Groups Get Emery Trust Grants

March 19, 2022

Two Northeast Ohio organizations were among the 22 recipients of grants announced this week by the John Emery Rail Heritage Trust for 2022.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad will receive $15,000 to help pay for interior renovation of former Burlington baggage-coach Silver Salon for ADA accessibility.

The Midwest Railway Preservation Society of Cleveland will receive $ 10,000 for further work on 1924 Pullman car Mount Baxter.

Other groups that were awarded grants included the East Broad Top Railroad, $15,500 for truck and traction-motor maintenance for gas-electric car M-1; the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society,: $10,000 for continued work on baggage car No. 3671, built for Santa Fe by American Car & Foundry in 1955; and the Pennsylvania-based West Chester Railroad Heritage Association, $10,000 for continued renovations of Reading Blueliner coaches.

The Emery Trust will award $350,000, for rail preservation projects this year. It received

34 applications requesting more than $1 million.

In a news release, the Emery Trust described itself as the largest in the United States whose grants are solely for rail restoration projects.

The trust was founded by John Emery of Chicago who rode trains around the world between 1920 and 1960.

It Only Looks Like Conrail

July 20, 2021

I shot a newly painted Conrail GP10 Monday morning in Cleveland.  Well, actually, it is a former Illinois Central Geep painted to look like a Conrail engine.

It was painted at the West Third Street  roundhouse of the Midwest Preservation Society and will go to the Cincinnati Scenic Railway.

That group operates dinner trains, excursion trains and the Ohio Rail Experience.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

CVSR, MRPS Cars Used in TV Series

January 12, 2021

Two passenger cars from Northeast Ohio are being used to create an Illinois Central Railroad passenger train in a television series being filmed in Mississippi.

The cars came from the Midwest Railway Preservation Society in Cleveland and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

They joined two cars and a locomotive recently used by Iowa Pacific Holdings to recreate a 1950s-era IC train.

The ABC-TV series, Women of the Movement, is being made by Kapital Entertainment of Los Angeles.

The recreated train was assembled last week on an industrial park spur near Winona, Mississippi.

The train will be used to represent an IC train that carried 14-year-old Emmitt Till from his Chicago home to visit relatives in Money, Mississippi, where he was murdered. His body was transported back to Chicago via the IC.

The Ohio cars used included a 90-foot baggage car equipped with a vestibule on one end from the CVSR and a coach from MRPS.

Filming of the train will be conducted later this month on the Grenada Railroad, which uses former IC tracks, and also will involved former IC depots in Durant and Grenada.

The series’ six episodes will tell the story of Till’s death and focus on his mother, Mamie Till Mobley and her involvement in the Civil Rights movement.

CSX Reworking Cleveland Rail Yard

November 20, 2020

CSX is reported to be making changes to the layout of its Clark Avenue Yard in Cleveland.

A report from the Midwest Railway Preservation Society said the south receiving yard is being removed but the Transflo facility is being expanded at West Third Street .

CSX officials are reported to have told MRPS that abandoned equipment, rail, ties and mechanical equipment can be acquired by the group if it moves them before the railroad scraps them.

MRPS will also have to move some EMD E8 locomotives that are being stored in the CSX yard.

A review of property records by MRPS found that the track closest to Quigley Avenue does not belong to CSX and the society could claim it.

Some of the track is blocked by brush and trees that would need to be removed.

Clark Avenue Yard is a former Baltimore & Ohio facility.

MRPS Creates Committee to Oversee 4070

June 22, 2020

Former Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 No. 4070 has not operated since 1990.

The locomotive’s owner, the Midwest Railway Preservation Society, has sought over the years to restore the light Mikado type locomotive to operating condition but progress has been slow.

A graphic posted on the group’s website shows MRPS needs $1.2 million to complete the restoration but thus far has raised $5,545.

In an effort to accelerate the fundraising pace, MRPS has created a committee to direct and oversee the restoration efforts.

It will create a comprehensive project outline of the project that describes the work that needs to be done individually or collectively

One of those tasks is to bring in more funding to the restoration fund and the committee is considering ideas to achieve that.

The committee is also studying whether 4070 should continue to be operated with coal or converted to run on fuel oil.

A decision on this matter will ultimately be made by the MRPS trustees.

MRPS Announces Open House Dates for 2020

March 2, 2020

The Midwest Railway Preservation Society has announced five open house dates for 2020.

The dates are April 4 and 11, May 9 and June 20 and 27. The event will take place at the Society’s headquarters at the former Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse at 2800 W. Third Street in Cleveland.

Additional dates are expected to be announced later.

The suggested donation for admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and under.

Open house hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event includes a guided tour of the facility.

Visitors must wear closed-toe footware and children must be accompanied by an adult. Although those with disabilities are welcome, the site is not ADA accessible.

MRPS also reported on its website that its volunteers have been working of late on restoration of the cab of former Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 No. 4070.

They have removed a side panel that will be used as a template for construction of its replacement.

Restoration of the cab is being done in sections to preserve its structural integrity.

MRPS members also spent a part of the winter removing a storage track next to the roundhouse.

This will enable them to reach and repair a drain that had become clogged and subject to flooding into the turntable pit.

Once the drain has been repaired the storage track will be restored. It had been in poor condition with many of its cross ties badly rotted.

