About Midwest Preservation Society
MRPS is an all volunteer group of people dedicated to preserving our railroad past. We are an Ohio not-for-profit corporation and holder of a 501(c)(3) designation. Our goals are to collect, preserve, restore, display and operate railway equipment for the education and enjoyment of the public. MRPS is centered in Cleveland, located at 2800 West Third Street in the flats. A historic roundhouse and railroad yard at this location has been ideal for our purposes. It is here we are building a future for Cleveland's rail history.
Collect and Preserve
MRPS has a diverse collection of vintage cars and engines that represents northeast Ohio's railroading past. Prior to restoration a wood sided reefer (left), used to keep fruits and vegetables cold during transport, has a member lettering the car body to accurately match the original paint scheme. At the roundhouse our collection of cars patiently await restoration and rebirth for a new generation to experience.
Throughout the year we have many projects under restoration at any given time. A 2005 project shows the transformation of a B&O bay window caboose. The photo (Left) clearly shows the caboose has seen better days. After restoration the caboose is a beacon and marker for the roundhouse entrance. As the song goes "The Little Red Caboose, Chug Chug Chug..."
Several train cars are restored and available for public viewing. The red caboose sitting at the entrance to the roundhouse stands out against the darker steel buildings of the industrial flats. Restored passenger coaches are used on excursions and displayed at various locations throughout the year. The B&O boxcar is a showpiece within the MRPS yard, setting the standard for our future restoration efforts.
MRPS is known through past years of service, operating the 4070 steam locomotive in the Cuyahoga Valley. Although the 4070 is now undergoing mechanical repair and restoration, we continue to operate several diesel locomotives and run excursions every year.
Founded in 1955 when a group of concerned citizens purchased the B&O Roundhouse, slated for destruction, for $200,000 of their own money. The other roundhouses in the Flats (New York Central, Nickel Plate, Pennsylvania, etc) are all gone. MRPS now owns over 20 pieces of Vintage rolling stock, including the 4070: a former Grand Trunk Western 1918 USRA light Mikado (2-8-2) steam locomotive that was featured in movie "The Natural". Our home is the historic B&O Roundhouse on West 3rd Street in Cleveland Ohio in the industrial Flats district.
In addition to working on our vintage rolling stock, our long-range goal is to restore the Roundhouse site and turn it into an educational and historical railways museum - preserving our area's great railroading past for generations to come. Built in the period 1905-1919, the B&O Roundhouse once operated every day of the year, 24 hours a day. At its peak in the 1940s, it employed a staff up to 400. It was once the central locomotive service center for one of the great rail lines that helped built Ohio’s industrial and economic might. Today, stalls 1 to 4 of the building are open and in stable condition. Stalls 6 to 10 are supported for future restoration. Stall 11 to 15 are completely gone. The infrastructure has decayed and many of the walls need work but we are slowly rebuilding it back to it former glory.
With the help of our civic and business partners, MRPS is working to return the Roundhouse back to a locomotive repair shop with the back building turning back into a machine shop and a wood shop. We are developing it into one of Cleveland's major historical attractions – by restoring the 4070 back to an operating steam locomotive. It is part of the sights, sounds, smells and excitement we remember of an era that may be long gone, but that noone should forget.We envision the Roundhouse as an integral part of the rapidly developing project know as the “Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath,” a multi-community and multi-venue historical and recreational area stretching from Dover Ohio to Cleveland Flats.MRPS members share a passion for making steel, steam and oil moving large amount of weight. We get involved in repairing, restoring vintage railroad equipment of every size, type and description.
We figure out how to remake, redesign and fabricate the things that can not be bought. We help our volunteers grow and develop skills they never knew they had.We now own over 20 pieces of vintage stock, including the famous 1918 USRA Light Mikado steam locomotive - the 4070 - that once provided motive power for the excursions through the Cuyahoga Valley.We also own the corporate name of the now defunct “Cleveland Terminal & Valley Railway,” an early railroad based out of Cleveland. We use the name for transporting our equipments for our excursions. When we are on the rails, we are truly a railroad - The CT&V.