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

Six month report on new store

A bit over six months ago we moved the GNRHS Company Store to new software, Shopify. With the help of Bill Sornsin, we made it reasonably easily except for two things.

First, Shopify does NOT have the capability to identify members by member number. This was a bit of custom programing that we did not think was worth the cost in money and time to continue. This has caused some confusion for those who were used to accessing their account by member number. The new process is to simply fill in the blanks the first time you check out. They system will recognize you in later transactions based on your email address.

Second, since we no longer capture member numbers, we emailed a member discount code to every member. I hope you kept that email or saved the code somewhere, but if you need it, please click here and select “Store” to contact me, and I will give it to you.

We added several new items in 2020 and more are on the way. The next structure will be 50,000 gallon wood water tank kits in both HO and N. These were used all over the system. They will look great on any steam era layout. The 20,000 bushel elevator at Touhey WA, also in HO and N, will be in the store next, near the end of this year. Every GN model railroad needs at least one grain elevator. Some stations had five or six. N scale modelers, I took a chance in doing these structures and the Republic depot for you. You need to buy these things if you want me to continue to offer N scale items. The next car will be USRA 50 ton boxcars in HO scale. These are Accurail shells, which are excellent models of the USRA cars, custom painted with correct numbers available in both front facing and side facing goats.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we are now offering back issues of all our publications in electronic format, and at reduced prices. These are immediately available downloads. This project was well underway before I came to the store. It was not my vision, but again with Bill’s help, we made this great advance. After December 31, 2020 we will no longer offer hard copies of Goats, Reference Sheets, and Modelers Pages. The sole exception will be the color card reference sheet. If you want hard copy Reference Sheets or quarterly Goat publications, get them now. Available in the US only due to high foreign mailing costs.

  Posted on October 6, 2020, by

GNRHS Archives Posts 5,000 New Records

The GNRHs Archives has posted the following new collections on the GN-NP Joint Archive at

James A Turner photograph collection.  This Greater Puget Sound and Cascades focused photo collection contained 450 items. These photos can be sorted and seen online. Medium resolution copies can be downloaded.

Jackson Street Roundhouse Map and Blueprint Collection has 4700 maps and drawings available and they can be sorted by state, location, year and various other elements.  The maps are not posted due to their large size.  People interested in a specific item can contact the GNRHS Archives at:

Walt Ainsworth Great Northern Diesel Slides Collection.  This set contains 400 color slides of GN diesel locomotives taken from the late 1950’s to 1970. Sorting by year, location, number and other subjects is provided.  Medium resolution copies can be downloaded.

  Posted on October 6, 2020, by

Visit the all-new GNRHS Store

Easier To Use

All-new software and layout makes it easier to use on all devices. Checkout is streamlined and you can use any credit card OR PayPal.

However, you will need to create a new account and password, and prior purchases made on the old system are not available.

More To See

Many new products to peruse including rolling stock and structure kits. And we now offer high-quality DIGITAL versions of our Reference Sheets and Modeler’s Pages, including various bundles by category (depots, box cars, passenger trains, etc)


Discounts For Members

Members receive a 10% discount on all merchandise, publications and apparel. If you’re a new member or otherwise haven’t received instructions on how to receive the discount, contact the Membership Secretary or Store manager.

Check it out!

  Posted on June 6, 2020, by


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