Great Northern Railway Historical Society

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

Need for Goat Editor

Urgent Need to Find a New Editor for the Great Northern Goat

As reported in the December issue of the “Goat,” Ed Stankard has announced he will step down after publishing the June 2019 “Goat.” There is very little time remaining to recruit a worthy candidate and prepare him/her for the job of coordinating the effort in producing our quarterly publication. The Society MUST FIND and assist a new editor in continuing this critically important work. Here is an opportunity for someone to contribute his/her skills and talent in providing leadership in preserving what most members consider the single most important activity our Society does. The “Goat” has served to bind together the members of GNRHS for over 45 years.

The job requires good communications and writing skills, editorial judgment in selecting and working with materials contributed for publishing, the ability to work with a team of dedicated volunteers who assist in preparing the journal for printing and distribution, willingness to work under publishing deadlines and timely efforts to maintain a flow of interesting subjects worthy of publication and who preferably possesses a reasonable knowledge about the Great Northern Railway.

GNRHS is currently undergoing a major effort to improve our internal operations in accordance with recommendations provided by Authenticity Consulting of Minneapolis. The Board started working with Authenticity this past year to identify strategies in preparing our Society for long term sustainability as we face challenges similar to those faced by virtually every rail historical society these days. Aging memberships, dramatic changes in the model railroad hobby over the years, increasing operational expenses, and the reality our favorite railroad subjects disappeared nearly 50 years ago. Our publication efforts will likely see some changes as a result of this work the GNRHS Board is undertaking.

If you have the slightest interest or know of someone who may, please contact Director Bill McGinley who is heading up this search effort or any of the Board members and other officers for further discussion. Be assured, these individuals are ready to assist candidates in considering the assignment and providing help in making a smooth transition for the new Managing Editor of the “Goat” starting immediately.

  Posted on January 15, 2019, by

Empire Builder Advocates Website

Empire Builder Advocates website
Empire Builder Advocates website

A new website has been created at honouring the Empire Builder train’s past and advocating its future. The website is for and about the Empire Builder passenger train. The site is “all things Empire Builder” including a forum and historical information.

Historical information is an important consideration with the Empire Builder, named for James J. Hill, whose railroad helped settle the American Northwest and was the primary driver in the creation of Glacier National Park.

The website allows learning about the train, how to use the train, why the train is important, and how you can support the continued operation of the train. The Empire Builder operates daily between Chicago and Portland and Seattle across America’s Northern Tier via Minneapolis/St. Paul, Grand Forks, Glacier National Park, and Spokane, providing a valued service to online communities (many with few transportation options). Its continued operation is vital to these communities.

Learn more at

  Posted on January 2, 2019, by

December GNRHS Goat has shipped

GNRHS Goat 177
GNRHS Goat 177

The December 2018 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 2018 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 16, 2018, by


GNRHS on Facebook

2 weeks ago

Great Northern Railway Historical Society

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Comment on Facebook

you could her these coming, exhaust different than EMD'S

These Alco's were 4 stroke compared to the 2 stroke EMD's. You could hear the difference as well as see the difference as Alco's liked to belch out lots of black exhaust.

I saw only one of these on the Havre to Great Falls line. Most of the engines were FT's. This was back in the 1950's.

Man I wish that the GN had PA’s!!!

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