Fort Eustis will host a conference ("TC Week") Thursday July 8th through Saturday July 10th

To Veterans and Friends of the Military Railway Service (MRS):

This year, The Chief of Transportation and Fort Eustis will host a conference ("TC Week") from Thursday July 8th through Saturday July 10th. While the specific agenda of MRS and rail related events is still being finalized, this year's TC Week will include several significant MRS related activities. Included in this years nominees for Hall of Fame recognition are the 727th Railway Operating Battalion (ROB) and surviving unit member Allen C. Metzer. The 727th was the first ROB activated during World War II (WWII) and served for nearly three years in five campaigns from North Africa to Germany. Sergent Metzer served in the battalion's Company "B" from activation through its five campaigns receiving a Legion of Merit in recognition of his contributions. The TC Week schedule of events as of April 24, 2010 is shown below.

A major addition to the museum's rail collection thanks to the Smithsonian Institution is U.S. Army Alco RS-1 number 8011. This locomotive will be an important acquisition because it was used by the MRS in the Iranian Theater during WWII. Built for the Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay Railroad in 1941, the unit was acquired by the War Department and rebuilt for MRS service in Iran. It is one of a similar group of Alco built locomotives sent during WWII to operate the land route through Iran for sending military supplies to our Russian ally. For the 26 months (April 1943-June 1945) in which the MRS had complete control of the Iranian State Railway, the railroad handled over 4.1 million long tons of freight, including more than 2.7 million long tons of military freight for the Russians. It also transported more than 186,000 passengers. These included allied troops, war refugees, former prisoners of war, and Muslem pilgrims.

After the war, the unit served on the Alaska Railroad and then with the Department of Transportation (DOT) at Pueblo, CO. From the DOT at Pueblo the unit was donated to the Smithsonian and moved to the Pennsylvania State Railroad Museum at Strasburg, PA. Negotiations are currently underway with Norfolk Southern and CSX for movement to Fort Eustis which is currently scheduled to take place during May. The locomotive currently carries a combined Alaska and DOT paint scheme and will require restoration at Fort Eustis. Provided movement plans can be finalized, this significant MRS artifact will be on display and part of this years TC Week.

MRS battalions of WWII and Korea continue to conduct individual annual reunions. In 2010 at least four units will be meeting to renew old acquaintances and swap stories. Battalions holding reunions in 2010 include:

712th Transportation Railway Operating Battalion (Central Railroad of New Jersey RR - Sponsor)
Crown Plaza Airport
Indianapolis, IN
September 8-11
POC: MR. Robert Shannon
(910) 949-3920

729th Railway Operating Battalion (New Haven RR - Sponsor)
Westin Tampa
Tampa, FL
September 8-11
POC: MR Charles W. Buch
(813) 600-0552

732nd Railway Operation Battalion (Great Northern RY - Sponsor)
Comfort Inn Central
Williamsburg, VA
October 2-6
POC: MS Peppie Rogers
(610) 966-4029

765th Transportation Railway Shop Battalion (Erie RR - Sponsor)
Comfort Inn -Westport
St. Louis, MO
September 22-26
POC: MS Sheryl Schneider
(513) 648-0351

For those of you living in or traveling through the area of one of these reunions, stop by and thank these MRS veterans for their service to our country.

During last year's MRS event at Fort Eustis we were fortunate to have an Army History Detachment and were able to capture a record of the experiences and lessons learned by our veterans. A museum's mission is not just to collect the hardware of previous generations, but also to be a bridge for the knowledge gained in the past to be used as a learning tool for both current and future generations. Additionally, it is through the sharing of these experiences that we gain an appreciation of the true accomplishments of these MRS veterans. While to date this sharing has been largely limited to a military community, we now have the opportunity to reach the larger audience of railroad professionals and enthusiasts

Kalmbach Publishing has extended an invitation to the MRS community to share their military rail experiences in the columns of TRAINS magazine. While feature articles are welcomed, they would be most interested in receiving veteran's remembrances of their MRS service for their "Railroad Reading” in TRAINS. Articles may be as short as 300 words or as long as 1,500 words. Attached is a guide to submitting articles and/or photos to TRAINS. If anyone has specific questions please contact:

MS Angela J. Pusztai-Pasternak
Assistant Editor, TRAINS Magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle/P.O. Box 1612
Waukesha, WI 53187-1612
262-796-8776, ext. 449
fax: 262-798-6468

Have Bailey Bridges that were widely used by the MRS for quick repairs become a casuality of the "Green" movement:

"Axion International Holdings has won a $957,000 contract to replace two bridges on the Fort Eustis rail network. The new bridges will be made from a thermoplastic composite and recycled plastic. The plastic materials should allow the weight limit of the structures to be increased to 118 tonnes, giving greater scope for military equipment to be transported by rail. Parsons Brinckerhoff is managing the project, while Axion International Corp is supplying holdings, I-beams for pilecaps and main girders, cross-ties and curbing. Axion CEO Jim Kerstein explained that the bridges would make use of tons of recycled products that would normally be destined for landfills. This includes household items such as milk jugs, detergent bottles, and car bumpers. The plastic bridges replacements are touted as being faster to build and less expensively than what could have been achieved using wood, steel or concrete."

The TC Museum continues add new exhibits telling the story of Army transportation through various eras. If you have never visited or haven't toured in recent years, your trip will be worth the effort. We expect to finalize the specific MRS schedule of events within the next several weeks. A detailed agendia will be published in the Spring Newsletter and via a supplemental e-mail update. In the meantime, make your plans to join us at Fort Eustis for TC Week to participare in the activities, renew friendships, and be park of sharing and preserving the history of the MRS.

Mark Metz, LTC-TC, USAR-Ret.
(717) 597-2636


Thursday 8 July 1530-1700 ---- Transportation Corps Regimental Association (TCRA) Meeting ---- FE Club

1700-1800 ---- TCRA Social ---- FE Club

Friday 9 July 0700-0815 ---- General Officer Breakfast ---- Location TBA

0830-1030 ---- Warrior Recognition Ceremony (Induct DMOR's' Recognize Regtimental Off/WO/NCO/Civ of the year: Farewell outgoing COL, SGM and Civilian of the Regiment; Induct new Honorary COL, SGM and Civilian of the Regiment: and Casing of the Regimental Colors. ---- Seay Plaza.

1130-1330 ---- Hall of Fame Luncheon and Induction Ceremony ---- FE Club

1400- 1700 ---- TC Museum tours and MRS programs

1800-2100 ---- Regimental Picnic ---- FE Club

Saturday 10 July 0700-UTC ---- Regimental Golf Scramble --- Pines Golf Course