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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.

WWF End of TrackThe Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum of Alna, Maine, is the recipient of the 2019 H. Albert Webb Memorial Railroad Preservation Award. This $10,000 grant will enable the WW&F to purchase track materials and services needed to complete the Museum’s ambitious “Mountain Extension” project. Photo at right: Looking north from the end of the newly-laid track toward the right-of-way graded all the way to the Trout Brook bridge. (Mike Fox photo, courtesy WW&F)

While the railroad has been consistently extended since the Museum was founded, the Mountain Extension Project is particularly challenging. The Project is a multi-year effort to re-lay track on three-quarters of a mile of the original WW&F Railway's grade, a scenic descent of a mountainside that brings the railway to the former Boston & Maine Railroad Howe pony truss bridge, installed by the museum over Trout Brook in 2018, and beyond to a new station adjacent to Maine Route 218. Last fall museum volunteers laid over 1,900 feet of track over three days, and in October 2019, they intend to lay another 2,000 feet of track. The entire Mountain Extension will be completed and opened for operation in 2021, following construction of a run around track and other facilities adjacent to the Trout Brook Nature Preserve. Once complete, the ride will reach a natural terminus at a major state road with conservation land along either side of the Museum-owned right-of-way.

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

  • Installation of a lavatory & generator to complete the restoration of Delaware & Hudson RR Combine #102 by the Downeast Rail Heritage Preservation Trust, Inc. of Ellsworth, Maine.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Replacement of the ties and timbers on the deck of the Danbury Railway Museum's 1917-vintage New Haven Railroad turntable in Danbury, Connecticut.
  • 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.
  • 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
The application period for the 2020 H. Albert Webb Memorial Railroad Preservation Award and the Mass Bay RRE Railroad Preservation Fund Grants will open in July of 2019.
Site maintenance by Members of Mass Bay RRE.
Page updated January 28, 2019