The Hagestad Sandhouse Rail Group

The Hagestad Sandhouse Rail Group was started by the Northwestern University Transportation Center in 2002 to connect active and semi-active rail practicioners with students and academics. It is named for Douglas Dean Hagestad, one of the group's founders, who passed away in 2007 (click here to read more about Doug Hagestad).

Each Sandhouse presentation features a speaker, followed by a discussion with the featured guest. Meetings usually begin at 3:00 p.m. and last 90-120 minutes. For upcoming events, including Sandhouse events, see the NUTC Calendar or call 847-491-7287.

2016 Events (Upcoming and Past)

Past Events

Bulletin Board (includes articles, photos, news items and other postings shared by group members)

What is a Sandhouse?

Before the construction of modern rail servicing facilities, locomotives would be sanded for traction (steel wheels on steel rails sometimes slip, particularly in wet conditions) in separate areas known as sandhouses. These sandhouses also served an important function in bringing together many of the different roles in rail - hostlers, engineers, brakemen, oilers, maintenance technicians, carmen, etc. - away from management. This allowed a free exchange of facts, stories, and rumors. The Hagestad Sandhouse Rail Group is a continuation of such practices, aiming to stoke lively discussion and spur new ideas for the rail industry.

Douglas Hagestad Education Fund

In honor of our dear friend Doug Hagestad, whose work with the Sandhouse Rail Group helped shape it into what it is today, the NUTC established the Douglas Hagestad Education Fund. This fund provides financial support for the continued activities and programs of the Hagestad Sandhouse Rail Group. Click here to read more about the Douglas Hagestad Education Fund.

To make a contribution to the fund, please click here to download the donor form.

Hagestad Sandhouse Rail Group Steering Committee

Norman Carlson
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Roy Gelder
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Dick Gill
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Peter Nicholson
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William Sippel
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Diana Marek
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