The 470 Railroad Club traces its origin to a rainy Sunday in June of 1954 when the Maine Central Railroad scheduled the final run of a steam locomotive. It would seem that the date, June 13th, the event, the end of the steam era, and the rain could lead to anything but a lasting association.
As the train left Portland with a sellout crowd of 700 people aboard and proceeded to Bangor via Lewiston and Waterville, many of the Portland area residents began to share their experiences. On the way back to Portland, via Brunswick this time, a nucleus of ten men decided to meet informally once a month at one of their houses.
From this beginning, the group known then as the 470 Club, named for the locomotive that pulled that last train, slowly grew to the point that it needed both a meeting place and a formal organization. In 1955 the 470 Club affiliated with the Railroad Enthusiasts, Inc., an affiliation which lasted until 1995. The first meeting place obtained was the waiting room at the Portland Terminal Company's Cumberland Mills station. Although this room had the proper railroad flavor, it lacked seats, which some of the members would have to bring from home.