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Welcome to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society

About Us

The Society is dedicated to the preservation of and education about the history of America’s first Common Carrier Railroad, the Baltimore & Ohio. The Society has members all over the world across a variety of railroad interests from modeling to research to preservation.

The Society maintains a large archive of documentation from the Office of the Vice President of Operations and Engineering from the B&O Railroad. We are also the custodians of numerous photographs and other items of research. We are constantly publishing our findings through our Company Store. Our Archives area is open one weekend a month to facilitate members who which to pursue their B&O research efforts. The Society also publishes a quarterly magazine, The Sentinel. The Sentinel magazine can be delivered through the mail in hard copy format, or digitally downloaded from our web. Members can also choose to receive both the copy through the mail as well as the digital download edition for a slight additional fee. Each year, the Society also holds a major conference and two mini-conferences.

The B&O Railroad Historical Society is always welcoming new members. We have two levels of individual membership—Regular and Sustaining. Regular members get a year of our quarterly journal, The Sentinel. Sustaining members get a year of our journal and our Color Calendar. All levels of individual members enjoy discounts with our Company Store and the ability to attend our mini-conferences and our annual Convention. Become a member or check out the Membership link on the left for more information. There is also a web based membership application available. Become a B&O Railroad Historical Society Member. Fill out our online membership application.

Read about our history and a brief history of the B&O or investigate the Our Society area on the left. We would also suggest that you look at the wealth of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad historical information that is available through the many articles written for our quarterly magazine, The Sentinel. These magazines contain a wealth of information about the B&O and the railroad's early beginnings. The Company Store still has a few back issues available for sale to the public in magazine format, some going back to 1990. There are also three CD's available for sale that contain copies of virtually every Sentinel magazine printed since inception of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society through CY 2009. These magazine files are in "PDF" format.

The Society is also active in the development of new models that accurately represent an item of equipment that ran on the B&O during its existence. If anyone, whether it be a commercial entity or an individual with an idea that has a clear path to production, with recommended vendor, of a B&O product, please contact our Chairman, B&O Modeling Committee. Please see our Contacts button in the Navigation Bar above for a listing of Society contacts, including the Chairman, B&O Modeling Committee.

Young Historical Writers Challenge

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society is offering a program to encourage young writers to do research into B&O Railroad history. Students between ages 14 to 24 are encouraged to study, research, and write on the rich historical heritage of the B&O and how it played a major role in the development of the eastern half of the country. Check out our Young Historical Writers Challenge module for further information.

Donations to our Historical Society are Really Appreciated

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society needs your donations for programs that are beyond the budget covered by our membership dues and our Company Store sales. These are programs that are made possible by your donations. Please go to the DONATIONS button on the Navigation Bar at the top of this page to see the programs that need your help.

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Here are some B&O Railroad Historical Society items of note. Check 'em out!

3rd Quarter of The Sentinel magazine has been published. A paper copy is available for sale at $8.00 each. The electronic version is now available for download. A copy of the Sentinel inserts are also available for download. Here is a low resolution copy of 6 pages from this edition. Page two of this sample has a table of contents showing all the topics covered by this edition.

The B&O HS 300 Club has been established for anyone who wants to make a one-time donation of $300 to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society Archives Building Fund. See our Donations module for further information and a form to submit with your donation.

The B&O Railroad Historical Society is relocating from Arbutus, Maryland, to Eldersburg, Maryland this summer.

  • In the Spring of 2016, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society purchased a 9,600 square foot building in Eldersburg, Maryland, to house the archives and historical legacy of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, perform research on the history of the B&O, produce publications for the Society, and conduct sales of historical or historically related B&O products. The new building is a masonry block structure built in the 1950s. There is space for over 40 cars to park. Upgrades to the building have been done over the years as the use and purpose changed over its lifetime. To make the building and spaces suitable for Society use, there are structural repairs, both inside and out, as well as extensive refurbishing required to get the building up to a lever that permits productive use by us. When completed late summer 2016, we will have space that triples storage for archives material, a separate office, space for the company store, general storage space, and an auditorium for meeting and possible mini-cons. Financial assistant from members and others is always welcome to help finance this move. Donations are tax deductible and can be submitted to the Society following guidelines provided in our Donations link here.

  • Move Help Is Needed. Volunteers are needed to help with a number of projects (packing, painting, etc.) Please volunteer to help us with the move. Send us an email if you can help us: Email Archives Move Coordinator

Letter from the President. For those of you who are not members of our Society and who do not receive our quarterly magazine, The Sentinel, here is a copy of the Society President's letter that appeared in the 2nd Quarter edition published late March 2016. The President's letter provides an update on the anticipated move to the new Society building located in Eldersburg, Maryland. The letter also provides updates on the status of the annual mini-cons, The Sentinel, the B&O Modeler magazine, and the 2017 calendar.

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society needs new candidates for next year's Board of Directors

  • The Society has 6 Directors at Large that hold office for a three year term. Two directors are reappointed or are selected new each year. For this coming year beginning at the end of this year's 2016 Society conference, both director positions will be vacant.

  • This is a call for anyone interested in serving on the Baltimore & Ohio Historical Society Board as a Director at Large to submit your name for consideration. This is an exciting time for all of us that have been serving for the past several years. Why not join our team and help us out. If interested, please send an email to elections at BORHS.org and ask to join the team. Please include a short bio with your application.

