This group’s mission includes; preserving railroad history and promoting interest in all forms of rail transportation, exchanging information about rail transportation past, present and future, and contributing to preservation of rail-related artifacts. They produce a bimonthly chapter newsletter called “Flyer” and members receive the NRHS publication “The National Railway Bulletin”. Fans of railway history or train engineering will enjoy membership.
The Suncoast chapter was organized in 1989. There are presently more than 170 chapters of the National Railway Historical Society in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Suncoast has a rich history of rail service and present day Bradenton, Sarasota and Venice owe much to the early railroads. During most of the twentieth century the Atlantic Coast Line and the Seaboard Air Line railroads provided service for the Suncoast to the rest of the country. Celebrities such as Bertha Palmer and John Ringling used the trains for business and pleasure. The Ringling circus wintered in Sarasota and Venice for over 60 years by using the railroad as the means of transportation. A railroad labor organization provided the financial backing for the city of Venice in the 1920’s and the concept remains much the same as it was then.
The chapter meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month from September through April at 7:00 PM in the public meeting room of the Sarasota Fire Station, 2070 Waldemere St., Sarasota, Florida.