The JOHN EMERY RAIL HERITAGE TRUST is pleased to announce the following grants for this year. John Emery was a long-time Chicago resident who was an avid rail enthusiast who loved to ride trains around the world, and wanted to help preserve rail equipment and infrastructure that will allow future generations to share his experiences during what he considered the “Golden Age” of railway travel, from 1920 to 1960.

Thirty-four (34) applications were received requesting in excess of $ 1,000,000.00. After extensive research and serious consideration by advisors of the Trust, twenty-two (22) grants were awarded grants totaling $350,000. The John Emery Rail Heritage Trust is the largest trust in the US that makes 100% of its awards solely for railroad restoration purposes.

For 2022, grants were approved for the following organizations/projects:

  1. Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad Association: $ 20,000.00 for track repair to facilitate running of their ATSF locomotive #3415.

  2. Black River Railroad Historical Trust: $ 12,000.00 for CNJ Coach #1009 wheel and spring replacement.

  3. Cuyahoga Valley Preservation and Scenic Railway Association: $ 15,000.00 for interior renovation of the baggage-coach Silver Salon for ADA accessibility.

  4. Downeast Rail Heritage Preservation Trust, Inc: $ 9,000.00 for painting and refinishing the exterior of their diesel engine #54.

  5. East Broad Top Foundation, Inc.: $ 15,500.00 for their doodlebug M-1 for truck and traction motor maintenance.

  6. Engine 557 Restoration Company: $ 36,000.00 for installing flues and tubes on their Alaska Railroad steam locomotive #557.

  7. Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc.: $ 10,000.00 for continued work on their baggage car #3671.

  8. Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, Inc.: $ 15,500.00 for repairs and renovations for their lounge and power cars.

  9. Illinois Railway Museum: $ 1,000.00 for general repairs.

  10. Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad: $ 12,000.00 to repair locomotive #46 wheel sets and side-rod assemblies.

  11. Lake Superior Railroad Museum: $ 15,000.00 to reupholster seats in their two GN coaches.

  12. Mid-Continent Railway Historical Society, Inc.: $ 15,000.00 for continued restoration of their DSS&A sleeping car Duluth.

  13. Midwest Railway Preservation Society: $ 10,000.00 for further work on their Pullman Mt. Baxter.

  14. Nashville Steam Preservation Society: $ 29,000.00 for running gear work on the NC&StL steam locomotive #576.

  15. New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society: $ 10,000.00 for track work to upgrade siding to be able to connect their shop facilities with active trackage.

  16. Pacific Railroad Preservation Association, Inc.: $ 29,000.00 for jacketing and lagging and steam chest repair for the SP&S 700.

  17. Pacific Railroad Society, Inc.: $ 15,000.00 for upgrades to the UP Pullman National Forum.

  18. Railroad Museum of New England, Inc.: $ 15,000.00 for work on their New Haven RS3 #529.

  19. Railroading Heritage of Midwest America: $ 31,000.00 for their newly acquired sleeper/lounge car Caritas.

  20. Roanoke Chapter, NRHS: $ 15,000.00 for their N&W Coach #512.

  21. Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum: $ 10,000.00 for their coach #539.

  22. West Chester Railroad Heritage Association: $ 10,000.00 for continued renovations on their Reading Blueliner coaches.

Congratulations to all the groups who received a grant and the best of luck as they continue to preserve our railroad heritage!

First Option Bank, Trustee of the Emery Rail Heritage Trust, continues to provide ongoing support during the application/selection process and due to their investment management the Advisory Committee is able to continually increase the effect this Trust has on the preservation of rail passenger travel.  If you would like more information about how to set up a Foundation or are interested in donating to the Emery Rail Heritage Trust, please contact them directly at 913-294-9222.

Applications for the next round of grants will be due not later than February 1, 2023.

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