Great Northern Railway Historical Society

    Meet and Greet the GNRHS!

    Train show season is in full swing! Check the Calendar and Events page to see where our membership teams will set up next. Stop by with your questions or just to say hi. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

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

December GNRHS Goat has shipped

December 2017 Goat
December 2017 Goat

The December 2017 GNRHS Goat package has shipped to our Members.

See its contents.

Copies of this issue are available for purchase through our Company Store for both members as well as non-members.

NEW! The December 2017 Goat is also available as a digital download (PDF).

Consider joining today to get the Goat included FREE in your membership, and to get other great GNRHS products at a discount. Join here!

  Posted on December 14, 2017, by


Burlington Northern Veterans Now Join at a Reduced Rate

GNRHS BN Veteran Membership
GNRHS BN Veteran Membership

The Great Northern Railway Historical Society is now welcoming veterans of the Burlington Northern Railway to join and renew at the same reduced Veteran membership rate as it’s offering Great Northern veterans.

The GNRHS recognises the close ties between the Burlington Northern and its predecessor railroad, the Great Northern, as well as the values and memories veterans of both railroads share.

The GNRHS welcomes all GN and BN veterans to share their memories of, or related to, the Great Northern Railway.

Please check out all the GNRHS has to offer and join the GNRHS. Our Veteran rate is only $20!

  Posted on November 5, 2017, by


2017 Sioux Falls Convention Features Steam


GNRHS members pose with Great Northern
Railway H-5 4-6-2 at Sioux City, IA.

Our GNRHS convention of 2017 was held for the first time in South Dakota. Attendees were treated to rides behind a hot, coal-fired 0-6-0 Lima steam engine and a visit with the lovingly-restored Great Northern Railway 1355 H-5 class, 4-6-2 at Sioux City, Iowa. Those who arrived early for the convention also enjoyed a tour of the Midwest Railcar Repair facility.

Our modelers enjoyed an evening’s visit to three separate local layouts as well as the modeling contest during Rail Fair. Convention speakers presented a wide variety of topics. We experienced everything from Operations on Jeff Otto’s Missabe Northern model railroad, Mark Meyer talking about BNSF locomotive distribution, and several features on GN lines and their predecessors in South Dakota up to present-day local BNSF operations.

The convention closed on Wednesday evening with the banquet featuring a talk by Mark Gjevre of BNSF about the upcoming Sioux Falls yard relocation project. There was also a brief presentation about next year’s Bellingham convention which will include two tours up into Canada to view GN’s legacy. Afterwards, the raffle prizes were distributed and another successful GNRHS convention came to a close.

We hope to see you all next September in Bellingham on the route of the Amtrak Cascades!

On board GN 1213 on the Earl Currie Limited
BNSF power enters Sioux Falls on ex-GN line.
On board GN 1213 on the Earl Currie Limited
Enjoying the back platform of GN A-11
Railroad bridge at Sioux Falls park.
Enjoying the back platform of GN A-11
Approaching St. Paul on the Padelford Riverboat
At Midwest Railcar Repair GNRHS members inspect a tank car that's in for a new jacket.
Approaching St. Paul on the Padelford Riverboat
Wednesday Evening Banquet
A BNSF cryogenic car undergoes rebuilding.
Wednesday Evening Banquet
Wednesday Evening Banquet
BNSF dozer 939525 after rebuilding at Midwest Railcar Repair.
Wednesday Evening Banquet
Operating on Jeff Otto's Missabe Northern
Prairie Village 0-6-0 blasts uphill.
Operating on Jeff Otto's Missabe Northern
Operating on Jeff Otto's Missabe Northern
Lindsay Korst enjoys the view from the cupola.
Operating on Jeff Otto's Missabe Northern
GN-MILW Wentworth, SD depot.
Getting one's picture taken in the cab at Northtown Diesel Shop
Enjoying a buffet lunch at Prairie Valley.
Getting one's picture taken in the cab at Northtown Diesel Shop
Railfair swap meet
0-6-0 takes on water.
Railfair swap meet
Visiting St.Paul Union Depot
GNRHS booth at Rail Fair.
Visiting St.Paul Union Depot
Touring St.Paul Union Depot
Model of stockyard on display at Rail Fair.
Touring St.Paul Union Depot
Welcome to Jackson Street Roundhouse
Just a few of the raffle prizes.
Welcome to Jackson Street Roundhouse
Jackson Street Roundhouse
Don McGlothlin hosts GNRHS Business Meeting.
Jackson Street Roundhouse
Examining an AFE file at the vast GNRHS Archives at Jackson Street Roundhouse
Father Dale Peterka, John and Marilyn Thomas receive lifetime GNRHS memberships.
Examining an AFE file at the vast GNRHS Archives at Jackson Street Roundhouse
Examining an AFE file at the vast GNRHS Archives at Jackson Street Roundhouse
Ken Middleton talks about the Watertown & Sioux Falls Ry.
Examining an AFE file at the vast GNRHS Archives at Jackson Street Roundhouse
Enjoying a presentation.
Formal dining room in the J.J. Hill House
Rutland, SD depot (ex-GN) at fairgrounds.
Formal dining room in the J.J. Hill House
Sioux Valley Model Engineers Society layout,
Twin City Model RR Museum's O-scale Layout
Spectacular N gauge model layout on our tour.
Twin City Model RR Museum's O-scale Layout
Rich Remiarz's Willmar Division layout
Quartzite mine on the Dakota Central.
Rich Remiarz's Willmar Division layout
John O'Brien's Minot Division
GN 1355 at the Sioux City, Iowa roundhouse.
John O'Brien's Minot Division
Tyrone Johnson talking about Ice Harvesting for Refrigerator Cars
Checking out the turntable at Sioux City.
Tyrone Johnson talking about Ice Harvesting for Refrigerator Cars
John Diers talks about the History of the St. Paul Union Depot
Pulling GN 1355 onto the turntable.
John Diers talks about the History of the St. Paul Union Depot
James J. Hill speaks to his employees
GNRHS members pose with GN 1355 at Sioux City.
James J. Hill speaks to his employees
James J. Hill speaks to his employees
Enjoying a speeder ride across the former Milwaukee complex.
James J. Hill speaks to his employees
Jerry Barsness receives a Rocky Award for his volunteer work recruiting new members
Scott Tanner watches a presentation.
Jerry Barsness receives a Rocky Award for his volunteer work recruiting new members
Former GN depot in Sioux Falls, SD.
Overall view of ex-GN yard in Sioux Falls.
Wednesday evening banquet.
Mark Gjevre of BNSF was our banquet speaker.

  Posted on October 20, 2017, by


 

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This is an original of the photo that appears on page 172 in Lines West by Charles R. Wood. The picture shows the effort to clear a "snow slide" on the Great Northern near Marias Pass. My grandfather was the signal maintainer in Essex, Montana, and my father was a signalman helper at the time this slide occurred in 1948 or 49. They are both in this picture. My grandfather is the man leaning against the slide fence pole in the foreground. My father is just below him holding a snow shovel. ... See MoreSee Less

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Bill GeeHere is another look from a different perspective. As far as I know this photo has never been published.

11 hours ago   ·  2
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Rita HolcombWOW!

2 hours ago
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Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season!

We’re looking forward to providing a great stocking stuffer in 2018!

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Wheel set car
GNRHS Archives Newby collection
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