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THE H. ALBERT WEBB MEMORIAL RAILROAD PRESERVATION AWARD

Mass Bay RRE member Leigh Webb created the H. Albert Webb Memorial Railroad Preservation Award in 2000 to recognize his father's love for New England railroading. Mass Bay RRE acts as Mr. Webb's agent in soliciting applications for the award, reviewing the complete applications, and administering the grants as they are used.

Nonprofit, tax-exempt [IRC 501(c)(3)] organizations that preserve historically significant railroad equipment, structures or information from New England railroads are eligible to apply. The successful applicant receives a single $10,000 grant.

Newfane VT Railroad StationThe Danbury Railway Museum of Danbury, Connecticut has been selected as recipient of the 2017 H. Albert Webb Memorial Railroad Preservation Award. The $10,000 grant will substantially fund the replacement of the ties and timbers on the deck of the Museum's 1917-vintage New Haven Railroad turntable. The timbers at one end of deck have deteriorated to the point that there is a height difference with rails outside of the pit wall, and this differential has gotten worse due to the condition of the timbers.

The 95' long turntable, located in the former New Haven Railroad yard in Danbury, CT and part of the Danbury Railway Museum, was constructed in 1917. It was used to turn locomotives and served a nine-stall roundhouse and servicing facility. It could handle all but the largest steam locomotives of the railroad. It continued to be used until the 1970s. When the Danbury Railway Museum first occupied the yard in 1995, the turntable pit had been filled with the debris left over from several roundhouse fires. Once the debris was removed by Museum volunteers, the turntable was found to have been protected from the elements by the debris. A gasoline engine was installed and the turntable has been operating ever since. The turntable was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 5, 2005. 

Completed projects since 2001 funded (entirely or in part) by H. Albert Webb Award grants include:

  • Completion of interior and exterior restoration of the historic Newfane Railroad Station in Newfane, Vermont, by the Historical Society of Windham County, Vermont, Inc.
  • Repair and restoration of the exterior siding, trim, slate roofing and windows on the 1867 Shelburne Falls Freight House in Shelburne Falls, MA by the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, Inc.
  • Rehabilitation of four traction motors in Union Street Railway RPO Car 302 by the Branford Electric Railway Association, Inc., of East Haven, Connecticut, better known as the Shore Line Trolley Museum
  • Stabilization of the foundation of the historic Brooks Station, located on the route of the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railway, by the Brooks Preservation Society of Brooks, Maine.
  • Expanding the equipment storage and repair building at the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum in Alna, ME.    
  • Scanning and preserving, in digital form, 5000 historic New England railroad images from the Walker Transportation Collection at the Beverly Historical Society, Beverly, MA.
  • Restoring Atlantic Shore Line electric locomotive 100 to operating condition at the Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport, ME.
  • Restoring the interior of Pullman bedroom-lounge car Pine Tree State, the last sleeping car built for the New Haven Railroad, now at the North Carolina Transportation Museum, Spencer, N.C.
  • Reconstructing a quarter-mile of track along the grade of the first U.S. two-foot-gauge common-carrier railroad, by the Friends of Bedford Depot Park, Bedford, MA.

Projects in progress include:

  • Purchase and installation of wire & conduit for the motor circuit controls on Bay State Street Railway Car 4175 (Laconia Car Company, 1914), along with other running gear repairs, at the Seashore Trolley Museum.
  • Restoration of the body shell of former Maine Central Railroad Alco S1 diesel locomotive 954, built in January 1945 and now a valued part of the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum's operating collection of historic railroad equipment.
  • Restoration to operating condition of Boston Elevated Railway “Type Five” streetcar 5706, owned by the Boston Street Railway Association.
  • Boiler repairs needed as part of the restoration to operating condition of ex-Bridgton & Saco River steam locomotive 7 (Baldwin, 1913) by the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum in Portland, ME.
  • Rebuilding and installing a replacement engine in Naugatuck Railroad (ex-Boston & Maine) GP9 diesel locomotive 1732, at the Railroad Museum of New England, Thomaston, Conn.
  • Restoration to operating condition of Boston & Maine P-4-a 4-6-2 steam locomotive 3713, part of the collection at the Steamtown National Historic Site, Scranton, PA
Applications for the 2018 H. Albert Webb Memorial Railroad Preservation Award are now being accepted.
Applications may be downloaded from the Preservation Page.

The Mass Bay RRE Award Committee will carefully evaluate all applications and make its recommendations to Mr. Webb, who will choose the successful recipient. Mr. Webb expects to announce the recipient of the 2018 H. Albert Webb Memorial Award recipient early in 2018.

Site maintenance by Members of Mass Bay RRE.
Page updated September 19, 2017.