HISTORY OF USATC RAILROADING
FROM IDEA TO REALITY:
THE EVOLUTION OF MILITARY RAILROADING
The Military Railroad Society (MRS) is a 501C3 non-profit organization, established in 2018, dedicated to preserving American military railroad history. USATC 5002 is the main inspiration for all we do. Moved from her location in Pennsylvania to Baraboo Wi in 2018 to continue restoration efforts. From 2015-2018, the 0-6-0 was stored at the Colebrookdale Railroad.
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 help evacuate wounded and resupply 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 interpretation, 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 historic locomotives (steam and diesel) that helped these gallant soldiers accomplish their mission.
HISTORY OF USATC 5002
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 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.
MILITARY RAILROADING LIBRARY
The Military Railroad Society is currently amassing the largest collection of American military rail history documents and artifacts. This site will continue develop with time to become
THE authority on the subject. If you have an artifact you think would suit our mission, please contact us at the link provided below.