MRPS officials are also seeking grants that will be used to rebuild a brick wall in stall 10 of the roundhouse. The work will also involve complete the roof project at the roundhouse.

Plans are to use stall 10 to house a paint booth that was donated to the Society by General Electric.

Obviously, They Missed That Deadline

January 27, 2020

Operating as the Cuyahoga Valley Line, steam locomotive 4070 is southbound at Boston Mills, on Oct. 17, 1981.

There was an interesting juxtaposition in the January 2020 newsletter of the Akron Railroad Club.

A short report indicated that during a visit to the Midwest Railway Preservation Society facility in Cleveland on Jan. 6, newsletter editor Ron McElrath learned that MRPS has raised just $5,000 of the $1.3 million it estimates it needs to restore steam locomotive 4070 to operating condition.

A thermometer graphic on the MRPS website shows the specific amount raised to date is $5,535 of the $1,290,000 goal.

On the back page of the ARRC newsletter was reproduced an appeal letter written and sent to would-be donors in 2015.

That letter laid out an ambitious plan to restore the former Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 light Pacific locomotive in time for its 100th anniversary in December 2018.

If the “thousands” of friends, supporters and MRPS members would pony up $40.70 per month for a year or $20.35 a month for two years, that would net more than a million dollars, which the letter said would be more than enough “to complete the project and send the 4070 on her way to run under steam!”

That effort fell way short and the 4070 remains stored cold in a former Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse in Cleveland although restoration has continued in drips and drabs.

But not all is lost for the MRPS. The ARRC report noted that restoration of other passenger cars is underway with former New York Central business car No. 4 having been repainted into a two-tone gray NYC livery.

A former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger car, Chippewa Creek, has been delivered to the MRPS although in need of restoration.

The MRPS website detailed how its two former Nickel Plate Road open window coaches are being renovated with the help of grant money.

Those cars were leased for use on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad last September and for excursions in western Ohio in October, thus bringing in needed revenue for restoration efforts.

Last October MRPS sold for $1 the former Wheeling & Lake Erie passenger station to the village of Glenwillow, which plans to move it across the tracks to a city park.

The station reportedly is the oldest structure still standing in Glenwillow.

With periodic open houses, a engineer for an hour program and other activities the MRPS roundhouse has become something of a railroad museum.

It remains to be seen, though, if the group has enough friends and financial support to realize its dream of seeing the 4070 in steam again.

Railroad restoration is an endeavor in which there is far more desire than there is money and volunteer labor to make dreams come true. A lot of locomotives and passenger cars continue to rust away for lack of resources to restore them.

At some point MRPS might have to decide between operational restoration or cosmetic restoration of 4070. It won’t be an easy decision for them to make even if circumstances might point clearly in one direction.

In case you missed it, as I did, or would like to be reminded of what once was, the photograph above made by Robert Farkas shows the 4070 in happier times pulling a train southward through Boston Mills.

Santa to Visit B&O Roundhouse in Cleveland

November 25, 2019

Santa Claus will be at the former Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse in Cleveland on Nov. 30, Dec. 1, and Dec. 7.

The Midwest Railway Preservation Society, which owns the roundhouse said children and their parents or guardians can come see Santa and take a ride on a caboose.

Admission for the event is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 4 to 11. Children age 3 or younger will be admitted for free.

The hours of the Santa visit will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

The roundhouse complex will be decorated with Christmas light and decorations. There might even a Grinch handing out lumps of coal.

But Santa will be handing out cookies and gifts to children,
The cost for this event is $10 for adults. Children from 4 to 11 are $5 and all children age 3 will be admitted for free.

All proceeds will be used for roundhouse restoration efforts

Visitors should wear weather-appropriate clothing and closed-toe shoes. Children must be under the supervision of an adult at all times.

MRPS Receives Steel for 4070 Tender Restoration

November 6, 2019

The Midwest Railway Preservation Society has received its first shipment of diamonds plates to be used to restore the tender of its former Grand Trunk Western steam locomotive No. 4070.

MRPS said additional steel will be coming to help restore the rest of the tender.

The Cleveland-based group owns the 2-8-2 light Mikado, which has not operated since 1990.

It has raised $5,545 toward its goal of $1.2 million that it needs to restore the 4070 to operating condition.

The group said on its website that once it reaches its funding goal it estimates it will be two years before the 4070 will be able to operate.

Rowland to Speak at Reading 2100 Fundraiser

August 31, 2019

Ross Rowland has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at a fund-raising event to raise money to help pay for the restoration of Reading 4-8-4 T1 No. 2100.

The event will be held on Sept. 21 at the former Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse in Cleveland that is now operated by the Midwest Railway Preservation Society.

Rowland will present a video and photo presentation about his experiences in restoring and operating steam locomotives, including the Golden Spike Centennial Limited in 1969, the American Freedom Train from 1975-76, and the Chessie System Steam Special in 1977 and 1978.

Among the locomotives that he helped operate were Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 759, Reading 4-8-4 No. 2101 and Chesapeake & Ohio 4-8-4 No. 614.

The restoration of Reading 2100 is being undertaken at the B&O roundhouse by American Steam Railroad.

A catered dinner from Ohio City BBQ. Tickets are $99 per person and can be purchased on the internet at