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. Learn more.

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. JOIN GNRHS now!

Latest News

Nelson and Beyond!

Many thanks to convention co-chairs Francina and Tom Carr, along with Bob Kelly, Mary McGlothlin, Jim Betz, Jeff Otto, the CPHA crew and so many others that helped make the joint GNRHS/CPHA convention in Nelson BC a success. Over 150 attendees enjoyed beautiful weather and a full program of clinics, tours, model displays and fellowship.

So what’s next? Mark your calendars for these upcoming GNRHS conventions:

JULY 22 to JULY 26, 2023


Click here for a very preliminary timecard.




Dates and location to be determined. Planning is underway for potential Joint GNRHS, NPRHA and Burlington Route Convention

  Posted on December 14, 2022, by

Nelson Convention Update!

Hello GNRHS members:

We are getting excited as the Nelson 2022 Convention approaches, held jointly by GNRHS and the Canadian Pacific Historical Association:

• The dates are Saturday September 17 through Wednesday Sept 21 inclusive – IT’S NOT TOO LATE to register!
• Full registration package is available online. Click here for the timecard.

  • If you’re already registered, you can still book a space for these activities:
    • Touchstones Museum – for the official opening ceremony of their new Kootenay Railways exhibit
    • Nelson Heritage Tramshops (reception & tour of their shop and streetcars)
    • Ainsworth Hot Springs for a relaxing and enjoyable time in their outdoor pools, followed by self-pay lunch at the Indigenous inspired Ktunaxa Grill overlooking Kootenay Lake
    • Banquet with Keynote speaker Robert Turner
    • Spokane <-> Nelson Shuttle bus, before and/or after the convention
  • Ainsworth Hot Springs activity – we had to change the meal to lunch as they aren’t open for breakfast on Wednesdays

  • Currently all international travellers coming to Canada must:
    • be fully vaccinated for COVID – they ask about your first and second vaccines
    • have a valid passport
    • create an online account with ArriveCan beforehand – involves scanning your passport and COVID vaccination documents ahead of time (digital photos accepted)
      • the free website is –
      • You must also register your visit via your account within 72 hours of your planned border crossing – phone users may need to update your ArriveCan app first
        • Smartphone – register via ArriveCan Mobile App so you can show your receipt that way at the border
        • Computer – register online then print your registration receipt to show at the border – have someone help you if this is challenging for you
  • Please consider bringing something for the Model and Photo display (Sun & Mon)
    • We’d like to see your work-in-progress or completed models and photos to display. Admire the great skills of fellow members. Talk with others to get tips, problem solve, and share ideas.
  • Jim Betz is offering layout planning help during convention – contact him at to arrange a time with him
  • Review the updated Aug 16th timecard – there may have been some small changes to start/stop times of some activities
  • Burger Buffetthere will be 2 seatings due to the large number of attendees who have paid for this activity
    • 1st seating – 4-6pm
    • 2nd seating – 6-8pm
    • Please let us know which seating you prefer – by email to or when you arrive at the Convention Registration desk in Nelson
    • Tickets indicating your seating choice will be given out at the registration desk
    • A simultaneous craft-beer tasting will be held in the adjoining Prestige Port701 Lounge

CLICK HERE for full convention details…

  Posted on August 20, 2022, by

2022 Convention

UPDATE: Convention registration is now open!

Hello GNRHS members:

Tom and Francina Carr have been very busy reorganizing the postponed 2020 Nelson BC (Canada) convention, working closely with our friends at Canadian Pacific Historical Association:

• The dates are Saturday September 17 through Wednesday Sept 21, 2022.
• Full registration package was in the March GOAT magazine, and also available online. Click here for the timecard. If you prefer to pay by check, you may click here to download a registration form.
• We have organized various speaker presentations; time for showing and discussing train models and pictures; optional bus-tours (historical rail and non-rail) of this very interesting and historically significant area; a Meet and Greet Friday evening, a Burger buffet Monday evening, and a Convention banquet on Wednesday evening. The Nelson Heritage tramway will be available for free rides to our attendees throughout the convention
• There will be a very interesting full-day historical rail bus-tour on Saturday Sept 17th, so you should arrive Friday Sept 16th if you wish to partake.

CLICK HERE for full convention details…

  Posted on January 12, 2022, by

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