Welcome to the Amherst Railway Society Inc. We hope you find many things here to stir your interest in railroading - whether it be steam, diesel, electric, prototype, model or any other rail related interest.
The Amherst Railway Society is a non-profit organization, tax exempt 501(c)(3) corporation, which has about 450 members who share some aspect of railroading as a common interest. Monthly meetings cover current topics in railroad news and offer slide shows, movies or a prominent speaker on a railroading topic. The Society also sponsors and participates in several train trips each year and provides a video tape and DVD library free to all members.
Every year in late January, the Society presents its annual "Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show" at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, MA. This Show has become the biggest railroad show in the Northeast. The Amherst Railway Society has received the Walthers Showmanship Award in recognition for sponsoring the event. As a member of the Society you are entitled to receive a free admission ticket for one day of the Show. Members who volunteer to work at the Show can come both days of the Show, as well as Thursday and Friday to assist with set up.
Proceeds from the show are used to promote interest in railroads and railroading. Annual grants and donations have been made to various railroad museums, historical societies, restoration projects and scholarship funds. Organizations that have received donations include: the Fall River and Old Colony Museum, the Flying Yankee restoration project, the 470 Club's Boston and Maine diesel locomotive restoration project, the Boston and Maine Historical Society, the Chester Foundation Station Project, the Wiscasset Waterville and Farmington Building and Car Fund as well as trolley museums in Shelburne Falls, MA, Warehouse Point, CT, Branford, CT and Kennebunk, ME. Please note that our grant program cycle has changed beginning with a $10,000 Founders Award to the Railroad Museum of New England at our Railroad Hobby Show in January 2012. All future awards will be announced at the annual show. The 2012-13 Grant Application will be available for download in July 2012.
In addition we are announcing a major new grant, the "Founder's Award," which will be awarded annually at the ARS Railroad Hobby Show in January for the restoration or repair of a locomotive, rolling stock, or structure, for the establishment or conservation of archives, or for the education of the public about the history of Railroads or model railroads. Application deadline for the 2012 award is January 14, 2012. Click to download the full announcement.