About

The Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society (CPH) is one of 160 National Railway Historical Societies in the United States. Founded in 1959 and became a part of the NRHS the same year. Our goals as a chapter are: “Preserve documents and artifacts of railroad history, to promote the use and improvement of the present railroad industry, to acquire and restore rolling stock for display and operations, and to generally encourage public interest in the ongoing story of the North American railroads.”

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Our 14th Street West Museum site. Our C&O 1308 was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places, January 31, 2003. © Chris Lockwod 2010
May not be used without written permission from photographer

 

Written on the WV State Historical Marker: Chesapeake & Ohio- 1308-----The 1308, built in 1949, was one of the last working steam locomotives built by Baldwin Locomotive Works for a Class 1 railroad in the U.S. It primarily hauled coal from Logan County. Retired from C & O Railway service in 1956. Moved in September 1962 to its present location. The 1308 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places January 31, 2003.

A non-profit organization ( 501(c)3 ) in West Virginia, it is named for Collis Potter Huntington, who was one of the major investors in the Central Pacific Railroad; it became part of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. He was active in many railroad ventures. His second most important venture was in connecting the Atlantic Seaboard with the Ohio River. He accomplished this goal in 1873 with the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway in the newly planned city bearing his last name.

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Probably the best photo taken of our 1308 was taken by one of our members, Chris Lockwood. © Chris Lockwood 2008
May not be used without written permission from photographer

 

Our chapter has been a part of the New River Train since the 1960’s. At that time we worked in conjunction with the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. When the C&O was merged into the Chessie System Railroads in 1980 we began sponsoring the trip on our own. This is a traditional fall foliage trip from Huntington through the New River Gorge to Hinton. These trips operate in October of each year during the peak of the fall season in Southern West Virginia. It has hosted persons from all around the world. We have sponsored many excursions on both CSX and NS and its predecessor railroads to various locations in WV, KY and OH throughout the years and look forward to many more to come. In 1991 the CPH chapter hosted the NRHS annual convention in Huntington. We have hosted the Tourist Railway Association Incorporated (TRAIN) Conference in 1990 and 2003.In 2010, CPH hosted the NRHS Spring Board Meeting in April.

The chapter also sponsors a Tri-State Model Railroad Show held at Greenbo State Park in Greenup, KY each March on the third weekend now in its 29th year. Other events that we participate in are: "Festival of Trees and Trains" at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, KY, "Day Out With Thomas Event" at the Whitewater Valley Railroad in Connersville, Indiana, and Appalachian Model RR Club’s annual Model Railroad Show held Thanksgiving Weekend each November, (over 20 years). O&LK Division of CPH sponsors a Railroad Day held the first weekend in June at Belpre, OH.

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Photo by: Joe Rosenthal • © Joe Rosenthal
May not be used without written permission from photographer

 

CPH actively sponsors the preservation of rail passenger service throughout the country; in particular we maintain one of the oldest narration programs in existence. This is conducted onboard Amtrak’s “Cardinal” (Named for the state birds of the states through which it passes) from Ashland, KY-Huntington, WV through the New River Gorge and on to White Sulphur Springs, WV.