The Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society

Donate to the NKPHTS

How You Can Help the NKPHTS


The Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation. Donations are tax deductible to the maximum extent of current US Tax Law and IRS Regulations. The Society gratefully accepts financial donations of any amount, but those that exceed $250.00 are acknowledged in writing for tax verification purposes.

Donations are accepted and applied to a wide range of programs and projects that benefit the NKPHTS, its members, and its Nickel Plate Road Historical Collections at the Western New York Railway Historical Society.


Each year, the NKPHTS is saddened by the loss of several of its members, many of whom have been part of the society's "family" for many years. The society is also often advised of the passing of former Nickel Plate employees, each of whom contributed to the history and legacy of the railroad our organization works so hard to preserve. In response to numerous requests, the Board of Directors of the Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society, Inc. is pleased to announce the creation of a Memorial Fund to honor deceased members of the society, as well as former employees of the Nickel Plate Road who have passed away. This Board-directed fund will accept donations of any size from family members, friends, fellow NKPHTS members, other rail-related organizations, and the public in memory of any deceased society member or deceased NKP employee.

Tax-Deductible Memorial Donations May Be Sent To:

  • NKPHTS Memorial Fund, Post Office Box 9, North Hampton, OH 45349-0009
  • Make checks or money orders payable to: NKPHTS, Inc.
  • Please include the name of the memorial recipient, whether they were a society member or NKP employee, and the donor's relationship to that individual.

Or Donate Using PayPal

Please Note: PayPal may only be used to honor passed NKPHTS members. For former Nickel Plate employees, please mail your check or money order and proof of the recipient's NKP employment to the above address.

Name of Recipient

Since all donations to the Memorial Fund are tax-deductible, donors should include their name, address, telephone, and available email information when submitting their memorial for IRS verification purposes.

Any recipient receiving accrued memorial donations of $50.00 or more during the course of a single membership year will have their name inscribed on a special NKPHTS Roll of Honor to be published in the Winter issue of the Nickel Plate Road Magazine.

The NKPHTS Memorial Fund is an excellent way to memorialize deceased loved ones or friends who shared a mutual interest in the history and legacy of the Nickel Plate Road. The Fund will be used to support important preservation programs, including the society's Nickel Plate Road Historical Collections™ at the Western New York Railway Historical Society and the NKPHTS Digital Imaging Program.

PLEASE NOTE: For a non-member, former Nickel Plate employee to qualify for inclusion in the annual publication of the NKPHTS Roll of Honor, acceptable proof of employment must be included by the donor. This may be a copy of an NKP employee identification card, annual pass, or other acceptable document or verification of employment.

To download a flyer about the Memorial Fund, please click here.

For further information, please contact memorial@nkphts.org.

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A tax-deductible gift to the Annual Founder's Fund Gift Campaign is an excellent way for the membership to financially support the mission of the NKPHTS. Established in 2004, the funds raised through this annual campaign are used to provide ongoing financial assistance for the society's major programs, including the Archives, Digital Imaging Program, NKPHTS.org website as well as the acquisition of unique photographic material for the society's publications; all of which directly support the society's preservation, historical and educational objectives. Distributions and supplemental budget allocations from the Founder's Fund are the sole responsibility of the NKPHTS Board of Directors.

No gift is too small! 100% of every dollar you give goes directly to the NKPHTS, and is used exclusively for the development and implementation of Society programs and projects. With your financial assistance, the society's funding goals are achievable, so please send your donation today!

To Donate by Mail:

  • Download the Founder's Fund flyer and donation form here.
  • Make checks or money orders payable to: NKPHTS, Inc.
  • Please send the form to NKPHTS Founders Fund, Post Office Box 9, North Hampton, OH 45349-0009

To Donate Using PayPal:

  • Click on the PayPal button below. On the PayPal page, please indicate how much you wish to donate.

