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In Memoriam

William E. Greenwood

Chair Emeritus, National Railroad Hall of Fame Rail Industry Advisory Group COO, Burlington Northern Railroad (retired)

June 8, 1938 – September 22, 2023

All of us here at the National Railroad Hall of Fame are sad to note the passing of Bill Greenwood on Friday, September 22nd.


We first met Bill in June 2008, when he accepted a volunteer role as a senior advisor to this project. A widely respected industry executive, he was the singular force behind the creation of our Rail Industry Advisory Group, a blue-ribbon panel of scholars and railroad professionals whose credentials span all sectors and geographic regions of the industry. Bill served as the group's Chair from 2008 to 2018, when he was named Chair Emeritus.


It seems only natural that Bill would be drawn to an organization dedicated to honoring the stories of the men and women who shaped the industry he loved. He had a natural curiosity and concern for others, and that caring demeanor, in turn, drew people to him. In recognition of his dedication and service in advancing the Hall of Fame, Bill was awarded the Hall of Fame's 'Engines of Freedom' medallion in 2017.

It would take many more paragraphs to adequately sum up his kindness, sense of humor, generous hospitality, and the quality of his friendship. It has been a privilege to be among his many friends and colleagues. We send our sympathies to Falah and his family. Rest in peace, dear friend.



The National Railroad Hall of Fame honors the men and women of American railroading –
visionaries, leaders, trendsetters, and ordinary people who made extraordinary contributions.
In telling their stories, we seek to educate and inspire the public on the role railroads play
in building the nation and shaping our future.


National Railroad Hall of Fame


The National Railroad Hall of Fame celebrates the spirit of the railroaders. The ingenuity, vision and courage embodied in the lives of Hall of Fame inductees offer magnificent stories of national importance.

The railroaders transformed America; their stories have the power to inspire and transform all who discover them.



Bring the story of American railroading to life in the classroom through our growing collection of educational resources. Appropriate for students from kindergarten through 12th grade, our online materials include lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, maps, games, an original readers theater play, and more. Each lesson includes a bibliography of supporting books and related websites.

  • Trunks Through Time explores the societal challenges and contributions of several under-represented groups of railroad travelers between 1880 and 1960.   Students will be inspired by stories of perseverance and triumph in the lives of a Pullman Porter, a Chinese Laborer on the Central Pacific, a Harvey Girl, and a Mexican boy in the Santa Fe boxcar camps.


  • The Building of the First Transcontinental Railroad chronicles the vision, ingenuity, and raw courage of the people who designed and built the nation’s first transcontinental railroad.  Learn how the Transcontinental Railroad transformed daily life in the United States and how it continues to form the backbone of our economy, delivering the goods and commodities Americans rely on every day.


  • Whistlestop Campaigning:  Rallies Along the Rails.  In 1900, Theodore Roosevelt’s whistlestop campaign fundamentally changed the way candidates interact with the electorate.   In 1948, Harry S. Truman’s extensive whistlestop campaign saved his presidency, and the practice has continued to entice candidates as recently as George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  Click here to learn about the origins of the whistlestop; explore an interactive map of Truman’s 1948 Midwestern rail tour, including photographs and speech recordings; and view a photo gallery of presidential whistlestop campaigns.

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