Excel Sportswear’s Interview with our Featured “Design of the Week.”
This week’s Design of the Week features the Steel City Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. Established in 2017, the Steel City Chapter is a non-profit organization working to preserve railroad history of Western PA.
The R&LHS was founded in 1921 and is the oldest railroad historical society in the United States. The Steel City Chapter president, Kevin Varrato, is determined to carry on their mission of remembering and recognizing the contributions and sacrifices of the men and women in the railroad industry of the greater Pittsburgh region, as well as educating the public of the rich heritage of railroads in the transportation industry.
“We began working on finding a suitable location to have a railroad and transportation museum,” explains Varrato. Their search led them to the Former McKeesport’s Connecting Roundhouse in RIDC’s Industrial Center of McKeesport.
“The building, once owned by US Steel, has laid dormant since the mid-1980s,” says Varrato. “We want to rehab and update the structure, making it into the Western Pennsylvania Railroad and Transportation Museum, a destination and research museum for children and adults of all ages.”
When designing their t-shirt, Varrato wanted to capture the spirit and details of the trains in old black and white photographs.
“I wanted to showcase some of the photographs I have in my collection,” explains Varrato. “The two I picked have some significant meaning to me. The top one, URR (Union Railroad) is the railroad company my Grandfather, Uncles, Cousins and then myself worked for. The lower one, is McKCRR, the McKeesport Connecting Railroad. This is the railroad facility we are currently looking at to be our museum location.”
“I love black and white photography, and it really shined through on the design with the grey scales and details of the photographs,” says Varrato. “Really makes it pop.”
Varrato says he very much enjoyed the experience working with Excel during the shirt-making process, “Wonderful and creative design team, everyone there is outstanding. We are very pleased with the quality of the shirts. Everyone we showed loves them. We’ll be ordering more in the near future.”
To learn more about the Steel City Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, visit them online at www.steelcityrlhs.com.