Carmel train enthusiast helps to preserve Union Pacific history


Shawn Woodward has always been interested in trains.

“I played with trains as a kid,” he said.

Now, the Carmel resident describes himself as a railfan, or railroad enthusiast.

CIC COM 0913 Union Pacific

Woodward, 68, became connected to the Union Pacific Historical Society, which is based in Cheyenne, Wy., in 2015. He was elected to the board of directors this spring.

“It’s a rail preservation society dedicated to maintaining the history through photographs and traffic patterns,” said Woodward, a wealth advisor.

The society also collects maps and artifacts. Woodward said he chose the Union Pacific for “a dumb reason.” He chose it because the train colors are yellow and gray, and yellow is his favorite color.

The nonprofit has about 2,000 members worldwide. Most are from the U.S.

Woodward said most railroads have their own preservation societies. He said the meetings include predominantly older members and a lot of history buffs. The organization’s official publication is The Streamliner, which is released four times a year.

After being canceled in 2020 and ’21 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the convention was held May 11-14 in Cheyenne, and Woodward attended. The 2023 convention will be in July 2023 in Pasco, Wash.

“It’s a fun group to be around,” Woodward said. “You hear a lot of great stories. We collect the information from railroaders who have taken pictures over the last 40 or 50 years.”

As those former railroad workers get older and die, Woodward said their families might not want to keep all the photos, so the historical society can take those collections.

Woodward said there is an agreement with the American Heritage Center through the University of Wyoming to digitize all the information.

“We have an endowment to hire a full-time person, along with the University of Wyoming, just to get the information cataloged,” he said.

For more, visit or email Woodward at [email protected].