Greenwood Oral History Interview Archived

The life and career of William E. Greenwood, former Chief Operating Officer of the Burlington Northern Railroad, has been archived in the NRRHF 'Spirit of the Railroaders' oral history library.

The interview was recorded at the Greenwood home in Westlake, Texas, by Dr. Brent Glass, NRRHF Senior Advisor and Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American history.

Glass noted that Greenwood's career, which spanned the 1960s into the 1990s, was marked by a time of change for both the industry and the nation.

"Deregulation of railroads sparked a period of significant innovation," Glass observed. "At the same time, national energy policy favoring low-sulfur coal accelerated development of the Powder River Basin, and workforce dynamics were in flux as more and more women entered this historically male-dominated field."

The archive includes a full transcript and video of the interview, as well as a video excerpt on Greenwood's time as Terminal Superintendent in Alliance, Nebraska. The excerpt, "People Person, Problem Solver," focuses on the team building skills that enabled Greenwood to turn around a dysfunctional railyard.

The 'Spirit of the Railroaders' oral history archive preserves firsthand stories of railroaders whose life's work shaped the American railroad landscape. Interview candidates are chosen based on criteria established by the NRRHF's Rail Industry Advisory Group.

Interview research, video production, and travel are made possible by generous private donations. To view the Greenwood interview or to support future 'Spirit of the Railroaders' oral histories, visit the Spirit of the Railroaders tab on the main menu.

National Railroad Hall of Fame Celebrates Black History Month with Pullman Porters Exhibit

The life experiences and achievements of Pullman Porters are celebrated in an original NRRHF exhibit on display in Galesburg, Illinois, during the month of February. Also featured in the exhibit are the stories of Asa Phillip Randolph and Willard Saxby Townsend, African American Pullman Porters and Hall of Fame Inductees.

The Pullman Porter exhibit is an integral piece of "Trunks Through Time," an NRRHF traveling exhibit that explores the impact of railroads on various minority groups of travelers between 1880 and 1960. Building on themes of challenge and transformation, each trunk illuminates the life story and achievements of the trunk's owner and comes complete with a set of teacher resources and lesson plans.

The exhibit is on display in the lobby of the Bondi Building at 311 East Main Street. It is free and open for viewing during regular business hours.

Call for Nominations

The NRRHF Board of Directors requests nominations of individuals in the history and contemporary operations of railroads in the United States of America for consideration for induction into the National Railroad Hall of Fame. To be eligible, nominees must have made a significant contribution to some aspect of railroading history. Nominations for groups of individuals in recognition of their collective effort or contributions, as well as for entire communities historically tied to railroading, will also be considered. Submit your nominations at

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