Military Railroad Society
The Military Railroad Society (MRS) is a 501C3 non-profit organization, established in 2017, dedicated to preserving American military railroad history.
Our nation has relied on logistical support of railroads since the American Civil War. It was in the First World War that trench railways were heavily relied upon to helped evacuate wounded and resupplied the front lines. During the Second World War the Military Railway Service was established to supply the Allied Forces and later to help rebuild war torn Europe. Soldiers from Railway Battalions were called upon again in Korea to move vast amounts of medical aid, munitions, and refugees. Still to this day service members can enlist in the US Army Transportation Corps and serve in the railroad occupation. The crucial mission performed by these railroad veterans can often be overlooked or under appreciated.
The Military Railroad Society is grateful to tell the stories of the military railroad veterans through interpenetration, reenactments, and historic train rides offered at Fort Eustis, Virginia. The Society has acquired a large collection of American military rail historic documents and artifacts. The Society is also working to preserve the historic locomotives (steam and diesel) that helped these gallant soldiers accomplish their mission.
The Military Railroad Society conducts an annual Santa Claus train ride on Fort Eustis, for children of military families. Special train rides for local school groups and charity organizations have been hosted by the Society. This year the Society ran their first Valentines Day dinner train and are currently planning more events to support military service members and their families.
The Military Railroad Society is currently in the process of restoring a historic World War II era steam locomotive, engine 5002. Engine 5002 was built by the H.K. Porter Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the third S100 class 0-6-0 tank engine to be delivered to the U.S. Army in August of 1942. Designed by Col. Howard Hill, a former Southern Pacific steam locomotive design engineer, The class would go on to be one of the most numerous tank engine classes to be produced. Col. Hill's tank engine design was so austere that it was eventually was copied by builders around the world!
“ The Military Railroad Society knows that our strength lies not only in the words we stand by, but most importantly through the actions of our initiatives.
An endeavor on this scale has never been attempted in preservation railroading. Our goal is to perpetuate the memory and in the hearts of all Americans, the spirit in which these great trains were used in the defense of our nation.”