Collection Location: B & O RailroadMuseum
Collection Overview: The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was initiated as a means of recapturing business lost to the Erie Canal. Started in 1828, it is one of the first railroads in the United States. Construction began on July 4, 1828 when Charles Carroll of Carrollton laid the Cornerstone. The first section went from Baltimore to Ellicott Mills (Ellicott City) and from there expanded to Frederick, Harpers Ferry, and in 1853 it reached Wheeling, West Virginia. It eventually grew into a multi-million dollar industry which is now part of CSX Transportation.
The B & O Railroad Museum, originally the Baltimore & Ohio Transportation Museum, was established by CSX Transportation in 1953. It is located at the old Mount Clare Station, home of the first regular railroad passenger service in the United States and site of the first telegraph message sent on May 24, 1844. In 1990, CSX Corporation deeded the property and collection to a not-for-profit organization along with a $5 million endowment. In 1999, it became affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution.
The B & O Railroad Museum contains over 250 examples of locomotives, rolling stock, artifacts, archives, a research library and a roundhouse dating back to 1884. It also includes the Ellicott City Station, which is the oldest surviving railroad station in America.