Throughout its 160 years, the B&O Railroad enjoyed a rich and varied corporate life. It was America's first common carrier railroad and survived to become one of the world's oldest railroad companies. This was made possible through a combination of skill, foresight, and ingenuity. Along the way, the B&O acquired a secure place in the cultural and economic history of the United States. In 1963, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway officially took control of the B&O, beginning what was to become the Chessie System. Formal merger of the two railroads began in 1971, with the Western Maryland Railway being merged into the Chessie System in 1973. In 1980, the Chessie System merged with the Family Lines System to become the CSX Corporation.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society exists to help assemble share the history of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The B&O, like railroading everywhere, touched virtually all areas of American life. This diversity is reflected in the more than 1,300 members of our Society: members' interest range from motive power and railroad architecture to modeling and artifact collecting. Most importantly, the Society provides a forum for the exchange of information and news, the publication of original research, and for members to simply get to know each other. The fellowship of common interest and the opportunities for mutual assistance are two of the Society's greatest assets. Through the Society, members may participate in various field trips, research projects, equipment restorations, and locally sponsored get-togethers. Each year, the Society holds an Annual Convention, with facility tours, workshops, photo and models shows, displays, and an Annual Membership Meeting and Banquet. Additionally, two regional mini-conferences are held annually, one in the Maryland/Pennsylvania/West Virginia area, and a second in Ohio. The purpose of these mini-conferences is to bring together fans to conduct workshops, listen to presentations by noted B&O historians, and just generally discuss the B&O. A list of some of the future Society events is provided here.
The Society maintains a formal archive function and maintains a small warehouse full of documentation from the Office of the Vice President of Operations and Engineering, B&O Railroad. We are also the custodians of several thousand photographs and blueprints, maps, and drawings. Since 1979, the Society has published a quarterly magazine The Sentinel which is intended to provide articles and news items of historical significance to those interested in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. Other publications include reprints of the multitude of B&O documents that have been saved throughout the years; the Society also produces an outstanding calendar each year. The Society also produces a publication The B&O Modeler which is dedicated to modeling B&O equipment and structures.
B and O Railroad Historical Society joined Fine Art America on October 16th, 2017.