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The society's Development Fund is actually five separate funds in one; each designed to provide financial support for specific NKPHTS programs:

  • McCaleb-Rehor Prototype Preservation Fund - Your tax deductible gift to this fund will go towards the creation of grants to preserve Nickel Plate Road Prototype equipment & buildings.
    • Non-Profit organizations can apply for a McCaleb-Rehor Grant of $1000 to help with the cost of restoring and maintaining Nickel Plate prototype equipment, rolling stock, or buildings. If your organization would like to apply for such a grant, please download and complete the application form here. (PDF File)
  • Historic Preservation Fund - Your tax deductible gift to this fund will be used for the acquisition and maintenance of historic material, documents and photographs relating to the Nickel Plate Road, its constituent, and affiliated railroads.
  • Modeling Projects Fund - Your tax deductible gift to this fund will go towards the development and implementation of the Society's modeling program.
  • NKPHTS Publications Fund - Your tax deductible gift to this fund goes directly towards publishing costs and technical improvements relating to the Nickel Plate Road Magazine and the Society's Publishing Program.

Please consider a financial gift to the Society.

To Donate by Mail:

  • Make checks or money orders payable to: NKPHTS, Inc.
  • Please indicate to which of the above five funds you wish to contribute.
  • Please send to NKPHTS, Inc., Post Office Box 9, North Hampton, OH 45349-0009

To Donate by PayPal:

  • Click on the PayPal button below. On the PayPal page, please indicate how much you wish to donate.
  • Please indicate to which of the above five funds you wish to contribute in the text box on the Paypal checkout screen.

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Contributions of historical material relating to the Nickel Plate Road, its predecessors and constituent railroads (the Toledo, St. Louis & Western, Lake Erie & Western, and Wheeling & Lake Erie) and affiliated railroads (the Detroit & Toledo Shore Line, Peoria & Pekin Union Railroad, Litchfield & Madison Railway, Illinois Terminal Company, Toledo Terminal Railroad Co., Cleveland Union Terminal Co., and Kokomo Belt Line) are accepted for deposit at the society's Historical Collections housed at the Western New York Railway Historical Society. The Nickel Plate Road Historical Collections™ is the largest archive of its kind dedicated to the Nickel Plate Road and includes thousands of items, including The Howard W. Ameling Photograph Collection and material related to the Nickel Plate from The Gustave W. Erhardt Collection. It is also the repository for the Charles H. Geletzke Detroit & Toledo Shore Line Collection.

Qualified historical material includes photographs, color slides, postcards, track plans, painting & lettering diagrams, public & employee timetables, books, pamphlets, promotional material, historical documents and other ephemera of historic significance to the Nickel Plate, its employees and its operations.

The NKPHTS accepts single items and complete collections for long-term preservation on a nonrestricted basis, as long as the material relates to the mission of the society and the objectives of its Historical Collections. All contributions of historical material are fully tax-deductible and those with a fair market value of more than $250.00 may be accepted under the provisions of a written Transfer Deed at the request of the donor.

    Brian J. Carlson, Collections Management Director
    NKPHTS, Inc.
    Post Office Box 9
    North Hampton, OH 45349-0009

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In 2004, Heritage Preservation carried out the first national survey, the Heritage Health Index, to document collections preservation needs in libraries, museums, and archives. That survey showed that roughly 1.3 billion items need treatment to reduce the risk and rate of damage. However, this doesn't even scratch the surface in addressing the overall issue since so many of our historic images are in private collections.

The NKPHTS is ahead of the curve with its Digital Imaging Program, which follows the protocol of the Institute for Museum & Library Services, but assistance from our members is still needed. We encourage you to take a look at your own collections and how they are stored to make sure that your material is safely and securely preserved. Some useful links are included at the end of this message regarding the best way to store the different materials you may have.

It's also a good time to consider the future of our member's collections with a view to the impact they will have on the history and legacy of the Nickel Plate being preserved by the NKPHTS. If you haven't already, perhaps now would be a good time to have your collection added to our Digital Archives and the Publishing Program. Having your precious NKP slides, negatives, documents, and ephemera preserved and stored in the society's Digital Archives protects them from many kinds of physical risks, but it also adds them to the thousands of images already stored for the purpose of fulfilling the society's educational and preservation objectives. This helps ensure that future generations won't be left to piece together the story of the Nickel Plate Road on their own.



Established and implemented only a few years ago, this innovative and exciting program has allowed for the digitization of more than 10,000 images relating to the Nickel Plate. The purpose of the program is to preserve delicate and inaccessible material in digital form for long-term accessibility for research purposes and use on the society's website.

All types of Nickel Plate Road material may qualify for this program, including photos, slides, maps, plans, diagrams and historical ephemera such as timetables.

Both NKPHTS members and non-members are invited to submit their material for digitization. Scheduling arrangements must be made in advance to ensure secure handling and timely return of material.

