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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!

To B&O Historians and Members, "It is with a sad heart that I announce the passing of Ed Young on Monday, September 26th. Ed had a heart attack in his home and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. His contributions to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society were numerous: he was an active archives volunteer, author for society publications, researcher, convention supporter at our Seymour convention, and recently editor of the Sentinel. He will be dearly missed by his friends and family. As of today the publication chair, Harry Meem, is coordinating the duties of the editor to publish the next couple of Sentinels. When I spoke with Ed on the 25th he informed me that he had the first quarter 2017 issue almost complete and was working on the next two issues. I hope one of the society members will step forward to fill this unexpected void and if so contact Henry Freeman or myself through the society’s website. Harry will help the new editor(s) with producing future Sentinels. Please keep Ed and his family in your prayers. Rest in peace Ed and thank you for everything you have done. Greg Smith, President, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society."

4th 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 on the download page. 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.

Western 2017 Mini-Con at Willard

  • Here is a HEADLINER FLYER for the 2017 Ohio Mini-Convention set for Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the Willard Depot Museum in Willard, Ohio. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

The B&O Railroad Historical Society has a new home

  • 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. We now 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 support this effort. Donations are tax deductible and can be submitted to the Society following guidelines provided in our Donations link here.

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:

B&O O-48 gondola HO kit in resin and laser-cut wood with details and customer-applied stirrups, stake pockets, wire grabs, and AB brakes; less trucks, couplers, and decals. Decals available separately for B&O (Item 34021) and for BR&P (Item 34022). See item # 33500 in our Company Store.

B&O Photos and Society Projects


3rd Quarter The Sentinel

From 2017 Society calendar
Click on photo for other shots

1967-Trailer Train Alexandria Junction Maryland. 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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