Railroad Education

Programs Tailored to Specific Needs

As part of our mission at Midwest Railway Preservation Society, we are dedicated to preserving the Greater Cleveland Area’s rich railroad history through education. This is accomplished through many programs, both on site and off.

On site programs vary in content with the primary activity being regularly scheduled Open House events. On hold since the Covid-19 mandates in 2020, they will be resuming in the near future. The open houses include a comprehensive tour of the Historic B&O Roundhouse that was opened in 1907 and the home to MRPS as well as being the focal point of our restoration efforts on numerous projects. A tour of the grounds and the railyard follows in which our knowledgeable tour guides describe in detail the original warehouse building and the numerous pieces of historic, vintage passenger and freight cars on site. The tour gives visitors a chance also to tour the interior of many of the cars giving them an idea of what train travel may have been like before air travel took its’ place as the primary method of long distance travel. Highlight of the tour is the stop at 4070, our 1918 2-8-2 Mikado that originally ran on the Grand Trunk Western Railroad and then ran excursion service for the Cuyahoga Valley Line until 1991.

Currently in early stages of restoration, the locomotive is also an educational platform where members and visitors alike will learn about the steam process as well as giving members the opportunity to learn new skills that include all aspects of the project. Inspection, machining, assembly, cutting, welding, materials and processes are just a few of the areas where experienced members share their knowledge with those eager to learn and participate in bringing 4070 back to life.

Restoration of historic passenger cars as well as regular maintenance of rolling stock and ancillary equipment also offer great opportunities in education. We offer periodic brakeman training classes with hands-on yard work with an experienced crew as well as Run a Locomotive for an Hour programs where participants combine class time with actual throttle time in the seat of a locomotive alongside an experienced engineer.

Special educational programs are scheduled on request such as those held in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America in which the attendees earned a special railroad badge for their participation. We have also hosted school groups, special needs groups and senior tours; educational in nature but also nostalgic for some.

Off-site talks and programs are also offered by request where knowledgeable volunteers speak on varying topics that include the railroad history of the Cleveland area as well as our organization. A partnership in 2019 with the Great Lakes Science Center helped to build and man an extended exhibit titled “The Science of Trains” at the Center in downtown Cleveland. More recently, in 2023, we presented a six-week program titled “Trains: They’re Not Just a Childhood Obsession” for the Institute for Learning in Retirement sponsored by Baldwin-Wallace University.

Have something special in mind? Let us know and we can customize a program to fill your specific request.