The society has also recently established an outreach program that includes access to material housed at independent libraries and museums, as well as a project in cooperation with the National Archive.

A library of CDs containing the society's digitized images has been established as a part of the Nickel Plate Road Historical Collections at the Western New York Railway Historical Society, and is open to all NKPHTS members, as well as qualified researchers, authors and historians.


To preserve, in digital format, information, data, photos, and other important images relating to the Nickel Plate Road and its constituent and affiliated railroads.


Submissions to the Digital Imaging Program may be created by NKPHTS members, or other independent parties interested in the preservation of historical material and the objectives of the Program.

Scans of original material in the form of documents, drawings, plans, maps, publications, photos, postcards, and other ephemera related to the objectives of the program that meet the program's Submission Specifications may be submitted to the Project Coordinator with prior notice.

The cost of shipping and appropriate insurance coverage shall be the responsibility of the individual making the submission.

Original material digitized by members or other independent parties may be accepted for inclusion to the Digital Imaging Program Archive if such submissions meet the program criteria. Such submissions will be reviewed and approved by the Project Coordinator(s) prior to inclusion to ensure that all policy and submission standards are met. The Publication Director, in association with the DIP Administrator, shall be the final arbiter(s) of the qualification standards of any questionable submission for inclusion in the Program.

All submissions will be accepted on a non-restricted basis only.


The following specifications are recommended to be followed for all submissions to the NKPHTS Digital Imaging Program, and must be followed by all third-party participants wishing to submit media containing scanned images for inclusion in the Digital Imaging Program Library.

  • All black & white images should be scanned in grayscale; color images should be scanned in CMYK color format.
  • Photos: 1200 dpi up to 4x6 size; 800 dpi for 5x7 and 8x10.
  • Negatives: same resolution as photos, but images must be submitted in positive format via reverse scanning process.
  • Slides: minimum 3600 dpi.
  • Postcards: minimum 600 dpi utilizing de-screening software during the scanning process.
  • Printed images: manuscripts, documents and other printed material should be scanned at a minimum of 400 dpi (screened or half-tone images must be scanned with de-screening software).
  • No modification or re-touching of images is required.
  • All scans of photos and other similar images should be saved as .tif files without compression.
  • Scans of documents, manuscripts, etc., may be saved as .pdf files if the original image is of high enough quality for good reproduction; otherwise .tif format should be used.
  • All images should burned to either a CD or DVD using open architecture software.
  • Each image should be labeled or coded for easy identification.
  • All digital media submitted to the Digital Imaging Program should have a corresponding inventory of images. Image labeling or coding should correspond with the image identification on the digital media.
  • Identification of the source of the images is required.
  • Images from copyrighted books and other publications must include titles, authors, publishers, etc.
  • The photographer's name must be submitted for all scanned photographic material, and copyright assignments and/or waivers should be included if at all possible. In the absence of an assignment or waiver of copyright, a citation must accompany the images, such as: Collection of John Smith, Photos Courtesy of John Smith Collection, etc.

For a PDF file of these specifications, please click here.


For further information or to provide notification of a proposed submission, please contact the Project Coordinator by email at imaging@nkphts.org.

Please send materials directly to the Project Coordinator at:

    John T. Slater, DE
    NKPHTS Collections Curator
    PO Box 243
    Niagara Falls, NY 14304-0243

Your materials will be scanned immediately and returned as soon as they are done.

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All hard copy donation forms should be sent to the following address. For further information or questions on how to make a donation to the NKPHTS, please contact the society at the same address or by email at donations@nkphts.org.

    NKPHTS, Inc.
    Post Office Box 9
    North Hampton, OH 45349-0009


In addition to contributions there are other ways to help the NKPHTS to preserve the memory of the Nickel Plate Road.

  • First, encourage other Nickel Plate Road fans to join the NKPHTS. The more members we have the more the society can do to further preserve the Nickel Plate's rich heritage.
  • Second, contribute articles for publication in our Magazine or other publication projects. We are not looking for skilled writers, only those eager to help. We have members who are capable of finishing rough copy. We would like to have first hand experiences as well.

  • Third, volunteer yourself, your organization, and/or your city for one of our upcoming conventions.

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The NKPHTS logo and the name "Nickel Plate Road" are registered trademarks of the NKPHTS, Inc.