About Us

NPRHA history, mission, and vision

Our Story

Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association

The Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association (NPRHA) is dedicated to preserving the history of America’s first northern transcontinental railroad. This is done by the nearly 1,600 members of the NPRHA who support research into the operations, equipment, and facilities of the NP and by modeling and publishing research findings. The NPRHA is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization formed in 1981.

The signing of the charter for the Northern Pacific by Abraham Lincoln in 1864 and the completion of its mainline in 1883 were major factors in the opening of the northern tier of the United States. The NP was an early innovator in the areas of on-board dining services, the 2-8-2, 4-8-4 and 2-8-8-4 steam locomotive designs, the center-truss flat car and much more. The NP was involved in some key events affecting the development of the nation, such as: the demise of Custer, the financial collapses of 1873 and 1893, and the anti-trust legislation of the early 1900s.

Have a General Question?
Email us: info@nprha.org.

Our Mission

Preserving and Communicating NP History

The Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association (NPRHA) collects, preserves, and shares the history of the Northern Pacific Railroad/Railway (NP), its predecessors, and related companies. Our research materials communicate NP history to the general public through written words and images, both online and in print. Our materials also support a greater community of people restoring existing NP equipment and structures, as well as those creating accurate models for hobbyists and museum exhibits.
Through our quarterly journal, The Mainstreeter, authors and photographers continue to tell the story of the NP, its employees, and the communities it served along its route from the Great Lakes to the West Coast.
Join us on this journey as we celebrate, preserve, and share the enduring story of the Northern Pacific Railway, honoring its significance in American history and its lasting impact on the fabric of our nation.