Great Northern Railway Historical Society

Welcome to the Great Northern Railway Historical Society

The GNRHS is dedicated to the preservation, study, and history of one of America's greatest railroads, the Great Northern Railway.

To Society Members, we offer carefully-researched Reference Sheets, a quarterly GN Goat publication, an annual calendar, discounts on model kits, books, CD's and other items, and an annual convention to discover all that is the Great Northern Railway.

For researchers the GNRHS Archives have historic documents and photos available on a wide range of subjects covering the Great Northern.

For a quick overview of all the GNRHS has to offer, checkout the menu at the top of the page or choose a link for more detailed information.

Latest News

GNRHS participates in BNSF-Interbay celebration

Scott Tanner and Andrew Klamka at the GNHRS table at Interbay
Scott Tanner and Andrew Klamka at the
GNHRS table at Interbay

On Saturday, August 8, 2015 GNRHS members Scott Tanner, Bob Kelly and Andrew Klamka were out to represent the GNRHS at BNSF Railway’s Interbay Roundhouse in Seattle for BNSF’s 20th anniversary celebration. Information on the GNRHS was shared with BNSF Employees and their families as well as historic information on the GN and the Interbay Roundhouse complex.

This event was organised for the purpose of recognising current and former BNSF employees and their families with a day of fun. Many younger couples came out with their kids, while some older employees and retirees brought grandkids. This non-public event ran from 11 AM to 4 PM.

Posing for photos in front of the beautiful GN painted caboose

Posing for photos in front of the beautiful GN painted caboose

This was a very nice event, and a lot of fun for the GNRHS to participate in. Several rails showed keen interest in the GN history and even the possibility of joining the society. A few of the older retirees are honest-to-goodness GN veterans, so they seemed to especially appreciate the effort to keep the GN spirit alive and on people’s minds.

The GNRHS was happy to be present at this event and would like to thank BNSF and especially Alisha Walker for the opportunity to be part of their celebration.

Check out Scott Tanners report for more info and photos.

  Posted on August 13, 2015, by


2015 Twin Cities Convention a Success and Fun

Group photo with J.J. and Mary Hill at their house
Group photo with J.J. and Mary Hill at their house

The 2015 GNRHS Convention held from July 18 to 22 was another success. Over 200 members and family came out and enjoyed a great convention in beautifully mild weather. A great mix of tours and presentations as well as the ever popular Railfair provided something for everybody to enjoy.

Great tours were enjoyed of the BNSF Northtown Diesel Shop (who really went out of there way to make the conventioneers feel welcome), the Minnesota Transportation Museum and our GNRHS Archives, renovated St. Paul Union Depot (SPUD) and the James J. Hill house. Topping it all off was a great ride on the Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway all Great Northern, Empire Builder Green and Orange, train behind GNRHS’ own Great Northern SD45 #400 ‘Hustle Muscle’. The Earl Currie Limited train ride even included a photo run-by. Read more

  Posted on August 2, 2015, by


Final Twin Cities Convention timecard posted

Final Twin Cities Convention timecard


Final Twin Cities Convention timecard

The final Twin Cities Convention timecard has been posted to the website.

All information on the Twin Cities Convention and the Earl Currie Limited train ride behind our own GN SD45 #400 ‘Hustle Muscle’ can be found on the website.

Late Registration is still available.

  Posted on July 2, 2015, by


 

GNRHS on Facebook

One of the Northwest’s most prolific rail photographers was Robert Johnston, who captured scores of exceptional images during the sixties and seventies. Here’s one of my favorites: GN 27, the Western Star, at Fort Wright in Feb. 1966. This is loaded with goodies: the tiny telegraph office, two types of train order signal, and a short but classic off-season ‘Star with its through New York Central mail car loaded with “Look” and “Life” magazines direct from Gotham, and on the rear the distinctive rider-baggage car. (Just out of view: the flagman, snagging orders from the operator.) Great Northern—great stuff! Thanks, Bob. ... See MoreSee Less

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Don Rauf, Conrad Wesselhoeft and 1 other like this

Taylor BowieSuper shot...wonder where he was standing to get such an inclusive image. It's really a little story all by itself.

20 hours ago   ·  1
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Great Northern Railway Historical Society shared Izaak Walton Inn's post.

Scene shared by the Izaak Walton Inn. Firefighters protecting the area.
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#lovethosefirefighters

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Dan Rambo, Milford Newman and 23 others like this

Chrys-Stella LouisaBless them!!! May God protect them!!!

2 days ago
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Joanne O'Connor WhiteGod bless the fire fighters❤️

2 days ago   ·  2
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Brian GingerichAwesome!! Thank you!!

2 days ago
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John HardyProtecting Great Northern heritage, good to see. danke.

2 days ago
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Great Northern Railway Historical Society added 3 new photos.

Some of the different thypes of extensions added to gondolas for wood chip service.
GNRHS Archives Werkema collection
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William Amberg, Gary DuPrey and 23 others like this

Earl PoulsenThe Spokane, Portland & Seattle had similar car extensions and ex-GN gons for their woodchip cars.

2 days ago   ·  2
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John Hardylooks like it was a 55 ton drop bottom Gondola, I have 1 in O scale without the extensions. MTH Trains.

2 days ago   ·  2
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