Jim Porterfield

Director, Center for Railway Tourism

Phone: 304-637-1349
Campus Location: Byrd Conference Center

Jim Porterfield is an author; a columnist, feature writer and Contributing Editor for Railfan & Railroad magazine; the creator and host of “Journeys for a Railroad Tourist,” a website and blog from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Heritage Travel division; and the creator of the website “The Railroad Tourist: A State-by-State Guide,” a growing catalog of all manner of locations for travelers interested in railroad heritage, preservation, and tourism.

His six books include Dining by Rail: The History and the Recipes from America’s Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine, and he edited and introduced Jack Orr’s acclaimed biography of O. P. Orr, Set Up Running, about a Pennsylvania Railroad engineman from 1904 to 1949, and the reprint of Harry Bedwell’s classic railroad novel, The Boomer: A Story of the Rails.

Jim writes a marketing column for Railroad Museum Quarterly, the journal of ARM/TRAIN (Association of Railroad Museums/Tourist Railway Association, Inc.) and is currently completing an anthology of classic railroad fiction – On the Double Line – to be published in 2013. A popular presenter before both rail history groups and the general public, he is a regular guest on “Let’s Talk Travel,” a regional radio and Podcast talk show devoted to travel destinations. His background as a marketing executive in the entertainment industry and a sales and marketing consultant to various groups and organizations has resulted in a sales emphasis leaking into his perspective when presenting railroad history, travel, and preservation.

A graduate of Edinboro State College (now Edinboro University of Pennsylvania), Jim was a marketing instructor at Penn State University’s main campus for 25 years. He is taking up residence in Elkins, West Virginia, to teach courses in heritage tourism and to launch the Center for Railway Tourism.