Center for Railway Tourism Releases First in Series of Preservation Tips

Date Posted: 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

ELKINS - The Center for Railway Tourism at Davis & Elkins College has announced the release of Tip Sheet No. I, the first installment of a planned four-part Legislative toolkit for the railroad heritage preservation and tourism industry.

Titled “Writing Your Congressional Representatives,” it was inspired by both declining Federal investment in the preservation of historic transportation equipment, structures and infrastructure, and by the Trump administration's current focus on increased infrastructure spending.

"Investment in rail heritage preservation is local," said Center Director Jim Porterfield. "It creates work for local companies and individuals."

Other benefits are more widespread, he says.

"Railroads are a unique, national heavy industry that moves," Porterfield adds. "Preserving their heritage strengthens the national fabric by offering a greater understanding of the building of our nation. Meanwhile, heritage tourism provides concrete, at times substantial, economic benefits to localities as well as states."

Tip Sheet No. 1 provides step-by-step instructions for identifying a voter's district U.S. representative and two U. S. senators, for properly addressing and opening correspondence, and for selecting which of each official's multiple offices to correspond with.

Instructions are provided for determining annual federal funding on a state-by-state basis for transportation heritage restoration and preservation for each of the last five years. This information enables concerned citizens to speak with authority on the issue.

The tip sheet also suggests where to learn how many visitors entered a state as heritage tourists, how much discretionary spending that produced, how many jobs resulted, and how much tax revenue the activity generated for the state. Links to detailed recent reports from two states – the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia – are provided for such data if it is not available locally. A generalized statement for Pennsylvania is also included.

Finally, a prototype letter is provided for use as-is or to serve as a guide for an individualized letter. Areas that need to be localized are highlighted.

Future Legislative Toolkit tip sheets will address systematic lobbying, petitioning and working at the state and local level.

Those wishing to secure a copy of Tip Sheet No. 1 of the Legislative Toolkit are invited to contact Center Director Jim Porterfield at, or by telephone at 304-637-1307.

Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at or call 304-637-1243.