Military Railway Service

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sat Mar 6 11:18:04 EST 2010

A new book, Trains to Victory, America's Railroads in World War II
(Donald Heimburger and John Kelly, Heimburger Publishing, 2009), will be
of interest to listers who have followed the Military Railway Service
(MRS) story in the wake of reporting in the Arrow early in the last
decade. I secured a copy for review via the inter-library loan service.

The volume, an extended photographic essay (380 pages, 8.5" x 11"
format) includes N&W graphics of the period. Attention in the main is
upon home-front action by the nation's railroads. MRS training in the
US and engagement in overseas theaters are subjects included moderately
within the story. The failure to cite, road by road, the overseas
theater deployment of US road-sponsored MRS units (as N&W and the 755th
railway shop battalion) is an unfortunate omission that still awaits
coverage in a non-military publication.

Some listers trained and served at Fort Eustis, VA, which in 1946 became
the training center of the Transportation Corps, a component of which
was the Military Railway Service. The volume offers extensive
photographic coverage of Eustis, a bonus being shots of US Army S-160
2-8-0 steamers, the very engines which N&W's 755th men in Belgium kept
on the rails during the Battle of the Bulge in the bitter winter trial
of '44-'45.

Frank Gibson

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