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NRHS 2021 National Railroad Museum Green Bay 8/24/2021

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I woke up and prepared for our day. I went to Dunkin' Donuts for glazed donuts and an orange juice which I bought back up to my room while Elizabeth had the buffet breakfast in The Avenue Bar and Grill at the Double Tree Hotel. Elizabeth was busy with her bus host coordinator duties and was on Bus 2 today. We went down and waited for the buses to arrive and I was the first member of our group to get on the bus.

The bus which I boarded for the trip to Green Bay for the National Railroad Museum.

The National Railroad Museum

The National Railroad Museum is a railroad museum located in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin, in suburban Green Bay. Founded in 1956 by community volunteers, it is one of the oldest and largest United States institutions dedicated to preserving and interpreting the nation's railroad history. Its collection of locomotives and rolling stock spans more than a century of railroading. Notable items include an Aerotrain; Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4017, one of the world's largest steam locomotives; and British Railways Class A4 number 60008 Dwight D Eisenhower (ex-London & North Eastern Railway No. 4496 Golden Shuttle) and train used by the Supreme Allied Commander and his staff in the United Kingdom and continental Europe during World War II. A museum building houses a wide variety of railroad artifacts, an archive and photography gallery. A standard gauge track rings the grounds. An 80-foot wooden observation tower has views of the Fox River and Green Bay. The museum hosts an annual Day Out with Thomas event, where Thomas the Tank Engine pulls young friends past the exhibited rolling stock; and in October, "Terror on the Fox": Green Bay Preble Optimist Club's haunted attraction that includes "haunted" train rides after dark.

The Museum's archives holds corporate records and documents, annual reports, maps, mechanical and engineering drawings, oral histories and ephemera. The holdings represent various railroad companies, labor unions, and fraternal organizations. Its library holds works on the social, economic, political and cultural aspects of American railroading history. The National Railroad Museum holds over 5,000 artifacts, including textiles, uniforms, tools and personal items. Its photograph collection includes 15,000 photographic prints, slides and film negatives of railroading since 1890.

Our Visit

We went north up the highway towards Green Bay.

Crossing the Fox River, you can see the museum. We arrived at the National Railroad Museum and I went off on my own to photograph things.

Canadian National SW1500 1563 ex Wisconsin Central which was donated to the museum in 2019.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad observation car 300 "Silver Spirit".

Rock Island Aerotrain 2, Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway E-1 class 2-10-2 506 and Sumter & Choctaw Railway 2-8-2 102.

Santa Fe 2-10-4 5017, Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad 4-6-2 2718 and Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad 2-8-0 24.

Green Bay and Western C430 315.

Wisconsin Central GP30 715 ex Soo Line.

Museum scene.

Lenfestey Center. I took the 99 steps up to the top of the National Railroad Museum Observation Tower. Here are the views.

The view from the Observation Tower. I came back down to earth.

Burlington Railway express car 1580 and Chicago Great Western Railway caboose 662.

Wisconsin Central SD24 2402, originally Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 504.

Burlington Northern Railroad Jordan spreader 973127.

The miniature train out in front of the museum.

Canadian National SW1500 1563 ex Wisconsin Central. I boarded the train and knelt to get my pictures. Now sit back and enjoy the two-lap ride around the museum.

This completes the two laps on the museum train. I went inside the main building.

The Areotrain model.

Union Pacific Big Boy 4-8-8-4 4017 and Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 4890.

British Railways (London and North Eastern) 4-6-2 60008 (4496) "Dwight D. Eisenhower".

Union Pacific Big Boy 4-8-8-4 4017.

United States Army 2-8-0 Army 101.

Wisconsin State Merci Car from France.

London and North Eastern sleeping car 1592 armour plated.

British Railways (London and North Eastern) 4-6-2 60008 (4496).

Atlantic Coast Line Railroad dining car Dothan. I waited for lunch to be served and I was the first to get my lunch.

Members eating their lunch. After lunch I resumed my photography.

Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway E-1 class 2-10-2 506.

Rock Island Aerotrain 2.

Sumter & Choctaw Railway 2-8-2 102.

Museum scene.

Great Northern S-211 built as South Buffalo 73 which became Fort Howard Paper Company 63-146, then Georgia Pacific 63-146.

Milwaukee Road H-10-44 767.

Anheuser-Busch Plymouth 15 Tonner.

Pardee and Curtin Lumber Company Shay 12 on a flat car.

Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad 2-8-0 24.

Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad 4-6-2 2718.

Santa Fe 2-10-4 5017.

United States Army ALCO RSD-1 8651.

Green Bay and Western S-3 1, ex. Manistique and Lake Superior Railroad, originally Ann Arbor Railroad.

Inside the restoration shed.

Minnesota & St Louis NW-1 D-538.

Canadian National SW1500 1563. I waited for my 12:30 tour to start.

NRHS Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the National Railroad Museum

Bob Lettenberger, the Education Director, would led this tour. Fifteen of us met in the lobby of the museum then walked to the drumhead room where Bob started his interesting topic of 'why do we preserve railroading items'. He then went through some histoy about railroads before we went upstairs into the upper vault. Here are scenes from that room.

He talked about how the museum acquire their displays, the process by which they decide what to use and how they get rid of items that are no longer of use or pertain to the collection anymore.

The door from the London and North Eastern sleeping car 1591 that can not be used because of the steps used with this car.

Railroad track tools in a corner.

A Fish Box used by railroads to deliever fresh fish for restaurants. From here we went back down the stairs to the lower room and we were able to see all the paper materials they have.

All of the books, slides, images and other paper items are in this room. Next we went into the reading room.

Our tour group in the reading room.

Bob put on gloves then showed us one of the books that was from the surveys for the transcontinental railroad before it was built.

The United States Transcontinental Surveys and Route Map, This ended our behind the scenes tour which was most excellent. I went to the depot to wait for my 2:00 PM train to arrive.

The train returned into the station and we waited underneath the station's eaves until it was time to board as it was pouring. The train consisited of Canadian National SW1500 1563, open air car with screen 'Cdr Buerschinger' and Reading Company "Josephine".

NRHS members aboard the 2:00 train. After the train ride I returned to the main building for additional pictures.

The cab of British Railways (London and North Eastern) 4-6-2 60008 "Dwight D. Eisenhower".

The cab of the Union Pacific Big Boy 4-8-8-4 4017. I watched a little of the Big Boy film before going outside.

The wig wag crossing signal as you enter the museum. I got on Bus 1 and the rain stopped about twenty minutes later but started again as we came into Milwaukee through heavy traffic. Elizabeth and I had the buffet for dinner and then she went to her seminars (Center for Railroad Photography and Art and North Shore Line) and I finished one story then started on today's story. After that, we called it a night.