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society 2016 Annual Convention

  • The convention will start on Thursday September 15 and end on Sunday September 18. The headquarters hotel is the Adams Mark Buffalo on 120 Church Street, Buffalo, NY 14202. It is located in downtown Buffalo near the lakefront. Group rates will be honored three days before group arrival and three days after group departure based on availability. The hotel will be the location for registration, presentation and the Company store.

  • Here is a flyer for our annual convention containing a list of events as well as a registration form.

  • The Society room rate will be $99 per night plus taxes for a Deluxe Double room. Please state the reservation is for the "Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society" block of rooms when you make your room reservation in order to get the room rate. You should call the hotel directly at 716-845-5100.

  • The Friday tour will start at the location of the former B&O/ BR&P Ganson Street yard and coal pier and visit station locations between Buffalo and Salamanca, New York. This will include the tower at Ashford Junction. On Saturday, the tour will visit B&O/BR&P facilities in Rochester, NY and stations on the Rochester sub-division. On Thursday and Friday, there will be three presentations each night and a presentation at the Saturday banquet. On Sunday, the Heritage Discovery Center will be open for the Society. It has the Western New York Railway Society museum and the Steel Plant museum.

  • For your viewing enjoyment, here is a link to the Western New York Railway Historical Society located in Buffalo.

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society 2016 Eastern Mini-Con

  • Our Eastern Mini-Con will be held at the Lutherville Volunteer Fire Company, Lutherville, Maryland, on July 30th, 2016. Clinics - a look at Locust Point; a review of selected B&O stations between Philadelphia and the western terminals of Chicago and St. Louis; the Somerset and Cambria Sub; and other topics. See our flyer for full details.

The February 2016 Society Board of Directors Meeting Minutes are now available for viewing.

Easy Way to Change Your Address. Members can change their mailing address by email if they want to save postage and for added convenience. Did you know that you can also change your email address by using the same method? Keeping a current email address on file is important as it is a quick way to check with you if there is a question on a Company Store order, a renewal, or for any other issue that may arise. We recognize that people move, and that may also mean that your email address changes as well. So in addition to sending in your mailing address by email, please let us know if your email address will be changing as well. To send in any changes, please click on the following link and don't forget to include your member number. Click here to let us know your new moving or email address.

Index for Sentinel magazines. Here is an up to date index of the topics that have appeared in the past in our The Sentinel magazine and its predecessors. Please go to our Company Store to check and see what issues are still available. While you are at it, please be aware that we have most issues on CDs broken down by decades. The issues on these CDs are in PDF format to be viewed on computer. While in the Company Store, please check on the Sentinel link in the left margin of our Company Store for a listing of all magazines that are still available in hard copy. You can also order a CD or CDs from this link as well.

We have several ways you can receive your quarterly magazine, The Sentinel? You can get your copy the traditional way by hard copy through the postal service. You can opt for a digital copy in place of your hard copy. Or, you can now opt for both methods of delivery for an additional fee of $10.00. To find out more about your delivery options for our magazine, The Sentinel, go to our Sentinel link.

Check Here for New Items Just Listed For Sale or Great Price Reductions on Some of Our Older Merchandise. See below for the most recent additions:

New 2017 Calendar- For 2017, the B&O Railroad Historical Society has produced another great calendar featuring photography from Bill Hopkins and captions from the history of the B&O Railroad lines in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Click on the thumbnail picture to the left for a sampling of the photos in the calendar. To purchase a new calendar for 2017, please see stock # 22017 in the Calendar link of our Company Store.

The remaining copies of our 2016 calendar have been reduced to only $5.00. Even if you don't need a 2016 calendar, if you are a fan of the B&O, calendars are a great way to get photographs of B&O history. See our Company Store to purchase a copy.

New Book-"Trackside around Rochester 1970-1980" with Daniel Orr and Greg Marling. A Morning Sun book covering the railroads in Rochester. There is an 11 page section on the B&O, but there are additional B&O subjects in another section. Each of the roads has an introductory description and then a full-color section of photos: Penn Central, Lehigh Valley, Erie Lackawanna, B&O, Pittsburgh &Lehigh Jct. Composite, and Conrail. A few maps provide helpful orientation. Please see stock # 10155 in the Books link of our Company Store.

"Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway In Color Volume 5: The B&O Era," by Mike Zollitsch. This volume is the final one of the BR&P series. It is an all-color Morning Sun book covering the BR&P under control of the B&O starting in 1932. There is a chapter on facilities, locations, and customers. Then there are chapters by decade into the 1970s when Chessie appears. More than half of the book covers steam. Please see stock # 10156 in the Books link of our Company Store.

"The Met, a History of the Metropolitan Branch..., Its Stations and Towns." This small softbound book is published by the Germantown Historical Society, written by member Susan Soderberg. It contains photos of every station built for the line. There are also photos of various railroad structures. Please see stock # 10157 in the Books link of our Company Store.

B&O Photos and Society Projects

2nd Quarter The Sentinel

From 2017 Society calendar
Click on photo for other shots

1967-Georgetown local at Chevy Chase. From 2007 Society calendar

1970-Southbound at Martinsburg. From personal photo of Society member

Interested in more shots of B&O Railroad Historical Society events? Check out our SHOWTIME.

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