Membership in R&LHS is the only ticket you need to enjoy its benefits. To join, use the online form or printed form. Please note that after October 1, 2023, the R&LHS assumes all membership applications will be for 2024. If you wish to purchase a 2023 membership, please make a note to that effect on your application.

For any membership questions please contact:

R&LHS Membership Management
PO Box 2913
Pflugerville TX 78691-2913

Or Email:

Twice a year, members receive Railroad History, the journal of R&LHS. Railroad History and its predecessor, the R&LHS Bulletin, have been published since the society was founded. All issues (or photocopies of them) are still available to members, as is a cumulative index. Current issues average about 128 pages each. They contain in-depth articles about rolling equipment, fixed facilities such a station buildings, finance, engineering, public policy, and labor. Each issue is well illustrated. Authors’ manuscripts are well documented. The editor of Railroad History ensures that the journal caters to the reading tastes of all members, be they scholars or persons with more casual interests in railroad history. Its indexing by America: History and Life, a database available at major research libraries, is an indication of its stature.

As a part of its archives, R&LHS has a comprehensive archive of locomotive builders’ lists and rosters.

Four times a year, members also receive our companion publication the Quarterly with topics of current interest in the Society and in railroading. It offers brief articles on railroad history. It includes a “Trading Post” column of members’ classified ads. In these and other ways the Quarterly forges a link between members and their Society. The Quarterly can be sent electronically on request.

The organization is nationally-known for its annual awards for significant and long-standing contributions to the writing, preservation, and interpretation of North American railroad history: the Gerald M. Best Senior Achievement Award, David P. Morgan Article Award, George W. and Constance M. Hilton Book Award, and Fred A. and Jane R. Stindt Photography Award. A documentary video award is being added in 2016.

Members are eligible to be subscribed to a members-only Internet discussion group, where your research question might be answered by one of the nation’s leading scholars in the field.

Members are invited to the annual meetings of R&LHS, held each year at locations significant in railroad history.

Members can take pride in the Southern California Chapter, which preserved Big Boy 2014 for 52 years at its Rail Giants Train Museum in Pomona, and in 2013 reached an agreement with Union Pacific to return the locomotive (above) for restoration and operation on UP in time for the 150th anniversary of the golden spike ceremony in 2019.

Members can join a regional chapter, receive its publications, attend its meetings, and participate in its activities, which, for some, includes restoring railroad equipment or other artifacts. Chapter membership requires membership in the national society. You may wish to visit the Society’s archives in Sacramento, California, where archivists will help you in your quest for information.

Members can purchase in print Railroad History at the standard bookseller price of 40 percent off retail, $7.50 instead of $12.50. Members also receive 20 percent off of individually priced out of print issues of both Railroad History and the R&LHS Bulletin plus an additional quantity discount.