Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) February 04, 2013
The National Railway Historical Society (NRHS), America’s largest rail preservation organization, has made the difficult decision to suspend the 2013 season of “RailCamp,” a summer orientation program for students.
The annual program -- which takes place in Scranton, PA, and Tacoma, WA -- gives hands-on railroad experience to high school boys and girls. NRHS is committed to resuming the program at both locations in summer 2014.
At issue is new liability insurance demands for university housing that are being imposed on NRHS and similar organizations nationwide. In past years, RailCamp has provided student lodging and meal service at universities in Pennsylvania and in Washington.
“After a thorough review of the situation with the NRHS RailCamp staff, we made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s season,” said Gregory Molloy, president of NRHS. “There simply wasn’t time to recast the program in a way that didn’t rely on colleges for housing, as well as communicate those changes to potential attendees and their families. Our first priority is maintaining a quality experience for students while ensuring a safe and effective program.”
“RailCamp has successfully served over 480 youth campers in its 15-year history and we are fully committed to its return,” Molloy added. “NRHS members have been very generous in supporting RailCamp scholarships, and any scholarship funds that have not yet been distributed will be held for use in 2014 and beyond.”
Future announcements will be posted on the organization’s website, http://www.nrhs.com; those with questions are invited to e-mail the society at info (a) nrhs.com. A RailCamp notification list will be established for the 2014 season when details are finalized. Additional program enhancements are being planned.
In past years, students have learned hands-on rail preservation techniques, studied railroad history and learned about career opportunities in today’s rail industry.
At RailCamp Scranton, activities have centered on the city’s Steamtown National Historic Site; past programs have included inspections of working steam locomotives and repairs to freight cars, plus tours of Amtrak and Canadian Pacific Railroad facilities and historic streetcar operations.
At RailCamp Northwest in Tacoma, students have experienced modern station operations, helped inspect Amtrak locomotives and steam locomotives, observed heavy maintenance on high-speed Talgo trains, assisted with restoring vintage passenger cars and more.
Founded in 1935, the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) preserves and raises awareness of America’s threatened railroad heritage. NRHS operates historic rail excursions and tours throughout North America and supports more than 150 regional chapters. During the past 10 years, the non-profit organization has awarded more than $500,000 in railroad preservation grants; it also sponsors RailCamp, a summer orientation program offering high school youth hands-on experience in the railroad industry.
Director, NRHS Public Relations
elawrence (a) nrhs.com